6.8/10
196,835
641 user 178 critic

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

Trailer
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.

Director:

Brad Silberling

Writers:

Robert Gordon (screenplay), Daniel Handler (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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Popularity
1,142 ( 109)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 28 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 (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

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the illustrations in the original books, Violet wears a dress with the V-cuffed lower sleeves (a very common attire in space operas), Klaus wears a sweater with a button-down shirt underneath, and Sunny wears a small dress. The orphans' costumes in the movie are noticeably different. See more »

Goofs

When Olaf arrives with his acting troupe while Violet and Klaus are scrubbing the floor, a small stool can be seen a few feet behind Violet. A couple of shots later the stool has moved right behind her. 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...
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonnie George Campbell
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Billy Connolly
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User Reviews

 
Stay for the end credits
14 January 2005 | by dbborroughsSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

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

Gross USA:

$118,634,549

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$211,468,235
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX | DTS-ES

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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