Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 28, 2012
    88
    Fat Kid Rules the World is a movie with a title that might be misleading: It's a lot better than it sounds like it has any right to be.
  2. Reviewed by: Sherilyn Connelly
    Oct 7, 2012
    70
    The film succeeds thanks to Lillard's clear affection for the material and on the strength of its performances, especially Billy Campbell as Troy's conflicted father.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Oct 1, 2012
    70
    Affecting performances and effective storytelling are the hallmarks of Fat Kid Rules the World.
  4. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Oct 6, 2012
    67
    Special notice should be given to Billy Campbell, who takes a stock character and gives him a new spin.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Heath Jr.
    Oct 1, 2012
    63
    People matter in Matthew Lillard's film; genre not so much.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Oct 12, 2012
    60
    Endearingly uneven.
  7. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Oct 4, 2012
    60
    This adaptation of K. L. Going's 2003 young-adult novel about a rejuvenated overweight teenager takes a humble, heartfelt approach, until sentiment loses out to message sending.
  8. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Oct 1, 2012
    60
    A commendably restrained loser-turns-winner tale offering an unexpected second showcase for Terri star Jacob Wysocki, Matthew Lillard's Fat Kid Rules the World is less colorful than its grandeur-deluded title suggests.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 18, 2012
    50
    The movie is achingly slow, and by the time it's over, the story is about where it should have been after about 45 minutes. Then it ends just as it gets good, or as it's starting to.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 19, 2012
    40
    Lillard's film ends up being more unsatisfying than anything else. His "Fat Kid" might rule the world, but it doesn't quite rule the screen.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 4, 2012
    40
    This is an odd little directorial debut from Matthew Lillard - the onetime Shaggy from "Scooby-Doo," now a solid character actor thanks to "The Descendants" and "Trouble with the Curve" - but it has its rewards.
  12. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 5, 2012
    25
    Directed by journeyman actor Matthew Lillard, this tame and by-the-numbers effort never succeeds in making the outcast situation cinematic or interesting.

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