Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
Watch On
  1. Devolves into a repetitive comedy that squanders a hugely talented cast.
  2. Mr. Silberling has made a movie that's far rougher in texture and tone than Mr. Handler's books, but while he doesn't have the author's sense of whimsy (or irony) he manages to construct a pleasantly watchable entertainment in all the spaces in the story not laid siege to by Mr. Carrey.
  3. What the movie lacks, alarmingly, is a shriveled black heart, or a big, red tell-tale one pulsing beneath the floorboards -- anything, really, that might infuse it with the sense of true dread that keeps kids coming back for second, third and 11th helpings of the willies.
  4. 60
    Episodic but entertaining fantasy.
  5. 60
    As it ticks by, laboriously, it leaves you feeling that you should be enjoying it more than you are.
  6. Isn't nearly as cheerily unpleasant as it ought to be.
  7. I walked out of it feeling much the same way I did after "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Polar Express" -- jarred by its excess, undernourished by its lack of heart and bored by its lack of originality.
  8. Ends up being one of those heartbreaking movies that gets off to a promising start but never quite creaks to life, despite everyone's obvious best efforts.
  9. 50
    Silberling and writer Robert Gordon have made the fatal error of trying to jolly up the novels, which are often funny but never, ever cute.
  10. 50
    In Robert Gordon's script, Handler's hilariously literate bouts of psychological torture develop no consistent tone, voice or momentum.
  11. Jim Carrey is the prime offender here. He's such an unseemly showoff that the movie keeps stopping in its tracks.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 199 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 100
  2. Negative: 23 out of 100
  1. Oct 23, 2011
    6
    "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is a decent kid-block buster with a average story line with a monotonous tone. But as always, its Jim Carrey"A Series of Unfortunate Events" is a decent kid-block buster with a average story line with a monotonous tone. But as always, its Jim Carrey (the veteran actor) the saves the screen. Full Review »
  2. Mar 13, 2015
    7
    There are a couple discrepancies between the book and the movie. Ultimately, a good representation of the Baudelaire's orphan story. If youThere are a couple discrepancies between the book and the movie. Ultimately, a good representation of the Baudelaire's orphan story. If you are looking to read more about the tragedy of the Baudelaire orphans, then the books are a great place to start. Full Review »
  3. May 15, 2014
    9
    Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a movie that contains depth and mesmerizing segments of action. It follows threeLemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a movie that contains depth and mesmerizing segments of action. It follows three protagonists: Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire through a series of unfortunate events that blend harmoniously with each of the movie’s abstract settings.

    The exploration of common human fears is not thematic in this movie. Flesh eating leeches, heights and snakes are only some of the disturbing scary things which enticed me to continue watching. These fears peppered the movie and stimulated reflection. Those leeches are the kinds that feast on wooden boats if they smell blood. When the characters had their near death experience with them, it roused empathy. The snakes sound deadly and look frightening, but actually play with toddlers. The heights are what stayed within the border of realism, and whatever went out of that border stirred up a lot of thought.

    This mystery, adventure and comedy film all begins with Lemony Snicket, a cryptic author retracing the steps of the Baudelaire children from within a clock tower.

    With each transition of location, a new mystery is discovered among the siblings that guides them closer to the answer to their parent’s involvement in a secret organization, alongside their death from a fatal house fire. As the kids travel to different locations, thematic symbols about the secret organization are subtly scattered. Together with the mystery, the orphaned Baudelaires go from relative to relative while one kin goes to extreme measures to receive the Baudelaire family fortune.

    The antagonist of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), was off-putting due to the over-exaggeration of acting in almost every scene. It seemed like his character lacked substance and drifted towards reliance on facial expressions to make him appear interesting. The Baudelaire siblings on the other hand were casted beautifully. Each was known as either a bookworm, the finest fourteen year old inventor in the world and a biter.

    The child actors played their roles to a high standard where in the end, some people like me were rather sad their journey ended. Those characters grew onto me. I desperately wanted to have a sneak peak into their future, whether it was going to be utopian or dystopian.

    The movie contains a variety of characters. Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep), a pessimistic and impulsive character who lives in a house above the ocean, on a plateau is humorous and irritating. If you think everything around you will hurt you, then you and her will most certainly relate.

    Around the time the Baudelaires see her home’s observatory, the theme of the movie stands out. The large windowpane’s borders portray the secret organization’s symbol, and all those small subtleties become easily noticeable.
    Full Review »