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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

4.0 56
Director: Brad Silberling

Cast: Jim Carrey


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The best-selling series of subversive children's books from author Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) come to the screen in this black comedy for the whole family (and how often do you get to see one of those?). The Baudelaire siblings -- gadget freak Violet (Emily Browning), bookworm Klaus (Liam Aiken), and baby Sunny (Kara Hoffman and Shelby Hoffman) -- were living


The best-selling series of subversive children's books from author Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) come to the screen in this black comedy for the whole family (and how often do you get to see one of those?). The Baudelaire siblings -- gadget freak Violet (Emily Browning), bookworm Klaus (Liam Aiken), and baby Sunny (Kara Hoffman and Shelby Hoffman) -- were living a fairy-tale existence with their parents until they died in a fire that destroyed the family home. With few close relatives and a large fortune the children won't inherit until they reach adulthood, the Baudelaire children are left in the care of the peculiar Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), an out-of-work actor who would love nothing more than to get his hands on the kids' money. It doesn't take long for the children to figure out that Count Olaf is up to no good, and they try to steer clear of his various murderous schemes with the help of wildly paranoid Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep) and snake-fancying Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly). Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events also features Catherine O'Hara, Timothy Spall, Cedric the Entertainer, and Luis Guzman; Jude Law narrates in the guise of author Snicket.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
It is Daniel Handler’s nom de plume, Lemony Snicket, above the title, but this mostly fortunate adaptation of three Snicket books (The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window) leans weightily on Jim Carrey’s cinematic shoulders. Carrey is perfect as the despicable actor Count Olaf, hamming it up in a series of guises that figure in his continuing schemes to deprive the Baudelaire orphans of their parents’ fortune. The film's cautionary prologue ingeniously captures the subversive spirit of Snicket's macabre misadventures; it's a wonderful piece of stop-motion animation, right out of Rankin-Bass, in which "The Littlest Elf" prances about in celebration of springtime. Alas, narrator Snicket (Jude Law) informs us, this is not the cheerful film we are going to see. The Baudelaires' story is much more alarming. Described as "clever and reasonably attractive," Violet (Emily Browning), Klaus (Liam Aiken), and infant Sunny (Kara and Shelby Hoffman) survive every deadly predicament Count Olaf can concoct. The cast also includes a boisterous Billy Connolly and a delightful Meryl Streep as ill-fated guardians who are not so lucky in their encounters with Olaf. Director Brad Silberling avoids the slavish-devotion-to-the-text formula that diminished the first two Harry Potter films, although the decision to subtitle Sunny's gurgles and coos with contemporary slang ("Bite me") smacks of pandering. Parents may appreciate that some of the more "extremely unpleasant" incidents in the books (notably a climactic marriage) have been toned down, but the PG-13 rating is accurate. The Academy Award winner for Carrey’s makeup, the film was also justly nominated for its dazzling production design, and the animated end credits are among the best in recent years, too.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
When it's the story that makes a book special, it can often be adapted successfully into a film, as one narrative medium morphs smoothly into another. But when a book's most valuable aspect is its prose style, filmmakers should be warned that they will be hard-pressed to recreate the virtues of their source material. That's the problem with Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, a cinematic version of the first three books in an entire cash-cow line by Daniel Handler, aka "Lemony Snicket." The snide lamentations and morose asides of the author's ironic style make the Snicket books a hoot, but these are not visual qualities and not easily translatable. That leaves director Brad Silberling and screenwriter Robert Gordon able to render only the physical features of the books' Gothic settings. The result is a sort of Tim Burton-lite that looks superb but is too scary for tots, but not quite funny enough for their parents. Despite heavy lifting on the part of a terrific cast that includes Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep, Jude Law as narrator, and a breakout performance by Australian actress Emily Browning as Violet, the tone ends up too affected and dark without the ameliorating effects of Handler's omniscient, mordant voice.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog

