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Showing 1-10 of 1,193 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,401 reviews
I rarely buy DVDs any longer because it is so easy to watch most movies on Amazon or Netflix without buying them. But occasionally I see one, like We Bought a Zoo, that I like so much I want to add it to our collection. I did purchase We Bought a Zoo on DVD.

Based on a true story this was a good family movie, although the younger ones wouldn't be able to follow the subtle meaning behind some of the dialog which was very important to the overall story. Our smart five year old wouldn't get it. I'd think 8 to 10 years old and up might be a better age. The story has a grief theme as the mother of the children has passed away before the story begins. That thread runs through the movie and is the foundation for the entire story.

I have several movies with Matt Damon but I feel this is his best role.

This is a heartwarming family movie with light touches on the problems that arise during the story. The story is totally believable, and it's packed with a great cast. I always like Thomas Hayden Church who had a smaller role in We Bought a Zoo.

Movie making is all about the director. A director can totally screw up a good story and acting, or can bring a poor story to life. Cameron Crowe did a bang up job on this one. I think he may have squeezed a bit more out of a decent story than most directors could have.

This isn't an animal-centric movie so don't expect that. It's much more about the people and their struggle to make the zoo work. It's fairly predictable but for me that's okay for a family film. There are lots of light touches for a good chuckle.

Why not 5 stars? I reserve that rating for nothing but the best movies. While this is a great family film it simply isn't a match for some of my true favorites (Shawshank Redemption, Casablanca, that sort of thing).
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on July 27, 2014
This movie was...okay. It lacked conflict and drama and consequently it was really quite boring. It wasn't OFFENSIVE or anything, but it was pretty snooze-worthy. Damon plays a dad whose wife died and who buys a run-down zoo. They don't show any scenes with the wife except for the end, where she's seen in a brief flashback, and only THEN do you get a glimpse of how much/why they miss her so. I think she should have been shown earlier, so we'd sympathize more vividly with the characters, instead of in a very abstract sort of way.

And, I also had a problem with the deus ex machina move (SPOILER) when they're about to lose the zoo and LO AND BEHOLD, the wife left them secret money. Because she freaking predicted that her husband would lose all his inheritance and want to do something kinda crazy yet possibly wonderful.

It's not worse than a standard kids' afternoon TV show, but I expected better from Cameron Crowe.

The settings are quite pretty, though.

I watched this with my family. My kids (ages 8,12,15) were bored. My 12 year old left. The others only stayed for the popcorn.
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on August 15, 2016
This is a great family movie, for families with kids 12ish and older. The message is great, follow your heart. On occasion there is questionable language, and the father son relationship is strained, but for older children who can understand the emotions behind it the movie is fine.

The movie revolves around a father and his son and daughter. It takes place not long after his wife and their mother has passed away and they are trying to find their new normal. The son has a hard time doing that and after being expelled from school they are looking for a new start. They end up buying a zoo, hence the title, and going through the struggles of getting the zoo back into working order and being certified to open. The movie is about relationships more than anything. Father and son relationship, husband and wife, living and the dead, and man/boy and woman/girl. In the end it is all a love story that teaches us to follow our hearts.

I quite enjoy the movie.
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VINE VOICEon April 22, 2012
This is a pretty solid if not fairly predictably uplifting tale of a recently-widowed writer taking a 180 degree turn and buying a zoo. Based on the true story of Benjamin Mee, an English writer who bought an actual zoo in Southwest England, the script pulls all the right punches for delivering an entertaining family drama that has a little something for everyone.

From the adorably cute daughter to the grumpy teenage son and the Dad who needs to move on from Mom's death, the script almost writes itself with character arcs all revolving around the family moving to the country side and living with the animals. But it's very well done - an excellent cast holds it together and the dialog is believable enough to keep the audience engaged and routing for the zoo's success. My only question was why the zoo was moved from its real life location in England to a fictional rural area outside Los Angeles - some of the quirky zookeeper characters would probably have worked more effectively if it had stayed in the UK.

I've read some comments on both here and IMDB that the profanity is too much much for a family film - personally I didn't think there was anything that was not family oriented but then again I don't have kids! Though there is also a revealing fact about the Easter bunny that you may not want your children to know. Overall, it was much more entertaining than I expected and definitely a little different.
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on September 4, 2015
this movie was a little sad, but the highlight of the whole movie was the precocious little 7 year old daughter. she made the movie worthwhile. the acting was fabulous. the cast was wonderful and matt damon can make any movie great. it really was a feel good movie. there are lots of great scenes and conversations. we can all learn from strong family ties. an outstanding movie
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on June 19, 2017
My wife and I really enjoyed watching this. The blu-ray video was sharp and easy to watch. Mr Damon did his usual great job of acting as did the rest of the cast. Good for watching with the family or if you're tire of all the flicks with explosions, inappropriate language, sex, and car chases.
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on April 17, 2017
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie, as I don't usually frequent the "family" or "feel good" sort of film genre. It was really a great story and a very enjoyable production all the way through though. I have watched it many times now.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 9, 2014
I love a great story.. and this is one. I have to say movie reviews are subjective, and this is my opinion. It's just a great life story. I am not really a Matt Damon fan, however, he does well here in this roll. There are some deep themes and some language so I am not sure it's appropriate for younger ones, but parents decide. This story is based on a true life story and I wanted to go right away to see it... but it's actually in England... so it might be awhile. :)
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on May 10, 2017
I loved this movie! it was a super sweet, happy , yet emotional movie about a family who wants to buy a home, but finds out the property also comes with a zoo!
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on February 22, 2014
My wife really wanted to see this movie, it was a great movie, the kids and us had pizza and kicked back and watched the movie, it has a good plot and leaves you feeling good afterward. Matt Damon is a great actor and the little girl in the movie was so cute!! The love between the teens was a bit over the top, but didn't ruin the movie :-)

One thing is that my tv said it was 2.99 and I was billed 3.99 not sure what that was all about.
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