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American Animals

Director:  Bart Layton
Year Released:  2018
Rating:  2.0

Feeling that there's "something missing from their lives" and in need of 'adventure,' Transylvania University students Warren (Evan Peters) and Spencer (Barry Keoghan) draw up a shaky plot to steal rare books (by Darwin and Audubon) from the school's private collection and sell them to black market guys in Amsterdam (Udo Kier!). I like how Layton juxtaposes conversations with the real-life participants and dramatic recreations - notice how everyone's memories of the events have changed over time - just like he did with The Imposter, but while that film's 'twist' left one feeling shaken, there isn't a lot of ambiguity in particular tale, in which idiots behave idiotically, hurt a librarian and then humiliate their families and themselves (whether or not Warren went to the Netherlands is almost besides the point): maturity takes time ... and for some it takes even longer. What's most intriguing to me is how after their incarceration several of the guys are pursuing careers in the arts: if it worked for Eddie Bunker....

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