Critics Consensus

Zookeeper smothers Kevin James's with a sodden script and a surfeit of jokes inappropriate for the young viewers who would be intrigued by its juvenile storyline.



Total Count: 131


Audience Score

User Ratings: 44,663
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Movie Info

In Zookeeper, the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get a girl in his life is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship - animal style. -- (C) Sony Pictures Publicity


Kevin James
as Griffin Keyes
Ken Jeong
as Venom
Leslie Bibb
as Stephanie
Nick Bakay
as Franky
Jackie Sandler
as TGIF Waitress
Robin Bakay
as Rebecca
Gary Valentine
as Pizza Guy
Tanner Blaze
as Little Boy at Zoo
Tim Gage
as Bike Guy
Katrina Begin
as Secretary at TGIF
Michael Burton
as Car Customer
Todd Zeile
as High Roller
Mookie Barker
as Grandfather
Daniel Guire
as Salesmen
Ellen Colton
as Shane's Mother
Barry Bernardi
as Cab Driver
Juston McKinney
as Upscale Restaurant Manager
as Janet the Lioness
Adam Sandler
as Donald the Monkey
Jon Favreau
as Jerome the Bear
Judd Apatow
as Barry the Elephant
Faizon Love
as Bruce the Bear
Bas Rutten
as Sebastian the Wolf
Nick Nolte
as Bernie the Gorilla
Maya Rudolph
as Mollie the Giraffe
Sylvester Stallone
as Joe the Lion
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News & Interviews for Zookeeper

Critic Reviews for Zookeeper

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (113)

