User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 199 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 199
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  1. DanK.
    May 3, 2005
    10
    Very good indeed!!!
  2. BillyE.
    Dec 17, 2004
    10
    What a rush!!! I'd take this over Harry Potter anyday. Fast paced and visually enchanting. Sunny is a riot and Jim Carrey is prefect for the multi-character Count Olaf. DON"T MISS THIS ONE!!!!!!!
  3. Dave
    Dec 20, 2004
    7
    Meryl Streep's performance is alone worth the price of admission
  4. ChadS.
    Dec 20, 2004
    7
    PG? No way. Even though Jim Carrey plays Uncle Olaf's diabolical intentions for laughs, a child under the age of eight might not realize it. This same hypothetical child won't see a friendly snake, but just a snake, with the subtitled baby. Is a subtitled baby less annoying than a talking one? No. Carrey having already played under heavy makeup in such films as "The Mask" and PG? No way. Even though Jim Carrey plays Uncle Olaf's diabolical intentions for laughs, a child under the age of eight might not realize it. This same hypothetical child won't see a friendly snake, but just a snake, with the subtitled baby. Is a subtitled baby less annoying than a talking one? No. Carrey having already played under heavy makeup in such films as "The Mask" and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas", might be overlooked here, which would be a mistake. As a seaman in the Popeye mode, Carrey seems to point out the growing irrelevance of Robin Williams as a comic actor. When Meryl Streep joins Carrey, you might recall the Laura Linney character in "The Truman Show" was named Meryl, which signifies...absolutely nothing. Expand
  5. KyleA
    Jan 1, 2005
    7
    Surprisingly not bad--it's very entertaining. Even if you are not thrilled by the storyline, the visuals are sure to astound.
  6. JackN.
    Jan 13, 2005
    10
    I luved it, especially jm cary was funny.
  7. Emily
    Jan 28, 2005
    8
    I think it was a really good movie because it was funny but also when you think about it, it is really sinister and creepy. I liked the cleverness of the children and how surreal it was- making it more like a nightmare. I havn't read the books so I wouldn't know how accurate it is but I would say it's well worth watching!
  8. calb
    Jan 4, 2005
    10
    This is the best its so different to any other film i've seen thats why its so good.
  9. StefanS.
    Jan 6, 2005
    7
    I am a German, saw the film in original version in a sneak preview. I did not understand every word but the acting of Mr Carrey made it a nice adventure and only for that its enough to watch that movie.
  10. shawns
    Jan 9, 2005
    9
    I am still VERY Srprised how awesome this film was ....Largely in part to this AMAZING trio of young actors I highly recommend this film ( take it from me I HATE JIM CAREY but this was a great film.
  11. KlausF.
    Apr 23, 2005
    9
    I loved it! It was smashing! The only thing was Count Olaf was supposed to be Evil, and Klaus didn't have glasses. If they make a continued movie, how are they going to make it without Klaus's glasses?
  12. MikeT.
    May 7, 2005
    10
    There's just something about a movie that keeps you guessing about what will happen next. The writing and dialogue is exceptional. The use of subtitles for baby Sunny was hilarious. Great use of irony and foreshadowing. The character development was well done - I felt like I knew the character of even the minor actors. Jim Carrey was awesome and the children were superb. Great visual There's just something about a movie that keeps you guessing about what will happen next. The writing and dialogue is exceptional. The use of subtitles for baby Sunny was hilarious. Great use of irony and foreshadowing. The character development was well done - I felt like I knew the character of even the minor actors. Jim Carrey was awesome and the children were superb. Great visual effects and production. Expand
  13. MeganM.
    Aug 5, 2005
    9
    In my opinion, you can't judge this movie just by reading the books. I feel they did a very good job sticking to the general storyline of the first three books in the series. Darkly humorous and exciting to the end, audiences may enjoy this movie more than critics.
  14. FábioN.
    Jul 4, 2006
    10
    This beauty production it's definily good,isn't a amazing adaptation but still diserve our atention.
  15. AlexaB.
    Dec 27, 2004
    10
    Its great fabulous actors, and the plot was good!
  16. JenniferS.
    Dec 27, 2004
    9
    I knew that I would like the movie as soon as I saw the poster. The only thing that would have made it even better is if Tim Burton was the Director.
  17. michaelr
    Dec 30, 2004
    9
    I loved the kids and Carey. The visuals were very striking and inventive. Alittle disjointed, since it was a compilation of three stories, but overall very well done.
  18. bookreaderD
    Nov 7, 2005
    8
    The books are the best i am on the 11 and it is great i am about to finish it and i hope if there is a nother move it should be in line and klaus should have glasses.
