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"HOOT"
(2006) (Logan Lerman, Luke Wilson) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Minor Mild Heavy *Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Minor None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Mild Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A trio of kids tries to stop a developer from razing a patch of woods where some burrowing owls are nesting.
PLOT:
Since his dad (NEIL FLYNN) works for the justice department, 14-year-old Roy Eberhardt (LOGAN LERMAN) is used to moving all around the country with him and Roy's mother (KIERSTEN WARREN). The latest move takes them from Montana to Coconut Grove, Florida, meaning he's once again the new kid at school.

That doesn't escape the attention of school bully Dana Matherson (ERIC PHILLIPS) who roughs him up on the bus and calls him "cow girl." Roy finds a friend in fellow student Garrett (DEAN COLLINS) and an easygoing teacher in the form of Mr. Ryan (JIMMY BUFFETT), but is more interested in a barefoot kid he saw running by his bus. Accordingly, he nearly runs over jock Beatrice Leep (BRIE LARSON) while racing off to see who the boy is and where he's headed in such a hurry.

At the same time, construction foreman Curly Branitt (TIM BLAKE NELSON) is having a devil of a time with some prankster who keeps pulling up his survey stakes at the construction site for the next Mother Paula's Pancake House. The latest addition to the chain is important for regional manager Chuck Muckle (CLARK GREGG), and he doesn't care what problems Curly might be encountering. Wanting to be there for the groundbreaking with Kimberly (JESSICA CAUFFIEL) -- the public face of Mother Paula -- and Mayor Grandy (ROBERT WAGNER), Chuck puts pressure on Curly to deal with his interloper.

Little does he or local police Officer David Delinko (LUKE WILSON) realize that their troublemaker is none other than Mullet Fingers (CODY LINLEY), the same kid Roy earlier saw running. Beatrice, who just so happens to be the runaway's stepsister, isn't happy that Roy is nosing around, but accepts him once he realizes he means Mullet Fingers no harm. Soon, Roy joins them in trying to stymie progress at the construction site, not only to protest the continued loss of open natural space, but also to protect a group of burrowing owls that have made that land their home.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the book, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild bullying and brief language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LOGAN LERMAN plays a 14-year-old who's the new kid at school and thus must put up with Dana as his tormentor. He ends up befriending both Beatrice and Mullet Fingers, skips school and engages in social protest to stop the site construction and thus save the burrowing owls.
  • LUKE WILSON plays the well-intentioned but bumbling cop who tries to figure out who's disrupting Curly's operations at the construction site.
  • BRIE LARSON plays the high school jock who's the only one who can put Dana in his place and initially doesn't like Roy (mainly because she's worried about him exposing her step-brother). She eventually befriends him and assists in the protest.
  • CODY LINLEY plays her step-brother, a homeless runaway who's leading the disruption at the construction site (where he breaks various laws while trying to preserve the environment and protect the owls).
  • TIM BLAKE NELSON plays the somewhat slow construction foreman who must not only deal with the kids' actions to stop his progress, but also pressure from his boss.
  • CLARK GREGG plays that man, a regional manager at a pancake house chain who wants the latest restaurant opened no matter what it takes, even if that's killing the owls to remove that obstacle.
  • JESSICA CAUFFIEL plays his assistant, the model who represents the chain's matriarchal figure.
  • NEIL FLYNN and KIERSTEN WARREN play Roy's parents who are concerned about the sudden change in his behavior.
  • DEAN COLLINS plays a boy at school who befriends Roy and warns him about Dana's plans.
  • ERIC PHILLIPS plays the school bully who picks on Roy (and others) and then wants to get even after Roy floors him on the bus.
  • JIMMY BUFFETT plays the school's laidback science teacher who doesn't seem to care that Roy and Beatrice skip school.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. While no standard profanity is present, some religious phrases are, along with a number of colorful ones. Some slight innuendo-sounding dialogue is heard in a commercial, while a boy is seen in his boxers (tied to a tree - non-sexual) and a little bit of cleavage is present. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including a bully who roughs up the protagonist (and tries to hit him many times, with the victim eventually striking back and breaking the bully's nose). Some of that material and other moments of potential peril might be unsettling or suspenseful to some younger viewers, while some slapstick style material is also present.

