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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)
550 ( 19)
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


We're very concerned See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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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
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Did You Know?


Director Brad Silberling admitted on the director's commentary that in some scenes the stand-ins for Kara Hoffman and Shelby Hoffman, the Knight babies, often appeared on camera instead of the original twins (but with their faces covered slightly). See more »


Count Olaf brings the Baudelaire orphans for a "ride in the country". But later when Mr. Poe takes them away for bad parenting he is seen taking their bags out of Count Olafs car. Why would Count Olaf bring their bags with them when he intended to kill them? 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 Children of the Corn (1984) See more »


Bonnie George Campbell
Performed by Billy Connolly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

If you've seen the movie, you don't know what the books are like
24 December 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The movie was decent. I enjoyed it, certainly. Technically it was outstanding. Casting was good, sets were outstanding, costumes were very nice.

As an adaptation of the books, however, this was horrendous. It was as if the writer had torn a quarter of the pages from the first three books, a few pages from books 4-9, and pasted them together in a random fashion to try and create a cohesive movie. Now, had I not read the books, I would have enjoyed this movie very much, so I have to give that to them, but as a fan, it was just a slap in the face.

If you've read the books, don't see the movie, it will just enrage you. If you haven't, see the movie. It'll be very enjoyable. If, however, you decide to read the books afterwards, be aware that they are far darker than the movie shows, and the mystery is certainly deeper than some magnifying glass in Count Olaf's house. Do not think of them as kid stuff.

7.5/10 for the movie, 2/10 for the adaptation.

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