City of Ember (2008) Given the talent involved — producer Tom Hanks , director Gil Kenan ( Monster House ), screenwriter Caroline Thompson ( Edward Scissorhands ) — City… 2008-10-10 PG PT95M Kids and Family Sci-fi and Fantasy Bill Murray Saoirse Ronan Harry Treadaway Martin Landau Tim Robbins 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Movie Review

City of Ember (2008)

MPAA Rating: PG
Bill Murray, City of Ember | CITY OF EMBER Bill Murray
Image credit: Keith Hamshere
CITY OF EMBER Bill Murray
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Release Date: Oct 10, 2008; Rated: PG; Length: 95 Minutes; Genres: Kids and Family, Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan and Harry Treadaway; 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 Oct 10, 2008 Published in issue #1017 Oct 24, 2008 Order article reprints