Grade • B
DVD •The most admirable thing about “We Bought a Zoo” is how open-hearted it is. Director Cameron Crowe, adapting Benjamin Mee’s memoir, brings almost zero cynicism to this story of Ben (Matt Damon), a widower with two kids who decides to get his kids out of the city, and ends up buying a country house that’s attached to a rundown zoo.
The young zookeeper, Kelly (Scarlett Johansson), doesn’t believe Ben has the fortitude, or the money, to stick with the difficult work of rehabilitating the zoo — leaving it up to Ben to prove himself. Crowe deftly balances the comic material with the serious, while creating a rare family film that doesn’t insult anyone’s intelligence.
— Sean P. Means
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