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American Animals

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United Kingdom, United States · 2018
Rated R · 1h 57m
Director Bart Layton
Starring Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson
Genre Crime, Documentary, Drama

After a visit to Transylvania University, four Kentuckian college students come up with the idea to steal the rarest books from the school's library. As one of the most audacious art heists in US history unfolds, the men start to question their motives and their roles.

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What are critics saying?


The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

For all its mode-bending gamesmanship, American Animals is ultimately a fairly straightforward heist movie, albeit a stylish and engaging one.


The Film Stage by Daniel Schindel

American Animals is a legitimately exciting, funny, suspenseful, and at one point deeply upsetting crime film, ably demonstrating a command of genre trappings in service of a narrative about people warped by those very clichés.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

American Animals is fiercely entertaining from start to finish, even when its characters are acting so dumb that you start to suspect they still have some more evolving to do.


Screen International by Fionnuala Halligan

American Animals requires many cuts and perspectives which are second-nature to an accomplished documentarian, yet the drama here also seems effortless and seamlessly integrated.


Variety by Guy Lodge

This is unabashedly virtuoso, show-off filmmaking, as cocky as the misguided young men at the film’s center, who, at least for a period, saw their lives as a Hollywood romp in itself.


Entertainment Weekly by Leah Greenblatt

A movie seemingly custom-made for the era of alternative facts, American Animals feels like a new kind of true-crime thriller: one that shamelessly rewrites its truths in real time as it goes.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

American Animals is a tense, taut sober and occasionally silly thriller that reminds us that the Caribbean Island at the end of the Hollywood heist is always a mirage.


The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

Both as a writer and director, Layton delivers the dramatic goods here with the skill of a pro at the top of his game while adding the rueful perspective of time's reassessment of youthful indiscretions; this has to rate among the most accomplished and fully realized big-screen debuts of recent times.

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