Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Reviews

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Hank Sartin
Chicago Reader
November 15, 2011
Episodic but entertaining.
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Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
It's all a bit superficial, but highly entertaining, wickedly funny, and alluring enough to make you want to start reading the books.
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
September 26, 2005
A sick joke of a film that realizes the best children's entertainment doesn't hide from the bleaker side of life, but plunges into the void and respects kids enough to assume they can handle it.
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December 21, 2004
Heinrichs helps take your mind off the slack direction and the letdown of a climax, which ought to make the kiddies hurl Gummi Bears at the screen.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 20, 2004
A lavishly mounted blockbuster that has little personality of its own except on a purely visual level.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 20, 2004
It just kind of spins its wheels.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 17, 2004
I think this one is a tune-up for the series, a trial run in which they figure out what works and what needs to be tweaked.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 17, 2004
A work of wonderfully sinister fantasy.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 17, 2004
As it ticks by, laboriously, it leaves you feeling that you should be enjoying it more than you are.
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Jennifer Frey
Washington Post
December 17, 2004
The visuals are dark and ominous without getting totally terrifying -- the characters feel real, but their environment is off-kilter enough to remind you that this world is one of imagination.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 17, 2004
A dark charmer.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 17, 2004
Call the movie a pleasant near-miss, see it with your expectations lowered and by all means read the books again.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
December 17, 2004
Carrey finds his perfect role in Count Olaf.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 17, 2004
There's little, very little, at all unfortunate about it.
| Original Score: 5/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 17, 2004
A welcome holiday treat.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
December 17, 2004
Against all odds it delights, using a compact script (by Robert Gordon), creative storytelling and the ripe comedic talents of a prodigious cast to transform written word into a near-perfect cinematic entity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
December 17, 2004
Provides a pleasant end-of-year surprise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 17, 2004
A more apt title might have been: Jim Carrey's Series of Outlandish Impersonations.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 17, 2004
[It] may be the best live-action children's film of the year, a woven series of dark fairy tales that are witty and inventive enough for all ages.
| Original Score: B+
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 17, 2004
This spare-no-expense, inventive production provides constant visual stimulation, and it tries to teach a lesson: Life may be grim, but it offers small victories.
| Original Score: B
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
December 17, 2004
The movie is crammed with Tim Burton-style desolation, foreboding and technological anachronism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 17, 2004
The movie, like the books, flatters children's innate sense that the world is not a perfect place and that anyone who insists otherwise is trying to sell you something.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 16, 2004
No praise is too high for cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who leeches the color out of Rick Heinrichs' spectacular sets so that the film looks like a lost masterpiece of German expressionism or a cherished nightmare of Tim Burton.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 16, 2004
Carrey has proven that when he's on, he's more creative than anyone out there. And he's on as Count Olaf, Snicket's principle villain
| Original Score: 4/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 16, 2004
Though the movie is a literate adventure story, the series' dark tone is lightened up in the film just enough to make one yearn for the darkly twisted witticisms and pervasive anxiety that made Handler's books uniquely appealing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
December 16, 2004
A sense of freshness and discovery penetrates the gloom.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
December 16, 2004
What the movie lacks, alarmingly, is a shriveled black heart, or a big, red tell-tale one pulsing beneath the floorboards.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 16, 2004
I daresay most viewers will enjoy themselves. I already look forward to the next one.
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
December 16, 2004
The imaginatively cast, gorgeously designed movie has moments of wry wit and oddball charm. But its lumpish plot reinforces the suspicion that solid storytelling is no longer a Hollywood priority.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 16, 2004
A Series of Unfortunate Events suffers from one of the most grievous maladies that can strike a children's film, notably a regrettable tendency to fill in all the quiet with noise.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 16, 2004
Helping mitigate the fear factor is the movie's smart-alecky attitude.
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 16, 2004
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.
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Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
December 16, 2004
Exceptionally clever, hilariously gloomy and bitingly subversive.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 16, 2004
Wickedly entertaining and a fortunate addition to the holiday season.
| Original Score: B+
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 15, 2004
Olaf is a threat to the children, one who just won't go away; Carrey's biggest threat is that he'll never stop clowning around.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 14, 2004
Passable Hollywood entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 10, 2004
Demonstrates what happens when you take a clever idea and run it into the ground.
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Scott Foundas
Variety
December 10, 2004
As with the first two Harry Potter entries, A Series of Unfortunate Events ultimately feels like the triumph of literal-mindedness over lyricism. It also has a hollow emotional core.