88

TV Guide

A fun and moving family film with a subtly dark feel rarely seen in kids' movies since the '80s, City of Ember succeeds despite its shortcomings, not only because of its fun and inspiring story, but because most of its flaws are things kids won't notice anyway.
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75

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
If older kids and adults seek out this picture, which 20th Century Fox and Walden Media clearly aren't sure how to sell, they may well find themselves drawn into a subterranean world of considerable imagination.
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75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
An impressive and imaginative fantasy.
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67

Entertainment Weekly

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.
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63

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
All the running, the hiding, the escaping (from giant moles, from giant Murray) are decidedly less exciting, and compelling, than City of Ember wants to be.
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63

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
City of Ember lacks the vision and scope of "WALL-E," but it's based on a pretty good kids' book and it makes a pretty good "Twilight Zone" episode, with hope dangling at the end rather than one of Rod Serling's cosmic black jokes.
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63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
At its best when sticking to a classic sci-fi-fantasy format. But when it tries to be a generic thrill ride, it loses its originality and peculiar charm.
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60

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
Though the film ultimately falls short of its considerable promise, there's more than enough here to keep thoughtful moviegoers - of any age - intrigued.
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50

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
You long for things to go bump in the night, but the movie muffles every risk in a blanket of bland.
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50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
Stalls at the intersection of fantasy and science fiction.
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58 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.