Special Features

Director Brad Silberling commentary; Brad Silberling and the real Lemony Snicket commentary; Bad Beginnings: Building a bad actor; Making the baudelaire children miserable; Interactive olaf; Orphaned scenes: ; Dismal deletions and obnoxious outtakes; Alarming evidence from the making of the film: ; A woeful world; Violet's functional designs; Caution! incredibly deadly vipers; The sad score; Volume, Frequency, Decibels: the unsound sound designer; You probably shouldn't listen to these; Sinister Special Effects: ; An alarming conspiracy involving sunny; An even more alarming conspiracy involving sunny; The terrible fire; Leeches & hurricanes; Theatrical trailers

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jim Carrey Count Olaf
Timothy Spall Mr. Poe
Catherine O'Hara Justice Strauss
Billy Connolly Uncle Monty
Meryl Streep Aunt Josephine
Luis Guzman Bald Man
Jamie Harris Hook-Handed Man
Craig Ferguson Person of Indeterminate Gender
Jennifer Coolidge White Faced Woman No. 1
Jane Adams White Faced Woman No. 2
Cedric the Entertainer Constable

Technical Credits
Brad Silberling Director
Colleen Atwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Aversano Co-producer
Minor Childers Co-producer
Bill Corso Makeup
Pud Cusack Sound/Sound Designer
Tony Fanning Art Director
Elizabeth Greenberg Casting
William Hawkins Art Director
Albie Hecht Executive Producer
Rick Heinrichs Production Designer
Linda Hill Associate Producer
Michael Kahn Editor
Avy Kaufman Casting
Richard King Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Lantieri Special Effects Supervisor
Emmanuel Lubezki Cinematographer
Laurie MacDonald Producer
Thomas Newman Score Composer
Valli O'Reilly Makeup
Michele Panelli-Venetis Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Walter Parkes Producer
Julia Pistor Executive Producer
Robert Gordon Screenwriter
Scott Rudin Executive Producer
Barry Sonnenfeld Executive Producer
Jim Van Wyck Producer
Martin Whist Art Director
Kevin Yagher Makeup Special Effects
Robert Yeoman Cinematographer


