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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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701 ( 67)
3 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 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:

The perfect heist is a work of fiction. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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

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

The movie was filmed in the Davidson College Library during the week of Spring Break of 2017. Through the chaos of equipment, actors, extras, and all the technical people it takes to make a movie, the library staff continued to perform their jobs. Some of the staff were asked to submit their head shots to be cast in the film which resulted in one person being asked to be in the film. However, it was inconvenient for staff to take the time away from their jobs to be in the film, so, therefore, no staff person was in the film. But, if you look closely in the shots filmed in the library, there are offices with their blinds down. Staff are behind those blinds working diligently making sure the library still functioned. See more »

Quotes

Warren Lipka: You're taught your entire life that what you do matters and that you're special. And that, there are things you can point towards that would... which'll show that you're special, that show you're different, when, in all reality, those things... don't matter. And you're not special.
See more »

Connections

References Reservoir Dogs (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Crucify Your Mind
Written by Rodriguez (as Sixto Diaz Rodriguez)
Performed by Rodriguez
Published by Universal/MCA Music Ltd.
Courtesy of Hey Day Entertainment, LLC
By arrangement with Light in the Attic Records & Distribution, LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE BOOK THIEVES
28 May 2018 | by js-66130See all my reviews

True story this, though the quartet of perpetrators of the most audacious literary crime have trouble keeping their story straight. That's part of the fun in recreating a 2004 Kentucky teenage heist: having the now grown ups involved, recount the events, separated by distance from each other, and time from the deed.

"American Animals" seems too goofy for fact, but as usual, fiction loses out in the strange category. Spencer, Warren, Eric and Chas, (yes Chas), are privileged white boys getting their feet wet at University, itching for the action adult life has promised, which of course, is lacking.

Solution: robbery! Seems the campus library has a twelve million dollar book, and the only obstacle is an elderly librarian. Seeing their fair share of heist movies, the greedy group hatch an elaborate plan to snatch a big bird book from the poorly guarded nest. Convoluted schematics are drawn up. Maquettes are constructed. Ridiculous disguises are made. This is the thrill of their lives, and makes for irresistible film.

Evan Peters as the excitable and sketchy Warren, owns his delicious role, especially when steering the reluctant dreamer Spencer (Barry Keoghan) to the point of no return. Even better are their real counterparts, as they contemplate on the events, and each other, fourteens years on. It's an ingenious bit of movie magic, that could not have been scripted better.


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