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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

6/10
Comedy . Family
 

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.

 
Actors: Zachary Gordon , Robert Capron , Chloë Grace Moretz , Steve Zahn , Rachael Harris , Devon Bostick , Alex Ferris , Cindy Busby , Grayson Russell , Owen Best
Directors: Thor Freudenthal
Country: USA , UK
Release: 2010-03-19
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    It's nimble, bright and funny. It doesn't dumb down. It doesn't patronize. It knows something about human nature.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Does a great job of being in two places at once: In the head and gangly bodies of kids, and in the hearts of those of us who have survived grades 6-8.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    It's eminently suitable for children, fully inhabiting their world and finding real laughs there without resorting to sentiment, condescension, or snarky in-jokes for the adults.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Crass, gross and juvenile in all the best (and worst) ways, Diary is aimed squarely at a tween "don't touch the cheese" demographic. And if you don't get it, maybe you're just too old for a good booger joke.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    A likable movie for kids that will make adults chuckle as well because of the movie's key ingredient -- wit.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Lael Loewenstein

    It's a spry, fluffy comedy.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Easily the smartest, snarkiest, and most honest depiction of that tweenage wasteland known as the "middle school years" that this former wimpy freak and geek has come across since having survived the daily derision afforded those of us who chose to spend our lunch periods perusing J.R.R. Tolkien, playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just hiding out in the boys' room.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    For all its ridiculousness, its enthusiastic comic excess, and its fart/booger/gross-out jokes, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid's heart is firmly in the right place.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    A passable adaptation of Kinney's novel, but no replacement for the real thing. Read the book, then see the movie.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    An above-average and sometimes surprising kid movie.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    The movie has workmanlike, uninspired direction from Thor Freudenthal (Hotel for Dogs), who gets an especially lovely performance from Capron.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    "Who wants to see a movie about a kid who's stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons?" Thanks to an endearing cast of characters and an energetic, if light, comic story, we do.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Dan Kois

    Kids who realize they're fully ordinary -- that is, pretty much all of them -- will be pleased to see a world they recognize on the big screen.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    Fun, funny and affectionate, though it packs the emotional wallop of an undernourished high school nerd.

    Empire Full Review
  • Pete Hammond

    Gordon is bit too good looking to really be the Greg Heffley the books detail, but he's not obnoxious in the role and will appeal to the target 'tween set.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Sweet and funny at either end, but in between, it sags with endless repetition of gross bodily functions.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    This Diary of a Wimpy kid is too often dull, unappealing and clumsy, hobbled by unnecessary changes and inventions that add no charm, energy or, truly, point.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Kids may love the movie, and even kids who love the books may like it. For me, though, an astonishing percentage of the books' appeal has vanished.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    The writing is funny during individual moments, but the cumulative result is a bit depressing, with a surprising amount of negativity.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Stephen Cole

    Too much diary, not enough movie.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The kiddie audience will laugh a few times, but it would take an electron microscope to find an original idea or joke in this entire cartoonish movie.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    This year-in-the-life comedy will appeal mostly to its target audience -- the boys of middle school, USA -- and frankly, that's all it needs. Who else would appreciate the idiocy of social pressure,

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    On the page, it's a funny little snapshot of the preteen mind, ruled by prevailing forces of fear and aggression, yet still given to silliness and lowbrow yuks. In a movie, however, Greg's thoughts are made painfully literal, so instead of being a reflection of his hyperactive imagination, they're grotesque cartoons standing in for real life.

    NPR Full Review
  • Lisa Rosman

    This wisecracking saga of tween angst largely avoids the gimmicky saccharine aftertaste that's typical of the genre.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    There is nothing wrong with the story itself, but the tone is grating and the pacing sluggish. Episodes that might be howlingly funny on the page turn weirdly gross and sadistic on screen.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid the movie returns Kinney's tale to live-action reality, and the party's over.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    A mean-spirited little movie, investing its limited charms in all the wrong characters.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Tom Russo

    Credit Bowers and company, finally, for making some good calls about where to follow the leads furnished to them by the book and the first movie, and where to get creative.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Even the gags we've all seen before are handled so deftly you almost forget how ancient they are.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Mary Pols

    Rodrick Rules often feels like a mainstreamed version of that wonderful short-lived television series, "Freaks and Geeks."

    Time Full Review
  • Robert Abele

    Director David Bowers keeps things peppy and brightly lighted, but the movie's swiftest pleasures come from moment-seizing cast members.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Stephen Cole

    Once it becomes clear that the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid is an equal-opportunity offender, and that it is the politically correct modern family that is being picked on, rather than young Greg, the film becomes cheerfully mischievous fun for everyone.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Scott Bowles

    Leave it to a wimpy kid to show Hollywood how to make a family movie with live people in it.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Unlike the first film, which was broader and more episodic, this one has a narrative throughline.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Pete Hammond

    Even better than the first edition, in its own sitcom-ish ways.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    In the lead, Gordon has the wide-eyed appeal of a young Matthew Broderick: He looks nothing like Kinney's crudely rendered cartoon character.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Seventh-graders are far cooler and more anarchic than depicted in this often-dopey movie, which is aimed at more of a fourth-grade sensibility.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    Rodrick Rules has a brighter comic edge than its predecessor - and a bit more spunk.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    About the most you can say for it is that it's inoffensive.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Nothing is new, which is a problem. Nothing is particularly funny or endearing, which is a worse problem.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Chugs along inoffensively enough.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    I didn't laugh much, nor did my 10-year-old companions, but nobody had their soul crushed by the experience. This is the film industry's Hippocratic oath: First, crush no souls.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The sequel, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, isn't motivated to change the formula in the least, but it's ever-so-slightly more palatable, if only for being less of a total spazz.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    An improvement over its predecessor.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It just takes a very long time to get going. Apparently seventh grade doesn't pack as much potential for amusing, scarred-for-life trauma as sixth grade.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Nothing to skip school over but at least it's not in 3-D. No sense in paying an extra ticket charge for something belonging on TV, anyway.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Wimpy Kid's filmmakers have gone off-book, so to speak, to inflect Greg with a surprising cruel streak.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Alison Willmore

    Its only remarkable quality is how much less appealing our wimpy hero seems when lifted off the page.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    This time, tedium sets in early and never loosens its grip. The gags are obvious, predictable and dull.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    You can't fault the filmmakers for reshaping a diary into a cohesive film. You can however, fault them for taking one of the great antiheroes in preteen literature and turning him into, well, an even wimpier kid.

    Washington Post Full Review
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