    Some tense family and other thematic material occurs, as do various bits of behavior that might be enticing for some kids to imitate. Meanwhile, a bad dog bite (on an arm) is briefly seen from a distance. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at a golf clubhouse, but we don't know for sure that they're alcoholic.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Dana with a large welt on his lip from where Roy hit him.
  • From a distance, we briefly see a bad dog bite wound on Mullet Fingers' arm.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dana repeatedly picks on Roy (in a bully way).
  • Dana and others (including Beatrice) make fun of Roy, calling him "cow girl."
  • We learn that Mullet Fingers is behind all of the sabotage at the construction site, including pulling up the survey stakes, putting gators in the porta-potty, painting David's patrol car windows black, putting cottonmouths there to spook some guard dogs, stealing the seat off a bulldozer, and kidnapping Chuck (and has him bound and gagged with duct tape).
  • David's captain is demeaning to him.
  • Dana won't accept Roy's apology.
  • Roy goes through Mullet Fingers' stuff when the latter isn't around.
  • Beatrice lies to a doctor or nurse about Mullet Fingers' dog bite wound.
  • Mullet Fingers tells Roy that the latter needs to start thinking like an outlaw.
  • We hear that Dana has a juvenile delinquent criminal record, including shoplifting and more.
  • Dana has a bad attitude toward David as the cop interrogates the teen in jail.
  • The kids make fake calls to the media and mayor's office (as part of their plan to foil Chuck and the restaurant construction).
  • Mr. Ryan tries to distract David when the cop is looking for Roy who then flees when David spots him (and won't stop when commanded to).
  • Roy and Beatrice are truant from school.
  • We learn that someone involved in the construction process tore a page from an environmental study for the site (involving the burrowing owls -- all so that the owls wouldn't stop the development).
  • Chuck will do anything to get the restaurant open, including treating Curly badly and attempting to kill the owls.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following might be unsettling or suspenseful to some younger kids, but probably to few others.
  • The bullying that occurs (listed under "Violence") might be unsettling for kids who have experienced or are currently experiencing the same thing.
  • David goes to investigate a porta-potty and an alligator's head then pops up out of the seat.
  • Roy opens a bag and a bunch of cottonmouths fall out to the ground, causing Roy to freeze (Mullet Fingers helps him get away).
  • To demo that two rottweilers will do the trick to deal with the site problems, their handler lets them loose and they race toward Curly in his truck, jumping up at his window. Later, those dogs approach and corner Mullet Fingers at night, but the scene ends there (although we later see he was bitten on the arm).
  • Another kid warns Roy that Dana is going to get him after school. After trying to buy time, Roy then makes a run for the school bus, but Dana grabs and yanks Roy into a supply closet. He pushes him up against the wall and tries to punch him, but Roy ducks and Dana's hand slams into the wall. Roy tries to escape, but Dana drags him back across the floor and is then on top of him when Beatrice grabs and yanks Dana out of the closet.
  • From a distance, we briefly see a bad dog bite wound on Mullet Fingers' arm. Roy and Beatrice tend to that, but when Mullet Fingers tries to get up, he collapses and the two have to catch him (and take him to the hospital).
  • David holds a small gator up to Dana in jail (as a means to see if he's lying about being involved in the site disruption) and the teen recoils in terror (played lightly).
  • Kids may worry when Chuck blasts a fire extinguisher down into the owls' burrows.
  • Some kids may worry when Chuck starts up a bulldozer and threatens to dig up the owls, but Mullet Fingers, Roy and Beatrice stand in his way.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Had enough, cow girl?" "Screwing up," "Screws with," "Nut job," "Screwing around," "Look Sherlock," "Punks," "Sorry I smoked you," "What is your problem?" "Little twerp," "Do you copy?" "Run you little bugger," "You dork," "Mullet fingers," "Later, dude," "Freak the dogs out," "Jerk," "Any-who," "Get that tin can out of the road," "You gotta start living like an outlaw," "It really sucks," "Goober tourists," "You bet your cute little scooter I do," "Your chubby little reign of terror," "Screw up," "Don't freak out," "Are you completely whacko?" "You jerk," an incomplete "What the..?" "Keep your trap shut," "These idiots around here won't give a dang," "Nitwit," "Say hello to Jack Frost" (said while firing a fire extinguisher), "Mary Myrtle Muckle," "Flip flop flapjack stuff," "You idiot" and "Chunky butt."
  • Dana grabs a kid on the bus and gives him a "noogie" (having on arm around his neck and rubbing his knuckles into his hair/head).
