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Movie Review

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor and mischief.

Reviewed by: Brian C. Johnson

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Family Kids Comedy Adaptation Sequel
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 25, 2011 (wide—3,100+ theaters)
DVD: June 21, 2011
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Featuring: Steve Zahn—Frank Heffley
Rachael Harris—Susan Heffley
Devon Bostick—Rodrick Heffley
Zachary Gordon—Greg Heffley
more »
Director: David Bowers
Producer: Nina Jacobson—producer
Jeff Kinney—executive producer
Bradford Simpson—producer
Ethan Smith—co-producer
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

also see review of previous film in this series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)

Looking for a fun afternoon with the kiddos? Well, head on down to your local multiplex and check out the latest exploits of Greg and Rowley in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” the sequel to the 2010 cinematic adaptation of the best-selling book series of the same name by Jeff Kinney.

Greg (Zachary Gordon) is a year older, but is still trying to find his place in the middle school pecking order. Unlike his best friend, Rowley (Robert Capron), who is content being himself, Greg doesn’t particularly care for being a no-name and will do whatever he can to move up a few notches on the popularity charts—even if that means being a bit of a bully to Rowley. He is repeatedly rebuffed by the kids around him, but none more so than by his own big brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick). These two take sibling rivalry to all time high, forcing their parents Susan and Frank Heffley (Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn) to try alternative measures to keep them from killing each other.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” is a dream for family-style entertainment; it has positive elements for all age groups—the youngins will love the jokes and sight gags, and Greg’s middle school hijinks is sure to entertain the teens and tweens. There’s plenty for moms and dads to enjoy, as well!

All in all, this is a great movie from cinematography to acting; there is little to critique here; most Christian viewers will appreciate the wholesomeness of the dialogue and action. The writers and directors did not try “too hard” to make it more than it needs to be. This film is developmentally appropriate for its age group and is still funny and entertaining. Even the scenes that could have gone “too far” were tempered; one particular scene comes to mind. Against their parents’ wishes, Rodrick and Greg threw a party while their parents were away for the night; instead of the usual movie fare of alcohol and other drugs, at this party, soda and snacks flowed like a river. Very cool!

I don’t often offer a “grade” for a film, but if I did, this one would surely get an B+ from me! It would have been an A, but there weren’t enough scenes featuring Fregley (Grayson Russell), my favorite character from the original.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—I didn’t give the movie an excellent moral rating because Kesha is in one of the songs, enough said about that! However, I loved the movie in general!!! Very good, very cute, very funny!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Susan, age 42 (USA)
Positive—I don” think I have ever laughed as much as I did with the kids today. We really enjoyed this movie—it really was very funny. Hope they make another movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Claire Guthrie, age 41 (USA)
Positive—I found this movie to be entertaining, but not on a spiritual level. Two of the main characters lied throughout, but often were caught and reprimanded. The best character is Rowley, who is always honest, although sometimes is drawn into wrong-doing by Greg (watching a horror flick). I did want to mention that a reviewer quoted Greg as saying they could see things such as “teenage sex,” I re-listened and verified that she was incorrect in this statement, he actually said, “such as teenage things”. Just wanted to clear that up. There was no sexual innuendos, violence or inappropriate clothing.

The only two things I took offense at was the part where Greg is filming Rowley singing some worldly song about partying and getting “tipsy” and when Rodrick asks his mother for her eyeliner, just before going onstage, and she gives it to him.

I felt like the Christian Answers reviewer hit the nail on the head in this review. Thank you Christian Answers for this valuable service you provide.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mirinda, age 34 (USA)


Negative—I rented the DVD last night, based upon a friend’s recommendation. I was appalled. I do not know how any Christian parent can, in good conscience, offer this to their family as innocent and fun. Fortunately, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2” did not resort to much bathroom humor, or sexual humor. At one point during the party, Greg’s best friend suggests that they go to his room,, and he counters with the suggestion that they will get to see things no seventh grader has seen before “like teenage sex.” There was little or no foul language.

But, that said, this movie was, frankly, a lesson in deceit from beginning to end. I would rather have my kids watching a movie with nudity, at least God made the body… “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2” is a lesson in how to deceive the parents and teachers; one major plot element is that the irresponsible older brother is left in charge, and has a party, in which there is minor damage to the house. About half the film, the two boys are trying to cover this up. When mom finds out, she overlooks the blatant disobedience, because the boys are “getting along so much better,” and conceals it from the dad.

Greg spends a significant amount of energy on attempting to frustrate and humiliate a boy who is smaller and physically weaker. Rodrick teaches Greg to be lazy, to cheat at school, to lie to his parents, and to strive for the lowest possible achievement, without actually failing. As an adult, this may be a funny movie, but to the minds of my eight year old twins, it is a lesson on bad behavior. I can not, in good conscience, recommend this film for family viewing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Jan, age 43 (USA)
Negative—Although the film contained a seemingly positive message about siblings learning to get along, it contained way way way too many negative messages, especially about lying and deception. Lying was made to look funny and natural, something a kid has to do to get by. There were no authorities shown who were respectable, and Roderick and Greg pretty much did as they pleased, while telling their parents what they wanted to hear. Bullying was made entertaining, particularly through Greg’s cruel treatment of a school mate. The parents were not portrayed well either, and certainly as not worthy of respect. The father was weak and befuddled, at best. The mother was a walking textbook of do-good, well intentioned popular parenting techniques, and completely out of touch with her kids and silly. Greg and Roderick seemed more intelligent and together than their parents.

There were some admittedly funny moments in the film, especially when the mother dances to the brother’s band, but, overall, it was a bad movie. I love good humor of all sorts, but cruelty, rebellion, disrespect and deception should never be made funny. Ever. It makes it so much easier for kids to accept and adopt that behavior. The books could be funny, and, while they certainly are not classics of Christian Children’s literature, they are not explicitly bad, as I would say this movie is.

The only redeeming quality I could see what it provided an opportunity to teach my child to question what is shown on screen, especially if it is specifically designed for kids, and thus extra appealing. Ugh. I regret spending a dollar at the Redbox for this loser of a movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Suzanne (USA)
Comments from young people