There’s something “very, very wrong” here, said Steve Persall in the St. Petersburg Times. “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together kind of wrong: Bill Murray isn't funny anymore.” As the mayor in the new fantasy adventure film City of Ember, “Murray won't play along with the satire, looks “bloated and bored,” and “doesn't even try.”

Bill Murray certainly was “an odd casting choice” for this movie, said “On one hand, he perfectly captures the mayor's glibness and faux concern for his citizens. But on the other, “he is far too self-aware and hip to the joke to mesh with the unsophisticated society he's leading.” Maybe that was “the point, but his presence pulls one out of the movie almost as often as it entertains.”

It’s actually Murray that buoys City of Ember, said Katherine Monk in The Gazette in Canada. He offers an “incredibly subversive” performance in the role of Ember’s “morally bankrupt politician.” And this movie would have been “a lot more depressing” if it wasn’t for Murray’s “tongue-in-cheek prowess.”