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Senior HTF Member
Jul 4, 1997
I went to see a sneak of this this morning with several friends. I have read the books, so fairly aware of the concept behind the film.

I've never considered Lemony Snicket's books to be what you'd call "great reading" (I'd put them significantly below "Harry Potter as a series) but they make for good imagery that I always thought would make a good movie.

Lemony Snicket, the film seems to miss a great point of the books.. the books had a wry, "dark humor" that made the reader feel as though they had inside information others didn't. It was the one thing that helped sell the books. This dark humor was often laugh-out-loud funny, but it was never really candy coated. The film, however, often candy coats moments to make them either cheesy or overly "cute".

I sat and watched the film and thought to myself repeatedly: this is taking the dark, interesting humor of the books and turning it into clown play; it misses some of the wit and satire that the books had, and often seems to change the way I remember the books (this may not be the case, I have not read this book in a while, but I felt all of these things as I watched).

This isn't to say the film is a bomb.. in fact, the scenery, style, and look of the film are incredible; definitely more involving and better thought out then any of the HP films (save the last), and it managed to really create a mood.

I think the sad part is that people will feel badly about this film and say "Jim Carrey was too over the top; I didn't like it." Let me say something: Jim Carrey doesn't do any grave wrong or disgrace the books. He plays his part well, in a manner that is often most fitting with the imagination of the children within the books. It's not Carrey's acting or character that hurt the film in any significant way (IMHO), it is rather that the film over simplifies everything and feels.. well, soulless. In fact, if it wasn't for some good moments with Jim Carrey and great cinematography, I'd probably feel much more negative toward this film then this post.

Lemony Snicket is not a bad film. It is also not a great film. If you're a fan of the books, you may be dissapointed.. When HP movie came out, some fans were dissapointed because so much was left out.. whereas I think fans of Lemony Snicket books will feel dissapointed not with what was left out, but rather that the heart and spirit of the story itself seemed to have gone missing.

If you're taking kids, it's bette then some of other films out there, and it will have a big draw.. don't feel bad; watch just for the settings and direction if nothing else, it truly is a work of art.

:star: :star: /:star: :star: :star: :star:


Supporting Actor
Apr 15, 2004
I was a fan of the books when they came out. I've only read up to book 7 though ( not enough time lately to read all my books).

We just got back from seeing the movie and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. The cast did a great job. Carey was great as Count Olaf and all the other characters he played. Meryl Streep was awesome as Aunt Josaphine. I love her! The kids who played the Baudelaires were amazing and were perfectly cast.

I loved the dark feel of the movie. The costumes and the scenery were great. The music was wonderful. I even really enjoyed the little cartoon sequence over the credits at the end.

Two thumbs up from me!

Robert Crawford

Senior HTF Member
Dec 9, 1998
Real Name
This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.


Robert Ringwald

Senior HTF Member
May 16, 2001
I got to see an advance screening last Saturday with a friend of mine in NYC. I thought the movie was pretty darn dark. It was a little bit cutesy, but overall... I found it to be very dark, even before reading the books. I just finished the first book, and found the movie to be pretty faithful to the source material, at least in style.

I really like that the movie doesn't talk down to the kids in the audience. So many children's movies are afraid to be dark, or substitute true humor with fart jokes and gross-out humor. I found the movie to be completely enjoyable and fun, in a classy way. It was a great time, and some of the most fun I've had sitting through a "kids" movie in a long time. It reminded me that not all films aimed at kids can't appeal to adults as well.

Jim Carrey was good, and didn't try to steal the show, and the children were nothing short of amazing. I first saw the trailer for this movie and thought it looked uninspired and dull. Talk about having the wrong idea.

The cinematography, the costumes, the acting... everything pitch perfect. The only thing I thought didn't work was when the "warm" scenes between the children happened. They were few and far between, but gave the kids too much dimension. I liked that they were kept mostly as they were in the first book.

:star: :star: :star: 1/2 / :star: :star: :star: :star:

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1999
Not familiar with the source material, I came away from this movie in the bored category, and I probably wasn't the target audience for this film. But my viewing was marred by 3-4 shutdowns of the projector, so the presentation was poor, so that might have affected my enjoyment from the movie. I never got drawn into the story, and never quite connected with the characters, well, except for the baby sister who had some good lines. I don't think this will be one of those universally loved films, but those who have read the books will most likely appreciated the production values and casting.

I give it 2 stars or a grade of C.

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