It's all very ho-hum, though James, who's like Jason Alexander with a touch of Jeremy Piven, is still a schmo you can't help rooting for.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Coraci doesn't impose much discipline, letting some scenes run wild and others peter out, their punch lines dangling.
Rachel Saltz - New York Times
It's hard to think of a human finding much to laugh about in this wounded beast.
Scott Bowles - USA Today
Casting carries "Zookeeper" over its roughest patches. The vocal guest stars are inspired.
Sean O'Connell - Washington Post
The talking animals are wildly child-pleasing, except that much of their talk concerns matters of animal husbandry. Is there such a thing as a hard PG?
Mark Feeney - Boston Globe
A comedy whose cliche-embracing stupidity borders on the surrealistic.
Nick Schager - Village Voice
A children's comedy about talking animals that feels as if it were written by children or, perhaps, by talking animals.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
There's little to recommend about Zookeeper, a movie that's flat, lacking in surprises and very dull.
Gary Dowell - Dallas Morning News
Did we mention that things just go better with Kevin James? Well-trodden comedy hooks become strangely more amusing. Goofball physical shtick elicits broader smiles. The bumblingly stupid is made endearing.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
If a worse movie is released this year, I hope I don't have to see it.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
Look, a great movie this is not. A pleasant summer entertainment it is.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
If you've been waiting for Hollywood to produce a romantic comedy with a supporting cast made up of talking animals . . . well, no, even then, Zookeeper will let you down.
David Hiltbrand - Philadelphia Inquirer
Will most audiences mind this? Probably not. Should they? Of course. They deserve better and frankly, so does Kevin James.
Tom Long - Detroit News
It's stupid, then it veers toward the absurd, but with James at its center it remains sort of sweet throughout. You can't hate James or the movie; both are just sort of dopey but well-meaning.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Ultimately, it's a marketing pitch in search of a movie that proves punishingly flat, with even the slapstick so sparsely delivered as to replicate a long slog through the zoo, surrounded by fidgety kids, on a suffocating summer's day.
Brian Lowry - Variety
This one is strictly for James' hard-core fans and anyone wishing to witness the sole appearance of the once-mighty MGM lion on a new feature this year.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Little kids - hence the G rating - and those who think poop-tossing is funny will be amused by Zookeeper. The rest of us are better off not feeding the animals.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
Kevin James has developed an irresistible screen persona as a nice-guy/underdog, which has served him well in some pretty mediocre films like Paul Blart: Mall Cop. In that context, Zookeeper is a quantum leap forward...
Leonard Maltin - indieWIRE
Unfortunately, nobody had the good sense to call the comedy authorities and shut this Zookeeper down.
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
James can be a funny guy, but the lack of laugh-worthy material in Zookeeper stretches his comedic abilities past the breaking point.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Beastly comedy for the lowest of brow.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
James hurls himself into this sad scenario with energy and teddy-bear charm that makes him impossible to hate. But it's easy to hate "Zookeeper." If we could talk to the animals, they'd probably hate it, too.
David Germain - Associated Press
It's probably time to stop fretting about Kevin James's movies, and to stop hoping they'll get better.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
There's no "The" in the title of the Kevin James comedy "Zookeeper," and that lack of a definitive article pretty well encapsulates the generic fat man follies on display here.
Robert Abele - Los Angeles Times
Movies like "Zookeeper" make you hate movies, restaurants, animals, and Earth.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
Kevin James' new comedy Zookeeper may be popular with the kiddos, but slapstick humor and a cookie-cutter storyline doom it for adults.
Amy Curtis - We Got This Covered
Give Kevin James this much credit -- the dude leaves it all on the field, even when the movie's bad.
- Urban Cinefile
A high concept-movie falls almost as flat as star Kevin James doing pratfalls.
Marsha McCreadie - Film Journal International
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Doesn't belabor its punch lines and it maximizes James' likeability to a mostly winning result.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
The latest in an increasingly long line of misbegotten Kevin James comedies...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
ksanazestamena romantika klise kai afelh hthikoplastika dilhmmata, poy mporeis na problepseis kai na kalyterepseis monos soy, prin kan shkwtheis ap' ton kanape na pas sthn aithoysa na deis thn tainia
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Sometimes a kid's movie is just a kid's movie. In the case of Zookeeper, it's a place where young imaginations go to die.
Rob Humanick - Suite101.com
From the unstoppable Adam Sandler hit factory comes this pleasant, kid-friendly, ultra-formulaic shlub-does-good comedy.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
Fans of the sight of James falling over will get a big kick out of Zookeeper, but this deranged comedy will leave everyone else scratching their heads.
Matt Singer - Time Out Chicago
It isn't terrible, it's just dull.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Why is Kevin James a top-billed movie star? When did this happen? Why is it happening?
Matt Neal - The Standard
Kevin James talks to the animals in Adam Sandler-scented rom-com.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Just who will be amused by James mugging and hugging his way into the heart of a good woman (Rosario Dawson? In your dreams, Kevin!) is a question that simply cannot be answered.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
With the exception of some nice moments, mainly due to Kevin James' wholesome and lovable lead, Zookeeper is a flop and should be watched at your own peril.
