Three kids have an unexpected adventure as they try to protect some rare birds in this comedy drama based on a book for young adults by Carl Hiaasen. Roy Eberhardt (Logan Lerman) is a 14-year-old boy whose family has moved so often he's literally lost count of the number of times he's changed schools in the last ten years. Roy ought to be used to being the new kid at school by now, but making the switch from the big sky of Montana to the Gulf Coast of Florida proves to be a major challenge. While Roy quickly becomes the target of school bully Dana Matherson (Eric Phillips), he's befriended by Beatrice Leep (Brie Larson), a spunky girl with enough nerve to stand up to Dana, and her brother Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley). Beatrice and Mullet share their big secret with Roy -- they have a hidden hideaway where they look after a flock of wild owls. The owls in question are on the endangered species list, but that's of little concern to Chuck Muckle (Clark Gregg), a top executive from the Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House chain, who is planning to build a new restaurant in the hollow where the owls nest. Roy, Beatrice, and Mullet are determined to find a way to save the owls, but Muckle and his right-hand man, Curly Brannitt (Tim Blake Nelson), are less interested in saving the birds than in turning a profit. The kids have a plan, however, and they uncover some evidence of interest to David Delinko (Luke Wilson), a well-meaning but slow-witted policeman investigating some dirty doings tied in to the pancake house. Hoot features a handful of new recordings from popular Florida musician Jimmy Buffett, who also helped produce the film.
by Mark Deming synopsis