Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. The rare commercial comedy that leaves you entranced by what can happen only in the movies.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    88
    Nearly perfect in its own cotton-candy way.
  3. An unexpected pleasure, a buoyant comedy that will make you feel young again.
  4. While 13 Going on 30 is too formulaic to sustain the delicacy of emotion that gave "Big" its appeal, it has tour-de-farce moments that made screenwriters Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa's "What Women Want" such a monster hit.
  5. The possibilities of Jenna's confusion are exploited for full comic effect. Garner, who turns out to be a charming, abandoned comedian, makes Jenna's incredulousness and innocence very funny and occasionally even touching.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Amusing, charming and pleasantly nostalgic.
  7. The lanky action star of the cult television series "Alias" is assigned a tired playbook in this film, but she finds room to manoeuvre in a performance that exceeds expectations.
  8. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    75
    A charming, funny piece of wish-fulfillment for young girls -- and, if you're much older than that, a disturbing critique of modern male sexuality.
  9. Garner's vulnerable, winning performance strikes emotional chords (not to mention nostalgia) in this fantasy comedy.
  10. Does a good job of reviving stale material. Thanks to a snappy script by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa and an effervescent performance by Jennifer Garner, this romantic comedy has a buoyant personality.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    70
    A star vehicle composed of second-hand parts that nevertheless gets great mileage (and big laughs) from its recycled plot.
  12. Isn't the best romantic comedy one might wish for, but it's more than good enough.
  13. 70
    If "13 Going on 30" isn't exactly original, it's still reasonably cool.
  14. Reviewed by: Sara Gebhardt
    70
    A film whose far-fetched foundation is overshadowed by the endearing story.
  15. 63
    Garner may be a study in butt-kicking intensity on TV's Alias, but here, she's an engaging comic performer who more than carries her share of what is essentially an unoriginal, mostly average film.
  16. The filmmakers have an pleasurably accurate sense of the embarrassments that darken early adolescence and of the amazing cruelty of teenage girls.
  17. 63
    It's looking for comedy and romance in the obvious places.
  18. The best thing about 13 Going on 30 is that an ever-game Jennifer Garner is cheerfully convincing as a 13-year-old in a 30-year-old body. The worst thing is the feeling we've seen this movie before, done better.
  19. Garner bounces around gleefully as the young spirit enveloped by this adult body. She's young enough herself to remember what it was like to be that age, and she has the vulnerability, zest and slightly over-the-top reactions of a seventh-grader.
  20. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    60
    Director Gary Winick serves up enough giddy fun that it's easy to turn a blind eye to the film's skewed sense of time and minor anachronisms.
  21. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    60
    If there's a criticism to be made, it's that the script doesn't push itself far enough with the moments in which it excels.
  22. 60
    I was so charmed by the opening scenes of 13 Going on 30, and so entertained by the middle portion of it, that I had high hopes for its ending -- hopes that were cruelly dashed. Like a petulant 13-year-old, I'm still pouting over my disappointment.
  23. 50
    Jennifer Garner is indeed a charmer, but she's the victim of a charmless treatment in 13 Going on 30.
  24. 50
    Plays like it was made by people who are 30 going on 13. The movie is as flighty and mixed up as the adolescent girl at its center.
  25. You won't find a load of laughs in 13 Going on 30, but there's plenty of whimsy, which is a close cousin of genuine humor.
  26. 50
    The director of 13 Going on 30, Gary Winick, was unable to infuse this material with either the sustained screwball cadences of his earlier "Tadpole" or an emotional resonance comparable to that of his superb "The Tic Code."
  27. 50
    Cheers and many happy returns to Garner as she makes her first starring film role. She's the real deal. But jeers to every other aspect of 13 Going On 30.
  28. Reviewed by: Jorge Morales
    50
    Anyway, the thirtysomething in me was all, gag me with a spoon, but the kid in me was like, this movie's rad to the max.
  29. The plot hinges on Jenna's horrified realization that her adult self is a witch, but 13 Going On 30 -- works foremost as a vehicle for its rising star.
  30. 50
    The performances give the movie more flavor and life than the situation does; it often feels like prechewed Bubble Yum.
  31. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    50
    Retreads a well-worn premise (Freaky Friday, Big) but the formula works, thanks in large part to star Jennifer Garner, who's so radiant theaters should be stocking sunblock.
  32. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    40
    Does it have its moments? A few, but those alone put it head and shoulders above similar offerings featuring, say, Julia Roberts.
  33. The film lacks the emotional resonance that made "Big" such a sentimental favorite with audiences of all ages.
  34. What could have been an engaging, maybe even enlightening story about the unfairly high price a woman pays for conducting herself like a man winds up as nothing more than a worthless, harmless and ultimately charmless piffle.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. Aug 28, 2014
    7
    Magic that can, unfortunately, only happen at the movies. Fortunate for 13 Going on 30, it hits all of the high notes. Jennifer Garner andMagic that can, unfortunately, only happen at the movies. Fortunate for 13 Going on 30, it hits all of the high notes. Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, in an early role, are perfect together. Full Review »
  2. Mar 27, 2012
    10
    This was one of the first comedies that made me realize comedies were becoming something more than just laugh machines. I think a skewed senseThis was one of the first comedies that made me realize comedies were becoming something more than just laugh machines. I think a skewed sense of time is irrelevant when you are in the genre of fantasy, which this is. The morals that it presents but does not shove down your throat are impeccable and everyone would live happier lives if they listened to the message in this movie. It is never too late to be a better person and choose quality over quantity. Full Review »
  3. Oct 7, 2010
    10
    I actually really thought this movie was cute! I've watched it a few times already..and I'll watch it again someday! I liked it! JenniferI actually really thought this movie was cute! I've watched it a few times already..and I'll watch it again someday! I liked it! Jennifer Garner also played her role great! I love how she acted as a 13 year old in it, it's a good family movie. That will also give you a few laughs! Full Review »