Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars Movie Poster Image
Literary heroine learns about privacy, bullying in TV movie.
  • NR
  • 2010
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 21 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Specific lessons in context about making good choices around media/Internet use. Kids learn the dangers of exploiting people’s weaknesses for personal gain. The movie also illustrates how peer pressure can have negative effects on moral judgment and self-esteem, interfere with true friendship.

Positive Messages

The movie promotes strong messages about privacy issues, as Harriet learns that invading someone’s privacy can have far-reaching negative results. It also deals thoughtfully with issues like peer pressure and the tenuous nature of communication between kids and parents.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Harriet’s parents are mostly out of touch with their daughter, but her nanny is a positive role model who often acts as a moral compass when Harriet goes astray. Harriet often makes bad decisions for selfish reasons and winds up hurting other people, but she takes responsibility for her actions and tries to make things right -- learning a lesson in the process.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Teen girls swoon over a handsome actor and talk about him being "hot."


Sporadic use of “idiot” and “shut up,” but nothing stronger.


Fans of the movie might be inspired to pick up the books that inspired it (but that’s not really a bad thing, is it?).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Harriet’s brand of spying often borders on voyeurism and crime, since she breaks into hotel rooms, steals, and uses electronic sound equipment and her camera phone to dig up dirt on a teen heartthrob she’s trying to defame. Though content like this is typically worrisome for kids and tweens, within the context of the movie it illustrates important points about privacy and the dangers of using the Internet (or other media) to bully or embarrass someone (since Harriet eventually learns from her mistakes). Similarly, Harriet’s troubles with peer pressure, family, and friends speak to the importance of communication and respect -- themes that young viewers will be hard-pressed to miss.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMargert-jerry August 15, 2014
All that the main character did was screw up, break the law, and act like a selfish brat. And in the end she is only rewarded
I think she's an awful role... Continue reading
Parent of a 2 and 6-year-old Written byLovemyboyz October 21, 2010

Good for older kids

I watched this with my 6yr old when his brother was in bed already, he seemed to like the movie and thought it was pretty funny that the girl would hide behind... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old March 22, 2020

At the end it makes no sense, but not bad movie

This movie is alright but the end when they was kissing makes totally no sense.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCharlotte_mueller_14 July 9, 2019

Go watch this movie

I think that if you like spy movies and some romance go watch it because of its a really great movie and in the end, it turns out that it ends in a sad and happ... Continue reading

What's the story?

Harriet “The Spy” Welsch (Jennifer Stone) has big plans for this year’s class blog, but to get the coveted position, she has to beat out popularity queen Marion Hawthorne (Vanessa Morgan) in a month-long blog contest. Hoping to entice readers, she sets out to dig up dirt on Skander Hill (Wesley Morgan), the hunky, but self-absorbed star of her father’s new movie. As pressure mounts for her to deliver the goods, Harriet begins to bend her own moral rules as a writer, and things soon start to spiral out of control, costing her her two best friends and threatening her father’s job. Eventually Harriet must reassess her responsibilities as a writer -- and her own personal value system.

Is it any good?

HARRIET THE SPY: BLOG WARS gives Louise Fitzhugh’s long-loved literary character a fresh look for modern kids and tweens, and Harriet’s ensuing adventures won’t disappoint her new viewers. Even better than its sheer entertainment value is the movie’s masterful method of packing lots of positive messages about friendship, peer pressure, communication, family bonds, and privacy issues into the family-friendly plot.

While there’s no iffy content that necessarily rules it out for youngsters, the movie’s exploration of voyeurism and Internet bullying could easily be taken out of context since most of the movie shows Harriet riding a wave of popularity from her exploitation of Skander Hill. It’s only at the very end that her dishonest actions catch up with her and force her to reassess her actions, so it’s important to make sure kids and tweens grasp the dangers of this type of behavior. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss privacy issues. Why is privacy such a big deal? Do celebrities have less rights to privacy than average citizens because of their star status? Why or why not? Where can you expect privacy? In what situations do you expect to forfeit privacy?

  • What does “cyberbullying” mean? How has technology changed the nature of how we relate to each other? Do tools like blogs or social networking websites make it easier to pick on people? If so, how? How does freedom of speech interfere with people’s right to privacy?

  • Tweens: What do you want to be when you grow up? What special skills or knowledge will you need to do the job? How will you hone those skills? In what ways are you practicing them now?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love girl-oriented stories

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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.

Learn how we rate