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City of Ember

A film starring Saoirse Ronan and Toby Jones based on young adult novel

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  • Jan 25, 2009
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Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

1. Don't watch this movie if you haven't read the young adult book upon which it is based.
2. Don't say I didn't warn you!
3. Foreseeing a disaster of apocalyptic proportions, a group of builders construct a self-sufficient underground city, built to last for 200 years.
4. After 200 years, everybody forgets the existence of the world above.
5. As soon as the 200 year warranty runs out, the city starts to malfunction, and there aren't any contact numbers for customer service.
6. Lina Mayfleet, a young girl (Saoirse Ronan from Atonement) finds a message from the builders, and along with her friend Doon Harrow, they begin to explore the possibility of leaving Ember.
7. This is against the law, and the Mayor (Bill Murray) has his own reasons to keep the two friends contained.
8. The movie rushes through several chapters to wrap up the movie in 95 minutes, leaving many viewers dazed and confused.
9. The ending begs for the sequel that is unlikely to happen.

Despite good acting performances, and several high caliber stars including Tim Robbins, Martin Landau and Toby Jones, the movie fails to capture the detail provided in the book, and ends up as a muddled and hopelessly convoluted mess.

This weak and soggy movie extinguishes any hope for the coaxing of this Ember into a sequel. Forget it, and stick with the book, and the series that follows.

Amanda Richards

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January 26, 2009
Saoirse Ronan was phenomenal in Atonement, so I was really hoping that she'd have a stellar follow-up with this film. But you make it sound like a definite rental. Too bad. I'm assuming you've read the book upon which this film is based. Is the book better?
More City of Ember reviews
review by . December 24, 2010
I really did like this movie, and I think it was one of the best children's movies of 2008. I liked the book, and I'm glad the movie stayed pretty faithful. I honestly have no idea why this has a 52% rotten rating on RT, it deserves at the very least a fresh rating. The cast is superb, the visuals are stunning, and the story is perfectly adapted from the book.      The set designers really got the look and feel of ember down pat. In fact, my expectations were surpassed …
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #41
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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Amazon.com: City of Ember: Saoirse Ronan, Toby Jones, Bill Murray, David Ryall, Ian McElhinney, Harry Treadaway, Tim Robbins, B.J. Hogg, Lucinda Dryzek, Matt Jessup, Lara McIvor, Myles Thompson, Xavier PĂ©rez Grobet, Gil Kenan, Gary Goetzman, John D. Schofield, Steve Shareshian, Tom Hanks, Caroline Thompson, Jeanne Duprau: Movies & TV
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