Rated 4.0 The inmates at a juvenile detention camp dig holes in a dried lake bed, ostensibly to “build character”—but it’s clear their adult keepers (Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson) are actually looking for something. Louis Sachar’s script (from his novel for young readers) tells three stories at once, and the Dickensian complexity sometimes befuddles director Andrew Davis; he huffs and puffs to keep all the balls aloft, and the transitions from one plot to the next are less smooth than in Sachar’s book. But all is well in the end, and the movie’s exhilarating energy buoys it up when the going gets rocky. Acting ranges from gentle understatement (Patricia Arquette as an 1890s schoolmarm) to lip-smacking ham (Voight as a redneck Snidely Whiplash), but Sachar, Davis and a fine cast make it all work.