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Based on 27 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 19 )
  • 50
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    You long for things to go bump in the night, but the movie muffles every risk in a blanket of bland. show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    An impressive and imaginative fantasy. show more

  • 63
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    At its best when sticking to a classic sci-fi-fantasy format. But when it tries to be a generic thrill ride, it loses its originality and peculiar charm. show more

  • 63
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    All the running, the hiding, the escaping (from giant moles, from giant Murray) are decidedly less exciting, and compelling, than City of Ember wants to be. show more

  • 60
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    Though the film ultimately falls short of its considerable promise, there's more than enough here to keep thoughtful moviegoers - of any age - intrigued. show more

  • 50
    Kirk Honeycutt The Hollywood Reporter

    Stalls at the intersection of fantasy and science fiction. show more

  • 88
    TV Guide

    A fun and moving family film with a subtly dark feel rarely seen in kids' movies since the '80s, City of Ember succeeds despite its shortcomings, not only because of its fun and inspiring story, but because most of its flaws are things kids won't notice anyway. show more

  • 75
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    If older kids and adults seek out this picture, which 20th Century Fox and Walden Media clearly aren't sure how to sell, they may well find themselves drawn into a subterranean world of considerable imagination. show more

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    City of Ember has almost anything one could want from a science fiction-based family adventure film: likeable characters, an imaginative setting, and a fast pace. show more

  • 63
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    It's innocent and sometimes kind of charming. The sets are entertaining. There are parallels in appearance and theme to a low-rent "Dark City." show more

  • February 28, 2013 amethystmm74
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    I\'ve just finished reading the book. If you have the choice between the book or the movie, choose the book. The book is much, much better than the movie. At least, read the book first, then watch the movie.

  • January 05, 2011 nevea22
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    I was really disappointed in this movie. I've read the book and it was nothing like it. They changed everything. The book was amazing, but this movie ruined it. They have a 24 year old playing Doon, who is 12 in the book. It moved way to fast and the Pipes monster was a horrible idea. I usually don't dislike movies but The City of Ember is an exception. I'd rate it a 4/10. Skip it!

  • May 14, 2010 PeiAquarium
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    Looks good but not as good as the book.

  • July 26, 2009 echathome
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    I slept through it

  • February 21, 2009 DandGChatagnier
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    Finally another movie the whole family can sit and watch and not flinch because of some foul language or actions. This was totally fun to watch and has intriguing scenery and story. This has excellent characters and Bill Murray was perfect for his role as usual. I wish there were more movies like this to choose from. I highly recommend this movie and hope everyone else feels the same way and rates it as high as I have.

  • February 01, 2009 bearallntx
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    I thought the movie was great and the whole family enjoy it, the monster was a very large mole. For those of you that don't know mole's live underground.

  • December 24, 2008 Softblanket
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    In the Book they never said anything about a monster being in the pipeworks. But besides that I thought that the movie and the book were both really good.

  • October 23, 2008 Baseballboy1217
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  • October 23, 2008 xxmaddyparkerxx
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    it was so not the same as the book, and what was that big monster in the pipeworks. And in the book they said poppy was 1 1/2 but in the movie she looked like she was 5, but the one part I liked was when they got on the boat and it was like a roller coaster!! Well I hope they dont do that to Twilight because I really want 2 see that, the vampire looks cute!!

  • October 19, 2008 Cynthiahorsegirl
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    I Love the book and I hope you guys are wrong that the movie doesn't suck. But iv'e seen the trailer and it destroyed what th book is about. Also, even thogh Doon looks 15, he's not. He's 24! OMG, hes too old to play 12. So you guys are right. Lets hope they dont butcher twilight, too.

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