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Holes (2003)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 133
Fresh: 103
Rotten: 30

Critics Consensus: Faithful to its literary source, this is imaginative, intelligent family entertainment.

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 35
Fresh: 26
Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: Faithful to its literary source, this is imaginative, intelligent family entertainment.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 209,858


Movie Info

Stanley Yelnats is an unusual hero with dogged bad luck stemming from an ancient family curse. Perpetually in the wrong place at the wrong time, Stanley is unfairly sentenced to months of detention at Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn't commit. There, he and his campmates--Squid, Armpit, ZigZag, Magnet, X-Ray and Zero--are forced by the menacing warden and her right-hand men Mr. Sir and Mr. Pendanski to dig holes in order to build character. Nobody knows the real reason they're digging all … More

PG (for violence, mild language and some thematic elements)
Action & Adventure , Kids & Family , Mystery & Suspense , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Louis Sachar
In Theaters:
Sep 23, 2003
Box Office:
Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Holes

All Critics (147) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (103) | Rotten (30) | DVD (30)

Brims with storytelling flourishes and gently deployed life lessons that even accompanying adults may dig.

Full Review… | April 22, 2003
Village Voice
Top Critic

[T]here's too much going on, and none of it is executed well enough to recommend.

Full Review… | April 21, 2003
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

It's smart, strange, unpredictable, and defies the formulas that typically define this sort of motion picture.

Full Review… | April 20, 2003
Top Critic

A wonderfully dark fairy tale.

April 18, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

One can't help but feel thankful that the movie doesn't always go the expected route, that the characters have a little more depth to them than average, and that the complexity, which is the movie's basic weakness, is also its fundamental virtue.

April 18, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Crazy as it is, Holes could be the Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory of 2003.

Full Review… | April 18, 2003
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Young viewers and old alike will be given powerful metaphors of servanthood and selflessness, humility and honor, courage and Christ-like kindness.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

O roteiro leve e bem construído, aliado às performances de um elenco carismático, deu origem ao tipo de filme que certamente divertirá toda a família.

October 25, 2004
Cinema em Cena

Engaging, generous, and well-paced. Holes is inventively plotted and its coincidences and crazy mysticism pull you in the way the best children's fiction does.

Full Review… | July 6, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Unlike so many kids movies, Holes hasn't been dumbed down, loaded with bathroom humor

Full Review… | September 26, 2003
Movie Habit

Funny, inspiring and just a little bit naughty, Holes is excellent family entertainment.

Full Review… | September 24, 2003
Apollo Guide

For all its faults, Holes has an overriding good humor and sense of fun that saves it from the usual drudge of children's pictures.

Full Review… | September 21, 2003
Movie Metropolis

Holes is a rarity among kids' movies: It's dark, complex, intelligent and well-acted.

September 6, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

An honestly extraordinary maturation performance by Even Stevens' Shia LaBeouf proves Disney truly has monopoly over the most talented youth actors

Full Review… | July 17, 2003

There are so many delightful little touches and warped bits of storytelling that I can't imagine anyone who won't love this film.

Full Review… | July 10, 2003
Shadows on the Wall

Thought-provoking undertones meet Disney sensibilities -- a memorable combination.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

A first-rate family film that is all about karma.

Full Review… | May 16, 2003
Laramie Movie Scope

...unlike so many films to be churned out of the mouse house in these recent times, it's pleasant, inspired, sweet and generally entertaining.

Full Review… | May 9, 2003

Those who have read the book will no doubt overlook the film's shortcomings and parents will welcome a movie that doesn't talk down to its youthful audience.

Full Review… | May 7, 2003
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Disney, known for its family oriented films, has put a wholesome winning film in Holes. Adapted by Louis Sachar from his award winning novel, the film comes with many positive messages that will bring fans of all ages and be quite entertained

Full Review… | May 2, 2003

To my surprise the film was incredibly entertaining and turned what is essentially a book geared toward young readers into a film that will resonate with audiences of any age.

