The award-winning bestseller comes to life in this phenomenally fun, adventure-filled movie starring Emmy Award-winner Shia LaBeouf (Outstanding Performer In A Children's Series, Disney Channel's EVEN STEVENS, 2000). Dogge... more »d by bad luck stemming from an ancient family curse, young Stanley Yelnats (LaBeouf) is sent to Camp Green Lake, a very weird place that's not green and doesn't have a lake. Once there, he's thrown headlong into the adventure of his life when he and his colorful campmates -- Squid, Armpit, Zigzag, Magnet, X-Ray, and Zero -- must dig a hole a day to keep the warden at bay. But why? Through it all, Stanley and company must forge fast friendships as they try to unearth the mystery of what's really going on in the middle of nowhere. Filled with humor and heartwarming messages of friendship and teamwork, HOLES is a treasure everyone will dig.« less
A quirky family friendly adventure from Disney stars a young Shia LaBouef (sp?) as a Texas teen sent to an odd juvenile detention camp in the desert, where the inmates are forced to dig holes all day, every day. Eventually, of course, the boys discover that the mysterious "Warden" (Sigourney Weaver) has an ulterior motive for all that digging. Disney safe for the young'ins but weird/unusual enough to keep grownups interested too. If the Coen Brothers ever directed a kids' movie it would probably look something like this.
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Patricia S. (acelestialsoul) from HONOLULU, HI Reviewed on 7/1/2012...
This is an unusual tale that teaches subtle messages about family, loyalty and bravery. It has funny and sad moments. Shia LeBeouf does a great job portraying a boy wrongly accused. Strong supporting child actors make interesting characters. Sigourney Weaver is beleivable as a nutty, obsessed warden of this correctional camp for boys. I would recommend this movie for kids - especially boys - from 7 on up.
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Theresa U. (cowfishpro) from ELGIN, IL Reviewed on 2/21/2011...
The movie Holes is based on the novel of the same name, written by Louis Sacher. I commend the producers of the movie version for creating a film that very closely resembles the content and sequence of the book. This is unusual for books that have been transformed to the big screen. The story line itself is entertaining. It centers on a young man who is accused of stealing a famous athlete’s shoes. As the audience, we travel through various periods in history to watch the full plot unfold and connect. By the end of the story, pieces of historical puzzle fit together, creating a seamless and surprising connection with the fate of the accused young man. The plot is interesting for its own sake, yet the screen play and acting talents add a comical perspective that makes the movie all the more enjoyable. The casting suits the screen play well. Shay LeBoef is convincing in his role of the accused young man. And the surprising, but convincing roles of Segourney Weaver and John Voight contribute to the acting genius. I highly recommend this movie for some light entertainment that also stimulates the mind. Appropriate for young children to adults of all ages.
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Rory C. Reviewed on 10/3/2008...
Excellent family movie!
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
sweetmolly | RICHMOND, VA USA | 04/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the myriads of fans of the book, Good News! Author Louis Sacher did the screen adaptation, and Director Andrew Davis did an excellent job in creating the mood, leading his fine cast of young actors, and being faithful to the spirit and actuality of the book.Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LaBouf), is a hard-luck boy, not surprising seeing his great-great grandpa had a curse laid on him for eternity by Madam Zeroni (Eartha Kitt). The Yelnats have had a habit of failure ever since. Stanley's Dad, (Henry Winkler) is working (unsuccessfully, of course) on inventing a perfect shoe-deodorizer. Ironically, Stanley is falsely arrested for stealing a great athlete's shoes. He is given a choice of jail or Camp Green Lake. Stanley innocently notes he's never been to camp before so---you just know This Was Not A Good Choice. Camp Green Lake is on a parched and barren desert. The lake disappeared a century before. Stanley is indoctrinated by down-and-dirty bad Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) who informs Stanley his days will be spent digging 5' x 5' holes to build "character" and any misstep will bring him to the Warden's (Sigourney Weaver) attention, a lady who coats her nails with rattlesnake venom.His fellow inmates who like to be known as X-Ray, Armpit, ZigZag and Magnet greet Stanley with hazing and hard times. His only true ally is tiny little Zero (Khleo Castro) who wants Stanley to teach him to read. The day-in-day-out work is filthy, backbreaking and endless. But Stanley is learning some secrets that might permit him to break the age-old curse of the Yelnats.Mr. Davis tells us Stanley and Camp Green Lake's history via flashbacks, and for the most part does a good job keeping the story moving, though it might be overly complex for younger viewers. Jon Voight is priceless as thoroughly bad, gimlet-eyed, bone stupid Mr. Sir. Sigourney Weaver is just shy of psychotic with her barely repressed rage at her situation. The boys are rightly terrified of her. "Holes" has a magnificent arc of a story and culminates in a manner that will have the audience cheering. There are a few scary scenes that might be too much for the viewer under nine, as well as the flashbacks that could be hard to understand. If you have doubts about suitability, read the book both to yourself and the child. That way you have a win/win situation. This is a don't miss movie.
Remains remarkably faithful to the book!
Laura Bellamy | Greensboro, NC United States | 01/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I read "Holes" several years back for a children's literature course I took in college. I highly enjoyed it! It was one of the best books I read in that class.So when they introduced the movie, I was quite interested. Part of me was hopeful it would turn out well, the other part of me was skeptical that it would be anywhere near as good as the book. However, my fears were dashed. This movie was FABULOUS!The story jumps back and forth a little between three different tales -- the story of Elya Yelnats, the main character's "no good, dirty-rotten, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather"; the story of Stanley Yelnats IV himself; and the story of a legendary outlaw, Kissing Kate Barlow. The three stories are interwoven quite ingeniously. In some cases, you aren't completely sure what the connection will be, but then when you find out, it fits perfectly.The story IS slightly altered, of course, as most books-brought-to-movies tend to be. But it very much keeps the spirit of the original book. The boys are very believable -- I especially love Zero! Sigourney Weaver makes a wonderfully nasty warden. And John Voigt does a wonderful insane portrayal of Mr. Sir.This movie will keep you laughing and curious throughout. And if you enjoyed the book, you'll like this film!"
What's not to like?
L. Quido | Tampa, FL United States | 05/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Popular children's author Louis Sachar converts his most intricate book into a screenplay, and director Andrew Davis, in collaboration, brings it gloriously to the big screen! Although I'm surrounded by a sea of terrific young 11 and 12 year old reviewers, "Holes" is for everyone!A young cast of actors, all talented, couples with Jon Voight as the over-the-top Camp Greenlake superintendent, "Mr. Sir".
Greenlake is a juvenile detention camp in the desert, and while conditions there are pretty oppressive, they are downplayed enough to make the movie safe for 9 and 10 year old viewers, as well. The charm of the book, and also the movie, is to tell the tale of the Yelnats clan, revolving it around young Stanley Yelnats IV's incarceration for something he didn't do. Flashback is used to revisit the era that both Stanley's great-grandfather and grandfather lived in. These flashback scenes, amazingly, focus not on the Yelnats, but more on the women who inflicted the family curse on them, arising in terrific roles for Eartha Kitt (as gypsy Madam Zeroni) and stagecoach robber Kissin' Kate
Barlow (played by the luminous and talented Patricia Arquette).Modern day is not without its own bad girl, with Sigourney Weaver as the Warden, who rules the camp with an iron fist. The Warden has her own agenda for the holes that the boys are forced to dig in the desert, and she's quirky, evil, and larger than life, looming over Voight and "Dr."(Tim Blake Nelson). Weaver's "Ex-c-uuuuuu-se Me?" line, used over and over in the film, is terrifying!The audience is caught up in the action from the opening screen, and given a couple of young anti-heroes that are worth their weight in gold. A cameo by the irresistible Dule Hill from "The West Wing", is also notable."Holes" is perhaps the best family film of the last couple of years, and an outstanding example of what good filmmaking is all about!Highly recommended for sheer enjoyment!"
Fun for the whole family!
Emily Todd | USA | 04/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stanley Yelnats IV (newcomer Shia LaBeouf) is falsely accused of stealing Clyde 'Sweet Feet' Livingston's (Rick Fox) shoe donation to a local orphanage and will either go to jail or 'Camp Green Lake.' Stanley chooses Green Lake because he's "never been to camp before". Camp Green Lake is a disciplinary camp, not your typical summer camp, for youths where its "campers" are required to dig a 5' x 5' hole daily in the hot desert sun, by order of the mysterious Warden (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistants Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) and Mr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson). Stanley and his fellow campers think digging holes is punishment without a purpose, but it soon becomes clear that the Warden is searching for something beneath the mysterious sands in a desert with more history than the audience realizes."Holes" is wonderful family entertainment with an all-star cast of Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Rick Fox, Tim Allen, etc. Based on the children's book by Lois Sachar, the film boasts a terrific screenplay full of wit, humor, mystery, drama, tears, and suspense; there's something for everyone. The story is truly remarkable, especially for that of a children's film. The kids will love "Holes" for its humor and fun. Adults will love and appreciate the intricately woven and complex web of intertwining stories."Holes" is a great movie for the whole family. It's not one of those empty-headed and ridiculous children's films that can be enjoyed by strictly 6 year olds, oh no, everyone in your family will enjoy this richly entertaining and heartfelt film."
If you like subplots, you'll LOVE this movie!
Kona | Emerald City | 05/01/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Holes" is Disney family comedy about Stanley Yelnats (Shia Leboeuf), a nice boy who has very bad luck. It seems his family is cursed, and Stanley ends up in a juvenile detention camp called "Camp Green Lake." There is, however, no lake; it's located in the middle of a desert. The camp is run like prison chain gang by "Mr. Sir," (odiously played by Jon Voight). Each boy must dig a five foot deep hole everyday for punishment. The warden (Sigourney Weaver) thinks something valuable is buried out there and wants to find it...
So far, so good. Then the endless subplots and flashbacks take over. We flash back to Stanley's eccentric family (Dad Henry Winkler is trying to invent a cure for smelly sneakers). Then we go back to Latvia, 150 years ago, to see the origin of the Yelnats family curse. Then we flash back and forth to an Old West frontier town, where the white school marm is in love with the black onion-farmer. Then it's back to Camp Green Lake. We are never told, until the end, what all the flashbacks and characters have to do with anything and after a while, it's hard to keep it all straight.
Shia Leboeuf is quite appealing as the innocent and kindhearted Stanley. The teens who play Stanley's campmates are all good, especially the boy who plays "Zero," the hero of yet another subplot. Fans of the novel will undoubtedly enjoy "Holes," since the screenplay was written by the author."