Critic Reviews

58

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
The movie is like Doctor Dolittle remade as a therapeutic sudser. By the end, it got to me.
75
Damon is extraordinary. He's heartfelt performance has a tough core of intelligence and wit.
75
The film is sweet. Its observations of life in the aftermath of death ring true, especially for anyone who's traveled the contours of mourning. And although it doesn't rank among Crowe's greatest films, it's a better, tighter, more disarming piece of grief work than his baggy and zigzaggy "Elizabethtown."
75
Genuinely charming, treacle-free family films are tough to find these days, so I'm happy to heartily recommend We Bought a Zoo as heartwarming holiday fare that even jaded adults can share with the kids.
75
Provides a welcome seasonal dash of wholesomeness and humor.
70
Arguably the director's least typical film, it doesn't dodge the potholes of earnest sentimentality and at times overplays the whimsy. But the uplifting tale has heart, humanity and a warmly empathetic central performance from Matt Damon.
63
We Bought a Zoo doesn't seem to know what kind of animal it is. Is it a family melodrama, a love story, a wacky comedy, a drama about coping with grief, a feel-good film about following your dreams, or, as ads seem to indicate, a gift-wrapped animal adventure? Not surprisingly, this menagerie of genres doesn't mesh.
63
Often I couldn't see the character for the metaphors.
60
An intelligent family film, a rarity, and while not quite Crowe at his absolute best, it carries his humanistic imprint and benefits from a strong acting ensemble that keep emotions in check.
60
A movie you want to like, and a movie you can enjoy if you cut its slackness some slack.
55
The film has the feel of something deeply conventional that Crowe, who's also credited as a screenwriter, has tried with very mixed success to punch up with personality.
40
"Field of Dreams" this ain't, and Crowe, whose "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous" are justly held in high esteem, can't build the right frame here. It's neither fish nor fowl; a "guy-gets-his-life-right" rom-com runs smack into a "kids-with-animals" lark.

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