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
  • Audience Score

common sense

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

3 stars

There are many different kinds of family films. There are the ones that amuse little kids that are torture for a parent to sit through. There are films that transcend the family genre, and are just flat out great movies. The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid movies are somewhere in between. They aren't high art. I mean after all, they're based on a series of books that are largely made up of drawings. The stories are beyond simplistic, and the laughs are just this side of fart jokes. But there's real charm and truth to their simplicity that makes them engaging for parents and kids. Now, it's not a totally smooth ride. This film is a hybrid of two different books in the series, and as such it feels far more episodic than the previous two. There's no real narrative story here. There's no goal it's striving for. It's a series of events in the lives of the characters over the course of summer vacation. Maybe that's why the lack of a coherent story doesn't bother me, but that's what summer vacation is supposed to be. A series of adventures with no point other than to have a good time. The acting is what you'd expect from a movie like this, but there is a real surprise that adds a lot to the mix. Steve Zahn is given a much bigger part here as the dad, and his relationship with the main character, played by Zachary Gordon, is really the heart of the story. It shows a lot of bonding between the two on several different issues. It shows how fathers and sons can be so alike, yet so different at the same time. Zahn really does give a surprisingly believable performance, and his scenes with Gordon really struck home with me. Being that these movies are made on an ultra-cheap budget, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see another sequel. But it may be time for Gordon to give up the role for the sake of realism. At 14, he's hit puberty, and gone through a growth spurt that doesn't make him such a little kid anymore, and his voice is almost deeper than Devon Bostick, who plays his older brother Rodrick. These movies aren't going to win any awards, but they can make a family sit and laugh together. That's a good movie in my book.

- moviefan1725, Wednesday, August 8, 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