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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never heard of the book series until I saw the trailer for the film. The trailer looked cool and reminded me of something from a Tim Burton movie (I think maybe because in the trailer they used a song from Edward Scissorhands?). Anyway, I read the first three books that the film was based on and loved it. This is the story of the Baudelaire siblings as they go from house to house after a house fire and are being followed by their dreadful Count Olaf. Sunny was adorable, Klaus was sweet and Violet was pretty. I would totally love for a sequel. The film did seem a little rushed though short. It seemed that maybe they tried to put as much as they could in the film but maybe they should of I don't know took their time in making it or done something differently? Overall I though the film was good and loved the costumes and setting. Read the books first then see the film. Its a good film for the kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love A Series of Unfortunate Events and right after I finished reading The Bad Beginning, a commercial for the movie was on TV. I was so excited to know that Jim Carrey was playing Count Olaf. The movie was good, but they left out many things. They also added more toil for the Baudelaire orphans in that train scene. It was a pretty good scene though. I thought the movie was so good, I saw it four times! Can't wait for the sequel, a word which here means, 'the next chapter in A Series of Unfortunate Events.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CheesyPrincess More than 1 year ago
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a movie based on the first three books in the book series that goes by the same name, the series written by Lemony Snicket. The movie starts off with the wealthy Baudelaire children who are playing on the beach one day, when their banker, Mr. Poe comes to deliver them some dreadful news. Mr. Poe tells the three Baudelaires that their parents passed away in a fire that burned down the beautiful Baudelaire mansion. The Baudelaire children, now also the Baudelaire orphans, are heartbroken when hearing the news. However, Mr. Poe wastes no time in finding a new guardian for the orphans. The orphans are sent to live with their distant uncle Count Olaf. But Count Olaf makes the orphans work hard all day and humialates them in front of his mean-spirited theater troupe. By now, the orphans realize they might hav e to use their unique talents to get themselves out of trouble. Violet, who was 14, had the gift of inventing; Klaus, 12, had read tons of books in his lifetime and knew much information from the books; Sunny, the infant, could chew and bite harder than anyone else the orphans had ever known. When Count Olaf tries to kill them later on, they combine their talents to save their own lives. Mr. Poe sees Count Olaf as an unfit guardian for the Baudelaires, so Mr. Poe places them in the care of their Uncle Monty. Monty is kind and caring toward the children and makes them feel at home. But out of nowhere, Olaf shows up disguised as Monty's new assistant. When he gets the chance, however, Olaf tries to whisk away the orphans but is caught by Mr. Poe. Something similar happens with their next guardian, Aunt Josephine. Soon, the orphans find themselves tugged into one unfortanate event after another. In general, i think this was an excellent movie that deserves a total of four stars. Everyone did astounding acting in the movie. When you are watching the movie, you won't be able to think of anything but the movie; the movie and story was so captivating. I would recommend this movie to anyone who read the series or part of it, or to someone who is looking for a movie that has a different, unique story from other movies; this movie is for you. I know you will enjoy this movioe as much as I did!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a guaranteed great family film that is sure to hold anyone’s attention. The fast paced movie has you wondering what will happen next to the charming young orphans as they move from relative to relative after the malicious Count Olaf in disguise annihilates each person they stay with. The actors in the movie could not have been better cast. Jim Carrey was very comical, as always, portraying the malicious Count Olaf. Some of the lines he said, for example, “Now that we’re a family, I can be the ultimate DAD!” are priceless to hear. You just wish you had the remote to rewind back and play his lines again. The children portraying the Baudelaire orphans were great too. Emily Browning, as Violet Baudelaire, carries herself well as the responsible and mature oldest sibling who has to take care of her younger brother and sister. Liam Aiken, as Klaus Baudelaire, makes the best facial expressions that are great to watch as he reacts to Count Olaf’s unusual demeanor. And last but not least, the twins Shelby and Kara Hoffman, as Sunny Baudelaire, are said to be the next Olsen twins. They are the cutest little girls and they make their character come to life as they communicate in baby talk as the subtitles are shown on screen. Although the movie was composed of three of the eleven Lemony Snicket books, the movie captures the books with great acting, scenery, and sets. I definitely recommend this movie because it will be fun for all ages!
Western-Addict More than 1 year ago
Really weird movie, story, characters. My kids and I like it, even though it is strange, odd, disturbing. The wife thought it interesting enough to watch all the way through, although things of this unpleasant nature are not her cup of tea, and she is not a huge Jim Carrey fan. The kids and I are great Jim Carrey fans, and thus loved his dreadful performance in this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite movies! My friends and I quote from it all the time! I could watch this over and over again, and not get sick of it (and do some of the script). I completely recommend this movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though this movie isn't faithful to the books, it still preserves Snicket's dark humor and wittisms. Klaus has more of an attitude than in the books, but otherwise the casting is perfect. I can't imagine anyone but Jim Carry as Count Olaf. There are also some innovations that are not in the books, but are clever and appropiate non-the-less (the best was when all of Aunt Josephine's predictions about her house come true). Also, we learn that Count Olaf is responsible for burning down the Baudelaire mansion, whereas in the books it has only been implied. What I enjoyed the most about this film is that it is more light-hearted than the books. The books, dispite their witty humor, can be depressing. The film ends on a bitter-sweet, but hopeful note, whereas the books do not (with the exception of book 11). Another plus is that you don't have to be familar with the books to enjoy this movie (though you are missing a lot of Snicket's delightful word