City of Ember (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

City of Ember (2008)



Critic Consensus: City of Ember is visually arresting, and boasts a superb cast, but is sadly lacking in both action and adventure.

Movie Info

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. Now, two teenagers in a race against time, must search Ember for clues that will unlock the ancient mystery of the city's existence, and help the citizens escape before the lights go out forever.more
Rating: PG (for mild peril and some thematic elements)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Caroline Thompson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 20, 2009
Box Office: $7.8M
Fox Walden - Official Site


Saoirse Ronan
as Lina Mayfleet
Harry Treadaway
as Doon Harrow
Tim Robbins
as Loris Harrow
Bill Murray
as Mayor Cole
Mary Kay Place
as Mrs. Murdo
Toby Jones
as Barton Snode
Amy Quinn
as Poppy
David Ryall
as chief builder
Ian McElhinney
as builder 2
B.J. Hogg
as mayor's guard
Lucinda Dryzek
as Lizzie Bisco
Lorraine Hilton
as Miss Thorn
Liam Burke
as Mr. Boaz
Liz Smith
as Granny
Simon Kunz
as Captain Fleery
Frankie McCafferty
as Arbin Swinn
Heathcote Williams
as Sadge Merrall
Maureen Dow
as Mrs. Sample
Becky Stark
as song master
Brid Ni Chionaola
as Seely Schnap
Mark Mulholland
as portrait painter
Valerie O'Connor
as person in line
Ann Queensbury
as Doctor Tower
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for City of Ember

Critic Reviews for City of Ember

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (33)

It's an unfortunate end to a promising movie.

Full Review… | November 10, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

Ultimately, it didn't move me in any way.

Full Review… | November 10, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

A lot of thought and effort has been put into City of Ember but the whole is never more than the sum of its parts. It wants to be an adventure story and a fable and a mystery all at the same time and never quite decides what it is.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011

One of the best family films of the year...if you like your kid movies with a little more bruising than normal.

Full Review… | June 2, 2010

Built upon a bedrock of dazzling and richly constructed sets -- think Dr. Seuss meets Jules Verne meets Mad Max -- and complemented by rock-solid storytelling, it's an enormously enjoyable family film.

Full Review… | September 4, 2009

Ultimately, this journey to rekindle the fire of humanity fails to burn bright enough, leaving only the unpleasant taste of ashes.

Full Review… | May 12, 2009
SFX Magazine

Audience Reviews for City of Ember


An uninspiring tale that just limply moves on with no real conviction. seen much better familly dramas!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


Gil Kenan's adaptation of Jeanne Duprau's book, City of Ember, leaves the occasional blackout.It's a brief 90 minutes to reach its conclusion, and while this film is a quick draw because of that, the lack of extensive details really hurt in the second half. The first part of the story works well with the character and setting development; however, the pace ends up too fast for its own good by the time the ending comes around.Despite classification in the fantasy genre, there isn't much reliance on effects. What's there is passable, but it's nice to watch a film like this without the overdose of CG.Award winning acting cannot be found here, yet everyone gets by. Saoirse Ronan is actually a delight on screen with her lively personality.City of Ember has its ups and downs, and with that said the positives outweigh the negatives, thus making it a recommendable picture.

JY Skacto

Super Reviewer


It's a weird movie. But wasn't boring. Watchable.

Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

City of Ember Quotes

Mayor Cole: Mayfleet! That's a name for a messenger! May your feet be fleet.
– Submitted by Anders M (3 years ago)
Doon Harrow: What does this do?
Sul: I don't know. That's not my job.
– Submitted by Anders M (3 years ago)
Lina Mayfleet: If this is a potato, then I'm 16 and sexy.
– Submitted by Facebook U (5 years ago)

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