One of the better films of the year is the surprisingly good Holes, a kid's movie that knows how to appeal to all ages. Featuring such big names as Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver, Holes may be this generation's Goonies.
Okay, so putting Holes in the same category as Goonies is definitely pushing it (can any children's movie ever match it?), but is entertaining, slick and not afraid to be a little violent at times, though never really escalating to anything beyond its PG rating. Starring Shia LaBeouf as Stanley Yelnats (try spelling his name backwards), Holes should be a must buy for any parent looking for a movie that everyone can have fun with.
The story, based on the novel by Louis Sachar (he also wrote the screenplay) and brought to life by Andrew Davis, is about an unlucky boy who is sent to a Texan camp for juvenile delinquents when he is falsely accused of stealing a pair of sneakers. The camp, as it turns out, is run by a woman (Weaver) who is bent on discovering something that she believes is buried in the desert, so she, along with her cronies (Voight and the humorous Tim Blake Nelson), has all of her boys dig five-foot deep holes every day. The story also flashes back 100 years to the origin of the hidden loot, which features Patricia Arquette.
The great things about Holes is that it isn't goofy. Whereas most kids' films these days feature crazy antics, inane bad guys and talking animals, Holes has a real plot with real characters and real story arcs. It is no Oscar winner, but it is a real movie (meaning, it will appease older audiences). The performances of all of the villains, as well as LaBeouf (honestly, is he going to make it far in the acting world with a name most people cannot pronounce?), are top notch and entertaining.
Holes is consistently entertaining from beginning to end, and just because it is PG does not mean it should be overlooked by older audiences.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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