18 December 2011 11:46 PM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

What happened to Cameron Crowe? This is the guy that made two of the greatest movies of my lifetime -- "Almost Famous" and "Say Anything..." -- and wrote maybe the greatest high school movie of anyone's lifetime, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Now he returns to fiction filmmaking six years after the underwhelming "Elizabethtown" with another disappointment. "We Bought a Zoo" features all of the worst parts of Crowe's work -- overwritten dialogue, mopey characters, empty sentimentality -- and very few of the best.

Crowe seems to have lost his way in his work, a trait he shares with the protagonist of "We Bought a Zoo," Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon). They're both struggling storytellers, too: Benjamin works as a reporter, but ever since the recent death of his wife he hasn't felt the same passion for of journalism. All he wants to do now is spend time with his kids, »


- Matt Singer

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