Audience Reviews for Zookeeper

  • Mar 01, 2014
    petit film du dimanche soir. rien de surprenant et rien d'hilarant non plus!
    Marc-André B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2013
    Bernie the Gorilla: Hey, don't leave me in the van; I'm out of the zoo without my iZod.  "Don't talk to the animals... unless they talk to you first."  Zookeeper is a rather messy, cliche, predictable family comedy that uses a premise that all animals can talk and that they will even befriend a certain type of person. So, so far this sounds awful. That's how I figured I'd view the film. I thought I wouldn't like it, and I believed it would be horrible. Now while it isn't a good movie by any standards, I was completely surprised by it. Somehow all this stupidness ends up being a rather fun time, even with Adam Sandler's horrible voice for the monkey.  At the beginning of this movie we see a zookeeper propose to his girlfriend. It doesn't go well and then the story jumps several years ahead where we see that he's still a zookeeper even though the only reason his girlfriend wouldn't marry him was because he was a zookeeper. He loves his work though. When he runs into his girlfriend at a party for his brother who is getting married, he tries to win her back. A bunch of the zoo animals decide to try to help him out with his relationship problems and begin talking to him. In the end the story has the same sort of family theme that you don't need to change who you are to be happy. I sort of have an affection for these dumb comedies that Kevin James has been starring in. I didn't even hate Mall Cop. I've been a fan of James since I grew up watching his television show, The King of Queens. Ever since then, I always check out whatever he's in no matter how awful it looks. I was happy I checked out Mall Cop and now I'm happy I checked out Zookeeper. In the end, you sort of now what you're going to get from a movie like this. It isn't an amazing film by any standards, but there's something that is really likable about it all. I never thought I would say anything with talking animals would be likable, but this is just one of those times where a movie really surprises you.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • May 26, 2012
    I wanted to hate this cliche-ridden pablum, meant entirely for families (meaning the six - seven year olds children in those families and, of course, by extension their long suffering and mostly forgotten parents) ... but I couldn't. James is ever James and the very recognizable celeb voice work carry this past offensive into the just right zone. Just right for six - seven year olds.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2012
    And so, ladies, gentlemen and children, today, we have discovered who the true animal is: ...Kevin James. Come on Kev, what ever happened to the old Kevin James that we used to lo-...kind of like? Oh wait, he's still the same, but only in the sense that he's been playing the same loud, obnoxious fat guy character over and over again, except the difference now is that we're getting pretty tired of it; but hey, as much as I hate it, I suppose it is the role he was born to play, and if there's anything you can say about this film, it's that it knows how get performers in the roles they were born to play, like Sylvester Stallone as a lion and Cher's husband, or Nick Nolte as a Gorilla (Seriously, it took them this long?), or, of course, Crystal the Monkey as Adam Sandler, because after hanging out with Ben Stiller in "Night at the Museum" and Zach Galifianakis in "The Hangover II", it seems to be her ambition to be notably associated with every major Jewish comedic actor. Maybe her ambition should be getting a better agent, because she is just too good of an actress to be in stuff like this. Wow, I just got a crazy image of Crystal running up to claim her fourth best actress Oscar... in a row... since a break in her eight-year streak, which of course begs the question, "was that a crazy image, or a vision of the future?" Hey, as ridiculous as the Oscars are getting, they may as well just go ahead and give a capuchin monkey a couple of Oscars, because after giving Tom Hooper best director over David Fincher, they couldn't get any less credible, so Meryl Streep, you better watch your back. Still, until then, she's going to have to settle with being a saving grace in a could-have-been terrible movie, like this, which isn't to say that she's the only thing that manages to just barely pull this film out of the water before it drowned. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I give maybe too much credit to Happy Madison films, and not simply because of the beautiful women and really good soundtracks, though those aspects certainly help, and sure enough, those aspects are here, especially the really good soundtrack, with the exception of Flo-Rida's "Low" and a singing over Boston's "More Than a Feeling" by the animals during the credits, something that I didn't mind too much, but still found pretty annoying because, come on, you don't mess with Boston's "More Than a Feeling". Still, on the whole, there are plenty of classic tunes on the soundtrack, yet they're not nearly as prominent as the score, which is a little bit too overused, and not when it comes to this film, but films of its type. This is "that" fluffy little slapstick score that we've heard in countless other similar films, a deal of which also being composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, yet it's still an undeniably charming score that gives the film some bits of life, even if it does, at points, intensify some of your cornier moments. Still, the real charm lays behind the cameras, and by that, I mean behind the mics, because the real highlight of the film has to be the star-studded cast of voice performers, rather annoying though, some of them may be. The film boasts classic charismas delivering sometimes obnoxious, but more often than not, pretty charming voice performances and chemistry that really make most, if not close-to all scenes with them pretty enjoyable, and really, there are just enough of those moments to save this film, which was never weak to the point of falling to a state of being completely unsavable. Still, make no mistake, while it is a close call, this is a mess of a film if there ever was one. It's never mean-spirited and just barely has enough going for it to be somewhat enjoyable at times, but in many regards, this film is a disaster, from, if nothing else, a technical standpoint. The talking animals effect isn't absolutely terrible, but it's fairly weak, though not a offputting as the editing, which is, at times, absolutely awful, with jarring, awkward cuts that are either too early or too late and range from hardly noticable to sloppy enough to actually knock you out of the film almost entirely. Still, what easily hurts the film the most has to be the writing, which is of course not quite awful enough to warrant total panning, but criticism is very much due, and not just because this story is all too generic, even though I highly doubt that you can find a film of this type somewhere out there that's dumb enough at times to have its reasonable-seeming protagonist trying to get back his mate through actual animal mating rituals. Still, outside of those ludacris moments, you've seen this all before, both in films of this type and Happy Madison films for that matter. Really, the script is plagued with a deal of Happy Madison flaws, particularly the go-nowhere jokes that attempt to be somewhat realistic, but really just fall flat, and yet, sometimes, you wish they would stick with that format, because the embarassing moments in slapstick are decidedly something that we could definately do without. Still, although this film will some major lows in the joke department, on average, this is most D-grade humor, with C-grade humor for the animals, which isn't to say that the better material is the only reason why you want to see the animals more in the film, because where our voice performers really bring a lot to this film, so much so that they save it, our live-action performers - with the exception of the unbelivably underused (Seriously under seven scenes), but still pretty blasted funny Ken Jeong - really do nothing, outside of be really bad - in Leslie Bibb's case - or all but devoid of lead presence - in Kevin James case -. There are a lot of people out there who hate Kevin James, and understandably so, because while I don't dislike the guy, I am getting fairly tired of his playing the exact same obnoxious role over and over again, so of course I'm not fully behind him on this film, though it certainly doesn't help that he, while not that bad in the film, doesn't have any real genuineness in him as a lead. Were it not for that voice performers being so prominent and effective, James, alone, would have brought this film down, because he lacks any lead presence to earn your investment in his character's story, and while that's not quite enough to destroy the film, it certainly helps greatly in making it go limp. Overall, the film just barely goes saved some degree of charm and a lack of mean-spiritedness, yet most of all, across-the-board charismatic performances by the star-studded voice cast, though that is not enough to cover up the offputting missteps in technical value and, of course, the glaring missteps in story and comedy writing, which is done further injustice by Kevin James', not necessarily poor, but rather limp, uncompelling lead presence, thus leaving "Zookeeper" to stand as a passable, but shoddy as all get-out piece of family fluff that is, at best, hardly memorable. 2/5 - Mediocre
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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