All member reviews for We Bought a Zoo

Common Sense Media says

Family film tackles grief with humor and deep empathy.

Users say

(out of 189 reviews)
age 11+
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Parent Written byname of first pet? January 11, 2012

This is a great movie! The PG rating is correct.

My wife and I saw this movie last night with our 9 year old daughter and our 6 year old son and we thought it was great. We were not sure about the movie so we googled it and found this website and reviews. We almost decided not to go after reading the reviews where most said it was inappropriate due to bad language. I am glad that we did go. Yes, there were a handful of swear words throughout the movie but they were not gratuitous. Children probably hear more profanity at a family party than they would in this movie. The d**k comment made by the young girl is no big deal. She even says she didn't know what it meant. It was more comedic than derogatory. The relationship between the two teenagers in the movie was very tasteful and when they profess their feelings for each other they only hug. The kiss between the adults was tasteful as well. It was not a make out session and their was no tongue. After the movie we asked if our kids if they had any questions. My daughter only asked why in animal movies an animal always dies. We explained to her that this is part of life and that animals have a shorter life span than humans. The topic of death and loss is dealt with very well and is now worse than any Disney movie like "The Lion King." There are plenty of positive messages: "being focused", "doing your best", "taking a risk." Even before the movie my daughter was quoting the line from the movie that she had seen in the trailer, "all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage for something incredible to happen." I would recommend this movie and just know that it is probably not appropriate for children under 6.
Teen, 13 years old Written bycrazy4books January 9, 2012

A sweet inspiration.

We Bought a Zoo is a very sweet, inspiring movie. I loved this movie though there was some iffy content. This movie contains scenes up close and personal with animals so it may be alarming for younger children. But there are several swear words and some drinking so I would be careful about showing it to kids under 10. Also in this movie this family is dealing with a lost wife/mother so it can be a bit sad. In this movie the son draws some dark and rather gruesome pictures. In addition in the movie the dad makes a reference about the Easter Bunny. But overall this movie is an inspirational movie that I will be watching again and again.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bytherealbwr January 9, 2012

Really Good Movie

But it probably should have been PG-13. A fair amount of swearing (d--k, sh-t, d-mn, etc) and there was some drinking. VERY good movie tho
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bymovielovingmom January 8, 2012

Pretty good but don't take a child under 11 to see it.

I didn't appreciate the use of AxxHxxe or Sxxt in the movie as it is rated PG. I think for whatever reason language is being added to movies for young kids that adds zero benefit to the story. I really liked all the characters and think my 8 year old was less bothered by the topic of death than me and my husband. It made us more sad to watch than him. There is a reference to the Easter Bunny which should not have been included in a family movie either- it was not something on my radar to be watching out for and as soon as it was out I wondered if it was going to ruin the fun for the next Holiday. I still don't know if my son caught on or it went over his head but it shouldn't have been in the story to begin with.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old January 8, 2012

Happily ever after.

This movie is really sad. The family is really depressed because their mom/ wife passed away. The boy draws disturbing things but in the end learns that life can still be wonderful even if his mom died. There is a lot of cussing. The little girl says a bad word too. But in the end all is well.The boy makes a new friend and the little girl loves to feed the peacocks. Oh and also at one part of the movie the dad says the easter bunny isn't really and the girl hears him
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byWeRwhoweR January 7, 2012

Great movie!!!

We Bought A Zoo is an inspiring movie. You laugh and cry and its great. The language is a bit off but its a PG!Its amazing..... Go see it!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bybeccylucy January 7, 2012

My review

My friend and I went and saw this movie together a couple days ago. We both loved it and I would suggest it to anyone. The only real problem is the language. It isn't to bad, especially if your kids don't know about cuss words.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written bynjspanteach January 7, 2012

Teen movie, not for children

This is a teen movie disguised as a kiddie movie. The words s*** and a**hole do not belong in a PG movie, nor should a 5 year old be depicted calling someone a "d***".
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byssklr January 7, 2012

It's not what you think!

I went to see this movie with family during the Christmas break. My sister-in-law chose it, thinking it would be good for the varying ages of children we were taking to the movies. I didn't have a problem with it because the commercials I saw made it look like the typical light-hearted family movies we usually watch. The subject matter was adult and really serious. It mostly centers on the dad and his grieving the death of his wife. I didn't think it was something that young children would understand or enjoy. My son and his cousins looked uninterested most of the time. As stated by other reviewers, there is cursing, which I didn't see the point in. The worst was when the little girl called the zoo inspector a d*$ck. There were a lot of little kids at this movie, and you could hear a collective gasp from the parents when that happened. As we were exiting the theater, I heard parents complaining about it. It's disturbing to me that the language in so-called kids movies and family movies is becoming more crude. Although good, this movie could have been so much better.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byzchunawala January 7, 2012

Okay but very long.

