I am grateful that in this cynical world, there are still artists who are courageous enough not to run from earnestness, but to embrace it. Cameron Crowe has done just that with WE BOUGHT A ZOO. This is a beautiful movie, full of life - truthfully acted, beautifully shot and lovingly directed. I expected to cry which I did, many times but I didn't know that it would also be so funny with levity coming just when you need it. Matt Damon was brilliant as the heartbroken but hopeful father. And my only gripe about Thomas Haden Church is that there wasn't more of him! The kids were all <more>
brilliant -- not an ounce of self-consciousness to their acting, which is rare when it comes to child actors. And the final scene alone is worth the price of admission. Anyone willing to open his or her heart will fall in love with this movie like I did. Kudos to all involved.
Saw the sneak preview Saturday. We bought a zoo was simply precious and amazing. If colin ford or any actor reads this. truly amazing job and acting. There are awards in the future for this cast.the story was great. I can't wait a whole month to see it again : best movie in could watch a thousand times.it made me laugh and it made me cry. Fantastic movie Matt Damon stole the show along with his movie son Colin ford. He is amazing I have to admit I was kinda jealous of Elle. Although Elle was socially awkward in the movie she was also good. I would encourage any f Family to see this heart <more>
warming movie. The whole movie was very true to the book, it didn't down play it at all.
The best ticket to the zoo you could ask for! (by marktucker7777)
Thank you Cameron Crowe for sharing this amazing story with us. Like you did with Almost Famous, you found an artful and personal way to spin a multi-layered narrative in a visually stunning, yet subtle and approachable fashion. Matt Damon is perfectly cast as the father, securing his rank as the most reliable and relatable leading man in Hollywood over the past 15 years. Add to that a throng of amazing child actors, a soundtrack that is still buzzing in my head, and a screenplay which echoes equal parts tenderness, hilarity and truth, and you have my favorite film so far this year. We <more>
Bought a Zoo is a movie all audiences will enjoy, though some younger audiences may have to cover their ears for some curse words. Finally, thank you Fox for your series of sneak previews - you wanted the buzz? Well, the buzz is coming! GO SEE THIS MOVIE!
Beautiful & Touching, Crowe does it again. (by wbhendrix-1)
Cameron Crowe never fails to deliver hart warming drama-comedies that make you laugh, cry and keep you on the edge of your seat for duration of his films. For me personally, I never seem to agree with Crowe's casting taste Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson never do much for me but Cameron has a way with actors and a true vision for his story. He always seems to know exactly who can capture his characters and ultimately draw out your emotions that he's tugging at. In We Bought a Zoo, there is a bit of a slow start and at one point I was worried Cameron had lowered his voice to appeal <more>
to a larger audience to please producers and critics alike after his Critically-bombed but personal all time fav, Elizabethtown . But let me tell you, pay your dues with the first half of this film because the second half will take you on a mesmerizing cinematic adventure you'll be heartbroken for more. Cameron ventures into a new family drama without compromising his voice, music taste or quality film making. And if you are still not a huge CC fan, the animals are sure to win you over. Their beautiful and natural moments on screen are as breath taking as they are tear-jerking.Spend an amazing two hours with this film and there won't be a person in your household that won't agree that this film is one to remember. From a fan and living-room-critic, I give it two thumbs up :
-- www.Ramascreen.com --And the 2011 most feel-good movie goes to WE BOUGHT A ZOO. It's one of the most heartwarming, delightful, pleasant family films you'll see this Holiday season. It's also an excellent grief-themed movie. Great ensemble cast, across the board. This is much lighter than what we usually expect from Cameron Crowe who brought us Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, and Vanilla Sky, but after leaving us with the meditational Elizabethtown, which I didn't enjoy very much, and then 6 years hiatus, WE BOUGHT A ZOO is a very sweet, very nice comeback, a breath of fresh <more>
air What I enjoy about Crowe's movies is that there's always something personable about them, and it's no different with WE BOUGHT A ZOO. This film is not preachy, it doesn't hit you like a ton of bricks, it doesn't drag, it doesn't get too sentimental either. It's tender yet firm, a bit predictable yet entertaining. It's one of those movies that make anything seem possible, somewhat of an underdog story, the kind that's generally liked, it's a good way for Crowe to tell the world that he's still in the game, without having to alienate his old fans, while embracing some new ones. Be glad that this is not a talking animal movie. The animals in WE BOUGHT A ZOO serve as a way to challenge the humans on their road to healing and triumph.Matt Damon is a fantastic actor because he can be action man in one movie and he can be your next door regular neighbor joe schmoe in another. As the single dad, Benjamin Mee, Damon channels a certain vulnerability that comes with fatherhood. And Damon shows the sorrow and exhaustion of a newly single parent. I think it's great to see Scarlett Johansson utilizing more than just her good looks. She shows some range that we remember from Lost In Translation, Girl With A Pearl Earring and The Horse Whisperer. Johansson is not believable as a zookeeper, I mean, let's face it,.. if you were to name someone who handles a zoo or cleans animal crap for a living, Johansson would probably the last person on your list, but she seems self-composed, which allows her character to be Mee's listening ear. Outstanding work by the teens in this film, Colin Ford who plays Mee's angry son, Dylan and Elle Fanning who plays the socially awkward Elle Fanning. Their characters embody stereotypical teens and their usual problems with parents and also with peers their age. Ford and Fanning are actors who are going to rock Hollywood someday, you just wait and see.Some things don't work for me, although I admit Maggie Elizabeth Jones who plays the little daughter Rosie is absolutely adorable, I think the film plays out her cuteness way too often, way too much. And I think it's sad that Patrick Fugit who was practically the star of Crowe's 2000 Oscar worthy movie, Almost Famous, doesn't get to have a substantial role in this film. All he mostly does is stand there in the background with a monkey on his back, how sad. Aside from the zoo aspect, the story itself, in its core, is nothing unique but that doesn't necessarily mean a bad thing. It's about difficulties of moving on. The loss of his wife, the mother of his children, leaves a mark that can't easily be replaced by the appeal an unconventional new home. But as the film suggests, sometimes plans change, and all of a sudden it's not about you anymore. And it's not a Crowe movie without such memorable lines like 'Show me the money' and 'you had me at hello', WE BOUGHT A ZOO has a hopeful message of taking chances and gambling on life through 20 seconds of insane courage, loving people, and adventurous, unadulterated joy. And if you're still asking why you should watch this movie, just say to yourself.. why not?!-- www.Ramascreen.com --
A wonderful family movie that is full of heart and appeals to all ages. A must see family movie. I easily say its an A. (by cosmo_tiger)
"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." Benjamin Mee's Damon life is starting to crumble. His wife has died, his son is expelled from school and he quit his job. In hopes to start a new life they decide to move and find the perfect house. Then they realize that it's a zoo. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical going in because I thought that it would be a good movie but really cheesy. I really like Cameron Crowe though so I <more>
expected it to be good from that. I have to admit that this was one of the best family movies that I have seen in a long time. The movie had enormous heart, depth and tackled real world issues while still appealing to all ages. The writing and the acting were great and the movie absolutely won me over a half hour in. I highly recommend this one. Overall, this is a must see for families and is one to buy so you can watch over and over. I give it an A.
Film Clips Don't Do This Movie Justice (by patsworld)
We Bought A Zoo is a heart-warming, fun movie. The casting is a good as you could wish for and if I had to choose, I'd pick this as my favorite Matt Damon film. For anyone who loves animals, and I have to confess I'm about head of the line as one of them, this is a marvelous picture with not only the people personalities shining forth, but so too the animals. In most cases, we all know that the brief film clips shown prior to the movie are supposed to be showing the best of the picture. In this case, that is far from the truth. I almost passed this delightful movie up because all I <more>
could think of was, if this is the best there is...I don't think so. I'm so glad I opted to see it in spite of my reservations. Who ever picked the preview clips should be fired...or retrained, perhaps, because what they went with most certainly didn't do this movie justice. Not even close. It's a really enjoyable movie and I'd recommend it to everyone.
This film, starring Matt Damon, was unequivocally everything I had hoped it would be. Upon viewing the trailer while waiting to watch The Muppets, there were tears in my eyes and my heart skipped a beat as I remembered I wasn't watching the film itself, just the preview. The film came out yesterday and to my luck, my mother invited me to go and see it with her this evening. I was thrilled to see that the music throughout the film was performed by a favorite Icelandic musician, Jónsi, with a perfect selection of "Holocene" from Bon Iver's new album. It was little details <more>
such as these that kept me appreciating the film from start to finish.The plot may have been at times predictable but they were predictions you wanted to happen; conflict you wanted to be resolved and rain you wish would stop. Coming into the theater already a Matt Damon fan I was interested to see how he was going to fill the widowed father role. A few things a noticed; Matt does look older, he is still as handsome as ever, and he should stick with a shorter haircut. Aside from my personal opinion, I think anyone leaving the theater could agree he played the roll wonderfully. The warmhearted character of adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones, melted my heart every time she was on the screen. Her character, "Rosie" was the seven year old whose dreams came true; her Dad moved them to a zoo. My favorite scene is when the Realtor tells Matt Damon's character, "Benjamin" that the house they wanted to buy was also a zoo. As Benjamin stood there dumbfounded, Rosie Jumped up and down as any seven year old would shouting "Yay!". Seriously, the cutest thing ever.If the cast didn't win you over the animals did. Tigers, lions, bears, snakes, monkeys, owls, otters, peacocks, etc. The list goes on and on. Each personality portrayed in a relatable way as if you were on the team helping run the zoo itself.If you and your family are wanting to go see a movie this holiday season, go and see We Bought A Zoo. It is the perfect film to tug at your heart strings, leave you with tears in your eyes, and hope in your heart.
