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Overall Rating
4.06

Awesome41.25%
Worth A Look: 33.75%
Average: 17.5%
Pretty Bad: 4.38%
Total Crap: 3.13%

11 reviews, 94 user ratings


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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
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by robertrosado

"A family film, with a dark side..."
4 stars

I just love the holidays, don’t you? It’s the perfect opportunity to spend time with your family, curl up with a good book, get eaten by leeches, and sip on a cup of hot cocoa. It’s the time when all of the Oscar hopefuls are released, a joyous occasion for a movie fan. It’s also the part of the year when the Christmas movies come out. Usually, this is a good thing. Such classics as “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” come to mind. This year, however, we were treated to “Christmas with the Kranks” and “Surviving Christmas”. What do you mean these were bad movies?! Oh, yeah… They were. Well, don’t fret. After his touching 2002 drama, “Moonlight Mile”, Brad Siberling works his magic once again in “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”, based on the collection of children’s books by none other than Lemony Snicket.

After their parents die in a fire, the wealthy Baudelaire children, Violet (Emily Browning), Klaus (Liam Aiken), and Sunny (Kara & Shelby Hoffman), are sent to live with their distant relative, Count Olaf (Jim Carrey). Olaf is a flamboyant stage actor, and heads a troupe of oddball performers (Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Adams, Luis Guzman, Craig Ferguson, and Jamie Harris). What the children don’t know is that their uncle Olaf is trying to off them, and steal the family fortune. What Olaf doesn’t know, though, is that the Baudelaire children are junior geniuses. If they are ever going to get out of this alive, the children have to work together… or else.

When it comes down to it, whether or not you enjoy “Lemony Snicket” depends on your opinion of Jim Carrey (“The Truman Show”). In this film, he gives a comedic tour de force performance as the ‘beloved’ Count Olaf. Carrey surprised me, by proving that he can be quite scary. As the paranoid Aunt Josephine, Meryl Streep (“Adaptation”) adds another interesting character to her resume. She is funny without even trying to be, and bizarre beyond belief. With her performance in this film, Streep further proves my hunch that she can do anything. Billy Connolly (“Mrs. Brown”) is lovable as the herpetologist, Montgomery Montgomery. With very limited screen time, Connolly creates a character that the audience wants to see more of. Jude Law is amusing as the cautionary Lemony Snicket.

I’d like to give kudos to Siberling for assembling a trio (er… quartet) of impressive child actors. Emily Browning (“Ghost Ship”) is excellent as Violet, the inventor of the family. Browning carries the finale on her shoulders, and does it like a pro. Browning, an Australian, is a radiant beauty with a lot of talent. I have a feeling that she will be a star in the future. Don't forget, you heard it here first. Liam Aiken (“Stepmom”) is a bit weaker as Klaus, as he tries way too hard to convey his emotions. His earnest line deliveries are admirable, if not always successful. There is some potential here, though. I never would have guessed it from “Stepmom”, but he is growing up to be a very handsome young man. The Hoffman sisters are adorable, and make hilarious noises at the appropriate times.

If there is one fault in the film, it would be that there is a very minimal sense of danger. (Spoiler!) I knew that these kids would come out on top, and use their skills to defeat whatever problems got in their way. This left me at somewhat of a distance whenever they were in peril. When all was said and done, the film’s good heart won me over. The final scene should come off as cliché, but it was sincere enough to win me over. Nevertheless, the film is very enjoyable, fast-paced, and well worth the $10. Some sequences are also truly twisted, involving snakes, trains, and the aforementioned leeches, and may or may not be too scary for children. I doubt it, though.

The film comes off as very Tim Burton-ish, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It simply means that Siberling is trying to helm different types of projects, which is okay by me. The score, Carrey’s kooky makeup design, and the art direction all combine to create an imaginative world that could have easily stepped out of a children’s book. With it's threatening atmosphere and off-beat sense of humor, I guess you can safely call “Lemony Snicket” an anti-holiday film.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11348&reviewer=394
originally posted: 01/01/05 09:45:48
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User Comments

