We Bought a Zoo


We Bought a Zoo

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 166


Audience Score

User Ratings: 131,970
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Movie Info

This holiday season, acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) directs an amazing and true story about a single dad who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to the most unlikely of places: a zoo. With the help of an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, the family works to return the dilapidated zoo to its former wonder and glory. -- (C) Official Site


Matt Damon
as Benjamin Mee
Scarlett Johansson
as Kelly Foster
Colin Ford
as Dylan Mee
Angus Macfadyen
as Peter MacCready
Elle Fanning
as Lily Miska
Patrick Fugit
as Robin Jones
John Michael Higgins
as Walter Ferris
Carla Gallo
as Rhonda Blair
JB Smoove
as Mr. Stevens
Stephanie Szostak
as Katherine Mee
Michael Panes
as Principal
Todd Stanton
as San Diego Vet
Lauren Sanchez
as TV Anchor
Peter Riegert
as Delbert McGinty
Roberto Montesinos
as Hugo Chavez
Desi Lydic
as Shea Seger (Lasagna Mom)
Alice Marie Crowe
as Parrot Lady
Michelle Panek
as Sarah Tanner (Vet Assistant)
Gary D. Robertson
as Male Zookeeper
Nicole Russell
as Volunteer
Reid Peters
as Volunteer
Steve Bessette
as Zoo Patron
Hal Alpert
as Zoo Patron
Leslie Trotter
as Zoo Patron
Steven Lee
as Zoo Patron
Katherine Yerves
as Zoo Patron
Caroline Hanna
as Zoo Patron
David López
as Zoo Patron
Benjamin Mee
as Visiting Family
Ella Mee
as Visiting Family
Milo Mee
as Visiting Family
Sammi Yorn
as Visiting Family
Curtis Crowe
as Zoo Kid
Johnny Cicco
as Zoo Staff
Alexia Barroso
as Zoo Staff
Shannah Barrett
as Party Girl
Bart And Tank
as Buster the Bear
as Crystal the Capuchin
Rabbi Elliott T. Spar
as Spar the Tiger
as Ronnie the Binturong
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Critic Reviews for We Bought a Zoo

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (107) | Rotten (59)

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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