"Hoot" has its heart in the right place, but I have been unable to locate its brain. Here is a movie about three kids who begin by disliking or fearing one another, and end up as urban guerrillas sabotaging the construction of a pancake house that will destroy a nesting ground for burrowing owls. Yes, there are such birds, who sublet burrows originally dug by squirrels and prairie dogs and such, or occasionally dig their own dream burrows. They seem wide-eyed with astonishment at their lifestyle, but actually that is just the way they look.
The hero of the movie is Roy Eberhardt (Logan Lerman), who we meet on horseback in Montana, complaining that his family is moving again -- this time, to Florida. His dad has moved something like five times in eight years, which in the white-collar world means you are either incompetent or the CEO. In his new school, he's picked on by a bully and breaks the bully's nose, to create a subplot utterly unnecessary to the story.
His school career takes an upturn when he meets two extraordinary (not to say unbelievable) students his own age. Beatrice the Bear (Brie Larson) is a soccer player with a fearsome reputation, which the movie half-heartedly establishes in a perfunctory manner before revealing her as a true-blue best pal who befriends Roy Eberhardt (he is often referred to my both names, and also called "Cowgirl" and "Tex").
Meanwhile, Roy Eberhardt is fascinated by a kid he sees running barefoot through the town. He tries to chase him, fails, finally catches up with him, is scared off by a sack of cottonmouth snakes and eventually makes friends with him. This is Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley), a cross between Tarzan and Huckleberry Finn.