"No one ever listens to kids," sneers villainous Count Olaf (Carrey) in this engaging movie based on the popular series of macabre children's books by Daniel Handler. The count's words begin to seem all too true as a trio of plucky orphaned children try in vain to convince adults that Olaf is plotting to get rid of them.
Carrey, nearly unrecognizable in multiple ingenious disguises, is excellent. He obviously relished, in the same way he did when he played the Grinch, the chance to ditch his bland good looks in favor of an exterior matching his inner goof. Streep, as an aunt prone to paranoia, is a fretful delight. Lemony, directed with a sure hand by Brad Silberling, is too scary for kids under 8, but any-one older (including adults) will enjoy this one thoroughly. (PG)