Movie Reviews

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (4/26/2005)

Rated PG

Directed by Brad Silberling

Starring Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken and the Hoffman twins

Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events was refreshing. No one could accuse it of being the same ol’ thing. Well worth the theatre price (even though that price is crawling upward each year, almost at 2 digits now)!

Based on the popular children’s books, Snicket's was a creative story in a bizarre “Tim Burton-like” world with twists and turns in the plot you’d never suspect. The story follows three likable children whose parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, Count Olaf (Carrey), they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune. The kids jump from one adventure to the next trying to escape Olaf’s grip.

Whether you like Jim Carrey or not, you cannot deny the talent behind his incredible performances in this film. I say “performances” because Carrey plays numerous roles within the one character, Olaf, a master of disguise posing as several different characters. His range is incredible. Carrey doesn’t just put on some make up and a mustache—he creates an entire new personality with a unique look, different voice inflections, even a new posture and walk. Not to mention . . . he was hilarious.

My hat goes off to the director for what he did with the character of the young toddler Sunny, played, as usual on a movie set, by a set of twins. It’s not easy to capture a toddler in her perfect moments, nonetheless direct a toddler. Silberling captured some great moments with Sunny, and they really added to the film.

Should Kids See it?
Absolutely. There is almost nothing objectionable in the film (the language consisted of 2 “arses” and one “damn.”) I brought my 7, 9 and 11 year old with no hesitation, and they all loved it. Most younger kids will have read the books and will be looking forward to the film anyway. Some teenagers will enjoy it as well . . . those who don’t list You Got Served and Torque as their favorite films of 2004!

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?
  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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