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A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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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.



(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
569 ( 415)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events  »

Box Office


$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,210,979 (UK) (17 December 2004)


$118,627,117 (USA) (22 April 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The twins playing Sunny were genuinely terrified of Jim Carrey in his Count Olaf make-up. See more »


When the Baudalaires arrive at Aunt Josephine's house, the stone steps have no stair rail. In the next shot of them, a rail is next to the stairs. See more »


[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 »


References The Phantom of the Opera (1925) See more »


Loverly Spring
By Thomas Newman and Bill Bernstein
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Stay for the end credits
14 January 2005 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

The end credits is a ten minute long cartoon of such incredible beauty that it is a great shame that most people will never watch it. Simply its some of the best animation to come out all year.

While I can give the end credits a 10 out of 10 I can only give the rest of the film a begrudging 7 out of 10, although it should probably be a 6.5. Certainly this is a fantastically well made movie, that is for the most part very well acted but something is amiss in the tone of the film and so it never really is what it should be.

The story of three children who's parents are killed and who are forced from guardian to guardian by the murderous acts of Count Oloff is pretty bleak. And with a title like "A Series of Unfortunate Events" you really can't expect dancing elves, but the film makers have chosen to add a vein of madcap silliness to the proceedings that works against the rest of the film. It seems as if they were afraid that the material was going to be seen as too dark, which is a shame since its clear from the sequences where they left well enough alone that the film could have stood on its own.

Its a good movie, instead of the great one it wants to be.

Definitely worth seeing.

77 of 104 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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