Dannielle Elms - MovieFIX
To produce something as emphatically unfunny as this, the script's five-man team must have whipped themselves into a state of mutual delusion.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
Failing to succeed as a rom-com or a kids' flick, this feels surprisingly flat with the animals, and Kevin James, never really coming alive.
Annette Basile - FILMINK (Australia)
When you hear the giraffe yelling May Day, right at the beginning of Zookeeper, take heed; it's a distress signal that we are about to witness a disaster
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Though silly and disposable, the film's heart and physical comedy make it relatively satisfying.
David Roark - Christianity Today
Zookeeper is a charming and lovably imperfect film.
James Luxford - The National
If a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters can produce Shakespeare, then Zookeeper must have been banged out by one primate pecking away at a keyboard between sessions playing on a tire swing.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
I would rather lie on a bed of nails watching Dr Doolittle for a week than see a single reel of Zookeeper again.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
James is hardly the most versatile performer and his gibbering speeches, pratfalls and slapstick antics are awfully familiar.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
The scriptwriters subsitute volume for humour, labouring under the misapprehension that if the animals yell at one another a lot it'll have us rolling in the aisles.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film
It is only James, which his intuitive gift for physical comedy and a quirky emotional sincerity, that makes the slog a little less sloggy. Key word: little
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
If as much money had gone into the screenplay as must have gone into the paying for the star voices we might have ended up with something less mundane.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
In which Kevin James yet again proves his absolute unfitness (in both senses) for the part of romantic comedy lead.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
It's not quite as bad as expected, but it still makes more jokes out of the male genital region than any film aimed at children ever should.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
The odd chuckle aside, this is for the most part lots of lame slapstick and those trademark Kevin James pratfalls.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Though Zookeeper doesn't really cast any lingering animal magic, it has enough laughs to keep family audiences engaged during the summer holidays.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
While there is something definitely appealing about the idea of Nick Nolte as a gorilla, this never really gets off the ground, thanks to a poorly written script, an unfunny lead, some shocking product placement and a painful lack of laugh-out-loud gags.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
I didn't dislike it and reckon children will be amused by the talking animals and impressed by the quality of the effects.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Kevin James is the hero of this "comedy", which boasts five screenwriters and not a single amusing moment.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
The comedy premise is confused and underwhelming while the formulaic romance is a waste of the charismatic leads.
Orla Cunnane - Little White Lies
It's made-to-measure holiday fun, without anything unique to it and rather bland animals - apart from Nick Nolte's Bernie the Gorilla.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
Kids will be bored stiff by the protracted romance, while most human adults will find the talking animals witless.
James stays true to type as the downtrodden everyman we've previously seen him play in Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Grown Ups, but too often falls back on crudely telegraphed slapstick.
Terry Staunton - Radio Times
If it's a choice between this and mucking-out duty, pass the shovel.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
Everything is so unashamedly sign-posted and predictable that both the comedy and drama pack little impact.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Funniest moments? The outtakes during the closing credits. I rest my case.
Derek Adams - Time Out
Some sparks of comedy and fun but largely a flat and unrewarding comedy.
Nick De Semlyen - Empire Magazine
I couldn't help but wonder who this weird romantic/animal comedy was aimed at when the film gets suffocated by a tedious love chasing travesty that would confuse kids and bore the hell out of enduring adults.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
... utterly laughless alleged comedy ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Should've been called Hey Kids, Watch A Pudgy Man Take Pratfalls And Act Like An Alpha A**hole-There'll Be Talking Animals!
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
The eighty-million-dollar-blockbuster equivalent of watching your 'wacky' friend do funny voices over a wildlife documentary.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
know, I know, the idea of talking animals is nothing new. But Kevin James helps make the concept funny, at least in spots (pun intended) during "Zookeeper." The movie certainly offers up some laughs, and it has a heart for animals as well.
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
Vaguely misogynistic, ugly-looking, and features product placement so brazen that it would make Michael Bay blush.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky - Ebert Presents At The Movies
- National Post
Because Hollywood Suits need to keep their jobs, they have to make sure that movies about talking animals contain at least the sketchiest framework of a human plot to help everybody pretend that it's all actually about something.
Dave White - Movies.com
In the pitch meeting for this movie, someone said, "I know -- let's make a movie where animals talk crazy talk."
Grae Drake - Movies.com
All of it is a truly unpleasant form of time consuming torture.
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
There are worse movies than Zookeeper. But I didn't see those this week; I saw Zookeeper. I can honestly say I wish I hadn't.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
It proves useless and unfunny.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Despite a good moral, it has too much adult-oriented dialogue and situations for children and it's too stupid for adults.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
Nevermind how the animals learned to yak - the real question is who this loud, dull elephant dung is aimed at.
