Home Viewing: We Bought a Zoo

Bottom Line: A gentle, sweet, and enjoyable family film is less about slapstick humor and more about finding a way to move forward together.

The Gist: When Benjamin (Matt Damon) finds his two children floundering after the loss of his beloved wife, he makes drastic changes. He moves them from their suburban home to a house on a small zoo, home to an impressive array of animals and an eccentric array of employees. While they tend to their furry friends, they find they can begin to heal the hole in their hearts.

The Verdict: Watch it. This is a family film in the sense of a movie you watch together that everyone will love, from grandma to the little kids, not in the sense of a wisecracking animation you put on to keep the kids quiet for a while. Tender, sweet, and ultimately triumphant, the story isn’t about the animals so much as about the people who care for them. Read our full review.

Be Aware: Rated PG for light language and thematic elements, by which they mean the theme of loss and death. There are some very sad scenes, but ultimately the movie is hopeful.

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