We Bought a Zoo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

We Bought a Zoo Reviews

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Kristal Cooper
We Got This Covered
September 15, 2012
In short, We Bought a Zoo is all bore and no roar, and while it's certainly not the worst of Crowe's career, it's far from earning its stripes as a worthy successor to his earlier films.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/10
John Hanlon
Big Hollywood
June 30, 2013
Packed with too many storylines, this drama feels like a zoo indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Shaun Munro
What Culture
March 18, 2012
The shameless manipulation on display here makes one wonder where Cameron Crowe's talent has gone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Martin Tsai
Critic's Notebook
October 7, 2015
Since "We Bought a Zoo" doesn't have much on offer, it could and should have at least been a more pointed reminder for us to rediscover nature and support local zoos.
Devin Faraci
November 27, 2011
We Bought A Zoo is targeted at people who cry during TV commercials, who get misty eyed in the greeting card aisle.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 18, 2012
... the sort of slovenly assembled, paint-by-numbers time waster that doesn't even seem able to hold the director's attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 76/100
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 22, 2011
The result is too much formula and not enough human interest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
December 20, 2011
The results feel artificial and sappy, with only a few too-little-too-late moments where the tragedy of losing a mother or a wife is handled with anything resembling grace.
Clint O'Connor
Cleveland Plain Dealer
January 6, 2012
Some cute animal moments, but the flat human characters do not ring true.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest
April 3, 2012
Suffers from a case of schizophrenia; some of it is waaay too simple, cutesy and/or sappy for adults, while other scenes are too intense and adult for children.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Brett Michel
Boston Phoenix
December 24, 2011
Minus the corn, it's almost good.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto
December 16, 2011
There's an audience for such lazy sentimentality, which means Crowe's half-hearted attempt to revive his career might actually succeed.
| Original Score: 2/5
Alison Willmore
December 22, 2011
This isn't just an exercise in mawkishness, though it's also nowhere near as emotionally resonant as it strives to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.5/10
Top Critic
Dan Kois
December 22, 2011
Watching the overlong, overfeeling, overdirected We Bought a Zoo made me glad to return from Cameron Crowe's world to the real world, where things aren't quite so simple.
Jason Buchanan
TV Guide
December 22, 2011
By the time young Rosie exclaims "We bought a zoo!" for what feels like the umpteenth time, even altruistic idealists will find their inner cynics chucking incredulously.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
December 11, 2011
Clichés and contrivances and corniness, oh my! With We Bought a Zoo, writer-director Cameron Crowe dives headfirst into the schmaltzy slop barrel.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Eric D. Snider
December 21, 2011
When we do feel a warm fuzzy in the heart or a lump in the throat, we also see everything Crowe did to put it there.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Eric D. Snider
December 23, 2011
This is indeed the story of some people who bought a zoo.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Gary Wolcott
Tri-City Herald
December 23, 2011
So few films this holiday season can truly be labeled "family film." We Bought a Zoo is one. Sadly, many films wear the label of "boring." We Bought a Zoo is one of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Bill Gibron
December 22, 2011
We Bought a Zoo has its charms. It also has a lot to live up to -- and misses the mark.
| Original Score: 3/5
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