5/20/08 PAUL SHORTT A SENSE OF FRESHNESS AND DISCOVERY PENETRATES THE GLOOM 3 stars
3/08/08 peter i think this movie was pretty shit i think the baudelaire children should have died 1 stars
2/09/08 Samantha P i really liked this movie, i hope they make more, Jim Carrey was great as Count Olaf! 4 stars
11/03/07 Tiffany Losco Wierd but good. Jim Carreys funny 5 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega Not just beyond expectations, but beyond a usual juvenille production. 3.5/5. 4 stars
7/11/07 Hello Stranger emily browning is a great actress. cheers to liam as well 5 stars
11/11/06 Bill Hi all 5 stars
10/12/06 Xier Hernandez wow..it was really great...cool !!!!!! 5 stars
8/13/06 Andy Liam Aiken is the best part of the film 5 stars
7/20/06 David Cohen Jim Carrey's haminess ruined what should have been a classic 3 stars
6/28/06 joe koski good movie but the books are better 3 stars
6/19/06 chienne I'd never heard of LS, never read a book, but loved the film and have bought the books 5 stars
6/03/06 Elizabeth Wiley great 5 stars
5/27/06 Sarah its great! 5 stars
5/22/06 Diane P a little boring for me but my daughter loved it 3 stars
5/16/06 ororo manro It is agreat film and i would definatly watch it again,because of the unique acting skills. 1 stars
5/12/06 mr.seraph the only parts i found interested where those which included Jim Carrey 2 stars
4/04/06 John Aster Habig big fan of the books and Carrey but it was a bad adaptation, the kids actually saved it 3 stars
4/04/06 JRE the books are a lot more interresting, however Carrey did an amazing job 3 stars
3/30/06 Monique it was kool 5 stars
3/29/06 Amy cunninghamsy An exellent movie to watch 5 stars
12/12/05 Bad Critic Jim Carrey and Billy Connolly gave good performances, but it only covered three books! 3 stars
10/25/05 Stephanie The Book Is Way Better Should Have Been One Book One Movie Not Three Books In One Movie 2 stars
10/23/05 Deaf. I loved this movie! Jim Carrey is just so good at being evil. 5 stars
8/30/05 ES Started great but fizzled, they should have done a H. potter & stayed closer to the books 3 stars
8/23/05 Quigley the movie ruled. carrey was perfect. liam aiken was horrible. not to mention good CG. 5 stars
8/15/05 John Aster Habig big fan of the books and Carrey but it was a bad adaptation, the kids actually saved it 3 stars
8/08/05 reggie splendid!!! 5 stars
8/06/05 Zack Okay, it was better than "The Grinch, I'll admit, but.... 2 stars
8/01/05 Annie the kids did incredible, carrey was just creepy though 3 stars
7/23/05 summer Liam aiken sucks 1 stars
7/20/05 Sir Dude Loved it. Some of the best parts were deleted scenes, though. 5 stars
7/17/05 Pardue, sara Great Movie, The theme, imagination, and the fun is a enjoyable. 4 stars
7/03/05 Vic bull shit one of carey lesser funny movie...very tedious it dragged on 1 stars
7/03/05 anonymous It is a wonderful movie and Carrey, Browning and Aiken did phenominal! 5 stars
6/21/05 Honestly Movie good. Hated Jim; no one else available? Not looking forward to another with Jim. 3 stars
6/20/05 darick See it (especially if you haven't read the books) 4 stars
6/07/05 Darcy my son loved it 4 stars
6/05/05 Ubu the Ripper A great flick. Carrey is best when he is doing dark humor. 5 stars
5/28/05 JFK great photography and a great jim carrey performance 4 stars
5/27/05 Quigley Jim Carrey shows off his pure film magic in this. a hilarious movie. meryl streep rocked! 5 stars
5/17/05 E-FUNK I hate child-actors, but not a single complaint in this. Carrey fucking owns this. 4 stars
5/11/05 suzie suezetta good movie but not at all like the books 4 stars
5/07/05 ken good movie , very inteeresting 4 stars
5/03/05 Gary Jim Carrey was extraordinary in this 5 stars
5/01/05 Steve Newman seen this film twice - it gets better every time 4 stars
4/27/05 louis ok, but i expect more from jim, so i is good, but can be better 4 stars
4/27/05 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Beware of the spyglass. Its not in the books. It was added by the director. I smell sequal. 4 stars
