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We Bought a Zoo
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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 August 25, 2016
Great family movie! We had a day at the zoo with the family. In the morning, we went to a really fun interactive zoo where we could feed the animals and then we topped off the day watching this together. It is a great movie that covers real issues that families face: the loss of a parent, tension with raising teenagers, overcoming debt, facing trials and life changes, holding on to hope, and learning to thrive through it all.
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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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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 May 9, 2012
This movie is an excellent story about a family recovering from the loss of the most important woman in their lives. It is whimsical, quirky, and although often sappy it is very inspiring. As a sentimental romantic type guy I guess I can see how I might be biased. But this whole movie is great. The acting is believable all around. The bad reviews are from viewers who isolate one thing such as "colorful language" and then spend the rest of the time watching to movie looking for flaws. It's funny and largely moving. I don't care that it was predictable and that the ending was slightly ridiculous. The message is clear from the best scene in the movie when Matt Damon tells his son, "Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of courage and I promise something great will come of it." That's the whole point of the movie. Anyone who doesn't take that message away with them after watching it is shallow and has little to no heart.

The whole 14 year-old to 12-year old romance thing is a touch odd I will admit. The "disturbing" artwork from the son and his troubled relationship with his Dad are one of the key components of the film. As someone who lost his Dad at a young age I remember acting out against my Mom and feeling depressed. I imagine if I was a great artist I would also be drawing dark and gory images. Some people have complained that Matt Damon wasn't being a good Dad throughout the film. Again I'd like to point out that a good story has a protagonist (Matt Damon) and conflict (money, loss, troubled relationship with son) and then resolution (if I need to explain this you have no business watching movies).]

Bottom line: Great movie. All of the negative reviews are from people who refuse to accept that humans are flawed and that times of adversity make or break a family. Get over the occasional colorful language. Also the cinematography is beautiful.
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on May 6, 2014
Just loved it! It was based on a true story -- dealt with a young widower and his two children dealing with the events of the past 6 months. He decides he needs a change - a move from the town to a place with more space for the kids and a tad more privacy. The property he falls in love with has a slight condition attached to it -- it is a run-down, private zoo - and it's all one package. Comes complete with staff. Should he do it? His funny, business-minded accountant brother adamantly advises against it..... Yet it just feels right. The staff is full of colorful characters, and there are some amazing animals there to be taken care of. Can they really make a go of it, or will this lead to failure and bankrupcy? SEE THIS MOVIE!
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on September 27, 2017
This is a very good movie---I was seeking something well-done that wasn't terribly dark..."We Bought a Zoo" worked its magic....highly recommend.
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I watched this March 23rd, or so with my wife and daughter, after they ordered it on AmazonFireTV on my account. GP rated and a tearjerker for sure. I liked it well enough.
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