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American Animals

Where to Watch American Animals


American Animals is a thrilling and inventive crime drama film released in 2018, directed by Bart Layton. The movie features Evan Peters as Warren Lipka, Barry Keoghan as Spencer Reinhard, Blake Jenner as Chas Allen, and Jared Abrahamson as Eric Borsuk. It explores a fascinating blend of genres, bridging the gap between documentary and narrative film.

The central story revolves around four young men who attend Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. They are not your typical college students; they achieve fame for all the wrong reasons. Bored by their mundane college lives and convinced that their promising futures won't live up to expectations, each man is looking for an adventure, a life less ordinary. The narrative is based on the unbelievable but entirely true tale of the 2004 Transy Book Heist - one of the most daring art thefts in U.S history.

Evan Peters takes on the role of Warren Lipka, a rebellious yet charismatic student who's been known to live life on the edge. Barry Keoghan plays Spencer Reinhard, the seemingly more softhearted and introspective character. Their friendship drives the plot, as they bring two other students, Eric Borsuk (Jared Abrahamson), an accounting major, and fitness enthusiast and aspiring entrepreneur Chas Allen (Blake Jenner) into their audacious plan.

In the basement of the university library lie rare, valuable volumes, including John Audubon's "Birds of America" and copies of "On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin. Inspired by Spencer's careless musing and fueled by Warren's impulsiveness, they set their sights on these treasures. The plot takes a further complex turn when they decide to enact their heist plan identical to their favorite Hollywood films, convinced they could pull it off and lead lives of untold wealth and infamy.

But American Animals is not just about the heist. It's not so much the suspenseful plot that captivates viewers, but the unique narrative approach - the manner by which Bart Layton presents the story that's worthy of attention. The filmmaker successfully blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction. In addition to professional actors, the real-life counterparts of the characters they play - the actual men who attempted the heist - are stitched into the film. They provide commentary, perspective, and personal insights interspersed throughout the narrative, seamlessly merging with the fictional depiction of the heist. This integration of documentary-style interviews with layers of cinematic fiction throws light on the subjective nature of memory and truth, adding to the movie's underlying thoughtfulness and depth.

Interplay between subjectivity and narrative truth is further amplified through visually dramatic sequences. Layton is fantastic at creatively presenting the 'rashness of youth' and 'dreams of grandeur', often taking viewers into the extremes of their vibrant, quirky, and sometimes, ominous imaginations. The film at times plays out like a fantasy, a fevered dream, and at others like a chilling dose of cold, heart-stopping reality.

There's a profound undercurrent of tension, suspense, and unease throughout. The cinematography and editing are top-notch, capturing the highs and lows, the moments of thrill, panic, and despair experienced by these ordinary, albeit ambitious young men.

As for performances, each actor stands out. Evan Peters delivers a strong performance as Warren, the de-facto leader, while Barry Keoghan perfectly captures the emotional fragility of Spencer. Jared Abrahamson and Blake Jenner, too, leave an imprint as the co-conspirators caught up in the swell of misguided ambition.

American Animals is a daring film - it's audacious, clever, and immensely entertaining, taking viewers on a wild ride through the youthful follies of four misguided men who dared to dream. It is a tale of ambition, disillusionment, and the harsh realities that follow when life proves to be far different from a Hollywood-style heist movie.

American Animals is a Drama, Crime, Documentary movie released in 2018. It has a runtime of 116 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0. It also holds a MetaScore of 68.

How to Watch American Animals

Where can I stream American Animals movie online? American Animals is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Philo, Crackle, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Vudu Free, Kanopy, Popcornflix, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent American Animals for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Bart Layton
Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Udo Kier, Ann Dowd
Also directed by Bart Layton
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