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Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 136 Ratings

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  • Summary: We Bought a Zoo, a memoir by Benjamin Mee, tells the true account of how the author and his family used their life savings to buy a dilapidated zoo, replete with 200 exotic animals facing destruction, in the English countryside. Mee, along with his children, had to balance caring for hisWe Bought a Zoo, a memoir by Benjamin Mee, tells the true account of how the author and his family used their life savings to buy a dilapidated zoo, replete with 200 exotic animals facing destruction, in the English countryside. Mee, along with his children, had to balance caring for his wife, who was dying of brain cancer, with dealing with escaped tigers, raising endangered animals, working with an eclectic skeleton crew and readying the zoo for a reopening. (20th Century Fox)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 21, 2011
    80
    Damon can elevate just about anything in which he appears.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 22, 2011
    75
    Scarlett Johansson plays the head zookeeper and she's a lot less mannered than usual.
  3. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jan 9, 2012
    70
    Nothing that happens in this movie is in the least surprising, but it's all quite pleasant and even, at times, moving.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 22, 2011
    60
    A movie you want to like, and a movie you can enjoy if you cut its slackness some slack.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 16, 2012
    60
    It's a bit sucrose, especially at the beginning, but this traditional, sweet-natured family film will tug on the heartstrings.
  6. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Dec 22, 2011
    50
    A modestly charming family crowd-pleaser despite too-broad characterizations by many in the supporting cast.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Dec 11, 2011
    25
    Far more concerned with pratfalling animal shenanigans and unearned uplift than crafting a single complex or amusing moment, it's a film caged in by formulaic plotting and plentiful pap.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 50
  2. Negative: 6 out of 50
  1. Dec 23, 2011
    10
    This is a movie about people who buy a zoo. They buy a zoo, very, very easily. They pick up the phone, and the family, the "We" in "We BoughtThis is a movie about people who buy a zoo. They buy a zoo, very, very easily. They pick up the phone, and the family, the "We" in "We Bought a Zoo" bought a zoo. That's right, a zoo. An area where animals are caged or put into artificial habitats for human entertainment. They bought a zoo. The family. They bought it, as in exchanged something, mostly currency, for an object they wished to posses. In this case, the zoo. They purchases in full. That's right. They. Bought. A. ZOOOOOO! I crap you not. ZOOOOOoooooOOOOO! Expand
  2. Mar 28, 2012
    10
    Pretty movie. I think that can be one of the worst film of Cameron Crowe, but I think that the story is pretty, with an awesome cast,Pretty movie. I think that can be one of the worst film of Cameron Crowe, but I think that the story is pretty, with an awesome cast, incredible animals, is an excellent film. We Bought A Zoo is an amazing, pretty and funny product for all the family. Expand
  3. Jun 10, 2012
    9
    Although a few cliches here and there, but notwithstanding this is a beautifully acted, funny, wonderfully filmed, entertaining,emotionallyAlthough a few cliches here and there, but notwithstanding this is a beautifully acted, funny, wonderfully filmed, entertaining,emotionally resonant, masterpiece with a great soundtrack to spare. I give this movie 93%. Expand
  4. Dec 5, 2012
    7
    Have you ever seen a movie where a family loses it's wife/mother and the father is understandably having trouble letting go, the teenager is aHave you ever seen a movie where a family loses it's wife/mother and the father is understandably having trouble letting go, the teenager is a complete complete brat about everything because of it, the little girl is almost sickeningly adorable, and they all eventually live happily ever after at the end? If you have then despite the new zoo setting this will be familiar and somewhat predictable, and because of this part of me wants to use this review to criticize this movie. But despite all the bitterness I have inside me (and trust me there's a lot) I can't deny that this is a good, heart-warming movie. It's backed by fantastic acting and a phenomenal supporting cast. Oh yeah the humor helps as well. All in all I did enjoy the movie despite the sense of deja vu. Expand
  5. May 22, 2012
    6
    Damon is good in this film where there is a good mix of funny and sad moments in a calculated sequence resembling a Disney production. OnlyDamon is good in this film where there is a good mix of funny and sad moments in a calculated sequence resembling a Disney production. Only this one is based on a true story. Expand
  6. Nov 27, 2012
    5
    I am a sucker for a mushy family melodrama. I am a sucker for a Matt Damon movie. I am a sucker for anything Scarlett Johansson has going onI am a sucker for a mushy family melodrama. I am a sucker for a Matt Damon movie. I am a sucker for anything Scarlett Johansson has going on at all. I also like most of what Cameron Crowe has done in his career. So to say I thought I would enjoy this movie is an understatement. Unfortunately it failed to grip me in very many areas. There are some touching family moments, and a bit of humor to enjoy. But for the most part I remained disengaged for most of this film. Expand
  7. Jan 1, 2012
    0
    ok well so start it is rated PG and with all the swaring it should be rated PG 13 but if they rated it PG 13 it would turn off youngerok well so start it is rated PG and with all the swaring it should be rated PG 13 but if they rated it PG 13 it would turn off younger audiences witch to me is a scam! Expand

See all 50 User Reviews

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