Box art for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

children & family, comedy


After finishing the 7th grade, "wimpy kid" greg heffley looks forward to playing video games all summer, but since his father expects him to make better use of his time.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    51%
  • Audience Score
    63%

common sense

ON for kids age 9
Consumerism
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
1 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
1 out of 5

More Wimpy Kid fun mixed with worthy messages, potty humor.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the third adaptation in the series of movies based on Jeff Kinney's phenomenally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books is, like its two predecessors, full of the kind of physical and scatological comedy that tweens love. Language includes standard insults like "loser" and "jerk," and the violence is of the humorous ball-in-the-groin variety, with one potential jump scene when an adult scares kids during a campout. Parents wary of bathroom humor should know there are many jokes about pee, farts, boogers, dog spit, etc. There's a brief glimpse at a boy sitting on the toilet and an extended men's locker room sequence in which a lead character tries to avoid looking at all the fat, hairy, and shirtless men toweling off or taking showers. Overall, the movie (like the book) has a sweet message about father-son bonding and being honest.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the various parent-child relationships are portrayed in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Which parents are more believable -- the Heffleys or the Jeffersons? How does the relationship between Greg and his dad change?
  • Why are movies aimed at tween boys filled with so much potty humor? Are the fart and booger jokes necessary? Do girls like this kind of humor, too?
  • Rowley is a fiercely loyal friend to Greg, but is Greg always a good friend to Rowley? What does Greg do to redeem himself to Rowley?
  • Fans of the books: How does the movie compare to the Dog Days novel? Which characters were different or new? Did you like the changes?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I have happily watched the first two Wimpy Kids, and I feel it's important to tell you that I enjoyed them both. They were never going to win any awards, but they always have a good message behind them and always provide a satisfying ending for a family film. I must say, I think this one is the best of the three. It has moments where I was having a good chuckle to myself and other moments where I really felt bad for the kid. The writing is the strength, it never feels awkwardly written, it feels current and not like a 40 year old is trying to write like a kid. The kids have gotten better too, especially Zachary Gordon who has come a long way from his first outing. Overall, if you didn't like the first two, you won't like this, but your kids will and I for one shamefully enjoyed it just as much as they did.

- Peandpi, Saturday, August 18, 2012

2 stars

There is more of the same here although I was never repulsed by some of the humor in this third Wimpy Kid enstallment (sigh of relief). "Wimpy Kid" Greg Heffley finds himself without much to do at the beginning of summer and has to find ways to fill his schedule to avoid boring book clubs dreamed up by his mother or crazed outdoor adventures planned by his father. This story focuses more on Greg and two of his classmates as he spends most of the summer at the local country club sipping fruit smoothies and taking up tennis. I don't really understand the appeal of Greg as he comes across as quite self-centered; but he isn't as reprehensible as many teens in film today. He ends up having a moral compass at least. It might be a lot of "me, me, me" but he ends up thinking about others too. This is perfectly watchable family fare ... unlike so many other comedies aimed at this target audience.

- ThomasJayWilliams, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 stars

Dogged by simplicity but not dazed beyond redemption, Wimpy Kid at least whiles away an hour and a half of your summer. Lightyears better than its predecessor, Rodrick Rules, this second sequel can't stand up to the all-around A-level family entertainment of Pixar but it does put forth better summertime hues than blues. In fact, there are a number of funny moments that are featured gratuitously in the trailer. Some involve humiliating a friend's odd family and some involve comic mishaps like a Civil War re-enactment gone awry, but most unfortunately involve upping the gross factor to the Ugh degree. Still, moviegoers can't help but become embroiled in the ne'er-do-well misadventures of Greg Heffley. In this PG-rated family-friendly sequel, wimpy kid Greg Heffley (Gordon) pretends to have a job at a ritzy country club to while away the dog days of summer, but ends up embroiled in everything from a camping disaster to a public pool mishap. Smartly, the series has relegated some supporting characters to the far fringes of the script (disgusting tag-along Fregley and Indian nerd Chirag, we hardly missed ye) while elevating more interesting players to the forefront (goody love interest Holly and Greg's wacky put-upon Dad, please step up). It's not always a fun-filled day at the beach but it's far from sitting through a laborious session of summer school. What's most amazing is that - given the modest budget, B-Level cast, and this series' success thus far -Diary hasn't been further exploited and spun into a Disney or Nick TV program. Bottom line: The Kid is alright.

- jeffboam, Monday, September 24, 2012