Rent American Animals (2018)

3.3 of 5 from 600 ratings
1h 52min
Rent American Animals Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
The unbelievable but entirely true story of four friends (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner and Jared Abrahamson) living a routine existence in Kentucky, who brazenly attempt one of the most audacious art heists in US history. Determined to live lives that are out of the ordinary, they plan the brazen theft of some of the world's most valuable books from the special collections room of Transylvania University Library. But not everything is as it seems, and as the thrilling theft unfolds, each of them starts to question whether their attempts to inject excitement and purpose into their lives is simply a misguided attempt at achieving the American Dream.
Actors:
Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk, Chas Allen, Betty Jean Gooch, , , , , , , , , Anthony J. Police, , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Derrin Schlesinger, Mary Jane Skalski
Writers:
Bart Layton
Studio:
STX Entertainment
Genres:
Drama, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
14/01/2019
Run Time:
112 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Interview with Director Bart Layton
  • Interview with Evan Peters and Blake Jenner
BBFC:
Release Date:
14/01/2019
Run Time:
117 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Interview with Director Bart Layton
  • Interview with Evan Peters and Blake Jenner

Rent other films like American Animals

Reviews (10) of American Animals

Intelligent and Fascinating Heist Thriller with a Documentary Element. - American Animals review by PV

Spoiler Alert
31/01/2019

This is a fascinating true story, and to ram home that point, occasionally the real-life characters (the 4 young men who did the heist and their parents, and the librarian) give interviews to camera.

I'd never heard of this story so found it interesting, especially the psychology involved.

But those who like shoot-up-up movies won't like this - it's all about the theft of rare books from a library. No shots fired.

3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

Badddddddd - American Animals review by JD

Spoiler Alert
06/02/2019

Interesting idea for a movie, based on a true story that I had not heard of before. Some of the actual criminals and a victim appear.

Sadly the movie is very poor, the storyline can not decide if the young criminals should be hero’s or villains.

They are vicious losers.

The acting is wooden, then suddenly bursts into rage, as if to make up for the poor script.

I hope the actual criminals did not get paid a penny for this movie, and that any fee went to the lady Librarian who was attacked and hurt in the robbery.

2 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Crime did not pay - American Animals review by NC

Spoiler Alert
07/02/2019

Quite bizarre having the actual 4 guys in amongst the story telling.........could almost had them do the film anyway?

Good example of how the American dream can back fire.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

American Animals review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

American Animals attempts to take on a tricky picture that wants to both tell the truth of a college heist gone wrong and also play it up for stylish laughs. It’s this blurring of realities, however, when the film incorporates interviews from the true men behind the robbery in an oddly quirky manner, the film falters at trying to weave some Adam McKay style comedy out of the absurdity and frustrations. Despite a solid production, the film replicates the heist aspect by portraying itself more as a film with better planning than execution.

The criminals in question are Warren Lipka, Spencer Reinhard, Chas Allen, and Eric Borsuk, played by actors for the dramatization and playing themselves for interviews. When the heist goes down, they’re all enrolled at Transylvania University and find themselves in an aimless stupor. They mill about campus trying to find something to do and take some direction in their life. And then, after a tour of the campus library, one of them has a terrible idea to rob the archived paintings in the library valued at $12 million.

Most heist films meant to be slick and entertaining, as American Animals aims to be, is creating a relatable nature; a desire for the steal. But how much can we identify with these characters when their heist comes from little more than something to do. I can’t exactly say I enjoyed the precision editing of how they imagine the caper going off in their heads like an Edgar Wright film when their inspiration comes from watching a bunch of students light a grocery cart on fire.

I say this only because the one part of their plan that goes horribly wrong is their subduing of the librarian that opens the archive for viewing. In their heads, they imagine they’ll knock her out cold and they can go about their business. Instead, they hold her down as she is screaming and crying for her life. Most important to note is that this is not staged in a comical manner as though the heist has degraded into slapstick absurdity. It’s terrifying and the desire to see if these kids can successfully swipe the paintings out of the library becomes far less intriguing, despite the expert level of direction in how this scene goes down.

The film becomes so ingrained with tracking the story that varies from the criminals that the tone becomes vague. On one level, one might think we’re meant to identify with the despair of a nihilistic youth that leads to robberies such as these. But then in the bickering of interviews with how certain events went down, the film takes odd shifts between the bigger themes and the crazier aspects, ultimately leading to a film that just kind of shrugs at the crazy without saying much about it. Yeah, the art theft was pretty bizarre and very off-putting but, look, their first attempt involved terrible old people make-up! How wacky and not at all distracting compared to the rest of the film.

American Animals merely finds a handful of theatrical elements to exploit from such an unusual caper. It’s very much akin to if Adam McKay were to take a whack at the true story behind Masterminds, another true crime story with people making stupid mistakes. It’s as though the real people burst into the room while the director was telling this story and all the tonally sound segments are sacrificed more in the name of respectability towards these individuals who went onto somewhat successful lives. And there’s only so much clear-headed direction that can be mustered with so much input and no focused direction in what the film is trying to say. Somewhere between a documentary and a docudrama, the movie never lands proper on either.

Help & support

Find answers to frequently asked questions and contact us should you need to

How It Works

See prices and levels and find out how Cinema Paradiso service works

Friends for Films

Invite your friends to join and get free subscription each month