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We Bought a Zoo

  PG HD Closed Captioning

Cameron Crowe

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Plot Summary

Oscar® Winner Matt Damon gives a heartfelt performance in this delightful film that’s based on a true story. When his teenage son gets into trouble, Benjamin Mee (Damon) gives up a lucrative newspaper job to move his family to the most unlikely of places: a zoo! With help from an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, Benjamin embarks on a fresh beginning to restore the dilapidated zoo to its former glory, while uniting his family. From the director of Jerry Maguire, We Bought a Zoo is a wonderful, warm and witty celebration of the human spirit.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

66%
  • Reviews Counted: 153
  • Fresh: 101
  • Rotten: 52
  • Average Rating: 6.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Nothing that happens in this movie is in the least surprising, but it's all quite pleasant and even, at times, moving. – David Denby, New Yorker, Jan 9, 2012

Rotten: The movie has animals, kids and fine acting from Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, but it lacks the emotional honesty and unpredictability that made Crowe's early films so irresistible. – Rafer Guzman, Newsday, Jan 5, 2012

Fresh: "We Bought a Zoo" provides a welcome seasonal dash of wholesomeness and humor, but it's also a heartening celebration of second acts, even at their most unwelcome. – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Dec 23, 2011

Fresh: Consider it a fine sign of emotional discipline that the movie doesn't overplay Kelly and Ben's romantic possibilites. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Dec 23, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A PLEASANT, YET PREDICTABLE CHARMER

"We Bought a Zoo" is the kind of sweetly sentimental movie that packs on all the predictable, sappy clichés you'd be likely to find in any PG-rated family drama. It often plays out like a two hour-long sitcom. Just when you think the film has resolved all of its characters' problems, a new unexpected issue suddenly appears out of nowhere that has to be quickly taken care of in order for there to be a happy ending for everyone. But while it isn't Cameron Crowe's most realistic or inspired flick, it still has a good heart. Matt Damon stars as Benjamin Mee, a single father who buys and moves to a dilapidated zoo with his two kids. With the help of an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, the family works to restore the zoo to its former wonder and glory. Not surprisingly, Damon gives the best and most convincing performance in the entire movie, making for a sympathetic central protagonist. Colin Ford also does a fine job playing Ben's angst-ridden teen son, Dylan, even though his character is one we've already seen many times before: a rebellious youth dealing with the death of a parent by taking his anger and frustration out on others. As for Scarlett Johansson, she doesn't leave much of a lasting impression as Ben's love interest. Although I did happen to find Thomas Haden Church's portrayal of Ben's wisecracking older brother to be hilarious at times. All acting aside, I enjoyed the unique, atmospheric score by Jónsi despite the fact that it didn't quite match the tone of the film. Plus, the characters aren't too cloyingly sentimental to the point of annoyance. Overall, I'd say "We Bought a Zoo" is worth renting if you simply wanna watch a good-natured, family-friendly flick. It may be clichéd and sappy, but it's also a lot of fun, with a warmhearted spirit that's pretty tough to resist. Trust me, it's a lot better than "Zookeeper".

Truth is

This is the best movie I've seen since Harry Potter.When I watched this movie I cried,laughed,and fell in love all over again.This movie was brilliantly done and the actors were amazing .I couldn't have done it better.This by far,Is the best movie of 2012.

Great Film!

I watched at Movie theater and i was shocked. A present delight for the whole family. I just loved this film! Lot's of action, sad parts, and funny parts. For me, it's a definite keeper!

We Bought a Zoo
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Kids & Family
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings