Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Holes (****)
Directed by Andrew Davis
Written by Louis Sacher, from his novel
Principal Cast
Sigourney Weaver -- The Warden
Jon Voight -- Mr. Sir
Tim Blake Nelson -- Dr. Pendanski
Shia LaBeouf -- Stanley
Khleo Thomas -- Zero
Byron Cotton -- Armpit/Theodore
Brenden Jefferson -- X-Ray/Rex
Miguel Castro -- Magnet/Jose
Max Kasch -- Zigzag
Noah Poletiek -- Twitch
Zane Holtz -- Barfbag
Steven Kozlowski -- Lump
Ski Carr -- Guard
Jim Wilkey -- Bus Driver / Kissed Stage Coach Driver
Roma Maffia -- Carla Morengo
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Holes Holes is the most intelligent, original, and entertaining movie I've seen so far this year. In a non-linear but compelling narrative, it tells how two curses, uttered more than a hundred years ago and half a world apart, work themselves out in a hole-studded desert in the present day.

The less you know about the film, the more you will enjoy watching the pieces fall into place. The storytelling has a little of the spirit of Memento. But be warned. As the screenplay says, some of the holes you have to fill in for yourself.

Robert A. Heinlein once said that the main difference between his adult novels and his juvenile science fiction was that he could expect more intelligence on the part of the kids. I think something like that is happening in films. A big adult picture is given repeated test screenings, and then dumbed down to satisfy the tastes of people who hang around malls and have too much spare time on their hands. But if it is just a kids picture, then what-the-hell. If it flops because it is too smart, the suits can always say, "I told you so," while if it happens to be a success, and Holes is a success, then the suits can take the credit.

The previews are carefully crafted to make Holes look like a typical dumb Disney comedy, something like The Mighty Ducks Go to Summer Camp. Whoever produced the preview bent over backwards to make the audience believe that this is another story about how the fat kid, the skinny kid with big ears, the black kid who loves computers, and the unpopular girl make fools of the bullies, the popular girl, and the greedy adults. My comment after watching the previews: "I wouldn't go to that movie if you paid me!"

But then I began to hear just a little bit of buzz, and having nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon, I decided to give it a chance. The fact that the director also directed The Fugitive had a lot to do with my decision. On the drive to the theater, I caught myself starting to write a killer review in my head, and decided that unless Holes was really good, I wouldn't review it at all.

It is really good. It has some great actors who you won't recognize until you see the end credits, because they were hired to do what they do best -- act. In most "big" pictures they are just paid to look cute.

Even the fart joke is downplayed. The Lion King had a fart joke, and it was a huge success. The suits at Disney cannot conceive that the brilliant animation, music, and voice characterization had anything to do with the success of The Lion King. It must have been the fart joke. Every Disney picture since The Lion King has had a fart joke, and now Pixar has been brought in line, with a fart joke in one of the previews of Finding Nemo. But here the fart joke only exists so they could put it in the previews. In the movie, you won't even notice it unless you are looking for it.

So, don't let the dumb preview keep you from seeing Holes. Hey, they might show the Matrix commercial for Power-ade. That by itself would be worth the price of admission.

And be sure to stay for the credit cookie.

Copyright © 2003 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide