This proud graduate of the School of Cleary Classics wishes that, like the young heroine herself, Ramona and Beezus dared more often to color outside the lines.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Parents may also be happy to see a movie for children that doesn't involve wizards, vampires or action figures that can be bought in the food court.
Mike Hale - New York Times
Allen's direction is bright and imaginative; particularly enjoyable are the movie's occasional flights of fancy.
Dan Kois - Washington Post
This new Ramona prefers mischief without real edge. You always know her parachute has a silver lining, even in an economic downturn. She is, above all, safe. And that makes her nowhere near as entertaining or enduring as the girl on the page.
Janice Page - Boston Globe
A loose adaptation of Beverly Cleary's first novel in her beloved kid-lit series that's wholesome to the point of being dull.
Nick Schager - Village Voice
It won't change anyone's world, but it'll keep kids happy -- and cool -- for a couple of hours.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
[Ramona] deserves better treatment, fairer justice, than she gets in Ramona and Beezus, for no other reason than she's the best thing in it: a rambunctious, bright-eyed mighty mouse with a kaleidoscopic wardrobe and an imagination to match.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
It's always a challenge for actors to meet the expectations readers have in their heads. These performances offer pleasure throughout.
Nancy Churnin - Dallas Morning News
Ramona and Beezus has enough charm to forgive it an unnecessary foray onto romantic-comedy turf.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
"Ramona and Beezus" is a small-scale story of life and learning, of setbacks large and small and triumphs major and minor. It is neither dark nor dour, but it also does not kid itself about the messy realities of life as part of a family.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
We no longer all watch the same TV shows, we are no longer as innocent, and the world of Klickitat is fading into timeless nostalgia. Ramona and Beezus is a sweet salute.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The movie is not bad, but it's not much.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
For the grown-ups there are sweet, sincere performances by Ginnifer Goodwin, Sandra Oh, and, as Ramona's endlessly game father, the likable John Corbett.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Director Allen, whose previous film was the uninspired mermaid saga Aquamarine, tells the Quimbys' story gracefully. She elicits remarkably honest performances from her younger stars.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Sure, the film's reality may be saccharine, but for a non-computer animated, non-3D kid's film, we'll take it.
Adam Graham - Detroit News
Mostly it's just Ramona making a mess of things, without the consequences of cleaning up afterward.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
A sprightly, generic kidpic that flattens and condenses elements from Beverly Cleary's deservedly popular novels.
Justin Chang - Variety
Child actress King is a real find; plenty of kids will be asking for a sequel.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
There are more laughs in the average episode of Gomez's Wizards of Waverly Place TV show than in this.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
This is a lively affair, largely thanks to the sweet and snappy screenplay by Laurie Craig and Nick Pustay and to the appealing performances by the cast.
Jason Anderson - Toronto Star
The resulting story is a jumble, and there are too many side characters, but golly if it isn't pretty darned infectious.
Eric D. Snider - Film.com
The film tries to appeal to audiences of all ages, and for the most part "reels you in like a sea bass," as Ramona would say.
Katie Hewitt - Globe and Mail
The cinematic adventures of Beverly Cleary's pint-sized big dreamer comes up short on scope and imagination.
Michael Rechtshaffen - Hollywood Reporter
This all sounds like uptight, grown-up nitpicking, probably. But it's also a reflection of a weakness in storytelling, which is sad given the strength of the source material.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Tenderness isn't a quality found much these days in the whirring-and-clanging busyness of family movies, which makes this G-rated gem's emphasis on emotion and heart all the more laudable.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Just try not to smile as you watch the imaginative misfit Ramona make classic childhood mistakes in this ebullient adaptation of Beverly Cleary's timeless series.
Sarah Sluis - Film Journal International
...an affable yet forgettable little comedy...
David Nusair - About.com
Dave White - Movies.com
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Very entertaining and even heartbreaking in some moments...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Captures the spirit of the Beverly Cleary books and offers a Ramona who's a believable combination of mischief and innocence.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
Only a twisted, seriously sad individual could have a problem with this sunny tween comedy, which I hated.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
This sitcom-bright film doesn't come close to the quality of the Beverly Cleary book series, but it's a sweet, frequently charming effort that doesn't betray its G rating.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Despite everyone's efforts, Ramona comes across as an insufferably spoilt and attention-seeking little horror.
John Walsh - Independent
Performances are perfectly pleasant, but more of Ramona's flights of fancy and less lingering on the adult romance would've added some oomph.
Tom Dawson - Total Film
Nothing to frighten the horses, as they say, or interest or entertain them much, either.
True, it's just a bit overlong for junior attention spans, but given that the boys get lots of movies with wizards and special effects, little girls will surely welcome a film that seems tailored just for them.
Trevor Johnston - Radio Times
Fans of the Ramona Quimby books will be disappointed, but tween girls will love it.
