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DVD review: 'We Bought a Zoo' smart and sweet

Published April 2, 2012 11:29 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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