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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)

tomatometer

51

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 71
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 35

Overly familiar and a bit too reliant on slapstick, the sitcom-like Dog Days fails to improve upon previous installments and will likely appeal to few outside its target audience.

48

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 11

Overly familiar and a bit too reliant on slapstick, the sitcom-like Dog Days fails to improve upon previous installments and will likely appeal to few outside its target audience.

audience

64

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 53,819

My Rating

Movie Info

During his summer vacation, "Wimpy Kid" Greg Heffley, the hero of the phenomenally successful book series, hatches a plan to pretend he has a job at a ritzy country club - which fails to keep him away from the season's dog days, including embarrassing mishaps at a public pool and a camping trip that goes horribly wrong. -- (C) 20th Century Fox

PG,

Comedy, Kids & Family

Jeff Kinney

Dec 18, 2012

$49.0M

20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (71) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (35) | DVD (1)

Viewers enduring early adolescence or those grappling with its psychic scars will recognize the honesty in the comic humiliation.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though often self-centered and conniving, Greg remains a likable kid, and the movie entertains by pulling off over-the-top scenarios that set up digestible life lessons for youngsters.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Released right when summer starts to drag, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days at least doesn't add to the exhaustion.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Old-fashioned and small in scale, the movies sometimes feel like after-school specials from a bygone era, which is part of what makes them so endearing.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'd call "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" harmless if it weren't for some totally unnecessary gay-panic jokes that could actually encourage bullying.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comments (16)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spending time with Kinney's characters has become an annual treat.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A solid family-friendly film that embraces its quirky characters and their mischievous adventures.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

With "Dog Days" and its been-there, done-that screenplay, the franchise takes a step backward.

December 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

With their recurring characters and suburban Anytown USA setting, these films represent a throwback to the assembly-line days of 'Andy Hardy' and 'Blondie' movies: They lack surprise but not laughs.

December 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

More efforts not to be wimpy.

December 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Time to Play Magazine
Time to Play Magazine

Dog Days doesn't have the emotional pull of the last installment in the franchise, but it's still a vast improvement over the irritating series opener.

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This third adventure holds up nicely with its breezy comic energy and kid-friendly messages about respecting people you allegedly care about.

September 21, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

Learn from your mistakes is the theme of this endearing third film in the franchise in which the awkward, tumultuous highs and lows of pubescence continue

September 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Greg isn't just wimpy, but manipulative and selfish, and no amount of after-school-special lessons and father-son bonding in the final 10 minutes is enough to overcome that.

August 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune | Comments (2)
Salt Lake Tribune

Sure, your kids will think it's funny. But if they've seen many movies, they're going to know they're looking at lowbrow jokes that are cheap and easily written - the kind of stuff kids tell each other in the halls at school.

August 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA) | Comments (2)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

With a further 3 novels yet to receive cinematic treatment, let's hope the youngsters can keep puberty at bay as judging by the quality on offer here, there's potential for many more enjoyable entries in the diary yet.

August 13, 2012 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys
HeyUGuys

The acting may be cartoony and the action sketchy, but the film's breezy good-humour - personified by Robert Capron's kindly, loyal Rowley - makes it easy to like.

August 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Mums and dads will know how Zahn feels when he threatens to rip all of the leads out of the back of the TV set.

August 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

A fairly entertaining movie for the younger kids but for all else not so funny.

August 8, 2012 Full Review Source: jackiekcooper.com
jackiekcooper.com

An obvious improvement over 2010's subpar Diary of a Wimpy Kid...

August 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Wimpy Kid doesn't need to use seizure-inducing, bright, shiny tricks to distract you from the thin plot, like disco dance floors and rats being hurled off of cruise ships in 3D.

August 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Movies.com
Movies.com

It's Tom Sawyer for the age of video games, a scrappy, anecdotal affair...

August 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

A comfy, feelgood comedy that's fun for the whole family!

August 5, 2012 Full Review Source: AALBC.com
AALBC.com

Though this one is better than the first two, this is now my least favorite trilogy.

August 5, 2012 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

Formulaic, family-friendy sequel, as Greg's angst takes a more adolescent turn.

August 5, 2012 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

If you're over the age of 12, chances are you're already too old for these movies.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: New England Movies Weekly
New England Movies Weekly

Audience Reviews for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Not so wimpy after all!

Good movie! This film is the third film in this popular series and is based on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, which are written by Jeff Kinney. The entire movie flowed well, no moments felt dry, and that can be a big problem with some movies today. Overall, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, is a great, fun, enjoyable film for the family. I can't wait to see what the studio is going to do next!

School is out and Greg is ready for the days of summer, when all his plans go wrong. What on earth is he going to do all summer?
January 11, 2013
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

During the summer Greg joins a country club to get close to a girl.
December 30, 2012
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

The first "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" was about going to a new school and trying to fit in. An idea that's been used quite a bit and is handled decently while being embarrassingly humorous at times; well aware of its own silliness.