Full Review… | April 30, 2003
IGN Movies

It's very rare that I go to a children's movie and feel satisfied with what Hollywood is dishing out.

Full Review… | April 27, 2003

This must be seen. Even if you're a grownup without access to kids.

April 25, 2003
Greenwich Village Gazette

It's good enough to be enjoyed equally by kids and their attendant parents.

April 25, 2003
Creative Loafing

Imagine directing a movie called "Holes" and realizing that if you didn't dig deep enough, your movie would be a shallow, inconsequential pit. If the irony didn't kill you, critics and audiences would.

Full Review… | April 25, 2003
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Holes amounts to a look that is hot and leaves you grabbing for the Coke in the cup holder, wiping your brow and pondering a way to check your armpits without the person sitting next to you noticing.

Full Review… | April 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Holes

I was apprehensive about watching Holes, but I am glad that I did. This film being the debut feature film of Shia LaBeouf in one of first big screen roles. I have to say that the film really impressed me, and I thought it was a very entertaining film that is perfect for the entire family. The cast do a great job in their parts and I really liked the plot of the movie overall. The film balances comedy, adventure and drama into one picture that is one of the best Disney films in the last ten years. This is a must see for viewers of all ages and it definitely is a well structured film that will keep you entertained for its two hour run time. The film has a terrific story that is supported by a varied cast of talented actors. LaBeouf is great here, and though he would be later so-so in the Transformers films, he displays some talent on-screen. This is a film that the whole family is sure to enjoy and it has something for everyone. Director Andrew Davis who also made the thrilling film The Fugitive directs this highly entertaining comedy adventure that is sure to delight film fans of all ages. Although there are some areas that could have improved upon, Holes is a terrific live action movie from Disney and it is a very entertaining film from start to finish. I was pleasantly surprised at the result of the film, and it is definitely one of the best most memorable family oriented comedies that I have seen. This is a truly unique film that if you come across it, you definitely shouldn't pass it up. Holes has it flaws, but is very good, solid and amusing. But above all, it has heart.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Definitely recommended to kids.
I wanted more of the story with Sam and Kissin' Kate Barlow,so,since there is a book i'll search a piece of detail there...

Eliza Norton

Super Reviewer


i love this movie, admittedly i didnt think i would becuase i was forced to read the book first in school and then had to watch this movie, lets face it the english department never pick good interesting books little alone movies! However i was surprised by how good it was and funny and just great to watch!
Its a fantastic cast , its weird to see Shia Labeouf in such a young movie and see how much hes matured since! a good movie for the whole family to watch!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


HOLES was actually a pretty good movie. That's not at all to say that it was a faithful adaptation of the award-winning children's novel, but I liked it, and for a modern Disney movie (and a Shia LaBeouf movie), it was possible to sit through.

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer

Holes Quotes

Maybe he found Zero. Maybe they're still alive.
Yeah, and maybe the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are real.
Maybe my mom'll stop drinkin' and my dad'll come back.
Man when Caveman stole that truck. Oh.
That was awesome.
Yeah Caveman did have style.
– Submitted by MarieBella C (18 months ago)
The Warden:
Stanley! Stanley, won't you just open it? Just let me see what's inside! Please?
Stanley Yelnats:
Excuse me?
– Submitted by Jiashu X (19 months ago)
The Warden:
I'm surrounded by a bunch of cow turds.
– Submitted by Evan A (21 months ago)
Dr. Pendanski:
You wanna know why they call him Zero? Because there's nothin' inside his stupid little head!
– Submitted by Mike R (21 months ago)
I like digging holes.
Dr. Pendanski:
Then you're in the right place.
– Submitted by Evan A (21 months ago)
Trout Walker:
The duck may swim on the lake, but my daddy owns the lake!
– Submitted by Mary O (2 years ago)

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