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American Animals

Nobody wants to be ordinary 

Year: 2018 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Bart Layton 
Starring: Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk  
An image from American Animals

Aspiring artist Spencer, typically rich and handsome jock Chas, FBI hopeful Eric, and finally, daredevil Warren (American Horror Story’s Evan Peters) are four ordinary guys from Kentucky – described as ‘darn good kids’ by locals - on an extraordinary mission. Their goal is to seize the ‘most valuable book in America’, Audubon's ‘Birds of America’. Raking in up to 12 million dollars, the item is their main goal along with additional rare books, from the University of Transylvania's library. However, things don’t go quite as anticipated, despite the ingenious ways in which the boys all use their individual skills to help plan the heist. For instance, Spencer uses his artistic gift to create models of the crime scene, and is also put in charge of providing the boys with elaborate, yet quite amusing, visual disguises.

As we see in the opening titles, the film is not ‘based on a true story’, it is a true story. The title says it all, and those who are familiar with Bart Layton’s earlier film The Imposter, about a missing boy whose identity is stolen and the pain it causes, understand the director’s focus on crime, guilt, regret and humanity. Brace yourself for a thrilling ride; in this energetic film about an audacious and almost unbelievable heist gone wrong, the lines between truth and lies are severely blurred.

Naz Ozkan

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Screenings of this film:

2018/2019 Autumn Term (digital)