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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Excuse me?'
I haven't read the book and rented this movie based on the excellent reviews in the national papers when the film was on cinema release. I was a bit wary that it might be a cheesy, Disney kids film but I was very pleasantly surprised.
'Holes' starts off as the story of a boy called Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) who, in the tradition of his family's run of bad luck,...
Published on 18 July 2005

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor in Comparison to the Book
After reading the book, I was very excited to see this movie adaption of it. Unfortunately, it wasn't any where near as good. The small things count, like, in the book he is fat and the reader feels for him. Here, he is athletic and can dig the holes easier. I would recogmend you buy the book first, as it is much better.
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer


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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Excuse me?', 18 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I haven't read the book and rented this movie based on the excellent reviews in the national papers when the film was on cinema release. I was a bit wary that it might be a cheesy, Disney kids film but I was very pleasantly surprised.
'Holes' starts off as the story of a boy called Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) who, in the tradition of his family's run of bad luck, is falsely accused of stealing some shoes and is sent to camp in lieu of prison. The camp is a desolate place on the site of a lake which dried up (now just desert) and the camp philosophy is that the boys sent there spend each day digging holes in the sand to 'build character'. The camp staff (Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson) are harsh and the camp atmosphere tough. However, it soon becomes apparent that the camp warden (a feminine but mean Sigourney Weaver) has another intention for the hole digging. Slowly, Stanley uncovers the mystery of the camp while trying to gain respect from his fellow inmates and the story of Stanley's family and the now dry lake is gradually revealed.
The story is quite complicated and much is revealed in flashbacks. You need to keep up with all the connections which are exposed to really appreciate the ending. However, the acting all round is excellent, with the unknown cast of boys really making an impact, particularly LaBeouf and Khleo Thomas who plays Zero. The adult actors provide excellent backup and the supporting stories are nicely told. This story has love, redemption and mystery - stick with it and you will be rewarded!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film for all the family, 22 Mar 2004
This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This adaptation of Louis Sachars book is one of the best efforts that Disney have done in a long time.A great movie following the fortunes of the unlucky Stanley Yelnats who is convicted of stealing a pair of sneakers and is sent to Camp Greenlake which is run by Mr Sirand the Warden(brilliantly played by Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver) ,the kids at the camp are taken into the desert and have to dig a hole each day ,this brings in the 2nd part of the movie which flashes back 100 years and brings in Stanleys great-great grandfather and intertwines his family with that of the wardens and one of the other kids in the camp Zero who is picked on by the others but forms a friendship with Stanley.
The performances in this movie are great there isnt a duff one in the whole movie and the story zips backwards and forwards in time and will be entertaining enough for the whole family a definite recommendation.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adaptation of the book, 6 Nov 2006
By 
Tealady2000 (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is a brilliant family movie which you will enjoy whether or not you have read the book by Louis Sachar. Stanley Yelnats (spell the surname backwards!) and his family have perpetual bad luck as the result of a curse that was put on his ancestors when they lived in East Europe, before they came to the States. As a result of a typical piece of misfortune, Stanley ends up at the Camp Greenlake correctional facility. But there is no lake - just a desert, in which the boys have to dig holes day after day. Gradually the mystery of the hole-digging is revealed and Stanley is the hero of the day. The camp staff are wonderfully horrible (Sigorney Weaver and Jon Voigt) and the whole thing is so well made it's a joy to watch. Although many parts are extremely funny there are many moving bits too (but not cheesy). It is much quirkier than other Disney movies, and suitable for ages 8 and up.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brill Movie, 12 May 2007
By 
D. Madden "Ciara Madden" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I read the book of Hole's at school and my teacher said if you got the movie you would understand every thing more. I got the Movie and put it on and soon all my family came in! They loved it, it's a great family film and I would tell you to buy it and see what you think.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great movie!, 11 Mar 2004
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
When Stanley Yelnats IV (played by Shia LaBeouf of "Even Stevens") is struck in the head by a pair of dropped shoes, and is subsequently tried for stealing them, his family is not surprised. The family has been cursed by bad luck, since Stanley's great grandfather (Stanley Yelnats I) failed to fulfill his end of an agreement with a gypsy (Eartha Kitt!). And so, Stanley finds himself whisked off to a juvenile corrections camp, where the young inmates spend their days digging holes - 5' diameter, 5' deep holes.
There's something awfully strange going on here. The warden (Sigourney Weaver) and her goons are looking for something, something that they dare not reveal. But, what is it? Ah, destiny is at work here and curses upon curses, and only one Stanley Yelnats can set things right! [Color, released in 2003, with a running time of 1 hour, 57 minutes.]
I must admit that when my kids wanted to see this movie in the theatre, I was more than happy to send them off with a cousin, as the movie did not look interesting to me. Well, I sure am kicking myself now! This is a great movie!
I loved the story of this movie, which seemed complicated at first, involving as it does so many flashbacks, but quickly sorted itself into a pattern which brought the story along quite nicely. Also, the anti-racism subplot was very well designed. I enjoyed the acting ability demonstrated in the movie (and now think that Shia LaBeouf has quite a future ahead of him!). And, I enjoyed the scenery. Overall, I must say that this is one fine movie, mainly designed for youngsters, but a great movie for adults, too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good stuff, 29 Feb 2008
This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Didn't know what to expect which was probably a blessing as on paper I wouldn't have chosen it. Watched it with my 7 year old and was surprised that he followed the story as I thought it was quite complicated for someone of that age. Just goes to show what I know and that children are capable of more than we adults give them credit for! He enjoyed it so much that he watched it again the following day and the day after that! It came out of it's case again at Christmas for a group of boys and everyone of them loved it. From an adult perspective I thought it was great, not your predictable children's fodder that you can have a nap half way through and not miss anything. This is a clever, well acted film particularly for boys.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meet the Original Book's author!!!, 23 Mar 2004
By 
Chrestomanci (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is a great little film. The actors chosen for the major roles are perfect for the parts - and if you've read the book, there is nothing here to either disappoint or annoy.
However, the thing that really makes this DVD stand out for me, is the fact that you get to meet the original book's author. This film is one of those rare times when the author of the book gets to write his own screenplay. Therefore, nobody takes liberties with his plot or dumbs-down the complexities of a story that unfolds in numerous flashbacks; the result is a film that truly reflects the flavour of the story it is based on. The author talks about this in a special feature, but better still, he also talks about his work in one of the 'voice-over' commentaries. If you are interested in the work of a writer, either novelist or screen-writer, this is a real insight.
So, why did I give it 4 stars, not 5? Only because it isn't quite as satisfying as the book. The twists are at times so subtley done, that they could easily be missed, or misunderstood, if you haven't read the book first. Here's what I recommend: If you're not familiar with the book, order it too, and read it beforehand. It will highten your enjoyment of both the film itself and author's commentary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pits, 15 Jan 2004
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
As HOLES begins, we see a dirty, sweat-drenched, young man emerge from a pit he's been digging in the desert. Apparently distraught over his prospects for job advancement, he bares a foot to the fangs of a passing rattlesnake. Yup, that's how I feel at the end of some workdays myself.
The hero of this quirky story is Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LeBeouf), unjustly convicted of stealing a pair of snappy looking athletic shoes. Stanley is at the leading edge of the bad luck that's bedeviled his family since an ancestor emigrated from Eastern Europe under the curse of a gypsy crone (Eartha Kitt). Yelnats is sentenced to the juvenile detention center of Camp Green Lake, a parched lake bed in the Texas desert, where the male inmates spend their days digging pits - five feet deep and five feet in diameter - in order to build character. They're under standing orders to bring anything unusual they unearth to the attention of the overseer, Mr. Sir (Jon Voight). However, "unusual" isn't defined except that, as Stanley discovers, it's not about fossils.
HOLES has so many varied elements that the viewer may wonder if it can all come together. The gypsy curse. Deadly, yellow-spotted lizards. An Old West schoolmarm turned outlaw, Kissin' Kate Barlow (Patricia Arquette). Something lost and buried. An elusive antidote for smelly shoes. Preserved peaches. A coming-of-age story. Lots of holes.
But come together it does. LeBeouf is ostensibly the film's lead, but he's upstaged by Voight's Mr. Sir, the squinty-eyed boss of the labor gang, who manages to be menacing even when he's being reasonable. The Warden (Sigourney Weaver) is an even more hard-boiled case whom Mr. Sir has no desire to cross, but the former plays a less central role in the boys' daily routine, and the audience doesn't even see her until well into the movie when she finally emerges with a vengeance. Tim Blake Nelson plays Dr. Pendanski, the third member of the supervisory staff, who could've been eliminated from the cast entirely. I'm still not sure what essential purpose he served to the plot.
I suspect that HOLES plays better to the teenage crowd, but the storyline is intriguing enough for older audiences, especially as it's visually engaging and never deteriorates into cuteness. It's the perfect film to rent if you're looking for something a little different and on the verge of fantasy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor in Comparison to the Book, 20 Jun 2013
This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
After reading the book, I was very excited to see this movie adaption of it. Unfortunately, it wasn't any where near as good. The small things count, like, in the book he is fat and the reader feels for him. Here, he is athletic and can dig the holes easier. I would recogmend you buy the book first, as it is much better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'It smells like puke from a mule been 'ruminating on asparagus for two weeks', 2 May 2009
This review is from: Holes [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
After reading Louis Sachar's long and offbeat but highly entertaining novel, I was excited to hear that Disney were making a film version. The tale of Stanley Yelnats, a good boy but one who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and how he survives Green Lake Camp, after being wrongly accused of stealing a famous baseball player's prize sneakers, is both darkly funny, occasionally surreal, and consistently heart warming.

