Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Holes

Holes

Fall 2004 DVD
Ages: 8 & Up
DVD Price: $19.99
Review:
The film based on Louis Sachar's bestselling young adult novel is almost as good as the book itself. Seeing as though the original novel is supremely well crafted with identifiable characters and fast-moving plot to keep readers happy and texture to tickle an English teacher's fancy, the comparison is a worthy compliment. Most movies aimed at tweens and teens go for superficial issues, but this one digs into the challenges of self-esteem, what it means to be underprivileged, racial differences, and how to deal with adults more immature than the average five-year-old. Director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive) and writer Sachar (who nimbly cuts to the chase in adapting his book) keep the humor as high as the tension in the story of a falsely convicted wimp sentenced to dig holes in the Texas desert of Camp Green Lake. The cast takes everything to that next level with the performances of Shia LaBeouf (in the lead role of Stanley), Sigourney Weaver (as a vicious warden), and Jon Voight (as the creepy Mr. Sir), among others. The use of guns and the threats of death or bodily harm make this unsuitable for those under 8, but the story context and lessons taught bring this film to the upper echelon of family entertainment. Special features include cast and filmmaker commentaries a gag reel and music video.
Gregory Keer   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Gregory Keer is a writer, teacher, and father of three boys. Gregg's web site is www.familymanonline.com

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