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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 147,117 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 591 user | 183 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.



(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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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


Don't say we didn't warn you. 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)


$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 movie was entirely filmed on soundstages, even the "exterior" scenes, which involved 360 degree sets and lots of blue screens. See more »


When it's at the part where they're on the boat, Klaus shows the drawing of the eye to Aunt Josephine. When the camera turns to her, Klaus folds the paper. Then when it turns it back to him, he has it unfolded in his hands. 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

Jim Carrey sings a sea shanty as Captain Sham towards the end of the end credits. See more »


Hungarian Dance #5
Written by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

Dark but compelling fantasy adventure
1 January 2005 | by (Sheffield, UK) – See all my reviews

Having read none of the Lemony Snickett books, I was unsure of what to expect from this film.

The film begins with a gentle introduction that quickly turns into a humorous, but noteworthy, disclaimer that the following film has dark underlying themes. The main characters are introduced (the three children) and almost instantly we are subjected to the news of the first in a series, or unfortunate events. The film is fast paced and sends the children from one unfortunate situation to another, with Jude Law doing a splendid job of narrating the story along the way. The children a likable and resourceful characters with good chemistry between the actors. You genuinely feel they care about each other and have a great desire to help each other out of these incredible situations.

The real star of the show of course is Jim Carrey. This film provides the perfect platform for Mr Carrey to do what he does best, goof around and play over the top and outlandish characters. In this role Jim Carrey excels, never goofing off to much to undermine the credibility of the character, but being suitably over the top to convey the eccentric old count.

Visually, the film is stunning, the sets look straight out of a Tim Burton film, the costumes are fantastic, the direction is splendid and does a fine job of progressing the story. The visual effects are tremendous and fit in with the tale perfectly, never distracting nor undermining.

This film is quite dark for a children's film, but not dark in a sinister way, but dark in a spooky hallowe'en sort of way that kids love. Watching the film reminded me of reading Rhoal Dahl books as a child, with the over the top characters and out of this world situations.

The plot of the film is fast paced, but contains good character development and plenty of action and adventure. I would recommend this film to children and adults alike.

96 of 115 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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