I think this movie was okay. I was surprised when the girl said d**k.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byCrakr January 7, 2012

WE didnt go to the zoo

please as to benifet your mind, dont see it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byStoddert January 7, 2012

Great movie!

Great movie! They didn't need to curse that much and thy shouldn't have ruined the Easter Bunny. It's really funny and amusing, but it's also sad at times.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old January 6, 2012

Bad Language!!!!!

My dad took me to this movie and i thought it was going to be good. but, boy was i wrong!! i am eleven and i am not aloud to use that type of language. it should be rated PG13 not PG!! really, do u want your kids to watch a movie with the words a**h***, s***, d***, and h***? i think not!!! do not watch it, i repeat, do not watch it!! EVER!!!! what has hollywood come too?! war horse was rated PG13 and i watch it, and it had no cusing!! now this movie right here, it is rated PG and it had more cusing in it than war horse!! DO NOT WATCH IT!!! WAR HORSE RULES!! GO WATCH THAT INSTEAD OF THIS OUTRAGE!!! my dad and i actually had to leave the theater in the middle of the movie because he and i could not take the cusing! i also thought that the picture that that kid drew was disturbing, and that he desurved to be expelled!! and that percentage up there that says 86% of people think that language is an issue? LISTEN TO IT!!! I SAY AGIAN, DON'T WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 10 year old Written bysupersil January 6, 2012

Sadder and Swearing only critique

I took my now 10 year old and his same age friend to see this movie and really liked it. I thought it could do without the swearing. It seemed unneeded and in my point of view, unwanted. I liked the story, but it was much sadder than I thought it would be (duh - Mom dies and family buys Zoo -- what was I thinking). But what the boys talked about being saddest in the whole movie was the Tiger.scene. They did not like the swearing either, but seemed ok with the movie otherwise.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byannieh23 January 5, 2012

A message for all

This heartwarming movie depicts the true life journey of a widowed father who takes the exciting risk of purchasing a run-down zoo. At first one may think that this movie would just be another typical, childish movie, well think again. This movie has humor that all generations could enjoy. The story that the actors so skillfully accomplished leaves the viewer feeling better than when they walked into the theater. Matt Damon and Scarlet Johansson have chemistry on camera that is simply captivating. Although there are some unusual thoughts and language that should not have been used in a PG movie, the message that is received after is completely worth it. This movie takes you on an emotional journey that is certainly worth viewing again!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byilikemovies33 January 5, 2012

Great movie, but not for young children.

This was an EXCELLENT movie but there was some inappropriate language used by both adults and children. There is also a comment that implies that the Easter bunny does not exist. Another slight problem was the images drawn by a teenage boy which are quite graphic and could distress younger children. 'We Bought A Zoo' is a great movie but I would not take children under 10 to see it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent Written bymdlawson76 January 4, 2012

Enjoyable family movie which can lead to great conversations with the kids about life, death, animals and love

My children and I really enjoyed this movie. my kids are 10, 8, and 5. My children have heard the bad words before so that wasn't a surprise. The understanding of family tragedy was well done and my kids thought the idea of owning a zoo was great and enjoyed the animals. My 5 year old didn't say one thing about the Easter bunny. I would hope that kissing wouldn't be an issue for children - at least not with mine as they see my husband and I kiss everyday. I will say that it is too old for my youngest. My 8-year old enjoyed it but could be too old for some 8 year olds.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old January 4, 2012

Great Movie

I loved it! Its a very good movie which is toward love and friendshiip for the animals. The death of the mother was very sad. But it showed that you have to get over it ;] 5 Stars.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent Written byRobbyWBoy16 January 4, 2012

We bought a Zoo

true zoo story turns out to be a true good story with some humor.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byusernamebox January 3, 2012

We Bought a Zoo - Laughed and Cried and got my Money's Worth.

This movie is hilarious. My Dad and I always joke, "We bought a zoo, based on real morons who accidently bought a zoo. Yes, there is some language, but it's pretty low-level, and who really cares about consumerism in movies? I laughed so hard, and I cried when the tiger died and there is a heart-breaking ending; but no spoilers for the end. Go see it! The only bad thing were the ads, PG movies get alot of PG ads in cinemas, so there could be some bad things in the there. Also, a tiger dies and a Mother has already died.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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