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We Bought a Zoo is a transparently cloying effort by director Cameron Crowe, but Matt Damon makes for a sympathetic central character. Read critic reviews

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We Bought a Zoo Photos

Movie Info

Following his wife's untimely death, Los Angeles journalist Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) decides to make a fresh start by quitting his job and moving his children (Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth Jones) to an 18-acre property containing the Rosemoor Wildlife Park. Though closed for years, Rosemoor is still home to many animals, cared for by Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson) and her small staff. Mee opens his heart and his checkbook as he, Kelly and the others work to renovate and reopen the zoo.

Cast & Crew

Matt Damon
Benjamin Mee
Patrick Fugit
Robin Jones
Colin Ford
Dylan Mee
Elle Fanning
Lily Miska
Angus Macfadyen
Peter MacCready
Peter Riegert
Delbert McGinty
J.B. Smoove
Mr. Stevens
Sam Fox
Alison
Cameron Crowe
Screenwriter
Rick Yorn
Producer
Ilona Herzberg
Executive Producer
Rodrigo Prieto
Cinematographer
Mark Livolsi
Film Editor
Jon Thor Birgisson
Original Music
Clay A. Griffith
Production Design
Peter Borck
Supervising Art Direction
Wayne Shepherd
Set Decoration
Deborah Lynn Scott
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for We Bought a Zoo

Critic Reviews for We Bought a Zoo

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (61) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (61)

Audience Reviews for We Bought a Zoo

  • Mar 05, 2016
    Predictable, cliched, lazy, and melodramatic
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2015
    Cameron Crowe aims for the Disney audience with this obvious-as-a-grammar school play crowd pleasing story about a single dad trying to raise his coming of age difficult children. I've actually given the whole film away by now except for the cute animal instagrams spread throughout. It was interesting to see Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson cover more down to earth material than the fantasy that is so prevalent nowadays, and both actors seem to warm to the presentation as well. One aspect Crowe nails is how aggravating teens are to everyone, quite without the artifice of most productions.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2014
    This film is almost too sweet and some will find it too much to deal with. All of the cliches are here; based on a true story; dead wife; cute kid; moody teenager; cute animals; incredibly attractive zoo keeper and Matt Damon. However despite these seeming disadvantages Crowe manages to produce something that still brings a tear to your eye and a lump in your throat. Those of you who are cynical will turn their nose up at the film but if you're in the mood for a genuine feelgood experience then you can't go far wrong with this. It's no 'Jerry Maguire' but Damon is on top form and the whole thing looks great. Also got a killer soundtrack.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2014
    I can't help it. I like Matt Damon. This true story about a single dad and a fresh start is likeable, even though it's kind of cobbled together.
    Juli R Super Reviewer

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