A Series of Unfortunate Events Poster

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

Adventure | Family   
IMDB Rayting:   6.8/10
Country: USA | Germany
Language: English

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 Writer:

Stars: Jim Carrey, Jude Law and Meryl Streep

 
Support Subtitles:
WatchList

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

ccthemovieman-1 31 October 2005

Some movies are just plain fun to watch. This is one.

It's funny, it's dramatic and it's a great visual treat with Tim Burton-esquire wild images throughout. This is a superb job of combining great visuals, special effects and an entertaining story.

The two kids, played by Emily Browning and Liam Aiken, should get top billing since they are in every scene while Jim Carrey is in about half.

Everyone in this film is a hoot, especially Carrey who plays "Count Olaf" and then disguises himself by pretending to be other people throughout the story. Whomever he was playing he was hilarious. With his crazy persona, Carrey was good choice for this role. The lines he delivers are so hammy they make me just laugh out loud. I appreciated his work even more on the second viewing.

The kids are likable, good-looking and decent actors and the "baby" is given the funniest "lines" in the movie - all in subtitles.

This film is too dark for the little kids but fun for adolescents on up. There is almost no profanity in here and no sex. The sets are particularly strange and interesting, from the various houses to the clothing to the computer-enhanced scenery, with gorgeous colors. Make no mistake: this is a very pretty film with so many fascinating objects in here to view that even multiple viewings can't possibly pick them all up.

Obviously, there is a lot to like. I hope there is a sequel.

theantigaz 1 January 2005

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.

Boris_Day 14 December 2004

In the wake of Harry Potter the popular Lemony Snicket books have been rushed into production and considering the less than promising prospect of Brad Silberling directing and Jim Carrey starring, I didn't really hold out much hope. It turns out that the film is surprisingly good and apart from The Incredibles this was the only big budget Hollywood film I truly enjoyed this year.

Like Harry Potter, the Lemony Snicket books appeal to adults as well as to children but they are darker, funnier and more eccentric, making them more of a cult than the mainstream success of the Harry Potter series.

If you've read the books, you may miss the clever word play and you may feel that the two older children are miscast. Unlike in the books, the boy doesn't come across as particularly brainy and the girl looks just a bit too sexy as Violet, reminiscent of a teenage Anjelina Jolie. Still they are better than some of the child actors in the Harry Potter series.

On a visual level the film is simply stunning. True, some of it is reminiscent of Tim Burton as both Burton and Daniel Handler are strongly influenced by the work of the writer and illustrator Edward Gor ey. The look of the film is a highly stylized mixture of Edwardian times and the 1950's and convincingly brings to life the parallel universe of the books, where death is ever present and where the whole world has conspired to make the Baudelaire children's life a misery.

Folding books two and three into the storyline of the first one, the plot feels episodic but it stays consistently entertaining. Not being a Jim Carrey fan I was worried about his involvement (I still think Richard E. Grant would have been the perfect choice) but he nails and certainly looks the part of evil, failed thespian Count Olaf and thankfully he doesn't end up dominating the film, turning it into the Jim Carrey show.

The section involving Meryl Streep's fearful Aunt Josephine is the best part of the film. Taking place against backdrops reminiscent of Masaki Kobayashi's stylish horror classic Kwaidan, Lake Lachrymose is as beautiful as it is nightmarish.

Make sure to stay for the beautifully animated credit sequence.

Smells_Like_Cheese 3 November 2007

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.

