American Animals

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USA | 2018 | 116 minutes | Bart Layton

Turning the heist movie inside out, filmmaker Bart Layton (The Imposter) exhilaratingly dramatizes the outrageous story of four dimwitted college friends who, inspired by their favorite films, hatch a preposterous scheme to steal a multimillion-dollar rare book collection.

"One of the most esoteric and far-fetched crimes in 21st century annals is recounted in dazzling fashion in American Animals."  Todd McCarthy - The Hollywood Reporter

While watching such caper films as Ocean's Eleven or The Asphalt Jungle, have you ever thought to yourself: could I ever pull off a heist? The crime movie-loving protagonists in Bart Layton's (The Imposter, 2012) American Animals think so, and fashion a heist of their very own. Based on a (mostly) true story, Layton's film revolves around best friends Spencer (Barry Keoghan, Dunkirk) and Warren (Evan Peters, "American Horror Story"), two intelligent but aimless young Kentucky college students. With the help of their fellow Transylvania University peers Chas (Blake Jenner, Everybody Wants Some!!) and Eric (Jared Abrahamson, Hello Destroyer), they decide to rob the Special Collections Library at their school simply because they can. What begins as an outlandish exercise of their imaginations and a testament to their organization skills, eventually turns into the real thing, and the group of young men realize they may be in over their heads. Layton's feature debut is a stylish and cleverly self-reflexive ode to American crime cinema. In exploring its characters arrogance and restlessness, emphasized by smart dialogue and a unique narrative structure, American Animals emerges as an engrossing reflection on young male privilege.

Director Biography
Bart Layton is a British filmmaker and director. His is the creator and executive producer for numerous TV series and specials, such as "Locked Up Aboard." His works tend to focus on challenging and controversial subject matters such as the documentary The Imposter (2012), which centered on the Frederic Pierre Bourdin and Nicholas Barclay scandal.

Sponsored by Pacific Place, The Maxwell Hotel

  • Director: Bart Layton
  • Principal Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 116 minutes
  • Producer: Derrin Schlesinger, Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Mary Jane Skalski
  • Screenplay: Bart Layton
  • Cinematographers: Ole Bratt Birkeland
  • Editors: Nick Fenton, Chris Gill
  • Music: Anne Nikitin
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: The Imposter (doc, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: The Orchard
  • International Sales: United Talent Agency