Box art for Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

children & family

The hysterically funny, best-selling book comes to life in this smash-hit family comedy!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

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

Adorable comedy about middle-school anxieties...and farts.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this adaptation of Jeff Kinney's best-selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid books is full of tween-friendly jokes and mischief. There are no full-blown swear words, but the dialogue includes a lot of insults like "moron," "idiot," "tool," "stupid" and the like, as well as the standard substitute for stronger words, "freakin'." Parents sensitive to scatological humor, beware! There are several jokes about boogers and farts, a few shots featuring kids on toilets (the middle-school boysroom has no doors on its stalls), and in one scene, the protagonist accidentally pees on his brother. While there's no frightening violence, there is a running theme about three older bullies who menace the main characters, and there's a girl who beats up a boy in front of the entire school. A rebellious seeming teen brother wears eyeliner, is in a garage band, and is caught with a naughty magazine (the cover only shows a woman in a bikini).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Greg's hilarious single-minded quest to be deemed "popular" in middle school. How does Greg's attitude differ from Rowley's and Angie's? How accurate a reflection of middle-school life is this story? Kids: Have you ever been bullied, either in person or online?
  • What does Greg's mom mean when she says: "It's our choices that make us who we are"? How did Greg follow her advice?
  • Was Rowley justified in ending his friendship with Greg? Kids: what would you have done?
  • Fans of the books: How does the movie compare? Which characters were different or new? Did you like the changes?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Perceptive, funny, unusually edgy voyage into the comic travails of schoolyard politics and childhood friendship.

- Jim Schembri, The Age (Australia), Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Adapted from the bestselling books, 'Diary Of A Wimpy Kid' hits all the right notes in something which utterly is for all of the family. Starring the excellent Zachary Gordon in his first major role as the central protagonist Greg Heffley, 'Wimpy Kid' tells the story of a wimpy dork, who through the use of his diary, which he repeatedly tells people is a journal, tells us of his first days in middle school in the US. Its witty and clever direction is impressive, especially when the crew are working with one of the three golden don'ts of cinema, children. All of the children act well, especially supporting best friend Robert Capron and older brother Devon Bostick. As well as wonderful, although short, performances from Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn, Thor Freudenthal brings together a nice set of characters. The script and story itself is just a collection of stories in his first year at the school, but they are linked together nicely through the story of his friendship with embarrassing but lovely best friend Rowley. For kids the film has plenty of gags, which parents will enjoy too. But the very nature of the film, and the fact that Greg Heffley is a child who believes he knows everything will appeal to parents and older kids, such a myself, as well. It's a mickey take, and the protagonist doesn't have to be liked or loved. Instead, as we walk with the character through his first year, we learn to love him. The theme of the whole story isn't produced in a grand spectacle, but isn't done terribly either. It's nothing special on that front, but the cross-audience appeal and wide selection of funny moments, topped off with the book's style animation makes 'Wimpy Kid' an appealing, but unlikely treat.

- fb100000212943704, Saturday, August 11, 2012

2 stars

Please, no booger jokes, that's just disgusting and not funny. But seriously, this movie is pretty bad. Some books just don't translate well to screen. If you are looking for bad acting, unfunny jokes, and a boring plot, check this movie out.

- edfilmreviews, Monday, July 30, 2012

3 stars

The first of 3 films, about a kid trying to fit in at middle school. Everyone can relate to a large part of the film. Starting a new school, with older kids, growing up and trying to fit in. It has a few childish moments meant to be funny for very young viewers perhaps. Overall a decent family comedy film.

- Deano78, Wednesday, September 14, 2011