The second film, "Rodrick Rules", has to do with more with the brother and main protagonist of this trilogy, Greg (Zachary Gordon), butting heads and not really getting along. At the same time, Greg is crushing on a girl that just doesn't seem to be aware of him. Again, handles some mundane topics only this time with more silliness and more embarrassment to the point of self-satire.

In this third entry of the "Diary", school has ended, it's summertime, and Greg is still dealing with his crush. Only difference is now his dad starts to work his way more into his life [story]. Or, at least he's trying to. Now Greg has to find a way to connect with his father before school starts up. Worse case scenario, he gets sent to a boarding school to finish out the last five years of his education.

Now, I like these movies for the what they try to do while still keeping in mind that kids are the target audience. The Diary movies are do the same thing and it doesn't get old, but it does get sloppier down the road. "Dog Days" shows how. It takes the coming-of-age story of Greg Heffley and makes it less coming-of-age and more about keeping the state of this character [and apparently the actor, too] through a non-maturing and straight-lined journey.

What got tedious in the previous installments were what the target audience wanted to see the most; all the over-the-top ways Greg seems to be able to embarrass himself. And every new one is either something we've already seen in other movies or something we've experienced ourselves. Either way, Greg seems almost destined to be the bad-luck magnet anywhere he goes.

In case you're wondering how the crush and daddy issues go, they don't. Greg and his dad never had enough screen-time together in the first two, maybe intentionally that way to set-up the threequel, but it never occurred to me there was no bond between them. The movie drags this discomfort of them not seeing eye to eye for about 80 minutes making sure it isn't the main focus; a movie that embarrasses its main character every 5 to 10 minutes with summer-themed hijinks. Such classic 13-year-old shenanigans as sneaking into a country club, accidentally getting your best friend's dad thrown to the ground and handcuffed by the police, and of course, staying in a swimming pool for several hours because your swim-trunks got stuck on the diving board.

Because this movie is a sequel it has it's share of problems most sequels face when trying to do something new. Most of the recurring characters come back to do very little and are often there just to keep the casting list shorter. Other times they're brought in just so the audience can remember they forget about them.

The first "Diary" did such a good job at introducing character and giving them each plenty to do that's it's pitiful most of the ones that returned hardly do anything now. It's sadder to see how much this movie runs in circles to the point where it eventually becomes self-aware and tries to switch tracks... in the last 15 minutes. Everything that seemed like a dilemma wraps up hastily in these last few minutes without much build-up or inspiration to resolve. It just happens because the movie [and trilogy] is almost over.

In conclusion, "Dog Days" takes what worked in the first movie and what didn't really work in the second movie and slaps them together, trimming off any promise it might of had. The embarrassing moments are there and so are the dilemmas no mattered how badly wither are tackled. It's watchable, but not re-watchable.
November 15, 2012
aSpaceCowboy
John Hein

Super Reviewer

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" is the third installment in this fantastic series of family movies. This time around the kids are on Summer break before the 8th grade and anything that can go wrong, does. All Greg wants to do is play video games, but his Dad wants him to get out of the house more. So, Greg uses Rowley's country club membership to get to know a girl, while lying to his Dad saying he has a job. That is the jest of it, anymore and it may ruin some of the plot details. This isn't the best of the three, but it's still a great entry. The humor is dead on, and all the performances are great. Steve Zahn has a much bigger role here, which is good because Zahn is always great. Also, this movie features the greatest cover of Justin Beiber's song "Baby", it has to be seen to believe. I wouldn't say this series gets better and better, but it's still entertaining and funny, which matters most. Perfect family movie for kids and adults. My wife and I went on a little date(our kid is too young to go to the movies yet), and we loved it and laughed more than most the kids in the theater. Probably not a must see, but definitely worth a watch or two.
August 5, 2012
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

    1. Greg Heffley: Wait a minute, this isn't camping.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (13 months ago)
    1. Frank Heffley: You're a phoney, you're a fake!
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (13 months ago)
    1. Rowley Jefferson: I've never actually played tennis before...
    2. Greg Heffley: We've played Ultimate Tennis on the Wii. It's basically the same thing.
    – Submitted by Gavin K (15 months ago)
    1. Rodrick Heffley: Loaded diaper, activate.
    – Submitted by Kate K (15 months ago)
    1. Frank Heffley: A man who never made mistakes never made anything.
    – Submitted by Darren P (16 months ago)
    1. Frank Heffley: You got a job!
    – Submitted by Matthew R (16 months ago)
View all quotes (17)

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Foreign Titles

  • Gregs Tagebuch 3 - Ich war's nicht (DE)
  • Journal d'un Dégonflé : ça fait suer ! (FR)
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