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American Animals (2018)

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Four young men mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history.

Director:

Bart Layton

Writer:

Bart Layton
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1,624 ( 272)
6 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Reinhard Spencer Reinhard ... The Real Spencer Reinhard
Warren Lipka Warren Lipka ... The Real Warren Lipka
Eric Borsuk Eric Borsuk ... The Real Eric Borsuk
Chas Allen ... The Real Chas Allen
Betty Jean Gooch Betty Jean Gooch ... The Real Betty Jean 'BJ' Gooch (as Betty Jean 'BJ' Gooch)
Evan Peters ... Warren
Blake Jenner ... Chas
Barry Keoghan ... Spencer
Jared Abrahamson ... Eric
Eddie King Eddie King ... Male Art Professor
Karen Wheeling Reynolds ... Female Art Professor (as Karen Reynolds)
James Rackley ... Active
Drew Starkey ... Frat Boy
Anthony J. Police ... Man with Gun
Ann Dowd ... Betty Jean 'BJ' Gooch
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Storyline

In this crime drama, four bright and well-off college students in Kentucky plot to steal some rare books from their university's Special Collections Library in a misguided quest for personal glory. Based on the story, the film includes interviews with the foursome who attempted the bizarre heist. Starring Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson and Ann Dowd.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody wants to be ordinary See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some drug use and brief crude/sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Dutch

Release Date:

14 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Animals See more »

Filming Locations:

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$134,793, 3 June 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,856,954, 30 August 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2:39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Darren Keith revealed Warren asked him for help with the heist as well but he denied the offer in hopes of pursuing his acting career. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, when it is explaining what each character is up to now, the text says that Charles Allen II is "writing a book on prison workout regimes." It should be "regimens". A "regime" refers to governments or periods of rule, whereas a "regimen" refers to exercise or any other scheduled activity. See more »

Quotes

The Real Spencer Reinhard: Van Gogh ended up killing himself. Monet went blind. I felt like they understood something more about life that I wasn't getting to experience. Art has to be about more than just, "My life is great and I'm really good at drawing."
See more »

Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Blinded by Fear
Written by Anders Björler (as Bjorler)/Jonas Björler (as Bjorler)/Tomas Lindberg (as Lindberg)
Performed by At the Gates
Published by Earache Songs
Used courtesy of Earache Records
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
American Pets!
30 August 2018 | by AhmedSpielberg99See all my reviews

Aside from the committed, and decent performances from the entire cast, most notably from Evan Peters who proves that he's one of the most talented young actors around, it's the movie's third act that made me barely like American Animals. The last act has some of the best hold-your-breath scenes I've seen this year. Case in point, the entire robbery sequence that really got on my nerves. Due to the impeccable editing, especially the sound editing in the mentioned scene, the movie left me mostly satisfied despite all its flaws, or maybe it's only one grave flaw that causes the others.

Fine acting, superb editing, perfect use of the soundtrack, and good cinematography. That's all the good this movie has throughout its entire runtime. So let's talk about the issues I've with American Animals. For starters, using the documentary style, and showing different opinions is a risky decision that if it was used wrong would be nothing but a cheap gimmick to get the attention. I, Tonya used a similar technique last year and it was good for the most part, I actually thought it would have been better if it made much use of it, but here it wasn't just useless, and didn't add to the characters, or serve the plot, but it also was very distracting and off-putting.

The second issue is that the movie never settles on one way to tell its story. It starts using this documentary style, which I thought it was interesting and promising at first, then the movie almost neglected this style or rather the most interesting part of it which is the different point of views, and what we got were some interrupting scenes of the real four young men explaining and justifying what they were feeling at these particular moments, and why they were doing so. I mean really! Is that how to tell a story, and develop the characters?!

The planning for the heist, and collecting the gang were kinda interesting. But after that, the movie chose a formulaic way to keep going; such as, the let-downs, and the regrets. And while these phase showed glimpses of adding real depth to the characters, a thing that was almost made me ignore the clichés, almost every dramatic moments felt forced, and the movie just didn't give enough time or prepared for these potentially affective scenes. Let alone the interrupting documentary that did nothing but preventing me from being invested even for a moment.

Comparing what I've praised to what I've criticized, I usually would a movie like this 3 stars, 6 to 6.5 out of 10, but this above-mentioned robbery scene blew me away. It has Fincher's rebelliousness, and Aronofsky's uneasiness mixed together but without being offensive. With that said, I can't give American Animals less than....

(7/10)


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