The Zookeeper's Wife (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)


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The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh of "The Broken Circle Breakdown"), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned - and forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl of "Captain America: Civil War"). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance - and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.


Jessica Chastain
as Antonina Zabinska
Daniel Brühl
as Lutz Heck
Johan Heldenbergh
as Jan Zabinski
Iddo Goldberg
as Maurycy Fraenkel
Shira Haas
as Urszula

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Critic Reviews for The Zookeeper's Wife

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (11)

A polite but pallid recycling of Holocaust movie tropes with epic pretensions.

March 29, 2017 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

"The Zookeeper's Wife" achieves its grandeur, not through the depiction of grand movements, but through its attentiveness to the shifts and flickers of the soul.

March 29, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's a worthy film that fails in revealing any depth to its protagonists, remembering them for their courageousness and little more.

March 29, 2017 | Full Review…
The Atlantic
Top Critic

Look past the sepia and the dreary title, The Zookeeper's Wife is riveting both inspiring and comes as a welcome reminder in this time of uncertainty that even in the face of astonishing evil, humanity and goodness can also rise to the occasion.

March 29, 2017 | Full Review…
Associated Press
Top Critic

Ultimately, the movie gets by on the power of its characters' goodness; we want to believe that we, faced with a chance to make a difference, would risk our lives the way Antonina and Jan did.

March 29, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Seattle Times
Top Critic

[The Zookeeper's Wife] has many lovely and moving moments but fails to capture the many layers of this unique story, relying instead on plainly-stated metaphors.

March 29, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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