games). I can also honestly say it is suitable for the whole family, though not everyone will appreciate its dark humor or eccentric characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, so I've read every one of the books before I went to see the movie. I was really hyped to go see the movie and I even skipped school to see the first showing of it the day it came out. When the movie started I could already tell that the movie was moving way to quickly. They started out with the first half of the first book and then did a very vague version of the second book. After that they did the third book with almost no details from the book and adding things that shouldn't have been in the movie. And last, they took the second half of the first book and completely ruined it. They added things into the movie that didn't come into the books until much later books. It ended on much happier note than it should have. All in all it is a very good movie by itself but if you have ever read the books you will be so disapointed you will cry for days on how horrible it was. It was the worst adaptation of anything I had ever seen. P.S. (if I was able to i would have given this movie no stars)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this movie! Some people may have bashed the film because it's not loyal to the books but I think that puting the marriage at the end of the first act would really ruin the rest of the film. The most exciting part of the film is at the end, as it should be. One thing that suprised me the most is Klaus. He's got an attitude in the film that I really enjoy. Some people might think that isn't good because it's different from the books but a book is a book and a movie is a movie. All the actors are superb and the CGI Sunny's are amazing. The first time I watched the movie I didn't even notice the first CGI Sunny. The entire movie was shot on stages and it is buetiful. It fits the feel of the books. The end was perfect. Some people say it was to happy but I found it incredibly sad. The letter really got to me. Absolutely amazing and would recomend to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very, very, very impressed by this movie. I have read all eleven books and was very much anticipating the movie. I was not disapointed! Many think it was a horrible movie because it did not follow the books to the very last detail, but that is truly riddiculus. If you are a true fan of the books then you will love the story any way that it is told, no matter how much they took out or how much they added in. Many other movies are completely changed but many are not concerned with it. The acting was also Astonishing! Outstanding! Miraculous! Jim Carrey was excellent as the frightning Count Olaf and the four (Emily Browing-Violet , Liam Aiken-Klaus , Kara and Shelby Hoffman-Sunny)who played the Baudelaire children could not have been chosen better. See or buy this movie no matter what people say. But I say it was the best movie of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dear Reader, This movie is AWESOME! I just love this movie is so FUNNY I thought it was gonna be lame but I was WRONG.Sure Its a very sad at the beginning.PLEASE MAIL ME A BOUT THE MOVIA AND IF YOU NOW INFORMATION A BOUT Jacqueline Kennedy!!!Bye....
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a good movie with some sad parts and Jim Carey, look here. Here is the description: Three unfortunate orphans are so sad when their parents perish in a fire. They are sent to live with Count Olaf (Carey) and he is so disgusting and treats the Baudelaires terribly. They are sent to live with two more guardians after that. I liked this movie because it has so much action, and it has such good actors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I felt the movie was just plain DARK! No 'feel-good' about it at all. The best part, as I see it, was the design and artwork that accompanied the credits at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read all the books in the Series of Unfortuante Events and fell in love with the movie! The best in it by far all Jim Carrey (Count Olaf) and Emily Browning (Violet) A great movie but mabye a little scary for kids under the age of 5.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read all the books and i watched the movie it is sooooooo good and i cant wait for the 12 book im going to get the dvd the first day
slimikin More than 1 year ago
The first time I saw Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, I wasn't sure quite what I thought of it. I knew I didn't dislike it, but it was such a singular sort of experience that I wasn't sure whether I liked it, either. Several months later, I had the opportunity to watch it again, and I was surprised by how much I remembered of the film...and by how much I anticipated seeing it again. The more I watched it, the more I enjoyed it, and before long it had become one of my favorite movies. Beyond the film's quirky, dark humor, it's poignant and touching, lushly visual and very well acted: definitely a film worth seeing again and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've never read any of the books and decided to watch this movie just because Carrey's in it. And even though he is at the top of his form, what really sucked me into the movie were the great performances of the brother and sister. The story is told very well and the CG effects are top notch as well, lending the movie just the right atmosphere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a highly entertaining movie full of dark and dry humor that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is hard to guess what time period this movie takes place in, for costumes are very reminicent of the gothic era as are the buildings. But to counter this, references are made to modern technology such as fax machines and phones. However it can be easily deciphered at the end of the movie that the location that the Baudelaires live in is Massachusetts. This is, as the title of my review suggests, one of my very favorite movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though this movie was the thing that got me hooked to the Series, I think that it was rushed, because they tried to jam three books into one movie. I think the happy ending didn't serve Lemony Snicket as well as the books. It was still good, so don't get me wrong!!! I love the soundtrack, because it is just my type, weird and weary. Oh, and I roller skate to "Loverly Spring," so apparently I adore it!!! And, yes, it is the full song (the whole minute and fifty seconds of it). The only reason for my four stars is because of the rushing. It felt like that term paper that you had to finish in two paragraphs (a.k.a. it didn't work too well). But still, it's Lemony!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
oh it is a very good movie and it should be for almost all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie is sooooooooo awesome I've read all of the books can't wait for the twelfth looks soooooooo awesome