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

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Family  |  17 December 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 146,746 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 591 user | 183 critic | 37 from

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

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


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) »


Ruinning Christmas December 17. 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)


$1,918,915 (Japan) (13 May 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The beginning of the film features a false-start opening sequence called "The Littlest Elf". The sequence was created in CGI, but designed to resemble the stop-motion animated children's specials common in the 1960s and '70s, most famously by Rankin-Bass. See more »


When the children first arrive at Count Olaf's mansion, the metal ring/porthole on the main door swings inwards, downwards. However, when the scene shifts to the interior, the porthole is shown to swing sideways, similar to the door. But when the scene shifts back to the exterior of the house, the porthole door swings back upwards from the inside. 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

There is a credit for 'baby wrangler'. See more »


Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #33.4 (2005) See more »


Hungarian Dance #5
Written by Johannes Brahms
See more »

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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.

74 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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