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Zookeeper (2011)



Average Rating: 3.4/10
Reviews Counted: 126
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 108

Zookeeper smothers Kevin James's with a sodden script and a surfeit of jokes inappropriate for the young viewers who would be intrigued by its juvenile storyline.


Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 25

Zookeeper smothers Kevin James's with a sodden script and a surfeit of jokes inappropriate for the young viewers who would be intrigued by its juvenile storyline.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 43,689

My Rating

Movie Info

In Zookeeper, the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get a girl in his life is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship - animal style. --


Comedy, Romance

Jay Scherick, David Ronn

Oct 11, 2011


Columbia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (127) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (108) | DVD (6)

Funniest moments? The outtakes during the closing credits. I rest my case.

July 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I think there should be a subdivision of the ASPCA -- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Audiences.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Did we mention that things just go better with Kevin James? Well-trodden comedy hooks become strangely more amusing. Goofball physical shtick elicits broader smiles. The bumblingly stupid is made endearing.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comments (17)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Will most audiences mind this? Probably not. Should they? Of course. They deserve better and frankly, so does Kevin James.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfortunately, nobody had the good sense to call the comedy authorities and shut this Zookeeper down.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A children's comedy about talking animals that feels as if it were written by children or, perhaps, by talking animals.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Comments (3)
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Movies like "Zookeeper" make you hate movies, restaurants, animals, and Earth.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

Kevin James' new comedy Zookeeper may be popular with the kiddos, but slapstick humor and a cookie-cutter storyline doom it for adults.

March 2, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Give Kevin James this much credit -- the dude leaves it all on the field, even when the movie's bad.

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

A high concept-movie falls almost as flat as star Kevin James doing pratfalls.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Doesn't belabor its punch lines and it maximizes James' likeability to a mostly winning result.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

The latest in an increasingly long line of misbegotten Kevin James comedies...

October 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

ksanazestamena romantika klise kai afelh hthikoplastika dilhmmata, poy mporeis na problepseis kai na kalyterepseis monos soy, prin kan shkwtheis ap' ton kanape na pas sthn aithoysa na deis thn tainia

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Sometimes a kid's movie is just a kid's movie. In the case of Zookeeper, it's a place where young imaginations go to die.

September 28, 2011 Full Review Source:

From the unstoppable Adam Sandler hit factory comes this pleasant, kid-friendly, ultra-formulaic shlub-does-good comedy.

September 14, 2011 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Fans of the sight of James falling over will get a big kick out of Zookeeper, but this deranged comedy will leave everyone else scratching their heads.

September 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

It isn't terrible, it's just dull.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National | Comment (1)
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Why is Kevin James a top-billed movie star? When did this happen? Why is it happening?

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: The Standard
The Standard

Kevin James talks to the animals in Adam Sandler-scented rom-com.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
American Profile

Just who will be amused by James mugging and hugging his way into the heart of a good woman (Rosario Dawson? In your dreams, Kevin!) is a question that simply cannot be answered.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

With the exception of some nice moments, mainly due to Kevin James' wholesome and lovable lead, Zookeeper is a flop and should be watched at your own peril.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieFIX

To produce something as emphatically unfunny as this, the script's five-man team must have whipped themselves into a state of mutual delusion.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Failing to succeed as a rom-com or a kids' flick, this feels surprisingly flat with the animals, and Kevin James, never really coming alive.

September 6, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

When you hear the giraffe yelling May Day, right at the beginning of Zookeeper, take heed; it's a distress signal that we are about to witness a disaster

September 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Though silly and disposable, the film's heart and physical comedy make it relatively satisfying.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

Zookeeper is a charming and lovably imperfect film.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: The National
The National

Audience Reviews for Zookeeper

Bernie the Gorilla: Hey, don't leave me in the van; I'm out of the zoo without my iZod. 

"Don't talk to the animals... unless they talk to you first."

 Zookeeper is a rather messy, cliche, predictable family comedy that uses a premise that all animals can talk and that they will even befriend a certain type of person. So, so far this sounds awful. That's how I figured I'd view the film. I thought I wouldn't like it, and I believed it would be horrible. Now while it isn't a good movie by any standards, I was completely surprised by it. Somehow all this stupidness ends up being a rather fun time, even with Adam Sandler's horrible voice for the monkey. 

At the beginning of this movie we see a zookeeper propose to his girlfriend. It doesn't go well and then the story jumps several years ahead where we see that he's still a zookeeper even though the only reason his girlfriend wouldn't marry him was because he was a zookeeper. He loves his work though. When he runs into his girlfriend at a party for his brother who is getting married, he tries to win her back. A bunch of the zoo animals decide to try to help him out with his relationship problems and begin talking to him. In the end the story has the same sort of family theme that you don't need to change who you are to be happy.

I sort of have an affection for these dumb comedies that Kevin James has been starring in. I didn't even hate Mall Cop. I've been a fan of James since I grew up watching his television show, The King of Queens. Ever since then, I always check out whatever he's in no matter how awful it looks. I was happy I checked out Mall Cop and now I'm happy I checked out Zookeeper.

In the end, you sort of now what you're going to get from a movie like this. It isn't an amazing film by any standards, but there's something that is really likable about it all. I never thought I would say anything with talking animals would be likable, but this is just one of those times where a movie really surprises you.
March 16, 2013
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

I wanted to hate this cliche-ridden pablum, meant entirely for families (meaning the six - seven year olds children in those families and, of course, by extension their long suffering and mostly forgotten parents) ... but I couldn't. James is ever James and the very recognizable celeb voice work carry this past offensive into the just right zone.
Just right for six - seven year olds.
May 26, 2012

Super Reviewer

Love Kevin James. Did not like this much...Goofy dumb, not goofy funny.
May 17, 2012

Super Reviewer

"Zookeeper" is another film about talking animals that you will probably come to hate before you even watch it through, but I must say, that because my expectations were down so low for this film, I came out pleasantly surprised. Okay, the script is atrocious, the acting is wooden, the plot is juvenile, but the emotion is true, and the chemistry between a talking gorilla and a man has never felt so realistic. I am not trying to say that it is a good movie, but it is far from bad. It is a very poor film about a zookeeper who is trying to find his way. Sure, it's filled with slapstick, bad jokes, and poor acting, but in the end, the film follows all the basic elements in storytelling, and this film is great for kids to watch. I had a little fun with this mess of a movie, so I will not hate on it. It' s far too average for my personal taste though!
January 22, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Bernie the Gorilla: Is TGI Fridays really as good as they say?
    2. Griffin Keyes: It's pretty good.
    – Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
    1. Joe the Lion: Griffin, we need to talk.
    – Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
    1. Donald the Monkey: Whoa! Slow it down, hot shot.
    – Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
    1. Donald the Monkey: It's all about the thumbs.
    – Submitted by Krista B (2 years ago)
    1. Griffin Keyes: How long have you been able to talk?
    2. Donald the Monkey: Let's see, today's Tuesday, so... always.
    – Submitted by Estella B (2 years ago)
    1. Bernie the Gorilla: This mask hasn't been washed in years! The last guy who wore it could've thrown up in it!
    – Submitted by Frazer M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (11)

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