6.5/10
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111 user 122 critic

City of Ember (2008)

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For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing ... and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker.

Director:

Gil Kenan

Writers:

Caroline Thompson (screenplay), Jeanne Duprau (book)
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Popularity
4,434 ( 1,133)
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Saoirse Ronan ... Lina Mayfleet
David Ryall ... Chief Builder
Harry Treadaway ... Doon Harrow
Mary Kay Place ... Mrs. Murdo
Tim Robbins ... Loris Harrow
Bill Murray ... Mayor Cole
Mackenzie Crook ... Looper
Toby Jones ... Barton Snode
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Liam Burke Liam Burke ... Mr. Boaz
Brid Ni Chionaola Brid Ni Chionaola ... Seely Schnap
Maureen Dow Maureen Dow ... Mrs. Sample
Lucinda Dryzek ... Lizzie Bisco
Lorraine Hilton Lorraine Hilton ... Miss Thorn
B.J. Hogg B.J. Hogg ... Mayor's Guard
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Clary
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Storyline

When mankind is about to come to an end, a group of scientists decide to create and populate a city deep underground. The city of Ember is to last for 200 years after which its inhabitants are to retrieve from a strong box instructions to return to the surface. Over time however, the message is lost and life in Ember is rapidly deteriorating. Their power supply is failing and food is being rationed. It's left to two young adults to unearth the secret of Ember and to lead the way out. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Discover The Secret See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Ember See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,129,473, 12 October 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,873,007, 15 January 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,929,684
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Playtone, Walden Media See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book sequel was optioned, but the poor box-office reception of this film caused the project to be shelved. See more »

Goofs

(at around 14 mins) When Lina Mayfleet receives her red messenger poncho she puts it on quickly and Captain Fleery begins lacing it up. He never finishes, but when Lina pauses at the door to recite the protocol, it is more fully laced up. See more »

Quotes

Lina Mayfleet: [She's holding the mysterious box, looking at the numbers in its l.e.d. count-down panel, while talking to Clary, and she starts crying] How am I ever gonna figure out what this is all about? It's all these zeros. That's what scares me the most. What would count down to nothing?
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Connections

References Ghostbusters II (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Mayor's Fanfare
Written and Performed by Douglas Pipes
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Decent movie, lacking some story, lacking some direction.
9 November 2008 | by steviekaneSee all my reviews

If the only thing City of Ember does is show that Belfast can play host to high concept movies, then it was worthwhile, but no doubt, it was aiming for more than that. Perhaps to stand next to such fare as Harry Potter, or a Pixar flick.

Unfortunately, it falls short, but only just. This is without doubt, an exciting romp about two coming-of-age children who break out of the mold forced on them by the dying Ember, and in doing so, change everything. The acting is solid, the set design and music excellent. The concept, the builders of Ember leaving behind secret instructions to get back to the world, is genuinely engaging.

Unfortunately, they don't get to these instructions fast enough, and a lot of time is spent wandering around the, albeit, beautiful city. Often times there is a lack of a perceived threat. Despite being replete with a nefarious mayor and a mutated mole (like the massive moths, never explained), the story uses neither of these things enough, leaving some scenes to be propelled solely by the heroes following the by-the-numbers instructions left to them. Worst of all, the ending feels like a poor man's Goonies.

In the director's corner, he is guilty of some slow scenes, but what is almost unforgivable is the flat looks of the actors during intense CGI action. Somebody wasn't thinking ahead.

Nonetheless, a charming film that I hope made enough money to spawn treatment of the books sequels.


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