With a host of colourful characters to bring to life, Disney have produced a wonderfully eclectic and memorable movie, starring Shia LeBeouf (Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull) as the hapless Stanley, and with some great guest stars such as Sigourney Weaver (The Warden), Jon Voight (Mr Sir) and Tim Blake Nelson (Mr Pendanski). With several plot strands that jump between modern day America, the same place over 100 years ago, and the European state of Latvia, and which crucially include the history of how Camp Green Lake came to dry up, and how Stanley came to be cursed through the actions of his `No good pig stealing Great Great Grandfather', there is plenty going on here, but director Andrew Davis, aided by a screenplay written by Sachar himself, has made a good fist of it and the film is ultimately bright, breezy, family friendly fun.

Holes also has a great soundtrack showcasing The Blues, Rap, Soul and Acoustic Rock from such luminaries as Shaggy, Eels, Moby, Eagle-Eye Cherry, and Dr John. Lending an atmospheric and moody edge to proceedings, the CD is well worth getting hold of too, although as in most cases it doesn't work quite so well apart from the film.

Holes offers a decent amount of bonus features on DVD. Most substantial are the two audio commentaries. The first, a cast commentary, puts together young stars Shia LaBeouf, Khleo Thomas, Jake M. Smith, and Max Kasch. `The Boys of D Tent' focuses on the youthful cast, whilst `Digging the first hole' is an informative making-of featurette. There is also the self explanatory `Gag reel', some out-takes, deleted scenes, and a music video starring members of the cast.
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Holes [DVD] [2003]
Holes [DVD] [2003] by Andrew Davis (DVD - 2004)
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