6.5/10
59,793
114 user 122 critic

City of Ember (2008)

Trailer
1:47 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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)
6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Nim's Island (2008)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young girl inhabits an isolated island with her scientist father and communicates with a reclusive author of the novel she's reading.

Directors: Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Stars: Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243-year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once-remarkable Emporium.

Director: Zach Helm
Stars: Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A lonely boy discovers a mysterious egg that hatches a sea creature of Scottish legend.

Director: Jay Russell
Stars: Emily Watson, David Morrissey, Alex Etel
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.

Director: Mark Waters
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, David Strathairn
Action | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

On a quest to find out what happened to his missing brother, a scientist, his nephew and their mountain guide discover a fantastic and dangerous lost world in the center of the earth.

Director: Eric Brevig
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

Director: Chris Weitz
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards
Nanny McPhee (2005)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A governess uses magic to rein in the behavior of seven ne'er-do-well children in her charge.

Director: Kirk Jones
Stars: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury
Monster House (2006)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

Director: Gil Kenan
Stars: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke
Inkheart (2008)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A teenage girl discovers her father has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook's hero.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Andy Serkis, Eliza Bennett
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A preteen's life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape reality.

Director: Gabor Csupo
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two young brothers are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when their house is hurled through the depths of space by the magical board game they are playing.

Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature.

Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Mia Farrow, Madonna
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Lights out. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Ember See more »

Edit

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 1 hr 19 mins) Bill Murray trips after the lights start sparking. He lands on a painting of himself and it is smudged. The same thing happens in Ghostbusters II (1989). See more »

Goofs

When riding the boat through the flume, they come upon an obvious drop. Water is pouring over the edge. But, when they land in the lake after the drop, there is no water pouring, over them or behind them. See more »

Quotes

Doon Harrow: Sul, what are you doing up here?
Sul: This thing is jammed stuck. I've gotta free it.
Doon Harrow: How do you know that's what you should do?
Sul: [pause] It's my job!
See more »


Soundtracks

Song for the City
Written by Becky Stark
Performed by Becky Stark and the Believers
Becky Stark appears courtesy of Matador Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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.


31 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 114 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

What Made the Star of "The Rook" Scream at Her TV?

If you were around in the early aughts, you might've had the same reaction. Emma Greenwell of the new STARZ series lets us in on her "Fleabag" fandom and more.

Watch now

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed