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Movie Review: City of Ember

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 17-10-2008

City of Ember, based on the popular children’s book of the same name, offers families a bewitching dystopian fantasy that may be most appropriate for kids over eight.

Telling the story of a society that was driven underground by the threat of apocalypse on the Earth’s surface, the film shares an aesthetic sensibility with more adult films such as City of Lost Children and Dark City.

Teenagers Lina and Doon are the heroes of the movie, shown to be resourceful and capable even as the adults around them flounder and fail to come up with a good plan for saving their society and reaching daylight.

Middle school-aged children may be fascinated by the puzzles that Lina and Doon have to solve, as well as thrilled by the many action-packed sequences in which they are escaping threats – including a man-eating giant mole.

However, although fathers will likely be pleased by the lack of objectionable violence, sex and swearing in this PG-rated film, they may also find themselves restless as they wait for a storyline that some reviewers claim does not end up delivering a complex and satisfying ending.