American Animals Reviews

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October 4, 2018
It's a clever movie, but not too clever. It's also thoughtful and engrossing, weird as hell. And it's true - or truer than most films that claim that label.
September 7, 2018
Other directors have folded real-world figures into fictional narratives. It's the scale of the invasion that sets Layton's project apart.
September 6, 2018
The movie reaches strange and savage heights...not just because it seems to be engaging with huge philosophical questions about the nature of identity in the modern world. It's more focused than that, because the context is specifically American.
September 5, 2018
I was on the edge of my seat.
September 4, 2018
A documentary about the fictions we tell ourselves, a fiction about the reality we can never escape.
June 22, 2018
"American Animals" is one of the year's smartest, most captivating films, and Layton stages it with the precision of a perfect crime.
June 21, 2018
[The kids'] meticulous preparations begin with typing "how to plan a heist" into Google and continue with watching every heist film ever made, though they manage to overlook the primary lesson of all such films-that something always goes wrong.
June 21, 2018
It hits the usual genre beats, and plays a predictable rock soundtrack as it lurches between comedy and drama, but neither the story nor the characters really mesh.
June 20, 2018
Most poignant for me was the fact that what troubles them the most is an incident of violence that would barely even be noticed in a fictional movie about such a "heist."
June 13, 2018
Takes a mild curiosity from a long-ago news cycle and elevates it into something singularly fascinating.
June 8, 2018
A narrative drama wherein beats the heart of a documentary.
June 7, 2018
"American Animals" is fascinating, funny and, in the end, deep.
June 7, 2018
"American Animals" evokes the feeling of an anxiety dream, specifically the common one in which you know you've done something bad and irrevocable and now must live with the consequences.
June 7, 2018
Thanks to Layton's filmmaking choices, "American Animals" ends up being not so much a crime movie as an examination of truth and memory, as well as blame and responsibility.
June 6, 2018
The drama palpably, potently conveys the group's misgivings, their jangling nerves, the foolhardy resignation pushing them on despite themselves.
June 6, 2018
A stylish and engaging caper.
June 1, 2018
Confusing? Not a bit. Writer/director Bart Layton employs all the tricks in the docufiction playbook...[to] create a uniquely tricky heist flick and he makes sure the audience can keep up.
June 1, 2018
How you feel about this film hinges solely on whether you think this redemption is warranted. I did not.
June 1, 2018
It's a film that tosses questions at the viewer with no interest in answering them, one that can't decide if it feels for its subjects or just wants to mock their incompetence.
Top Critic
June 1, 2018
American Animals is one fact-based heist frolic with a youthful slant that works in spite of itself.
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