Most helpful positive review
76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2005
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!