Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Still shot from the movie: We Bought A Zoo.

We Bought A Zoo

Feeling lost after the death of his wife, Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) tries to reinvent his life by quitting his job and buying a dilapidated zoo. This meets with mixed reactions from his two children. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: B+
Violence: B
Sexual Content: B
Language: C+
Drugs/Alcohol: C+
Run Time: 124
Theater Release: 23 Dec 2011
Video Release: 03 Apr 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
See Canadian Ratings
How We Determine Our Grades

W Allen says: Nov. 26, 2011

We enjoyed this heart-warming story very much.  It’s about struggling with deep loss, overcoming challenges and moving on after losing someone you love. 
We recall very little, if any, language and no sexual content, but we would not take our 6-year-old and probably not our 8-year-old.  There are some elements that would upset younger children.  The children in the story have lost their mother.  The teen boy draws multiple pictures that are dark and angry.  There are several scenes where people are in dangerous situations with large wild animals.  There is some discord between the father and teenage son that explodes a few times.  Alcohol is used repeatedly. 
There are also many positive elements.  The father in this story is devoted to his children, the animals, his employees and the memory of his late wife.  It made us both laugh and cry.  We will recommend this movie to our friends.

Andy Allyn says: Jan. 16, 2012

This is a great movie, but not for children.  It really had potential to be a very family-friendly movie.  The story is a good one but the language is off the charts for a PG movie.  Be prepared to hear, Sh_ _, bullish_ _, d_ _ n, hell, a_ _ hole, a seven year old girl calling an adult a d_ _k, and the implication that the tooth fairy isn’t real.  Also be prepared for some very graphic and disturbing drawings by the son.

In my opinion, it should have been a PG-13 movie.  I don’t quite understand how it could be in the same rating category as “Annie” and “Stuart Little”.

Mom-of-4 says: Jan. 20, 2012

After seeing all the previews for this movie, I jumped at the chance to take our kids to it—ages 9, 7, 6, and 4.  This was a mistake on my part.  I did not notice that it was rated PG and not rated G.  There was a good bit of cussing in the movie, but I can overlook some of that because kids hear that just about everywhere you turn…and my kids know that it is not acceptable language for a child.  But when a 7 year old in the movie (who looks more like a 5 year old)—-looks at an adult and says “Everyone thinks you are a D***.  I don’t know what that means, but I don’t think you are one.” , I was totally shocked. 

And the movie basically says that there is no Easter Bunny either.  Luckily, it only kept the attention of my oldest child, and the other 3 did not pick up on that one. 

I am assuming that these few lines were put in the movie to bring it up to a PG rating to hopefully draw move audiences, but they could have easily been left out and not affected the overall theme of the movie.

I know Matt Damon has done some films with higher ratings, but I guess I was dumb to expect him at this stage in his life (a good family man with 4 small kids) to do what seems to be a family film.  If you take out the cussing, the movie would be a fine family film, but I would not recommend it for small children or anyone who still believes in the Easter Bunny.

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