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
    53%
  • Audience Score
    49%

common sense

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

Rotten: Looks drab and drained of color, and can't even muster the antic buoyancy of an average episode of iCarly.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Friday, March 19, 2010

Rotten: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on the popular illustrated tween books by Jeff Kinney, deserves a B- for effort and a C for execution.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fresh: There's something silly-sweet about this movie. It avoids talking down to kids or being didactic, while still projecting an overall wholesomeness.

- Claudia Puig, USA Today, Thursday, March 18, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I'm not the target audience for this film, so if I were to be too critical, or maybe as critical as I should be, this would get a far lower grade. As it is, this is a charming and funny kid's film that's got a good message, and is definitely something everyone can relate to in some way. The kid performers are pretty good, especially Chloe G. Moretz. I friggin' love her. She's like the most talented person of her generation. I especially love the fact that her character is seen reading Allen Ginsberg in the first scene she appears in. The adults aren't oo bad, but this isn't really there movie. This is all about the kids, so they are the ones who need to shine the most. I'm gonna give this a very low B- overall, but I will say that some of this was a bit too accurate for comfort. The horrors of the awkward middle school years are depicted basically perfectly, so some of this brought back memories I'd like to forget. Despite that though, this is still okay entertainment, and perfect for a boring lazy day, especially if you're in the target audience.

- cosmo313, Saturday, October 2, 2010

2 stars

Not a film I would have ordinarily sought out, I was on a Aeroplane, so I checked it out. Diary of a wimpy kid is really just for kids but it was enjoyable enough, in fact the three young lead actors did a fine job. If I had kids, I'd be happy for them to watch!

- SirPant, Monday, September 27, 2010

3 stars

Cast: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Devon Bostick, Chloe Moretz, Karan Brar, Grayson Russell, Laine MacNeil Director: Thor Freudenthal Summary: Middle school isn't all it's cracked up to be for self-described "wimpy kid" Greg Heffley, who discovers a frightening new world teeming with boys who are taller, tougher and hairier than he is -- and decides to document it all in his diary. Directed by Thor Freudenthal, this kid-friendly comedy based on Jeff Kinney's illustrated novel cast its star by asking kids to submit their auditions online. My Thoughts: "It was a cute little kids film. Funny, charming, and had a great group of kids playing some really funny characters. My nieces and nephew liked it, but when it was over they all agreed that they thought it would be funnier. Their favorite part was when the red headed little boy Fregley showed off his "secret" freckle. I must admit it was funny, and a bit creepy.. It's the kind of film that takes us grown-ups back to middle school.. All the same just different clothes and music.. definitely worth the watch if you have kids or not.."

- LWOODS04, Tuesday, September 14, 2010