Emma Dibdin - Total Film
Should have been more 'Dr. Doolittle' and less 'How to Win a Woman"
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
A steaming pile of excrement.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Truly stupid - except for very young kids. Wait for the dvd.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Leave it to Zoolander to have the foresight to succinctly sum up Zookeeper. In that 2001 comedy, Owen Wilson's Hansel blares, "Taste my pain, b****!" - a declaration that Kevin James was directing at me for the duration of this ghastly film's 100 minutes.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
You know I love a movie with talking animals, but Hollywood seems intent on destroying the genre.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
James is appealing enough to make it work - just barely.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
When little kids walk out of a movie called Zookeeper and call it "stupid," you know it must be really bad.
Jason McKiernan - Filmcritic.com
I think there should be a subdivision of the ASPCA -- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Audiences.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Cher and Sly Stallone as a lion couple? Quirky voice casting helps Zookeeper rise above its kiddie film trappings - barely.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
...having a monkey throw poo on you for an hour and a half would probably be more entertaining than this flick.
JimmyO - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
I'm not gonna sugarcoat this: Movies don't have to be this bad.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
Kevin James has developed an irresistible screen persona as a nice-guy/underdog, which has served him well in some pretty mediocre films like Paul Blart: Mall Cop. In that context, Zookeeper is a quantum leap forward,...
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
It's Hard to Go Wild for 'Zookeeper'
James Verniere - Boston Herald
So misconceived it spends more time on its title character's love life than on his love of animals...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
A 21st century Dr. Dolittle, Zookeeper is not.
Jane Stevenson - Jam! Movies
Pointless comedy is a waste of a talented comedic cast.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
A dismal family comedy that even the most charitable child should find difficult to endure.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
About as fluffy and silly as would be expected.
If you take the talking animals out of it, it would be truly unwatchable. As it is, it's the work of uncaring hacks and lazy Hollywood players cashing paychecks at the expense of family audiences worldwide. (Full Content Parental Review also available)
Teddy Durgin - Screen It!
Offensive to women, men, children, parents, WASPs, Asians, African-Americans, animals and zookeepers … a movie with no conceivable audience.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
It's just director Frank Coraci deciding that continuity is for saps.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
I don't know who it's for, other than people who enjoy making fun of bad movies.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Audiences may be shocked when they discover that only about 40% of the running time involves scenes of talking animals. That 60% of PG-rated adult material does not qualify under the mold of 'a little something for the entire family.' Just mold itself.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Kids may get a few laughs out of the talking animals, but any parent unfortunate enough to have to tag along might want to consider bringing a blindfold and some earplugs to ease the pain.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Yet another slacker no-effort film, with another soundtrack filled with 80′s songs just because that's the last time producer Sandler listened to the radio.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
There is a charming film to be made that casts Rosario Dawson opposite Kevin James, treating them both as free-thinking, interesting, three-dimensional people with legitimate wants, dreams and desires as they fall in love. "Zookeeper" is not that movie.
Kevin James is about as funny as Bud Abbott, which is not a compliment.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
While kids can enjoy the well-intentioned, duplicitous yapping uncaged creatures, those jaded adults in the audience will likely pass the time turned on by the challenge of the guessing game, matching celeb voices with assigned species in the cast.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Kevin James goes from mall cop to zoo dude, but the results are just as disappointing.
Peter Paras - E! Online
As far as complete wastes of time go, "Zookeeper" is not especially offensive.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Despite the voice talent, the animals don't have anything funny to say. Neither does James, serving mostly as a befuddled, clumsy straight man.
Jason Heck - Kansas City Star
...what I found was something with real warmth, a concern for animal welfare, and, most amazingly, a film that didn't have a single fart or poop joke...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
"Zookeeper" is a dud, even with the can't-miss kiddie catnip of talking animals.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Pushes past banality and onto the surreal plane being staked out by bad movies that are bad in a new and genuinely dispiriting way.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
Zookeeper is arguably one of the better products of the Adam Sandler Death of Cinema Fun Factory -- but that's an accomplishment somewhere on par with "Least Smelly Turd."
Zookeeper is exactly as loud and sloppy as you expected it to be, livened only occasionally by James and some of his co-stars mugging from inside the muck.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Well-meaning, sort of sweet, but can't really get it together: That describes both Kevin James' character and his new movie, "Zookeeper."
Cathy Jakicic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Drags unnecessarily, trying to convince viewers that the human elements of the script have value when all anyone really wants to see is a talking gorilla in a polo shirt.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
As a study in insanity, Zookeeper is mildly interesting. But as a kiddie comedy, it's something to watch only once the little ones have worn out their Dr. Doolittle DVD (maybe even their Dr. Doolittle 2 DVD, for that matter).
Keith Phipps - AV Club
Lock the cage and throw away the key. 'Babe' this is NOT.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Kevin James' average-Joe appeal doesn't go very far in a film that's noticeably low on charm or playfulness.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Zookeeper is a surprisingly good time at the movies, or maybe it's just too hot outside for anything in air-conditioning to disappoint... It isn't just the heat; it's the film's amiable stupidity.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
The team of five writers, including James, simply fails to provide a narrative that would make us care about what happens next.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
Zookeeper is essentially a surreally awful Happy Madison Productions version of Mad Libs.
Simon Abrams - Slant Magazine