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

A Series of Unfortunate Events (original title)
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)
1,182 ( 245)
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


At last a holiday movie without all that pesky hope and joy. 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?


When looking at Aunt Josephine's photo album, the Baudelaires stumble across a picture of the society, of which their parents and family members were a part. In the top right-hand side of the picture, a person's face is partially blurred out, though the appearance seems to be that of Count Olaf. See more »


When the children are on Olaf's boat after Aunt Josephine has been eaten, Mr. Poe and the detective arrive. When Poe says he was wrong about Olaf, Sunny's hood is covering part of her face. When the camera goes to the orphans, you can't see her face at all because she is leaning in to Violet, and when the camera goes back to Olaf, her hood is completely off her face. 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 final song in the end credits is "The Littlest Elf" theme song. When both the credits and song are finished, the elf's laugh is heard right before the closing Paramount logo appears on screen. See more »


Bonnie George Campbell
Performed by Billy Connolly
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User Reviews

Some Gothic horror and humor in equal doses in Victorian style tale of woe...
20 February 2011 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS puts the spotlight on two kids who suffer an almost Dickensian fate complete with a villainous uncle, Count Olaf (JIM CARREY) and an eccentric Aunt Josephine (MERYL STREEP). The uncle wants to deprive them of their rightful inheritance and pulls all sorts of schemes to do exactly that, each time confronted by the clever children who are always able to escape his clutches.

As the children, LIAM AIKEN and EMILY BROWNING are excellent and believable as they confront their wicked and devious uncle with methods of their own.

Carrey is hilarious in his usual over-the-top sort of performance that suits the material and Meryl Streep is equally skillful in an amusing characterization as the aunt who is afraid of just about everything while supposedly taking charge of the three orphans that show up at her doorstep.

The humor is cleverly imposed on all of the characters, especially Carrey, Streep and Timothy Spall who has a fine time in another good character role. Costumes, make-up, settings are all way above average with the look of the film closely resembling something Tim Burton would devise.

A film that never got its due acclaim, it's well worth your time as a fascinating excursion into another world, both darkly grim and still intentionally humorous in conception. Thomas Newsman's score is a major asset, as is narration by Jude Law.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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