641 user 178 critic

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

1:45 | Trailer
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.


Brad Silberling


Robert Gordon (screenplay), Daniel Handler (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
1,142 ( 109)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Carrey ... Count Olaf
Liam Aiken ... Klaus
Emily Browning ... Violet
Kara Hoffman ... Sunny
Shelby Hoffman ... Sunny
Jude Law ... Lemony Snicket (voice)
Timothy Spall ... Mr. Poe
Catherine O'Hara ... Justice Strauss
Billy Connolly ... Uncle Monty
Meryl Streep ... Aunt Josephine
Luis Guzmán ... Bald Man (as Luis Guzman)
Jamie Harris ... Hook-Handed Man
Craig Ferguson ... Person of Indeterminate Gender
Jennifer Coolidge ... White Faced Woman
Jane Adams ... White Faced Woman


Three children - Violet (Emily Browning), Klaus (Liam Aiken), and Sunny Baudelaire (Kara and Shelby Hoffman) - 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 (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


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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki chose a specific color palette backdrop for the major locations in this movie:
  • Count Olaf's house (The Bad Beginning) uses green, black, and gray.
  • Uncle Monty's house (The Reptile Room) uses green, brown, and yellow.
  • Aunt Josephine's house (The Wide Window) uses blue and black.
See more »


When the rest of the house breaks off and falls in to the lake, a small piece of wall remains left with the entrance where the Baudelaires are standing. The broken planks left in that piece differ in the close-up shot of the kids and the remaining entrance. 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

The opening Nickelodeon Movies logo is shown depicted on planets in outer space. The camera then pans down to reveal the fictitious "The Littlest Elf" movie. See more »


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


Bonnie George Campbell
Performed by Billy Connolly
See more »

User Reviews

Very dark, but that's the way fairy tales are supposed to be
3 November 2007 | by Smells_Like_CheeseSee all my reviews

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events was a silent hit of 2004, I remember I wasn't too sure if I wanted to see it or not because it just looked too dark for what I thought it was intended to be, a family film. But I was looking for a movie to watch yesterday and decided to go ahead and give the movie a chance. While I still think it was too dark for a family film, I thought that it was still a great film and the crew did a remarkable job of bringing the story to life. Normally while Jim Carrey can over do his roles that have this type of character, he actually portrayed Count Orlof extremely well and did a terrific job. I'm in some ways surprised that he didn't get more notice for this film. He, Meryl Streep, Billy O'Connelly really brought Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events to life. The sets and costumes were marvelous and the story was a frightening but imaginative one that I'm sure any film fan would enjoy to watch.

Three children: Klas, Violet, and Sunny have just lost their parents and home to a horrible fire. They are left in the hands of one of their "closest" friends, the scary looking and crazy Count Orlof. The count makes the kids do his chores and makes them cook dinner for him and his friends, but the one thing he does want is the children's inheritance from their parents. After attempting to kill them, they are taken to a safer guardian, but Orlof isn't going to give up so easily, he is going to go through as many guardians as it takes to get back these children.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a terrific film, I was incredibly impressed, I'm glad I decided to give it a chance. It had good comic relief, but also had some thrilling moments, while I don't think it's a good idea to give this film completely to the kids, it's a family thriller type of film that I'm sure could be enjoyed. I know there are a lot of kids that wanna have a more grown up genre they could watch and this might be the film for them. I do recommend it for watch, this film is definitely worth the look. Not to mention, for once it was nice that they didn't over do it with the baby comedy, she was actually cute and funny. You'll see what I mean when you watch it, you'll be happy too, the kids are very likable and so are the rest of the characters.


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 641 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »



Germany | USA



Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events See more »


Box Office


$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,061,756, 19 December 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX | DTS-ES

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed