Author: Rated PG
Stanley Yelnats is sent to a detention camp after being falsely accused of a crime, and told by the warden to dig holes in the desert in search of a mysterious buried treasure.
Fans of author Louis Sachar’s book Holes will be delighted with this scrupulously faithful adaptation. After being wrongly found guilty of stealing a pair of sneakers, Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) gets sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility in the bed of a long-gone dry Texas lake. There—under the watchful eye of overseer Mr. Sir (a zesty Jon Voight), sneakily mean therapist Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson, O Brother Where Art Thou?), and the cool and cruel Warden (Sigourney Weaver)—Stanley and dozens of other delinquents are forced to dig an endless series of holes that the Warden hopes will lead her to a precious secret left behind by a long-dead female outlaw (Patricia Arquette). Sachar’s book is beloved for its vivid characters and suspenseful plot; by sticking close to its source, Holes has become a dynamic, exciting, and surprisingly touching movie. —Bret Fetzer