American Animals

How four college kids pulled off a professional heist

American Animals

Sammy Pierotti, Journalist

On June 1st, 2018, American Animals will debut in theatres. The story revolves around a real life heist, and the four “idiot college kids” that managed to pull it off. The film has been coined a docudrama, and has received raving reviews since critics have started to see it. The trailer itself is enough to get the adrenaline pumping and trigger one’s fight or flight response, and the movie is said to be even more intense. Rotten Tomatoes called the movie, “straightforward, dashing, and engaging”, and Hollywood Reporter described it as “an indie film that could go places”.

The trailer of American Animals brags that, “This is not based off a true story, this happened”, and it’s true. The heist was of very unusual fashion; it featured well off students ready to become criminals for no apparent reason. But when one looks closer at the students who came up with the plan, Spencer (played by Barry Keoghan) and Warren (played by Evan Peters), they can see that they both carry themselves with a sort of chaotic and restless energy. Spencer and Warren were best friends who chose to stay in their hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, and attend Transylvania College after high school. They are both full of potential, young, and uneasy about the future.

Transylvania College held one of the most expensive books in America at the time, Birds of America, which was the pride of the school’s special collection section. The boy’s plan hatches around the idea that the book would be easy to steal from under the nose of the school’s librarian. Spencer and Warren recruit two accomplices, and plan to make a small fortune off the sale of the book. They plan the basic outline of their heist, including the timing, disguises, and escape plan, but one can easily see that the foursome is unprepared for anything that might go wrong.

The story is humorous and easy enough to follow, but it has a dark message about how the stresses of the future affect today’s youth. It truly has something for everyone; action, adventure, humor, and excitement. Something from it will resonate with all audience members, and that is why it is the perfect movie to see with friends or family.