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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.

Director:

Brad Silberling

Writers:

Robert Gordon (screenplay), Daniel Handler (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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Popularity
1,763 ( 66)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

Three children - Violet (14), Klaus (12) 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

Taglines:

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 »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,061,756, 19 December 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$118,627,117, 24 April 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$209,073,645
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX | DTS-ES

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the train scene, the back window of Count Olaf's car has a bobble head doll decoration. The doll is a replica of The Littlest Elf, which was introduced in the false-start sequence at the beginning of the film. Sunny subsequently cannibalizes the Littlest Elf's head and Violet incorporates it into her train track switch invention. See more »

Goofs

When Violet is in the kitchen scrubbing the dishes, if you look right in front of her there is a small rack containing a red box. The end of the red box is over the edge of the rack. When it cuts to Klaus scrubbing, the red box is inside the rack. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonnie George Campbell
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Billy Connolly
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dark but compelling fantasy adventure
1 January 2005 | by theantigazSee 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.


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