Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Movie review by
Yvonne Condes, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Movie Poster Image
New cast, but more of the same gross-out humor, hijinks.
  • PG
  • 2017
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 34 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational value

Intended to entertain rather than educate, but it does promote the idea of screen-time limits/media management.

Positive messages

Despite all the misadventures and crazy shenanigans, Greg realizes that his family is important, and he loves them. The family shows perseverance to get to Meemaw's house in time. The brothers demonstrate teamwork, but it's in the service of lying to their parents.

Positive role models & representations

While the characters are far from perfect, many mean well (especially mom Alice, who wants to bring her family closer together by planning a road trip and banning technology, but no one in the family listens to her), and ultimately everyone comes around in the end and realizes that family is the most important. But before then, there's definitely some iffy modeling on display. Greg and Rodrick defy Alice at every turn, from stealing back their phones to running away to a gaming convention. Greg makes fun of a family and calls them weirdos just because they're having fun together (they're also overweight). Dad Frank talks on the phone and reads email while driving. He tells Greg to keep a secret from Alice that he's working during their vacation. Roderick is rude to his parents, brother, and everyone else.

Violence & scariness

Chase scenes end in a car accident that happens when some of the family members have taken off their seatbelts. There's a loud noise that Rodrick thinks is a gunshot. Greg is cornered in a bathtub by the man who's been chasing him -- it's set up to look like the shower scene from Psycho. Greg and Rodrick lie and sneak off in an Uber to a gaming convention an hour away. Greg ends up in a runaway boat. The family stays in a hotel infested with roaches. Also gross-out moments with bodily functions (barf, bowel movements, etc.).

Sexy stuff

One of the kids finds a bra in a suitcase. Rodrick tries to impress girls.

Language

Mostly insult language like "stupid," "fat," "weirdo," and "loser." One use of "hell" and several uses of "oh my god."

Consumerism

Various brands are seen throughout the movie, including Graco, Coach, X-box, and New Balance. The boys talk about taking an Uber.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is the fourth movie in the series based on Jeff Kinney's super-popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, but it has an all-new cast. In this installment, Greg Heffley (now played by Jason Drucker) is forced to go on a road trip with his family; predictably, chaos ensues. As in the previous three movies, there's a lot of gross-out humor involving pee, poop, and vomit, as well as some insult language ("loser," "fat," "stupid," etc.) and chase scenes. Stressful moments include car accidents, Greg being pursued by an angry man, and a runaway boat. There's a running theme of putting technology aside to better enjoy family time. And although much of the behavior in the movie isn't particularly admirable, the characters do come together in the end, and -- amid the sibling torment and fart jokes -- there are positive messages about the importance of family and perseverance.

User Reviews

Adult Written byUsername101 May 22, 2017

Just really dumb and pointless...

it's simply a money grab, they scrapped all the original actors and replaced them with way younger ones. It's just dumb... nobody should watch it.
Adult Written byJ S. May 21, 2017

A let down from previous Wimpy Kid Films

If this is your first Wimpy Kid film and your kids are pre-teen, you may like this film. However, my teen sons and I were fans of the first three movies, and w...
Teen, 14 years old Written byzuresmy May 19, 2017

#notmycast

don't waste your money. Also #notmyrodrick
Teen, 17 years old Written byCat293 May 28, 2017

Great Movie for Kids

I went to see this movie with my Aunt and we loved it!!! But there no problem that parents will have (Parents will maybe have problems on the potty jokes) :)

What's the story?

In DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL, Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) is so over spending time with his family -- he'd rather have fun this summer, to help him forget about a humiliating viral video. His plans are foiled when his mom, Alice (Alicia Silverstone) plans a cross-country family road trip to Greg's great-grandmother's house for her 90th birthday. And when it doesn't seem like things could get any worse, Alice declares it a technology-free vacation. But Greg will do just about anything to get to a gaming convention so he can meet his idol and clear his name.

Is it any good?

If you're a fan of the Wimpy Kid series, you'll probably enjoy this one, too, even though it doesn't do anything new and isn't particularly good. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul begins with Greg getting caught on video doing something super embarrassing, and it immediately goes viral. This begins a series of events that puts Greg in ridiculous, sometimes funny situations. Like the three movies before it, Long Haul is all about gross-out humor and cringe-inducing situations. There's no discussion about the shame the video has caused him -- it's not that kind of movie.

The only thing really new/fresh about this fourth installment in the movie franchise based on Jeff Kinney's best-selling book series is the cast, including Silverstone as mom Alice, who's trying really hard to make her family get off of their phones and talk to each other -- even though when they do talk to her they don't have anything nice to say. Greg does get a big lesson at the end, but not until he ruins the family's vacation, destroys their car car, runs away, and ends up making his viral video situation worse. The family comes together in the end, but it takes a long time to get there.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul addresses technology use. Why does Alice want the family's trip to be device-free? Are some types of screen time better than others?

  • What happens to Greg when an embarrassing video of him goes viral? What did you think when all of those people were laughing at and filming him? Has anything like that ever happened to you/someone you know?

  • Greg and Rodrick take off in an Uber to go to the gaming convention, lying to their parents about where they've gone. Why was that an irresponsible choice? What could the possible consequences have been? Is telling a lie in a note or email the same as telling a lie directly to someone?

  • Who do you think the movie's gross-out moments are intended to appeal to? How can you tell? Does it work?

  • Fans of the books: How do the movies compare? What was different or new? Did you like the changes?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love funny stories

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate