Author: Rated PG
A young man moves from Montana to Florida where he becomes involved in an attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
The natural beauties of Florida find some young champions in Hoot, based on the young adult novel by satirical crime writer Carl Hiaasen. While trying to resist being bullied on the school bus, Roy (Logan Lerman, Jack & Bobby) becomes intrigued by a barefoot boy running frantically along the sidewalk. As he investigates, Roy learns that a nearby construction site is a habitat for a protected species of burrowing owl and that a tough girl at his school named Beatrice (Brie Larson, Sleepover) has some connection with the barefoot boy, who has some connection with vandalism at the construction site. Hoot has been attacked by conservative critics for promoting eco-terrorism—a charge most viewers may find overheated—but the movie’s real weakness isn’t political but artistic; the clumsy dialogue barely sounds like human speech and the plot takes some hard-to-believe turns. At one point, as part of protecting the burrowing owls and their chicks, a kid releases poisonous cottonmouth snakes onto the construction site; apparently his ecological knowledge doesn’t include the feeding habits of these snakes, which eat birds. The colorful scenery and the affable presence of Luke Wilson (Bottle Rocket, Old School) keep the movie alive. Also featuring Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Holes) and singer Jimmy Buffett, whose tropical honky-tonk bubbles up all over the soundtrack. —Bret Fetzer