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 ?abi?ska
Daniel Brühl
as Lutz Heck
Johan Heldenbergh
as Jan Zabinski
Iddo Goldberg
as Maurycy Fraenkel
Shira Haas
as Urszula

Critic Reviews for The Zookeeper's Wife

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

The movie is nicely shot and sympathetically acted, but there's an odd lack of stakes and urgency ...

March 24, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

A fundamental sense of empathy may not be especially cinematic, but that's no reason to ignore it (and Chastain, who strikes a wonderful balance with Heldenbergh, is masterful at expressing stoicism without ever tipping into sanctimony).

March 23, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

As refreshing as it is to see a woman in an Oskar Schindler-type role get her big-movie due, the trappings of handsome blandness, tinny storytelling, and thumbnail-sketch war terror prove too much for this story of a beauty fighting beastliness.

March 20, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The movie's central figures and their experiences have been cleansed of complexity, embalmed in a sort of hagiographic glaze that makes even the pain look pretty.

March 20, 2017 | Full Review…
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Caro's movie fails to muster even a fraction of the suspense such life-and-death material naturally demands.

March 20, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Nazis, Animals , and a superb performance from Jessica Chastain make this a memorable and different WWII-set film.

March 24, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Deadline Hollywood Daily

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