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193 user 183 critic

American Animals (2018)

Trailer
1:55 | Trailer
Four young men mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history.

Director:

Bart Layton

Writers:

Bart Layton, Claudia Zie (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,579 ( 233)
9 wins & 21 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 ... 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:

You don't know where the line is until you cross it 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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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

Warren Lipka: Seriously, man, fuck fraternities. The reason to be a part of that is so one day you can walk in the door of an office you never wanna go in to see a guy you never wanna meet, on the hopes that he might give you a job you never wanna fucking do.
See more »

Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Alive
Words and Music by Peter Lucia, Tommy James
Performed by Gil Hamilton (as Johnny Thunder)
Published by EMI Longitude Music
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

 
"Ocean's Eleven" meets "The Social Network" & "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
17 June 2018 | by littlemankazooSee all my reviews

"American Animals" follows a pretty simple story. One about growing-up, friends, young adulthood...

...oh, and robbing a library of books worth millions of dollars...That little detail, too.

I can't say I've ever seen any heist film like this one, though.

What makes this concept so captivating and so unique compared to other legendary heist films like 'Ocean's Eleven', 'The Italian Job' and others is that this film revolves around both a certain sense of nihilism and adolescence. In a way, I would call this film the unholy love-child of "Ocean's Eleven", "The Social Network" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".

The thing that sets this film apart from the others in its genre is just how REAL everything becomes by the time we watch these college kids, all aimless and without a clue, try to chase the American Dream through the most devious way possible. Spearheaded by spectacular leading performances by Barry Keoghan and Evan Peters, this film is not about a heist. Rather, this film is about nihilism, and growing-up in just about the scariest way possible.

The film itself grows-up as we go, as we open with a sense of style and editing that is snappy and fast-paced. The style of young adult; alive and frantic. Everything is bright lights and pop songs, all while our protagonists see themselves as 'good guys' as they plot a heroic heist of a library and its priceless books. The theater I was in was happily rolling-along, audience laughing heartily with the silly antics.

But suddenly, just as we as audiences want to see this heist succeed, and we suddenly see it unfold...the consequences hit. The laughing becomes weaker and weaker until we as audiences reach a similar realization as the characters do; this is real life.

While the film's style of pseudo-documentary mixed with fiction was not exactly the most smoothly-executed (At times it felt jerky and almost gimmicky), it eventually comes back into play as the teaching tool of the entire film. The film's points it chooses to make, both light and dark, are powerful through this very medium. Its pacing and choices of editing, specifically a change by the second half that evolves the entire film into something completely different, were what flipped the proverbial coin for me as an audience member.

The evolving state of this film, the proverbial 'growing-up' it symbolized to me as an audience member, was what truly made it impactful and transcended this film from a "Good" one to a "Great" one.

This film is not about a heist. Rather, it is a film about growing-up THROUGH a heist. Indeed, as many billed it to be, "American Animals" is like no heist film before it. Thankfully, that's for all the right reasons.

I seriously recommend seeing this indie darling of a film. While rough around the edges and lacking an entirely-bulletproof execution, I think this is one of the most interesting films I've seen thus far this year.

It, quite literally, 'grows up' as you watch it.


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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

Gross USA:

$2,856,954

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,080,073
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2:39:1
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