"American Animal" becomes a philosophically strident evening of speechifying local theater (topic: human evolution).
| Original Score: 2/5
The film equivalent of being cornered at a house party by someone's coked-out friend of a friend until your ride home is ready to bounce.
Self-indulgent indie about a trust-fund kid who thinks he's found the answer to the human experience. Whit Stillman it's not.
It is well-acted and features witty repartee. Look for more good things to come from this talent.
| Original Score: 3/4
[An] hour and a half of pretentious mind games...
It's best to imagine this movie as a study of three good young actors trapped in an indie film project with a yammering weirdo.
| Original Score: D+
It's hard to tell where D'Elia's own psychotic cinephilia ends and the character's begins.
| Original Score: 3/5
Bizarre, off-putting, and finally demanding of rubberneck respect...
It may be baked with the same ingredients that come in your standard mumblecore starter kit, but because of Matt D'Elia's indebtedness to other movies, the film follows a different recipe altogether.
D'Elia's debut feature is, I think, a challenge worth taking. Here, it appears, is a real emerging vision, original, gutsy, and uncompromising.
Personal filmmaking with ambition to burn.
I think American Animal is an exercise in pure creativity, as in creativity in a vacuum with no consequence of narrative.
It's basically The Matt D'Elia Show, a peculiar film that takes risks and generally succeeds.
| Original Score: B+
American Animal deserves to be seen, but more than that, it deserves to launch D'Elia as a filmmaker of note, and I'm curious to see where he goes from here.
The eloquent, thought-provoking dialog flows at a theatrical pace, but it doesn't feel unnatural.
| Original Score: 4/5
It's bizarre in countless ways. It's risk-taking. It's brave. It's the work of a young filmmaker who dares to be different. It'll be interesting to see what he does next.
This ending helps make American Animal a thought-provoking debut film that, though in need of further development and refinement, shows a lot of promise.
| Original Score: 5.1/10