199 user 186 critic

American Animals (2018)

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


Bart Layton


Bart Layton, Jon Croker (additional material) | 4 more credits »
4,130 ( 619)
10 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


This is not based on a true story. This happened. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Warren Lipka: Look, all I'm saying is that nothing will happen, unless you make something happen. We're supposed to be hunter-gatherers, man. And our whole life, we're just unwrapping shit. Packaging, packaging, packaging. The illusion of choice. It's bullshit, man. Everyone in here thinks that they're gonna win the lottery, but no one likes a ticket.
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References The Italian Job (1969) See more »


Who by Fire
Written by Leonard Cohen
Performed by Leonard Cohen
Published by Sony/ATV Songs LLC
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Canada
Licensed by Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

Very rare and illuminating experience
19 February 2020 | by christopher-underwoodSee all my reviews

Such a good film. I felt shattered at the end, as if I had been through some terrible trauma, but exciting all the same, of course. First big surprise here is that this largely American film is directed by an English documentary filmmaker. Second is that the poster and title are just a wee bit misleading. Depicting a real incident in Kentucky we accompany four students on a mission to steal some rare books. Involving an excellent Evan Peters as leader of the group and also featuring the actual four from the original incident freshly released from jail. I have never seen anything like this as we slip from acted to real and back mixing and matching dialogue with the one character talking to himself at one point. Very involving throughout and very imaginatively shot, this leads to the most incredible heist. I'm not sure my heart has ever beat as fast and the mixture of fear, excitement, relief and horror was quite incredible. Most of this is down to the fact that the filmmaking technique used tends to draw you in personally and breaks down the so called fourth wall and as in a dream (or nightmare!) a large part of you is actually mentally engaged in the action. Inside as opposed to outside. Very rare and illuminating experience when the urge of four kids to do something different and make something of themselves tips over into something unstoppable.

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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 »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$134,793, 3 June 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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