Movie Reviews

Film Review: “City of Ember”

(Fox Walden. 1 hour, 39 minutes. Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements. Directed by Gil Kenan.) Bill Murray (Mayor Cole), Toby Jones (Barton Snode), Saoirse Ronan (Lina Mayfleet), Tim Robbins (Loris Harrow), Martin Landau (Sul), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Clary), Harry Treadaway (Doon Harrow), Mary Kay Place (Mrs. Murdo).

Kids will enjoy this light fantasy about an underground city presided over by genial Mayor Bill. Not much backstory: we don’t know why these folks are unaware that their world extends beyond this little city, or what sent them down there in the first place. We do know that Ember’s centuries-old generator is going on the fritz, throwing the city’s future into doubt. I don’t want to say more, except look for magic boxes, cryptic clues, teenage kids on the run, that sort of stuff. The first half is pretty slow going, but the second half has most of the action scenes and there are some pretty cool special effects (even if one’s reminded more than once of the Indiana Jones series). Not great, but passes the time.