I read this series and found it creative and fascinating. I was excited to see the movie based upon the first book, City of Ember, but am phenomenally perplexed. It's easy to understand how a book needs to be condensed when making a moved based upon it's story, but the screenwriters did a terrible disservice with this flick. While ignoring important parts of the book, they CHANGED and ADDED unnecessary elements! Characters, creatures, chase scenes and story lines, which were not part of the book, ruined this for me. Had they stuck to the natural flow of the novel, and stayed true to the unraveling of the mystery, this could have been a fantastic Goonies-esque ride. Instead, it seems they took lame and questionable liberties with the book. Too bad; the actors were great, as were the visuals.
This isn't terrible, but I really feel it could have been SO much better without the screenwriters re-write of a great book.
I give it three stars, though. Had I not read the series beforehand, I'd have probably liked this much more.