User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 184 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 184

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  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 (the veteran actor) the saves the screen.
  2. Oct 17, 2010
    6
    It was a little better than Ok but it isn't the first kids film I think of when I'm feeling nostaligic. The children are quite weak and I'd prefer to read the books. The whole thing did the job but it wasn't anything to rant and rave about.
  3. Jul 7, 2011
    10
    Wonderful adaption of a children's book series: perhaps not as edgy or dark as the original material but still the same tone. The art direction is fantastic (the shadow-puppet chase during the end credits is a masterpiece.) Jim Carey is used to his best abilities--he acts the part of a bad actor but he is NOT allowed to go over the top or chew the scenery (as often happens when he is unleashed in kiddie films.) They child actors are truly wonderful: droll, thoughtful, serious but engaged. The direction is spot on: tone, performances and dark beauty are consistent throughout. One of my favorite SMART and ARTISTIC and FUNNY movies for children. Skip the other mind-numbing drivel that passes as entertainment for children -- and watch this marvelous offering. Expand
  4. Oct 18, 2010
    9
    its not the exact kind of Harry Potter you're looking for, but this movie relies on Jim Carrey's hilarious peformance as the villian and it will please moviegoers of all ages.
  5. Oct 23, 2010
    10
    I thought this movie was pretty sweet. Yes, I know that it is a little out of order compared to the books but you have to admit it was still pretty cool. Although my favorite part in the movie isn't the picture itself, but an outake that had me on the floor laughing. I f you have the movie, go to the special features. Then go to "Orphaned Scenes" and select "Obnoxious Outakes" Then arrow down to Olaf's Workshop. The first part's dumb but after that it is hilarious. Expand
  6. Nov 20, 2011
    4
    Cramming 3 books into 1 short film isnt a good idea, Especially when Lemony Snicket books are filled with countless details that the film left out. The cast was good and Jim Carrey is at his best in this film. I was a huge fan of the books and I was excited for this film but it was just a major disapointment.
  7. May 7, 2011
    8
    A great series of books turned into a pretty good movie. I imagine that it would be difficult for such amazing books to be turned into a good movie, as it always is, but this movie was very well done.
  8. CRL
    Aug 27, 2011
    6
    There really is no reason that this movie shouldn't be an 8, 9, or even a 10. The acting is great, and Jim Carey makes a perfect Count Olaf. The plot follows the first three books pretty well... while admittedly pulling an ending from one and sticking it on another to give the movie a real ending. The script is good. The cinematography is good. It's just... there's something that existed in the books that the movie failed to recreate. Maybe it's simply the fact that it's a visual experience instead of a mental one, and in that light everything 'unfortunate' happening to Violet, Klaus, and Sunny seems almost cruel when it's mean to be darkly humorous. The books were a comedy. The movie plays more like a drama, and that's it's weakness. It doesn't embrace the weirdness that Snicket embodies so well in his books, instead trying to play off of it for suspense, which ultimately ends in the near-waste of a talented cast and wonderful plot. Expand
  9. Jan 1, 2012
    5
    It was decent but the huge flaw of this film is that they tried to cram 3 books into one short film and they left out so much because of it as well. Jim Carrey was amazing in it and he was perfect for the part imo and he definently made it worth watching for him alone. It was ok but not as good asit could have been.
  10. Sep 1, 2012
    8
    A wild ride of entertainment that is crafted so uniquely. its clever and witty. All the actors were enjoyable especially Jim and Meryl. Not your typical Hollywood kid film, but that is what makes it charming and dramatic.
  11. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    This series of unfortunate not only is dazzling but sweet and heart-felt. A story of three kids whose parent's die in a fire delivered to custody of the snickery Count Olaf seems to be a broad and plain story, but not the setting but the way the story is told is intreeging and exciting. The tone of the story is what helps make this movie one to behold. As far as characters go, the two main children (Violet & Klaus) have some broad moments, but in the end they manage to stick out as good actors. The little girl (Sunny) was a strange character, but was very enjoyable to watch. Yet, it's Jim Carrey's performance as Count Olaf that not only stands out, but has energy and emphasis to the story. Jim is a bit of a quorky actor and some quorkiness in this role, but when you start seeing the villanous side of him, he really stands out. The one main thing I didn't really like about this movie was Meryl Streep's portrayl of Aunt Josephine. Meryl Streep has always been a top notch actress, but finally there's a role that she can't seem to master. The character herself is just uninteresting and strict. The personallity of the character is just one I didn't like at all, especially the fact that her character is a "Grammer-Nazi". I thought it was funny when Count Olaf just about had it and pushed her away from the boat and let her get eaten by the leeches. My favorite part of the movie was the music, especially at the end. It was just poetically done with charm. Where would we be without composer Thomas Newman. Overall, it's a beautiful story of finding happiness through an unfortunate series of events. Expand
  12. Nov 13, 2013
    5
    A Series of Unfortunate Events is how it sounds.
    With somewhat of a hodgepodge of the first three books in the series. A Series of Unfortunate Events fails to capture the eyes of its book readers but is successful in being entertaining with a great Jim Carey performance; despite its monotonous pacing.
  13. Mar 5, 2014
    6
    This is a movie for all ages. Jim Carey is amazing in this film and shows his comedic range as an actor. Only negative is the length of the movie. I realize that it can be no other way, but just feels stretched and after a while a little boring.
  14. 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 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.
    Expand
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. 100
    Exceptionally clever, hilariously gloomy and bitingly subversive.
  2. Devolves into a repetitive comedy that squanders a hugely talented cast.
  3. Reviewed by: Sean Smith
    80
    Pretty charming. Audiences may like it more than critics, but everyone should agree it's one of the most wickedly stylish movies of the year.