6.5/10
60,185
118 user 122 critic

City of Ember (2008)

Trailer
1:47 | Trailer
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
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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 6.5/10 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
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
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
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
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
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
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Nanny McPhee (2005)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents' vast fortune.

Director: Brad Silberling
Stars: Jim Carrey, Jude Law, Meryl Streep
Eragon (2006)
Action | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In his homeland of Alagaesia, a farm boy happens upon a dragon's egg -- a discovery that leads him on a predestined journey where he realizes he's the one person who can defend his home against an evil king.

Director: Stefen Fangmeier
Stars: Ed Speleers, Sienna Guillory, Jeremy Irons
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:

Escape Is The Only Option 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

Gross USA:

$7,873,007

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

The live action debut for director Gil Kenan. His actual film debut, Monster House (2006) was motion capture animated. 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: Lizzie! Where'd you get that food?
Lizzie Bisco: All right. I got it from my boyfriend.
Lina Mayfleet: You don't have a boyfriend.
Lizzie Bisco: It's not official, but there's this guy who really likes me. He explores the storerooms, especially the ones on the edges. They're marked empty in the ledger, but they're not all empty. I'll give you a bite if you promise not to tell.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #5.41 (2008) 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

 
Young actors save the day for the city
29 October 2008 | by Jay_ExiomoSee all my reviews

"City of Ember", director Gil Kenan's follow up to his horror-lite for preteens "Monster House", is a fun ride that's well worth the admission price if only for the superb production design and the likable leads.

Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) and Doon Harrow (Harry Treadaway) are two of the inhabitants of the City of Ember - an underground city designed to house humans for two centuries as an unspecified disaster takes place on the surface. But as the 200 years have passed, the generator that powers the city gradually falters, causing more frequent blackouts and scarce provisions.

When no one would listen to them, especially the city mayor - Mayor Cole (the effective yet underused Bill Murray) - it then becomes up to Lina and Doon to find the exit that leads to the surface, which is infinitely easier in theory than in practice, considering the plethora of puzzles and riddles they would have to solve.

Without having read the film's source material - Jeanne Duprau's novel - there's no way I can say if the script holds up to the narrative of its literary counterpart, but here's where the film mainly falters. The film feels like a rushed end product crammed to fit within the confines of a typical family flick. Exposition is kept in the sidelines and character development seems more of a ploy to advance the plot than genuine attempts in sculpting something more than cardboard-cut supporting characters.

But despite the narrative faults, Kenan imbues such a magical quality to the dank environment. And for a film lacking impressive turns from its more mature and established actors (including Tim Robbins as Doon's father), upcoming stars Ronan and Treadaway's animated performances save the day, right from a sweeping introduction of the claustrophobic city to a touching finale that finally affirms the characters' quest for light amidst the darkness.


41 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 118 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed