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Parent reviews for Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Common Sense says

Adorable comedy about middle-school anxieties...and farts.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 63 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 242 reviews
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byblissful June 14, 2010

Terrible message, no resolution of criminal activity. BAD.

This movie was very disappointing. The so-called "wimpy" kid is obsessed with his image, and betrays his friend so he can look cool. He spends the whole movie whining about how unfair life is to him. He takes a group of kindergarteners, abandons them in a dangerous pit in the rain, and then lets his friend take the fall. He does eventually lose his "safety monitor" job at school, but it's barely a slap on the wrist, and the movie does a terrible job of explaining just how horrible his behavior was. He should be expelled or possibly even face criminal charges. We had to have a LONG discussion with our boys about how unrealistic this movie was, how horrible the kid was, etc. The movie ends with the kid essentially just asking his friend to take him back, and the friend does so with barely an apology. The message is that it's okay to act like a complete selfish jerk and to put the lives of young children in danger and act completely irresponsible, and everything will be okay with almost no apology. This was not Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was Diary of a Self-Centered, Disrespectful, Rude and Obnoxious Kid who considers himself to be put-upon and never really learns his lesson. TERRIBLE message. We really had to do some damage control on this one because we heard our 8 year old boy saying things about this kid being "cool" and had to set him straight.
Adult Written byRunning Mom August 8, 2011

Inappropriate behavior

I had a pit in my stomache as I watched kids interact in this movie - I would never want my children to act that way! It does open the door to talking to your kids about friendship in a semi-funny way, but what really drew the line for me was Greg's older brother. He was a terrible addition to the movie. A "naughty magazine" has absolutely no place in a children's movie, and we will NOT be watching anymore of these productions.
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byColumbiaMDMom March 21, 2010

Had low expectations – was disappointed anyway

I begrudge the time and money I spent taking my two sons, ages 10 and 7, to see this film. Most of the charm of the book series comes from seeing the sketches from Greg, the “wimpy” kid. The film didn’t place a big emphasis on these sketches. Instead we view scenes mainly from a fly on the wall perspective at the middle school and in Greg’s home. Some scenes were very scary for my 7-year old, and unpleasant for my older son and for me: Greg’s older brother, Rodney, threatening “I am literally going to kill you”, and telling Greg his planned trick-or-treating route passes the site of where children had been put into an oven. Another dispiriting scene has Greg and his best friend Rowley relegated to eating their lunch on the cafeteria floor when no one is willing to let them sit at their table. The plot of the film is purportedly Greg’s strategies to become “someone” in middle school society. In his single-minded quest, he distances himself from chubby Rowley whenever he thinks it serves him. And to me, this is the saddest part. When Greg is observed coming up short on his job as a safety patrol, Rowley is reported instead since Greg was wearing Rowley’s jacket at the time. Alerted to the situation, Greg lets his Mom know only that he has a decision to make that could hurt someone. She advises him that our decisions make us who we are. In spite of this advice, Greg chooses to let Rowley be the fall guy. Later when Greg matter-of-factly tells Rowley that he it was he who actually fell short on his duty, it’s Rowley who has the truest moment of the film as he tells Greg that he has not been a friend. In a way this film really belongs to Rowley. Rowley moves up in middle school society by being optimistic and by being himself. He gains positive attention when he wins the competition to be the replacement cartoonist for the school newspaper. He is reinstated with a promotion to the school safety squad when the safety patrol director discovers the truth about the patrol incident with Greg. And he makes a splash when he dances with his Mom at the Mother Son Dance. Rowley is someone we can all feel good about – a cheerful underdog who wins out in the end. A wimpy kid might be funny. In the movie, Greg comes across as a coward, and that really isn’t funny.
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bymjckjohnson September 5, 2010

Over the top on the "wimpy" theme, too little on the positives.

I must be honest, after 45 minutes I had to remove my 10 year old and her visitng friend as well as my 7 year old. I was watching and kept waiting for the messages of craving popularity and glorifying under achievement (the older brother) to turn around but then couldn't take anymore. I "got" the message about his struggles, but felt they were embellished a bit too much. I finally had to get out of there - if it got better after that, that's great. But quite frankly it would have been too little, too late!
Parent of a 12 year old Written byGoodSSJ May 11, 2011

The Movie's Awesome

This Movie Is So Awesome And I Love The Movie And The Book.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written bylinsey-woolsey November 30, 2010

The message is... there is no message!

My nine year old loves these books, so we went to see the movie...now I'm not as happy about him reading the books! The main character is constantly making bad choices, such as abusing his best friend to gain popularity. Some of those decisions have negative consequences, but he never seems to learn from them. I had to talk with my son about it afterward, and he agreed that it was uncomfortable to watch - he barely laughed during the movie, and I expected him to be in stitches!
Parent Written byerinw2 October 19, 2014
Adult Written byclarence August 5, 2015
Parent of a 12 year old Written byvmaekegvjs.fknmsel February 26, 2011

gr8 see it

i love it

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byRachelNZ April 8, 2011

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 8 and 9 year old Written byMamaV April 18, 2010
I had not read the books but my kids had (9 and 8). The movie was good but my kids aren't in middle school yet and the movie makes it seem like middle school is a horrible and scary place only about being popular, from my perspective. My kids enjoyed it though and the ending message is a positive one though. parts of the movie were hysterical.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 5, 7, and 10 year old Written bymommaofthree April 19, 2010
I was disappointed. The movie is full of bad behavior: lying, image is everything, revenge, disrepecting friends and parents, etc. The last ten or fifteen minutes have a positive message, but it's hard to forget the first hour. Also, for younger kids, they might misinterpret some events as funny, and think it's okay to act like Greg or Rodrick.
Parent of a 8 and 9 year old Written bySK. March 22, 2010

It might originate some stress about going to middle school.

It worth some conversation about language and behavior before and after watching the movie, especially about the magazine. I am also afraid it might originate some stress about going to middle school.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Parent Written bytreat02 December 28, 2012

Good, maybe a little nasty

Okay, for one thing, if you let your kids read or see the movie this, you MUST say: "Greg isn't a good role model, and neither is a lot of the characters in this." I think kids can figure this out. The movie, has Fregley, a really weird fellow 6th grader, that shows his "secret freckle" and it's some sort of blob that's a purplish and has a hair in it. Well, it's disgusting, and Greg and Rowley think that (which is good . . .). There's a scene on the second floor boys' bathroom where a kid is on the toilet (nothing is shown, of course). They use mild phrases like "stupid" or "moron" "dumb" "jerk" "idiot" "freakin'" and "crap". They say "oh my god" at one point, which sometimes you may not want your kids to hear this. Rodrick, Greg's older brother, has a magazine portraying a woman in a bikini. His mother scolds Rodrick for owning it in their household, saying it's "offensive to women" and he is punished. I also believe that there is fights, (not very bad) and there is a point when High School kids hold Greg and Rowley hostage, then they make Rowley eat moldy cheese (shown offscreen). I liked it, but some parts were a little nasty. I hope this helps!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written bydjmisspop March 31, 2010
I was surprised to find out that the Spring YMCA camp had taken all the kids to see this movie today. My 5 year old was pretty traumatized by the scene with the bullies. She didn't understand any of the other subtleties, not even knowing what 'being popular' means. She told me she was so scared she hid on a counselor's lap.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 9 year old Written byogerana August 10, 2010

PERFECT

not nooby at all its PREFECT

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive role models
Parent of a 5, 7, 11, and 14 year old Written bymdpwilliams December 3, 2010

Better suited for teen audience than younger - porn topic

I enjoyed the movie until the whole porn magazine scene happened. Why take a teen boy issue and throw it into a kid's movie? The kid never took responsibility for his bad choice in having it, announced that it made him more popular and cool by having it, and even mockingly apologized to women all over the world for looking at it. It was in very poor taste. If not for the lengthy camera shots of the magazine (you don't see anything bad, but you do know it's porn by the conversation and reaction) in two - three different shots and mocking attitude about having it, I would have loved to allow my kids to watch this movie.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 10 year old Written bykeys2luvtruth December 30, 2010

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written bypatrickstar March 25, 2010

Good for boys

Full of young boy humor, plus a good message about being yourself and friendship. My boys loved it and got the message loud and clear.
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byflashinthepan March 27, 2010

Great Movie! Hilarioius and Fun Entertainment for anyone of any age....

We loved the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie". It was funny, entertaining, and believable (anyone could relate to this movie). This was an emotional rollercoaster ride that makes you feel good at the end. The main character, Greg Heffley (played by actor Zachary Gordon) does a great job of taking us thru so many of the painful experiences of middle school (real, but painful). His relationship with his friend Rowley was great to watch unfold. It was believable and wholesome as moved in and out, just like in real life. These things were experienced by all of us growing up. There was nothing sappy or pretencious about this movie. It was well cast as well. I would recommend this movie to anyone. Adults can relate to and now laugh about this awkward time in all our pasts, and kids can see how really funny finding your social status in middle school can be. No punches are pulled in this movie, which I think is commendable. If you want a hilarious, enjoyable, entertaining film experience, go see "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" either with or without your family. The kids and the adults found it to be great movie entertainment.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models

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