Directed by Bart Layton
“A crackerjack real-life heist thriller.” —Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
Drawn from the audacious rare book caper that took place at Transylvania University, in Lexington, KY in 2004, American Animals is a gripping new film detailing one of the most reckless art heists in U.S. history.
Centering on unpredictable wild child Warren (Evan Peters) and aspiring artist Spencer, two friends from middle-class suburban Lexington, the film follows them through their college life at separate universities, as adult pressures begin to weigh heavily on their futures. Realizing their lives may never be important enough, they organize the brazen theft of valuable books from the special collection library of Spencer’s college, including John James Audubon’s Birds of America, valued at $10 million.
Enlisting two more friends, the gang meticulously plots the theft and subsequent sale of the stolen volumes, taking cues from popular heist films. When their plans go awry, their bright futures hang in limbo. Unfolding from multiple perspectives, writer-director Bart Layton (The Imposter) elevates the heist movie genre to bold and thrilling new heights. A selection of the Sundance Film Festival. 2018, U.S., DCP, 116 minutes. Rated R.