Once in a while, I go to a movie knowing nothing about it. Sometimes you win ("The Full Monty," "Femme Fatale"), sometimes you lose (too many to count). In the case of "Holes," all I knew was that a critic I like gave it three stars. So in I went. And after 20 minutes, I knew I was in a special movie.
"Holes" follows two stories. A present day teenager is sent to a juvenile detention facility for stealing a pair of shoes. Of course he didn’t do it, but being incarcerated exposes him to people he wouldn’t have otherwise met and opens his eyes to see himself and his surroundings differently. The detention facility is rather odd - it requires each boy to dig a large hole in the desert every day.
The other story takes place about 80 years earlier in the same location with relatives of… Well, I’m not going to spoil it. At the end, the two threads come together as the good guys find redemption and the villains get what’s coming to them. And you & I get a comedic and emotional reward.
[2009: The kid was played by Shia LeBeouf, now incredibly famous from "Transformers," "Disturbia," "Eagle Eye," et al. I wonder how I'd feel about "Holes" knowing that the underdog teenager later makes it with Megan Fox?]