Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Hiaasen's sense of humor loses something in the translation. What's side-splitting on the page becomes silly on the screen.
But while Hoot's pro-environment message to kids is certainly worthy, the unquestioning, pro-vigilante angle doesn't sit entirely well.
One more reminder that kids are better off with a book than a middling movie adaptation of a book.
Leaden direction sinks this adaptation of Carl Hiaasen's award-winning novel for young adults.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Fun to watch although falling short of a real hoot, this latest in a barrage of family movies largely succeeds at keeping the kiddies entertained and their parents from nodding off.
Ebert & Roeper:
It would be a nice little family film if not for the fact that the young heroes commit felonies in the name of saving the environment.
This fun family film, based on Carl Hiaasen's Newbery award-winning book of the same name, has a strong ecological message served with a big helping of giggle-inducing sight gags.
Shriner fails to give it any real life, and the twangy, laid-back, Jimmy Buffett-heavy score sums up the film's lack of energy.
The movie treats us as if we're all 3 years old, and it belies its supposedly positive message by filling the story with dysfunctional families and a teenager left alone to forage in the wilderness.
Hoot tells kids they can make a difference in this world, and that's worth a hundred Ice Age 2's.
The movie is unessential at best. But the Everglades -- and the owls that live nearby -- are irresistible.
Hoot is safe enough to take your kids to, but you might want to have a talk with them afterward about continuing to go to school and shying away from major felonies.
Don't let the Carl Hiaasen pedigree fool you: Hoot is an Afterschool Special too crummy to give a hoot about.
Detroit Free Press:
Its makers will tell you that Hoot is an educational film, but aside from showing that some owls live underground rather than in trees, little knowledge is actually imparted.
Globe and Mail:
The goal is apparently a double exercise in heartfelt lessons and deep hilarity, but it's hard to tell because the pace feels so lethargic.
Dallas Morning News:
This is a story about kids and nature, with strong messages about standing up to bullies, facing conflicts and why it is important to stand up for both the people and creatures that need protection.
The movie's low-key anti-establishment posture is vastly preferable to the knee-jerk fulminations of a Michael Moore.
New York Daily News:
I question the message of Hoot, a family movie that tacitly encourages kids to vandalize property and behave like little ecoterrorists.
This little caper yarn's as breezy as a Buffett song (he peppers the soundtrack) and as simple.
Endangered as they are, burrowing owls will be disappointed to learn that their cause has been hitched to a movie with little entertainment value, let alone credible strategies to save their environment.
There is nothing objectionable in this family film, but it doesn't seem to appreciate the intelligence and savvy of its youthful audience. Kids can spot a silly stereotypical character as fast as the rest of us.
Long stretches between comic set pieces are almost soporifically mild.
Hoot may be warm and fuzzy with its adorable owls, triumphant kids and inviting Florida groves. But its forced, innocuous humor is unlikely to amuse anyone but the very young -- and the extremely forgiving.