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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Family  |  17 December 2004 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 142,090 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 589 user | 182 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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.

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(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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Title: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lemony Snicket (voice)
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Bald Man (as Luis Guzman)
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White Faced Woman
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White Faced Woman
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Storyline

Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are three intelligent young children who receive terrible news that their parents have died in a fire and have left them an enormous fortune not to be used until the eldest child is of age. When they are sent to live with Count Olaf, a greedy distant relative, they soon learn he is trying to steal their fortune for himself. Written by jackwhiteyouremyhero

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

count | children | fire | orphan | custody | See All (229) »

Taglines:

Darkening theaters December 17. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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:

$1,918,915 (Japan) (13 May 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two weeks before the end of shooting, DP Emmanuel Lubezki had to leave due to work commitments for the upcoming movie The New World (2005). 'Robert Yeoman' was brought in for a shot in the last half of the third act (The Wide Window). Yeoman was given a special thanks in the credits. See more »

Goofs

When Count Olaf asks why the children haven't cooked him roast beef, he is standing on the ground in front of his acting troupe. In the next shot, about a second later, he is shown jumping down from the table. (This is due to cutting an extended scene where Olaf gets onto the table and ruins the dinner they have prepared.) 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

The film begins as if it is a stop-motion animated film which calls itself "The Littlest Elf". After thirty seconds of action, everything stops, the set goes dark, and Lemony Snicket's voice-over sounds, saying that unfortunately, this isn't the film you are about to see. If you want to turn away from this movie and watch a film about a happy little elf, there's going to be a showing playing in theater two. If you're into seeing movies with an unhappy ending, attractive children, and terrifying people, with suspicious fires, secret organizations and Italian food, then you're in the right show. "The Littlest Elf" is the only title shown onscreen during the opening credits. As Snicket is doing his voiceover, the scene changes to a person walking through a foggy graveyard. See more »

Connections

References The Princess Bride (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Quality movie, unless you're a die-hard fan of the books
23 December 2004 | by (IL, USA) – See all my reviews

I first heard of these books when I saw my younger brother reading them. I got curious and when I saw they were making a movie was sure to read the first three before seeing it. Right off the bat, I can tell you that if you are a completely possessive fan of these books you might be rather disappointed by this movie. The movie condenses books "The Bad Beginning," "The Reptile Room," and "The Wide Window" by slicing the first book in half and placing the other two inside of it, like a sandwich. Of course in order for this to be possible the story has to change to make it work, so some elements are not factual. Combine this with Snicket's usually clever details in the book having to be cut down and very loyal fans are going to be disappointed. The movie also adds in a subplot that the first three books do not possess, but that the later ones (according to my brother) do, so I was a bit bothered by having that element ruined if i choose to read more of the series.

I, however, understand the difference between books and movies, and think that on the whole they succeeded in keeping the tone and uniqueness of this series. Carrey as Olaf is wonderful and adds something to a character that seems to be rather dry in the books and the children are believable and easy to sympathize with. While humor was scarce, the tone of the books is more clever than humorous anyway.

Overall my only issues are plot-wise and how this creates a choppy feel to the film, but I don't know of a way it could have been done better. The movie was well done with(as many are saying) excellent scenery, costumes, etc., yet nothing made this film completely amazing. It is however, worth the time and money and one should definitely read the books. ~Steven C


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