8/10

Movie_Muse_Reviews 23 December 2004

I first heard of these books when I saw my younger brother reading them. I got curious and when I saw they were making a movie was sure to read the first three before seeing it. Right off the bat, I can tell you that if you are a completely possessive fan of these books you might be rather disappointed by this movie. The movie condenses books "The Bad Beginning," "The Reptile Room," and "The Wide Window" by slicing the first book in half and placing the other two inside of it, like a sandwich. Of course in order for this to be possible the story has to change to make it work, so some elements are not factual. Combine this with Snicket's usually clever details in the book having to be cut down and very loyal fans are going to be disappointed. The movie also adds in a subplot that the first three books do not possess, but that the later ones (according to my brother) do, so I was a bit bothered by having that element ruined if i choose to read more of the series. I, however, understand the difference between books and movies, and think that on the whole they succeeded in keeping the tone and uniqueness of this series. Carrey as Olaf is wonderful and adds something to a character that seems to be rather dry in the books and the children are believable and easy to sympathize with. While humor was scarce, the tone of the books is more clever than humorous anyway. Overall my only issues are plot-wise and how this creates a choppy feel to the film, but I don't know of a way it could have been done better. The movie was well done with(as many are saying) excellent scenery, costumes, etc., yet nothing made this film completely amazing. It is however, worth the time and money and one should definitely read the books. ~Steven C

ecpato 17 December 2004

First, let it be declared that in the media of movie, it is a downright shock that Nickelodeon's monicker appears in this film. It is by far, the best film they have ever made. Second, it is probably the only movie you will see made for children (supposedly) and containing a claymation elf holding a rifle.

Second, let it be known that this movie is the most visually pleasing children's (live-action) film any of us will see for years. The costume design is amazing, from the strap-laden sunny to the neo-Gothic formality of Violet, and especially in the under-appreciated and subtle '60s formal-casual of Klaus, who looks like a miniature Harold from "Harold and Maude". The sets are equally beautiful, a spree of Burtonesque Gothic-Modern Post-Industrial Asymmetry, from the half formed carnage of The burnt Baudelaire Mansion to the perfectly executed closing credits, animated to perfection. Cinematography also plays an amazing roll on the parts of Violet and Klaus, where ingenious images are used to insert the audience into the minds of the genius Baudelaires.

Last, the performances, only two that everyone has't heard; Jude Law's perfect narration, and The Hoffman Twins astonishing performance as Sunny. Law's performance is so on target that it never occurs that this voice is not the elusive and enigmatic pseudonym himself. He is the perfect compliment to the often exciting or disturbing actions being inflicted upon the accurately charming and intelligent Baudelaires. as for Sunny, they have performed the impossible in giving a perfect performance to an infant from an infant, in both the physical acting and the ingenious form of translation. The sequels are sure to be the greatest of series, even if the events be unfortunate as they have been.

As an artist, this reviewer cannot help but give this movie a 10/10. It is his deep desire that you appreciate it as much as he, if not, well... ... that is rather... ... unfortunate.

colonel_green 17 December 2004

Before entering the theatre, I'd never glanced at any of the "Lemony Snicket" books. I'd never even heard of them. Having seen the film, I'll make it a priority to take a look. The film has a strong "Harry Potter" feel, what with the heroic, much put-upon British children, and the fantastical setting. If J.K. Rowling had cast Lord Voldemort as a nefarious villain out to steal the Potter family fortune, and made Ron and Hermione Harry's siblings, I imagine it would look something like this. Jim Carrey swallows huge chunks of scenery in his portrayal of Count Olaf, one of the most despicable villains to grace the silver screen in a while. The four child actors are all superb, especially the very attractive Emily Browning as the inventor, Violet. The film comes with a wonderfully disturbing climax, and a enjoyably happy epilogue that hints at many future misfortunes for the Baudelaire children. I'll be there. 9/10.

dbborroughs 14 January 2005

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.

ec11cd 18 December 2004

OK...I really enjoyed the film and I felt it captured everything I wanted it to about the books and more. However, and while it may be an odd thing to say, is that was the best set of credits I've ever seen.

They were beautifully done, well done to whoever it was that created them...the artwork was spectacular and the animation perfectly in tune with the tone of the books.

very entertaining...well done!

In addition I would like to add than Jim Carrey fitted the role of Count Olaf perfectly, and while I may not be a huge fan of his previous work he provided the much needed humour to keep the story moving the watcher intrigued

vip_ebriega 30 May 2007

My Take: Jim Carrey at his outrageous self. An superb adaptation of the Snicket chronicles.