  19. V.F.D.Member
    Oct 31, 2005
    8
    The movie was great, and people should stop comparing it to the books. It's like a subconscious thing. If people could just look at the movie only as a seperate thing, as chess is different to candy, then you'll see why the movie is great. Of course, I don't mean to say that the books were bad. They're great! I got 12th book at the day it came out, and now I'm The movie was great, and people should stop comparing it to the books. It's like a subconscious thing. If people could just look at the movie only as a seperate thing, as chess is different to candy, then you'll see why the movie is great. Of course, I don't mean to say that the books were bad. They're great! I got 12th book at the day it came out, and now I'm done with all 12, plus the unauthorized autobiography of Lemony Snicket. If you watch the DVD version, don't turn it off at the end. When the credits roll by, it's really amusing. Captain Sham (a.k.a. Count Olaf) does this weird pirate act. Expand
  20. palinaC.
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    I really enjoyed the movie. I am giving this movie a 10 because i love the books. I'm also a BIG FAN!
  21. MattF.
    Jan 8, 2005
    8
    A wonderful attempt at recreating the sardonic humor displayed so readily in the rather enjoyable series of Handler's books. But however the case may be, I think that Brad Silberling could have tried a little harder to replicate the atmosphere of menace that is present throughout many of the books. It just seemed to me as if the movie was too jolly. i do think, though, that this A wonderful attempt at recreating the sardonic humor displayed so readily in the rather enjoyable series of Handler's books. But however the case may be, I think that Brad Silberling could have tried a little harder to replicate the atmosphere of menace that is present throughout many of the books. It just seemed to me as if the movie was too jolly. i do think, though, that this movie will produce many sequels because of it massive box-office earning of close to $100 million. Expand
  22. MatthewB.
    Mar 29, 2005
    9
    I think this movie was spectaculor. The three children were perfect for the role. My only problem with the movie is that jim carrey played count olaf which is supposed to be an evil part not a funny part but he was ok it would of been nice if he were more eviler though!
  23. AngeloG.
    Apr 5, 2005
    7
    This is a good but stupid movie. It has Klaus without wearing glasses and the glasses are a BIG part in book 4 that will be in part 2 and violet is younger then Klaus in real life. and Emily Browning (violet) isn't even hott!!! In conclusion, the characters suck!!!
  24. MaxP.
    May 21, 2005
    7
    Jim Carrey delivers a stunning performance amid a mediocre (i.e. terribly predictable) plot. Many of the subplots seem severely underdeveloped, but all-in-all: worth the cash.
  25. LisaS.
    May 22, 2005
    7
    The Movie seemed old fashon but had a good plot .You never knew what would happen next!
  26. CodyK.
    Jun 11, 2005
    7
    I
  27. MaddieS.
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    I agree totally with Stephanie R. This film is one of the best I've ever seen! Added to the fact that Liam Aiken was in it and he is one of the most gorgeous boys on the planet, second only to Dan Radcliffe. I know a lot of the words and it's great fun saying them along with the characters.
  28. GenesisM.
    Dec 28, 2006
    10
    The movie was great. The characters were brave and they understand their situation. They know how to fight.
  29. KakalinaL.
    Mar 20, 2006
    9
    I I only like this movie because of all the little funny things in it. It really cracks me up sometimes!
  30. DanielleP.
    Jul 14, 2006
    10
    Iit was realy good you should make a nother movie. I know a lot over people that want you to make a 2nd movie.
  31. AndrewM.
    Apr 12, 2007
    9
    Having not read the books I entered the movie without knowing what it was about. I was immediatly blown away by the production and the wit of the writer. I enjoy Jim Carry and think of him as a genious when it comes to bringing life to characters. Loved the story, loved the characters and really enjoyed the beautiful art production. Have got it out again and again.
  32. GeorgeT.
    Dec 15, 2004
    9
    It's very good and interesting. If you like solving mysteries you'll love this. Although it could have been a bit better by giving Klaus glasses and Count Olaf could have been more evil.
  33. RobertA
    Dec 22, 2004
    8
    Yes, i definetly enjoyed this more then the first to Harry Potter movies. this shorter style of movie making is a better way to do it. 3 books in 1. i unfortunetly liked it.
  34. EdS.
    Dec 22, 2004
    9
    Great casting, acting, storyline (without reading the books beforehand), and the greatest of all is the art direction/cinematography. What an eye candy! This one's a keeper, as compared to the boring Potter movies.
  35. DaliaF.
    Dec 23, 2004
    9
    This film was surprisingly good. it is the first PG i have seen that has actually been good. Altough slightly predictalbe, it is funny, good story line (although slightly erratic), great acting and the scenery is great.
  36. SamanthaS.
    Dec 26, 2004
    9
    Has everyone forgotten that movies are often just supposed to entertain the audience? I only read the first book in the series. I am 42 and frankly I found this movie quite entertaining, in a good-creepy way.