  • We learn that Mullet Fingers is behind all of the sabotage at the construction site, including pulling up the survey stakes, flattening Curly's tires, putting gators in the porta-potty, painting David's patrol car windows black, putting cottonmouths there to spook some guard dogs, stealing the seat off a bulldozer, and kidnapping Chuck (and has him bound and gagged with duct tape).
  • Roy rides on the handlebars of his bike in front of Beatrice.
  • To give Roy an excuse for being late returning home, we then see that he, Mullet Fingers or Beatrice put a nail into his bike tire.
  • We see that Beatrice has tied Dana to a tree in just his boxers at school (with a ball in his mouth).
  • Mullet Fingers tells Roy that the latter needs to start thinking like an outlaw.
  • The kids make fake calls to the media and mayor's office (as part of their plan to foil Chuck and the restaurant construction).
  • Roy and Beatrice are truant from school.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • David goes to investigate a porta-potty and an alligator's head then pops up out of the seat.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A tiny bit of dramatic music plays in the film.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 uses of "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Beatrice shows a tiny bit of cleavage wearing a low-cut top.
  • Kimberly shows a little cleavage.
  • We see that Beatrice has tied Dana to a tree in just his boxers at school (with a ball in his mouth).
  • We hear the sultry-sounding beginning of a Mother Paula Pancake House commercial where Kimberly (in character) asks, "Are you a big boy with a big appetite?" Watching this, Curly says he is, but the commercial then switches gears and sounds normal (with no other sexual sounding context after that).
  • We see Mullet Fingers shirtless.
  • Roy discovers Beatrice hiding under his bed (and she says she covered her eyes when he changed into his pajamas). He then tells her to sleep in his bed while he'll take the floor, but she says the latter is fine for her (she's there because her dad and stepmom got into a fight).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Roy's dad is a little upset with him (thinking he's not showing good judgment).
  • We hear that Mullet Fingers' mother doesn't like him and sent him off to military school (from which he ran away two days later and has been living on his own ever since then).
  • Beatrice says that her dad and stepmom got into a fight, with Beatrice hitting the stepmom with a mango after the stepmom hit her dad with a clock radio.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Being the new kid at school.
  • Dealing with bullies.
  • Endangered species.
  • Disruptive social protests.
  • Trying to balance the need for development and the desire to save the land.
  • Burrowing owls.
  • Runaways.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Dana grabs Roy and smashes his face up against the bus window.
  • Dana grabs a kid on the bus and gives him a "noogie" (having on arm around his neck and rubbing his knuckles into his hair/head).
  • Dana grabs Roy and starts to choke him, prompting Roy to hit Dana in the face, flooring him on the bus (we later hear he broke his nose).
  • A golf ball accidentally hits Roy on the head, knocking him out.
  • Beatrice pushes Roy back to a wall and threatens him.
  • Dana taps Roy hard on the chest with his finger.
  • After finding Roy snooping through his stuff, Mullet Fingers puts a canvas bag over his head and ties his hands behind his back as he escorts him away (played lightly).
  • A golf balls hits Roy on the head again.
  • Dana grabs Roy by the top of his head on the bus, but Beatrice is then up against Dana on the seat and pushes his face up against the window.
  • Another kid warns Roy that Dana is going to get him after school. After trying to buy time, Roy then makes a run for the school bus, but Dana grabs and yanks Roy into a supply closet. He pushes him up against the wall and tries to punch him, but Roy ducks and Dana's hand slams into the wall. Roy tries to escape, but Dana drags him back across the floor and is then on top of him when Beatrice grabs and yanks Dana out of the closet.
  • We see a rat scurry across the floor in Curly's construction trailer. He then grabs a bat and tries to hit it, but we don't see the impact (if any).
  • Dana is after Roy and pushes him back against a chain-link fence. He tries to punch Roy, but after missing, he grabs and pushes him back again before chasing him through the construction site. Roy escapes, but Dana ends up falling and landing on a bunch of large mousetraps that snap onto him.
  • Chuck blasts a fire extinguisher down into the owls' burrows.
  • Mullet Fingers throws a net over Chuck, tightens it and then yanks him to the ground.
  • David accidentally bangs his squad car into a tree and then does so repeatedly as he tries turn around.
  • A coconut falls and lands on Chuck's head.



  • Reviewed April 13, 2006 / Posted May 5, 2006

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