We Bought a Zoo

We Bought a Zoo

Cameron Crowe (2011)

PG Certificate


Our Score
A new life in the countryside is anything but peaceful for Matt Damon in this cute comedy drama inspired by a true story. He plays newly widowed Benjamin Mee, who's greeted by a lion's roar when he moves with his two children from the city to a wildlife park in rural California. It's an impulsive reaction to his wife's death, encouraged by seeing his young daughter (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) communing with the animals. But for teenage son Dylan (Colin Ford), it's another traumatic upheaval. Their prickly relationship gives the film a pulse and Ford's quiet intensity also tempers the gushing sentiment that director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) frequently allows to flow. Damon's wry performance has a similar effect, though his slow-burning romance with the zookeeper (Scarlett Johansson) has less traction than Dylan's hesitant courtship of her 13-year-old cousin (Super 8's Elle Fanning). Ultimately, it's the youngsters' story that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy.


A father-of-two struggling to cope with the death of his wife is in need of a fresh start, so buys a house with a dilapidated zoo on the grounds. With the help of the keepers, he works to restore the attraction to its former glory, while also trying to reconnect with his troubled teenage son. Fact-based comedy drama, starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church.

Cast & Crew

Benjamin Mee Matt Damon
Kelly Foster Scarlett Johansson
Duncan Mee Thomas Haden Church
Robin Jones Patrick Fugit
Lily Miska Elle Fanning
Walter Ferris John Michael Higgins
Peter MacCready Angus MacFadyen
Delbert McGinty Peter Riegert
Dylan Mee Colin Ford
Rosie Mee Maggie Elizabeth Jones
Katherine Mee Stephanie Szostak
Director Cameron Crowe
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Edited for language.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 16 Mar 2012
Drama Comedy