  37. LucilleJ.
    Dec 31, 2004
    10
    A great film in every department!
  38. KenH.
    Dec 30, 2004
    9
    Being a jaded 40+ father dragging their kids to another bad holiday movie, I was surprised how much I loved this movie. A visual spectacle and an entertaining story. Better than any of the Harry Potter movies for sure.
  39. JasonK.
    Nov 14, 2005
    8
    The movie Series of Unfortunate Events I thought was pretty cool. It had all the charactors, but the one thing I did not like about the movie was that Klaus did not wear glasses.
  40. MaxC.
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    A Wonderful movie! I enjoyed this movie very much. Even the end credits were absolutely wonderful!
  41. LauraD
    Apr 16, 2005
    10
    Very funny movie Great interpretation of Jim Carrey. Baby Sunny is the funniest character. The soundtrack is spectacular!! The plot is not so banal as it may seem. But it may not be the kind of movie you would expect after the trailer and by Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep.
  42. AmandaJ.
    May 14, 2005
    10
    I love this movie it is the best movie ever i love it i always laugh my head off.
  43. CarinaV.
    May 27, 2005
    10
    I think this movie was awesome!! I'm so glad Jim Carry played Count Olaf! Jim Carry made the movie outstanding! Even if they used someone else it still would have ben great! I was flabbergasteed @ the end because I finally say the movie! I am a big fan of the book the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and the11th book! I can,t wait untill the 12th and 13th come out!!!!
  44. JessicaK
    Aug 17, 2005
    9
    It was relley good but i liked reading it more, its beacause it was longer.i cant wait until the second movie comes out. i cant wait 4 the 12th book either!its gonna be so good (i hope).
  45. StephanieR
    Aug 27, 2005
    10
    This is my favourite movie! The books are good and so is the movie! The only problem is that Jim Carrey made Olaf likeable! But Emily Browning and Liam Aiken were amazing! Kara and Shelby Hoffman were so cute as Sunny! A must see!
  46. BarneyTheDinosaur
    Dec 17, 2004
    7
    This movie is superb.
  47. [Anonymous]
    Dec 18, 2004
    9
    Absolutely Hilarious.
  48. G.M.D.K.
    Dec 19, 2004
    7
    Funny, enjoyable, gloomy. But lacks spirit of the book by making 3 books to 1 movie of 107 minutes. I'd take Harry Potter rather than this.
  49. MichaelD.
    Dec 23, 2004
    8
    This is a great movie to be enjoyed by people of all ages - especially the adults. Amazingly, jim Carrey didn't bother me at all in this movie. While some of these critics have acused him of his usualy over-the-top style, I think they over look the purposely over-the-top nature of the movie. Whimsical is an understatement, brillant is an overstatement. Its got great acting and This is a great movie to be enjoyed by people of all ages - especially the adults. Amazingly, jim Carrey didn't bother me at all in this movie. While some of these critics have acused him of his usualy over-the-top style, I think they over look the purposely over-the-top nature of the movie. Whimsical is an understatement, brillant is an overstatement. Its got great acting and visuals to aid it, as well as a very clever plot. Expand
  50. BarryR.
    Dec 26, 2004
    7
    ?Lemony Snickets..A Series of Unfortunate Events? stars Jim Carrey and that?s about all you can say for the picture. It is a showcase for his talent which, admittedly, he has a lot of, but as a movie, it?s just not very good. This is one of those pictures where having read the book would have made it more enjoyable and entertaining as you watch characters you?ve read about come to life on ?Lemony Snickets..A Series of Unfortunate Events? stars Jim Carrey and that?s about all you can say for the picture. It is a showcase for his talent which, admittedly, he has a lot of, but as a movie, it?s just not very good. This is one of those pictures where having read the book would have made it more enjoyable and entertaining as you watch characters you?ve read about come to life on the screen. The movie is concocted and makes it very clear that this is the first of many, so the producers wish. I don?t think the public will agree. It gets a 7. Expand
  51. Bianca
    Dec 27, 2004
    10
    How can you say that it is a 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, or a 9. It is going to go far like Harry Potter!
  52. MartinG.
    Dec 28, 2004
    8
    Having read a couple of the books, it seemed to have caught the atmosphere. The sets are stylish, and the performance of the Hoffman twins excellent. If you don't know the books, it will leave you a bit confused, but entertaining nevertheless. Producers seem to have left their options open to a second film, but unlike the books, there was an implied satisfactory end.
  53. MartinL.
    Dec 29, 2004
    9
    AWESOME movie!
  54. 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 isWonderful 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
  55. 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.
  56. 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 arrowI 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
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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 mainThis 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
  60. 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
    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
  61. 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 you are looking to read more about the tragedy of the Baudelaire orphans, then the books are a great place to start.
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.