Anna Smith - Empire Magazine
The best live action children's film since Nanny McPhee 2.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
This is an almost quaint throwback of a kids' movie that ends up enjoyably ragtag and cluttered, all of it contained by an emphasis on neighbourhood and maturity. Realistic, refreshing, and reassuring.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
This movie understands how to get into the head of a little kid. Plus, there's a little romance for the parents as well.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
A pleasant way to pass some time and be made happy and sad by little things that are well-observed.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
A heartwarming little film that makes a genuine connection to the joys and trials of childhood.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Refreshingly anti-princess and sweet without degrading into sugary, Ramona and Beezus animates Ramona's frequent flights of fancy with DIY-like sequences that literalize, quite charmingly, how a kid colors the world.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
At over 100 minutes, Ramona and Beezus is a hefty cinematic effort to get through, especially considering how audience-surveyed and cliched the film proves
Adam Keleman - Slant Magazine
The true talent of the cast makes up for the too sweet and cute story line
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
It's something that you would not be unhappy seeing on television, [but] there's nothing that calls it for you to go see it on the big-screen.
A.O. Scott - At the Movies
A pleasant 1950's old-fashioned family drama that's gentle and adorable.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Successful on its own terms in its refusal to talk down to its pre-teen audience and through the massive future star-power of its talented young stars.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Gets right what most matters, above all Ramona herself.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
Beloved book girl comes to life in sweet, kid-friendly tale.
Betsy Bozdech - Common Sense Media
The sweet sisterhood story based on the Beverly Cleary books doesn't talk down to kids and presents parents as appealing and vulnerable.
Thelma Adams - Us Weekly
Honesty about the difficulties, both large and small, of being part of a family is what Ramona and Beezus does best, even if the rough and dangerous edges have been filed down.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
Ramona and Beezus is the summer's sweetest surprise.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Joey King will bounce back.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
As a fan of the books, I was skeptical that the movies could re-create their gentle, humane, messy spirit. But I'm happy to report that Ramona and Beezus captures the characters almost perfectly and that Joey King is an ideal Ramona.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
In this vision of Ramona, sincerity is decency and no mores, politics or creeds define those bounds. Screw irony, it's a temp trend anyway.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
Relative unknown Joey King, as Ramona, is on the right side of precocious, using her adorableness in carefully measured doses. She easily carries the movie.
Dezhda Gaubert - E! Online
Will enchant the 'tween girl audience for whom it was created.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
...a family film that really can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
"Ramona and Beezus" is easily the best family movie of the year, so far.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
There are so many diversions and subplots, it's hard to get caught up in any single story.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
I can't think of another movie that captures rambunctious, freespirited modern little-girlness the way that this one does, and in a way that isn't dumbed down or sugared over...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Appealing, funny, honest, and all that jazz, but who could have expected it to be this touching?
Resistance is futile; the movie's relentless wholesomeness will batter down the defenses of all but the most determined curmudgeon.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
King is good enough that you can't help but root for her. But frankly, I can't imagine paying full ticket price plus concessions for that privilege.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
To its credit and occasional folly, Ramona and Beezus is goofy and candy-coated like childhood, with only a pretend grip on real life.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
To say the film is sitcom-y is to belabor the obvious. "Ramona and Beezus" is a welcome throwback to the nuclear-family-centered sitcoms of the 1950s and '60s and a low-tech charmer, and the cast elevates it all, especially King.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Feels like being bound in a thick, homemade quilt, rolled up to a campfire, and smothered in toasted marshmallow goo.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
Here's a summer movie release that's not filled with big explosions or action sequences, and one of the few films aimed at kids that isn't animated or in 3-D.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
My advice is to stay away from Elizabeth Allen's bland and banal adaptation, which plays like a contemporary Leave It to Beaver without irony or ingenuousness.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Amiable but innocuous family movie, which would be more at home on a cable channel than theatre screens but should nevertheless amuse young girls and their mothers.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
A labored picture, eschewing the breeze of simplicity to cram all available chapters into a picture that eventually slows to a maddening crawl. To that, I fling a mighty "Guts!" to the filmmakers.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
With her chestnut bob and eyes twinkling with mischief, Joey King looks the part & embodies the spirit of Ramona, diving into memorable set pieces with unadulterated joy.
Annlee Ellingson - Moving Pictures Magazine
King and Corbett both overplay their hands at film's beginning but they develop great chemistry, know comic timing and settle in quickly.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Flooded with warm light and a radiant mood, Ramona and Beezus is a sunny series of charming escapades and subtle flights of fancy that capture the safe fusion of imagination and reality where all little girls should grow up.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
The more, where there could be less, has the story dragging its feet.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
All of these moments are presented completely without cynicism or judgment, and their joyousness is infectious.
Josh Bell - Filmcritic.com
The overall effort is pleasant enough to sit through. Yet, with some pairing down of story elements in favor of increasing Ramona's childhood imagination, the film might have become something of a cinematic classic. (Parental Review also Available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
There's nothing really wrong with it. But there's nothing amazingly right about it either, unless, of course, it sends young viewers marching off to libraries to find the real Klickitat Street for themselves.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
As in the books, the Quimby family is instantly relatable and utterly irresistible, funny, touching, and completely endearing.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Gingerly gentle and generic, it plays like a sweet sitcom, better suited to the small screen than the large.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Newcomer Joey King is a blue-eyed dynamo who brings Ramona Quimby vividly to life and steals the show from her veteran co-stars.
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
She's been brave and she's been a pest, but until this adaptation of Beverly Cleary's beloved children's books, pint-size protagonist Ramona Quimby has never been so blatantly market-driven.
Eric Hynes - Time Out
Teen star Selena Gomez as Beezus may have top billing, but the real star is Joey King as her younger, gangly sister.
Kent Turner - School Library Journal