2003 PG 1h 57m DVD


2003 PG 1h 57m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Falsely accused of stealing sneakers, a nerdy teenager is sent to a detention camp, where he and the other delinquents are forced by the sadistic warden to dig holes as a character-building exercise. But what's the real reason for all the digging?
Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson, Khleo Thomas, Patricia Arquette, Jake M. Smith, Byron Cotton, Brenden Jefferson, Miguel Castro, Max Kasch, Siobhan Fallon, Henry Winkler, Noah Poletiek, Zane Holtz, Steven Kozlowski
Andrew Davis
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 10+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 10+
age 10+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this movie, based on the bestseller by Louis Sachar, has an edge to it, but it's not as gritty as it could be. Portraying a teen boys' work-camp could give excuses to broach more lewd subject matter, but this movie portrays the rough and tumble without devolving into a gross-out fest. There are some moments of racial and gender tension played out in glimpses of the past (reference to a lynching, men trying to force their attentions on a woman), which might be too intense for younger viewers.

Sexual Content

Non-sexual scenes of boys showering (in their underwear). Stanley talks in passing about a fantasy he has of seeing a woman in a bikini.


Stanley is sent to a boys' work camp, where there is rough-housing and some fist fights. There are wild west flashbacks where a gun-toting female renegade kills men and then kisses their cheeks. Members of the old west community threaten to lynch an African-American man who loves a white woman -- he is shot as he tries to escape. Perilous moments on the face of a rock, as Stanley and Zero nearly fall to their deaths. A character commits suicide by allowing a poisonous lizard to bite her.


"Damned," "hell," "schmuck," and "jackasses" are all uttered.

Social Behavior

Stanley and Zero are treated badly by adults at the camp who call them worthless and stupid. Stanley, however, takes on the task of teaching Zero how to read. He sticks out his neck for Zero and eventually saves his life.


Mr. Sir hands a guard a Coke. Characters revel in newly found wealth.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Mr. Sir has quit smoking at the start of the movie, but is back to smoking by the end. In an old West flashback, a sheriff admits that he is drunk.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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