A young Shia LaBeouf stars in this story of the seemingly cursed Stanley Yelnats who's sent to a work camp for a theft he did not commit. To my mind, this is Shia's heyday, fresh from relative success in the Disney channel series Even Stevens. The plot of the movie follows that of the novel fairly closely, even matching may of the small details (apart from the novel's description of Stanley as overweight). More importantly, the tone is spot on. While the details of the plot are rather ridiculous, the intent is fantastic and the way the stories of different generations weave together and meet up in the final scenes is marvelous. It's masterfully written by Sachar and solidly portrayed on the screen. In addition to LaBeouf's well-acted Stanley, this movie also features Sigourney Weaver as the menacing warden, John Voight as the blustering and cruel Mr. Sir, and Tim Blake Nelson and the bumbling "Mom". This movie doesn't get much attention anymore which is really a shame. It's one of the better film adaptations I've seen and well worth the viewing time.