.

City of Ember

Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Saoirse Ronan, Martin Landau, Mackenzie Crook

Directed by Gil Kenan
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
October 9, 2008

Except for watching Bill Murray get attacked by a giant mole (something unique in Billy boy's career so far) this sci-fi fantasy aimed at kids feels wan and warmed over. Edward Scissorhands screenwriter Caroline Thompson has adapted Jeanne Duprau's children's book into a puzzle of plots and subplots with pieces that never fit together. Murray is the mayor of Ember, an underground city that has been surviving on generator power for 200 years, ever since the world ended. Two high school grads, Doon (Harry Treadaway) and Lina (Saoirse Ronan), have been told there is no life outside Ember, but both have their doubts. Hey, they're mavericks! Are you listening, John McCain? Is Doon's inventor dad (Tim Robbins) devising an escape plan? Isonan sad that she followed up her Oscar-nominated turn in Atonement with this pap? Is Murray improvising his lines? (I hope not because nothing he says is remotely witty). All that's left to recommend is the design eye of director Gil Kenan, whose animated Monster House two years ago was good, creepy fun. Ember looks genuinely scary, richly detailed in its dark alleys and subterranean pipeworks. You long for things to go bump in the night, but the movie muffles every risk in a blanket of bland.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com