City of Ember | EW.com

Movies

City of EmberGiven the talent involved — producer Tom Hanks...City of EmberKids and Family, Sci-fi and FantasyPT95MPGGiven the talent involved — producer Tom Hanks...2008-10-16Martin LandauTim RobbinsMartin Landau, Tim Robbins20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Bill Murray, City of Ember

(Keith Hamshere)

B-

City of Ember

Genre: Kids and Family, Sci-fi and Fantasy; Starring: Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Martin Landau, Tim Robbins; Director: Gil Kenan; Author: Caroline Thompson; Release Date Wide: 10/10/2008; Runtime (in minutes): 95; MPAA Rating: PG; Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Given the talent involved — producer Tom Hanks, director Gil Kenan (Monster House), screenwriter Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) — City of Ember should simply be better than the merely good-enough dystopian kids movie that it is. Especially because the elusive Bill Murray pops up, playing the pot-bellied mayor of a dying underground city. He’s fun, and the movie, slathered with grimy color, looks striking (think The City of Lost Children for, well, children). But the story, which follows two kids who try to save their burg from blackouts, isn’t well-executed, losing itself to unclear mythology and sci-fi gibberish. B?

Originally posted October 16 2008 — 12:00 AM EDT

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