I honestly say that I have always liked Jim Carrey's comedy movies, and he's also one of my favorite comedians (though I'm not much of a comedy fan). "Liar Liar" and "Bruce Almighty" were amongst my favorites of Carrey's wild antics. But when I viewed this film, I was surprised to see Jim Carrey in a whole new look. His performance here was of the villainous Count Olaf, and he was more than just making me laugh, but also a villainous character. He's really a villain here, but yet, you can't help but actually laugh at some of his antics. This is really he's best performance that I've seen. Surely, there would be more, but this is by far the best that I've seen (Though I haven't seen "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind").

Do I need to say that this movie was great? For I already see that many agree with me on that. A very colorful production, with excellent costume design, make-up and special effects, and yet, also a wonderful story, well pressed from Lemony Snicket's "unfortunate" account on the Baudelaire siblings. I wouldn't mind a franchise myself. There are still a few other books still left, so why not?

Rating: **** out of 5.

divaclv 7 June 2005

If your childhood was anything like mine, at some point you whined to your parents or another adult, "That's not fair!"--at which point the adult blithely retorted, "Life's not fair." A hard lesson, sure, but one we all learn eventually--life isn't fair; people die, bad things happen to good people, and justice isn't always served. Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books, in which siblings Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire start off being orphaned by a fire and then having things go downhill from there, embraces that philosophy with a dark, sly humor that is irresistible. Fortunately, Brad Silberling has kept the spirit of the series mostly intact with this film translation.

The movie encompasses Snicket's first three books, in which Violet (Emily Browing), Klaus (Liam Aiken), and Sunny are foisted off on several guardians by the dimwitted executor of their parents' estate (Timothy Spall). The first and worst of these is Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), a thorough scoundrel who's after the kids' immense inheritance. The children manage to escape, and over the course of the film encounter a kindly snake enthusiast (Billy Connolly) and an ultra-hypochondriac (Meryl Streep), each of whom try to look after the children in their own way. But mostly the Baudelaires look after themselves, each resourceful in their own way--Violet invents contraptions with whatever is at hand, Klaus is a reference desk unto himself, and baby Sunny practices her teething on whatever (or whoever) is convenient. The trio share the sort of unique bond that can only come from having survived a long string of misadventures. Olaf pursues them throughout, aided by disguises which he considers brilliant and which fool everyone except, of course, the ever-observant Baudelaires.

Most of the elements which make Snicket's books so appealing are present here: the entertaining characters, the cleverness of the children, Snicket's delightful black humor (given voice by Jude Law), and even the cunning reverse-psychology promotional scheme of the series (in which the reader/viewer is told, no really, you DON'T want to hear this story, go find something more cheerful, etc.). Carrey gleefully gnaws the scenery as Olaf, and indeed with such a character he can do no less. Browning and Aiken are quite appealing, but the real scene stealer is Sunny (played by twins Kara and Shelby Hoffman). Sunny does not actually speak, but her coos and gurgles are translated via subtitle in a dry and witty manner (another inspiration taken from the series). The production design (combining the best parts of Tim Burton and Edward Gory) creates a fanciful but accessible world which modern inventions like remote car-keys are wielded by characters who dress like they just stepped out of a Victorian melodrama.

It is perhaps too much to ask that the film could have avoided a Hollywood-style attempt to soften its delightfully dreary outlook, or that Carrey could have gone the entire movie without having at least one sequence in which he's just required to be Jim Carrey. But this is kept to a minimum--as Violet herself says, there really is more good than bad here.

Similar Movies

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Aladdin
A Dog's Way Home
Storm Boy
The Adventures of Pinocchio
A Kid in King Arthur's Court
Born Free
Sponsored links
Share this page:
watch movies online
WMO provides links to other LEGAL sites on the internet and doesn't host any files itself.