28 user 68 critic

We the Animals (2018)

R | | Drama | 17 August 2018 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer
Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah embraces an imagined world all on his own.


Jeremiah Zagar


Justin Torres (based on the novel by), Daniel Kitrosser (screen play by) (as Dan Kitrosser) | 1 more credit »
9 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Evan Rosado ... Jonah
Raúl Castillo ... Paps
Sheila Vand ... Ma
Isaiah Kristian ... Manny
Josiah Gabriel ... Joel
Giovanni Pacciarelli Giovanni Pacciarelli ... Dustin
Moe Isaac Moe Isaac ... Dustin's Grandpa
Michael Pemberton ... Foreman
Amelia Campbell ... Woman in Van
Mickey Anthony Mickey Anthony ... Clerk
Tom Malley Tom Malley ... Old Man
Terry Holland Terry Holland ... Televangelist (voice)


Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah embraces an imagined world all on his own.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the Acclaimed Novel



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some underage drug and alcohol use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Based on the novel 'We The Animals' by Justin Torres, a semi-autobiographical story of the authors life growing up in rural Upstate New York. See more »


The movie takes place in the 1980s. But when the boys shoplift at the convenience store, the Visa logo displayed at the store entrance is the one which first went into use in the 2000s. See more »


Manny: What if he's getting a heart attack?
Ma: What heart?
See more »


Referenced in On a Magical Night (2019) See more »

User Reviews

Realistic and fantastic, a perceptive and artistic look at three young brothers in an unselttled world.
1 October 2018 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another." Quentin Crisp

This year has arguably no more impressionist yet realistic narrative than We the Animals. Based on Justin Torres' autobiographical novel, it tells of three adolescent brothers from a mixed-race couple (she white, he Puerto Rican). They survive their parents' volatile relationship by creating their own fantasy world or simply hiding from abuse.

The discursive plot allows their world to become interrelated set pieces of watching their parents work out their conflicts with director Jeremiah Zagar's assured point of view frequently from the boys'. Occasionally levitation punctuates the story in a magic realism that gives a poetic gloss to the hardscrabble journey.

Among the many lovely angles is Ma (Sheila Vand) coddling the poetic Jonah (Evan Rosado), whose gradual discovery that he's gay is subtly handled. His notes and illustrations hidden under his bed provide a punctuation for the rough world above the blankets.

Despite the family's dismal blue-collar challenges in upper New York State, the boys show a resilience to give hope to an essentially unsettled life. The artfulness of the magical realism and Jonah's writings lend a sympathetic cast to the proceedings. Zagar and co-writer Daniel Kitrosser offer a home not entirely grungy, in fact rather tidy, that suggests order can prevail.

Symbolically the water motif, with images of drowning and rainy cleansing, helps coordinate the despair and hope inherent in the story. Nick Zammuto provides just the right low-key music of sadness and kindness. In all, the film coalesces around the challenges of disadvantaged boys surviving the rain into the sun.

It's not easy.

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." e. e. cummings

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Release Date:

17 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

We the Animals See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,357, 19 August 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinereach, Public Record See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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