Hoot

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Hoot Movie Poster Image
Sweet, clumsy family film about saving owls.
  • PG
  • 2006
  • 90 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 39 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The kids who are trying to stop the building engage in illegal activities.

Violence & Scariness

Bully picks on boy repeatedly; face mashed into a window; dog bite leaves bloody wound; villain sprays owl holes with fire extinguisher in an effort to kill them; villain tied and gagged in a closet.

Sexy Stuff

Very minor: cleavage shots as teenaged Beatrice wears bikini tops; bully appears in underwear.

Language

Mildly obnoxious language ("screwing up," "psycho bully," "darn," "dork," "sucks," "jerk," "dang," "nitwit," "idiot").

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know the film concerns a corporation's illegal effort to build a restaurant on protected land. To stop a saboteur, the local corporate employee sets mousetraps and sends out trained attack dogs. The kids who are trying to stop the building also engage in illegal activities, such as setting loose alligators and cottonmouth snakes, deflating tires, spray-painting a police cruiser, organizing a town meeting under false pretenses, and tying up the villain in a closet. The company boss lies, cheats, and treats his girlfriend callously. Kids and adults use mildly obnoxious language ("dork," "sucks"). A chaste flirtation develops between the boy and girl protagonists.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDexterSmith April 9, 2008

Sweet family film is fine for kids 9+

Sexual Content (Not an Issue): A commercial starts out with "Are you a big boy with a big appetite?" said sultrily. Mullet Fingers is seen shirtless a... Continue reading
Adult Written byjimmygu3 April 9, 2008

Two wrongs don't make a right

I had to have a talk with my 5 and 7-year old after this movie. Besides the fact that the movie itself was not that well executed, my main problem with it in... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLissaNicky April 30, 2010

Okay

We watched this movie right after reading the novel in school and I thought it was Ok. Not bad not great.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2010

A see-once-and-forget movie

Pretty good movie. I don't remember anything that terrible in it. The acting was cute and all, but not a movie I would watch again.

What's the story?

HOOT focuses on three kids who unite to combat the corporate entity endangering owls. One of the rebels, a wily nature-boy named only Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley), discovers the company's scheme and then sets to sabotaging the construction site, convincing his friends to help him. Having gone truant from military school, Mullet Fingers solicits help in saving the owls from Roy (Logan Lerman), new to Coconut Cove, Florida and feeling alienated when he first spots Mullet Fingers running barefoot along his school bus route. When Roy tracks down the mysterious boy, he also meets Mullet Fingers' stepsister, Beatrice the Bear (Brie Larson), so named because she's a tough, respected sports competitor willing to beat up anyone who crosses her. Enter the villain, Curly (Tim Blake Nelson). Assigned to protect the site where a new Pancake site is to be erected, Curly is sneaky and generally miserable. His boss, Mr. Muckle (Clark Gregg), is almost hyperactive in his cruel conniving. No one's about to feel sorry for them when the kids make trouble, even to the point of leaving Muckle tied up and gagged.

Is it any good?

Sweet but clumsy, HOOT doesn't show much of the endangered burrowing owls that motivate the plot. Instead, it focuses on the three kids. Produced by Jimmy Buffett (who provides a score and an appearance as the wise science teacher), the movie's good intentions are repeatedly undermined by awkward pacing and editing, such that storylines collide more than coincide.

The movie tends to sanction bad behavior when the intentions are righteous. For instance, when the school bully Dana (Eric Phillips) starts picking on Roy, Beatrice steps in to defend him, leaving Dana stripped to his underwear and tied to a tree so her teammates can walk by and giggle at him. The villains, on the other hand, are broadly drawn and uncomplicated: The least irritating adult in sight is also the least relevant: Officer Delinko (amiable Luke Wilson) tries to help the kids but gets himself in trouble with his boss when Mullet Fingers spray-paints his cruiser's windows during a stakeout. Still, it's Delinko, who appears to be slow-on-the-uptake, who sees the children's righteous cause before anyone else. And so he helps them achieve their ends: thwarted corruption and shut-down bulldozers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what tactics might effectively stop corporate cheating. How does the film parallel the middle school bully with the corporate bully? How do Roy's lies to his parents lead to their distress and what lesson does he learn from the experience? They could also compare the movie to the book upon which it's based.

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate