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Movie Reviews

We Bought A Zoo



Released: March 16th 2012 (UK)

Directed By: Cameron Crowe

Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson

Certificate: PG (UK)

Reviewed By: Alyssa Pridgen

Cameron Crowe returned to the director’s seat for the first time since Elizabethtown in the new dramedy We Bought a Zoo. Crowe may be the last genuine romantic left in Hollywood and this movie shows us why.

Based on a true story, the movie opens on adventurer/journalist Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) playing the role of the single parent six months after his wife has passed away. After he quits his job and his rebellious young son gets kicked out of school, Mee decides that the family needs a change of scenery and buys a house with a failing zoo. The family then works with the eclectic staff to save the zoo and its inhabitants.

This film pleasantly surprised me. It was funny, heart-warming, and adorable – very Crowe-esqe. The plot itself was sentimental and sugary sweet, but the saving grace was Matt Damon’s performance, which came off as genuine. Much like what he did for Renee Zellweger and Tom Cruise, Crowe brought out the best in Damon.  The supporting cast also provided some good laughs, which included Thomas Hayden Church as Mee’s goofy brother; an unrecognizable and delightfully gruff Angus MacFayden; and the always-entertaining John Michael Higgins as the nit-picky zoo inspector.

Overall, We Bought a Zoo is a nice film for the family, but nothing memorable or exceptional.

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