A lot of heart and humanity makes this a delightful, inspiring and poignant autobiographical tale notable too for a peerless lead act by Matt Damon (by moviexclusive)
You can't get more obvious what your film is about with a title like 'We Bought a Zoo', but fortunately director Cameron Crowe's adaptation of British journalist Benjamin Mee's autobiography possesses much more subtlety and nuance than what its title would suggest. The story of a grieving widower who makes the unusual decision to buy a rural property whose 18 acres includes the Rosemoor Animal Park, it is also Crowe's first feature since his 2005 flop 'Elizabethtown' and the feel-good family movie represents a welcome return to form for the talented filmmaker <more>
behind such classics like 'Say Anything' and 'Jerry Maguire'.Working off a script by 'The Devil Wears Prada' and 'Morning Glory's' Aline Brosh McKenna, Crowe grounds the high-concept tale in a heart- warming story about a lonely widower trying to overcome his grief for his bereaved wife while attempting to reconnect with his teenage son Dylan Colin Ford and young daughter Rosie Maggie Elizabeth Jones . Crowe is better than to take the easy route of mawkish sentimentality; instead, there is genuine humanity and optimism in his storytelling, complemented by some outstanding performances that he coaxes from an ensemble cast- in particular his lead actor Matt Damon.Though the 'Bourne' trilogy has cemented his reputation as a thinking man's action star, Damon has been and still is a strong dramatic actor. The astute actor confidently matches the emotional beats that Crowe chooses for his character every step of the way, from sanguineness at a change of scenery early on to dismay later on when one thing after another goes awry. His is a heartfelt performance that packs a powerful emotional wallop in his understated delivery of a father struggling to do it right by his children- and nowhere is this more evident than in a powerful scene where Benjamin and Dylan address their fractured relationship head-on which is guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes.The conviction that Damon brings to his role is a huge reason why the film achieves its intended poignancy. A scene where his character finally overcomes his fear of looking at past photographs of his wife and their happy days together as a family is simple yet moving- and appropriately filmed in close-ups; while the film's last scene where he reminisces his first encounter with his deceased wife to his children also works brilliantly thanks to Damon at his earnest best. He also shares great chemistry with each of his co-stars- whether Scarlett Johannson's perceptive zookeeper Kelly, or Thomas Haden Church's wry older brother Duncan.Both Johannson and Church are also individually outstanding in their supporting roles, alongside other equally incomparable veterans like Angus MacFadyen as the groundskeeper with a longstanding grudge for park inspector Walter Ferris John Michael Higgins and Patrick Fugit who played Crowe's alter ego in 'Almost Famous' as one of the zoo staffers with a capuchin monkey perpetually perched on his shoulders. Crowe has also assembled an impressive teenage cast- Ford brings a raw edge to his character's anger, counterbalanced perfectly by the ebullient Elle Fanning as Kelly's cousin- as well as an impossibly adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones sure to melt your heart.Aided by an outstanding cast, Crowe drives the narrative along with a sure confident hand. Alongside the running themes of grief and parenthood are well-inserted vignettes of Benjamin and his crew's obstacles at getting the zoo up to inspection standards in time for a grand reopening on the seventh seventh or the seventh of July - among them the escape of the zoo's 650-pound grizzly bear Buster, the fate of the zoo's 17-year-old ailing tiger Spar and of course Benjamin's impending bankruptcy that we admit is over all too soon by a dues ex machina . Still, there is genuine feeling in every scene, and Crowe's choice of music a mix of oldies with more contemporary tunes as well as Jónsi's of Icelandic cult band Sigur Rós eclectic score works perfectly in complementing the mood of the film. And even though it's tinged with sadness, the tone of the film is never depressing- Crowe making it sure that the film steers clear of both over-dramatic as well as melodramatic moments. There's hope and affirmation abound in this inspirational tale, and just because its message of acceptance and reconciliation may sound familiar doesn't mean it is less authentic or touching for that matter. It wears its heart on its sleeve, but thanks to Crowe's deft hand as well as Damon's heartfelt performance, even the cynical will find themselves moved. www.moviexclusive.com