6.8/10
167,148
601 user 186 critic

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents' vast fortune.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
Reviews
Popularity
141 ( 42)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Nanny McPhee (2005)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A governess uses magic to rein in the behavior of seven ne'er-do-well children in her charge.

Director: Kirk Jones
Stars: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After the loss of their parents in a mysterious fire, the three Baudelaire children face trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets.

Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.

Director: Andrew Adamson
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Georgie Henley, William Moseley
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world's most unusual candy maker.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelley
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Nanny McPhee arrives to help a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, though she uses her magic to teach the woman's children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.

Director: Susanna White
Stars: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes
The Mask (1994)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss is transformed into a manic superhero when he wears a mysterious mask.

Director: Chuck Russell
Stars: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert
Shrek (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona for a villainous lord in order to get his land back.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz
Tangled (2010)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.

Directors: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Stars: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harry finds himself mysteriously selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Lemony Snicket (voice)
...
...
...
...
...
Bald Man (as Luis Guzman)
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Three children - Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire - are left orphaned when their house burns down, with their parents in it, in mysterious circumstances. They are left in the custody of a distant relative, Count Olaf (played by Jim Carrey). It is soon apparent that Count Olaf only cares about the children for their large inheritance. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On December 17, Christmas cheer takes a holiday. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, scary situations and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events  »

Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,210,979 (UK) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$118,627,117 (USA) (22 April 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

While discussing the importance of grammar, Captain Sham tells Aunt Josephine, "It's the whole ball of wax, the entire kit and kaboodle." In The Truman Show (1998), Jim Carrey used these same phrases while making purchases at a newspaper stand. In two different scenes, the salesman asks "Will that be all for you, Truman?" And in each scene, he replies with one of those two phrases. See more »

Goofs

When we meet Count Olaf as Stephano, he mentions that he works in the Monterey Bay Aquarium with sea snakes, and that he has been bitten "347 hundred times", mostly on the face. If this was true, he would be very dead because the poison of the sea snake is 10x more potent than a king cobra's. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lemony Snicket: [the Littlest Elf has just come to an abrupt halt] I'm sorry to say that this is not the movie you will be watching. The movie you are about to see is extremely unpleasant. If you wish to see a film about a happy little elf, I'm sure there is still plenty of seating in theatre number two. However, if you like stories about clever and reasonably attractive orphans, suspicious fires, carnivorous leeches, Italian food and secret organizations, then stay, as I retrace each and every one...
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits roll (and before the credits end), "The Littlest Elf" theme song plays in the background, and then the elf's laugh is heard is the Paramount logo appears on screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Bonfire of the Manatees (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonnie George Campbell
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Billy Connolly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A frightfully frenetic and beautifully tragic children's film
17 December 2004 | by (WASHINGTON DC) – See all my reviews

First, let it be declared that in the media of movie, it is a downright shock that Nickelodeon's monicker appears in this film. It is by far, the best film they have ever made. Second, it is probably the only movie you will see made for children (supposedly) and containing a claymation elf holding a rifle.

Second, let it be known that this movie is the most visually pleasing children's (live-action) film any of us will see for years. The costume design is amazing, from the strap-laden sunny to the neo-Gothic formality of Violet, and especially in the under-appreciated and subtle '60s formal-casual of Klaus, who looks like a miniature Harold from "Harold and Maude". The sets are equally beautiful, a spree of Burtonesque Gothic-Modern Post-Industrial Asymmetry, from the half formed carnage of The burnt Baudelaire Mansion to the perfectly executed closing credits, animated to perfection. Cinematography also plays an amazing roll on the parts of Violet and Klaus, where ingenious images are used to insert the audience into the minds of the genius Baudelaires.

Last, the performances, only two that everyone has't heard; Jude Law's perfect narration, and The Hoffman Twins astonishing performance as Sunny. Law's performance is so on target that it never occurs that this voice is not the elusive and enigmatic pseudonym himself. He is the perfect compliment to the often exciting or disturbing actions being inflicted upon the accurately charming and intelligent Baudelaires. as for Sunny, they have performed the impossible in giving a perfect performance to an infant from an infant, in both the physical acting and the ingenious form of translation. The sequels are sure to be the greatest of series, even if the events be unfortunate as they have been.

As an artist, this reviewer cannot help but give this movie a 10/10. It is his deep desire that you appreciate it as much as he, if not, well... ... that is rather... ... unfortunate.


125 of 172 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page