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Overall Rating
3.39

Awesome: 12.9%
Worth A Look: 30.65%
Average41.94%
Pretty Bad: 11.29%
Total Crap: 3.23%

7 reviews, 20 user ratings


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Hoot
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by EricDSnider

"Kids as eco-terrorists?! ORLY?!"
3 stars

The message of "Hoot" is that it's never too young to get started in the field of eco-terrorism. Vandalizing construction sites and chaining yourself to bulldozers -- that's not just for grownups, you know.

'Tis a heartwarming theme indeed, conveyed lightly and with kid-pleasing charm by director Wil Shriner and adapted from Carl Hiaasen's young-adult novel. Its target demographic of tweenage boys and girls -- it's the rare film that seems aimed at both -- will probably react favorably to it, though I can't say it did much for me, a grownup who notices things like plot holes and logical fallacies.

Roy Eberhardt (Logan Lerman) is the new kid in Coconut Cove, Fla., just moved from Montana and trying to fit in at his middle school, though he doesn't do himself any favors by wearing a cowboy shirt with his cowboy boots. From the school bus, he sees a barefoot boy about his age running like the wind down the street and into the underbrush. Intrigued, he follows him.

The boy is nicknamed Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley), a runaway who's living in the tropical greenery near a site where contractors are preparing to build a Mother Paula's Pancake House. In his spare time (i.e., 24 hours a day), he sabotages the site, pulling the surveying stakes out of the ground, putting small alligators in the port-a-potties, releasing bags of venomous snakes nearby -- you know, harmless kid stuff like that.

The reason for his passion isn't that he hates Mother Paula or her pancakes. It's that the land is home to an endangered breed of burrowing owls, sweet little birds whose habitat will be destroyed if Mother Paula moves in. Thus it befalls Mullet Fingers, Roy, and Mullet's sister Beatrice (Brie Larson), a soccer-playing tough girl, to stop the development and save the owls -- if only they can stay one step ahead of the bumbling small-town cop (Luke Wilson) who senses they're up to something.

Perhaps you are thinking, Why don't the kids just go to the newspapers and tell them about the owls? Surely once it's made public, government officials will rescind Mother Paula's permission to build there. At the very least, it would attract the attention of animal-protection organizations with more resources and clout than a transplanted cowboy, a barefoot hillbilly and his wiseguy sister.

If you are thinking this, you are ahead of the movie. The thought never occurs to the movie. The movie figures the ONLY recourse the kids have is to disregard all legal channels and stop the developers by themselves. To help us support that position, the on-site manager is a dim redneck named Curly (Tim Blake Nelson), while the Mother Paula's regional manager is an evil corporate man named Muckle (Clark Gregg) who isn't merely indifferent to the plight of the owls -- he actively hates them! You're on the kids' side NOW, right?!

The young actors give earnest, straightforward performances, and the film has a playful tone that makes it likable regardless of its dubious story line. It's breezy fun, and probably benign, unless your kids take its eco-terrorism to heart and start padlocking themselves to redwood trees. But that's unlikely, right?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14109&reviewer=247
originally posted: 05/05/06 15:19:38
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Florida Film Festival For more in the 2006 Florida Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival For more in the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/22/14 Edith Redekop It is a fabulous movie - for persons of ALL ages to see! 5 stars
12/11/09 Susan Tucker My kind of movie. Love any movie that protects our wild life, am into Peta and protecting a 5 stars
9/26/08 Shaun Wallner Kids love this movie! 5 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT BLAND, PREDICTABLE AND NOT AT ALL RECOMMENDED 1 stars
1/02/08 allyce the olws were so cute 5 stars
5/19/07 David Pollastrini didn't think much of it. 2 stars
12/01/06 Sarah is a BAMF This was pretty cute, good for little kids and tweens. 4 stars
9/30/06 Karina a bit unbelieveable but its cool!! hoot hoot hoot 3 stars
9/04/06 Jenny aw.. this was heartwarming. A good one for the family. 4 stars
8/28/06 action movie fan pkay family movie kids trying to save burrowing owls 3 stars
8/26/06 michael good story 2 see 4 stars
8/21/06 Dylan nix Awesome movie,fantastic 5 stars
8/18/06 Tiffany cute 4 stars
6/22/06 Heather Purplethorne Palm trees grow in Ireland? Really? 4 stars
6/15/06 ashley hoot was awsome and linley is hott 5 stars
5/23/06 george it was a good movie 4 stars
5/12/06 Emily i loved the movie!!!! 5 stars
5/10/06 San Lamar to childish for my taste 1 stars
5/06/06 Heather Runyan this movie is sooo cool! i loved it! 5 stars
4/19/06 MBR Loved the movie! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-May-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Aug-2006

UK
  07-Apr-2006

Australia
  07-Sep-2006


Directed by
  Wil Shriner

Written by
  Wil Shriner

Cast
  Logan Lerman
  Brie Larson
  Cody Linley
  Jessica Cauffiel
  Tim Blake Nelson
  Luke Wilson



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