4/19/05 Nicole Baugh I don't really care for Jim Carrey much but this movie was pretty good. 4 stars
4/18/05 Renita Long Fun! 4 stars
4/17/05 Lynnette Stevens We loved this movie! 5 stars
4/10/05 Jillyn It was funny and really cute, and suprisingly followed the books pretty well 5 stars
2/26/05 Mia Griggs Too gloomy - my 5 year old was scared and he likes Harry Potter 3 stars
2/25/05 Evangelica Schnapfenschalz Good, despite that Carrey (better as grinch) is monotonoutsly flat as unrelenting villain. 4 stars
2/16/05 Littlepurch Pleasing adaption of excelent bks.Glad they took enough poetic license to change some bits. 5 stars
2/06/05 Tom Benton Though fans of the books may be disappointed, the film will please the average moviegoer. 3 stars
2/05/05 Ann Klonicki This was a little over the top for young kids 3 stars
2/04/05 Mirella Rodriguez Great Movie, not for young kids 4 stars
2/04/05 craig varney great jim carrey can play anything 5 stars
2/04/05 Debbi Kalstein fun 4 stars
2/02/05 photocopy Buy posters from this movie at AllPosters.com 5 stars
1/30/05 Gretchen Lowe I was expecting something else, I don't like children's movies:) Sorry 4 stars
1/27/05 Angelique Gloster I loved the movie it was the funniest movie I've ever seen! 5 stars
1/27/05 JesseL Nice dark comedy. Carey's aping can get wearisome. Biting baby makes it. 4 stars
1/19/05 ELI Had some stupid parts, but overall it was good! :) Good visuals 4 stars
1/18/05 Paterfam001 Not funny, not scary. I can't see kids getting excited about this movie. 2 stars
1/18/05 Shaira Liam is hott! 5 stars
1/14/05 Andi it totally was not a movie worth seeing again 1 stars
1/13/05 Robby Boyajian Great Movie but, doesn't follow the book to well 4 stars
1/12/05 Seth S. Wow... It was mandititory (for school) but it was WAY better than the books! ***** 5 stars
1/07/05 Angel C. It gave a interesting twist and a new look at the book series. It is a good film, the next 4 stars
1/06/05 Chuck Craig Carry is a little over the top, but acceptable. 4 stars
1/06/05 Mrk If you are a slight bit creative, you will enjoy this film. Very well acted. 5 stars
1/03/05 Lil Poor adaptation 2 stars
1/02/05 NoRefill Pretty bored during movie. Almost fell asleep twice. Just couldn't get into it. 3 stars
1/02/05 Karel cool! 4 stars
1/02/05 Maalstrom Always entertained when Carrey's on scene 4 stars
12/31/04 Jennifer I love the books and the movie was a wonderful adaptation! It was better than awesome! 5 stars
12/30/04 Worthy Slacker WOW! What a surprise. Expected a "formula" kid movie and got a "Top 10 film of the year". 5 stars
12/29/04 Max Trying too hard to be a tim burton film! 2 stars
12/29/04 Tom Ciorciari Like Charles Addams on acid, if that's possible 4 stars
12/28/04 aubree supeer duper 5 stars
12/24/04 Titus A bit rushed, and perhaps a bit too goofy for the story, but still great 4 stars
12/22/04 John Aster Habig Love all 11 books! The kids were well cast, but adults were ok with mediocre adaptation 4 stars
12/22/04 bobbi Excellent movie, a little shallow at the end but probably because of possible sequel 5 stars
12/21/04 Devon Awesome movie, worth your money 5 stars
12/20/04 michaelb14 great story, and great telling 5 stars
12/20/04 Daveman Impressive sets, sometimes funny but pretty pedestrian all in all. 2 stars
12/19/04 Naka HAH! A pleasent surprise. 5 stars
12/19/04 KingNeutron Liam Aiken was the only weak link. Very dark and gripping story. 4 stars
12/18/04 Mahone Awesome sets, but that's about it 3 stars
12/18/04 Littlepurch Some fantastic, some dragged, but everyone should try it and will enjoy some. 4 stars
12/18/04 Cat Love the Books. Love the Film 5 stars
12/17/04 Joe Cool 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Dec-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Apr-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  16-Dec-2004




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