Synopsis by Mark Deming
A boy being punished for a crime he didn't commit learns there's more going on at a juvenile correctional facility than meets the eye in this comedy drama. Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LaBeouf) is a teenager who has been told all his life that the men in the Yelnats family are cursed, thanks to a false promise his great, great grandfather made to a fortune teller. Given his frequent bad luck, and that which follows his father (Henry Winkler), Stanley has no trouble believing this. Stanley's bad luck hits a new low when a pair of sneakers literally falls out of the sky on him -- and turn out to be stolen. A judge sentences Stanley to a stay at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility stuck in the middle of the desert, where he finds himself sharing a tent with a gang of misfits, including ringleader X-Ray (Brenden Jefferson), pushy Squid (Jake M. Smith), small but wiry Zero (Khleo Thomas), tough and stinky Armpit (Byron Cotton), paranoid ZigZag (Max Kasch), and thief-in-training Magnet (Miguel Castro). The Warden of Camp Green Lake (Sigourney Weaver) has her own ideas about rehabilitation, which consist of having the boys spend their days digging holes five feet deep under the desert sun. While well-mannered counselor Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson) tries to help the boys however he can, Mr. Sir (Jon Voight), The Warden's right hand man, is a heartless creep who enjoys making Stanley and his friends suffer. Before long, Stanley wonders if there's a good reason why the Warden seems so curious about what (if anything) the boys find during their digging, and in time he suspects there's something they haven't been told which might be connected to the Yelnats family curse. Holes was based on the award-winning book for young people by Louis Sachar, who also wrote the film's screenplay.
digging [dirt], curse, friendship, underdog, treasure, escape, reformatory, unlucky, warden, Wild-West