The Movie: 9/10
I always love to find a well made movie telling me a story in a compelling way. I know that sounds like it would be something we come across all the time with thousands and thousands of movies out in the world, but you might be surprised to know that often either the story is not interesting or the movie is not made in a way that makes it interesting. American Animals got it all right for me.
This is based on a true event, and they use some of the actual people who were involved, which adds a lot to the movie. It’s done in a way that I haven’t seen before, actually having the real people in scenes with actors portraying them, that’s pretty cool and it works to tell the story even better. The performances by the actors and the real people give the movie a certain vibe that feels balanced between reenactment and retelling. I don’t have a lot to say about this movie, and that’s usually because I like a film so much I just want people to watch it themselves to discover it without much description from me.
A bunch of students decide to steal some valuable books to sell for big money. The thing is, it’s not really about that, it’s about these whiny young boys in college who think they can make their lives meaningful by taking a shortcut to excitement and achievement, by not actually achieving anything. I had ZERO sympathy for their young-middle-age crisis and existential bullcrap, however I was interested in their choices and the telling of the events in a way that still leaves some question about the truth of what happened.
The bottom line about this movie is that it’s got some innovation in story telling, which is lovely to see. It’s also just a solidly made, good-looking film that gets me to think about human nature and real life consequences of behavior and choices we make.
- Deleted Scene (1 Minute) – Quick deleted scene that duplicates some of the events in the film.
- Featurettes (5 Minutes) – Small EPK style featurettes which look at each member of the crew.
- Still gallery
- Director & Cast Commentary
Audio & Video: 8/10
American Animals comes to Blu-ray with a very pleasing presentation from Lionsgate. Weirdly this disc does not come with a digital copy which I found very odd, perhaps someone stole it. Black levels are great here and flesh tones are also bang on. I saw no artifacts throughout the run-time.
Lionsgate Impress here with a lossless DTS-MA soundtrack that is quite outstanding for a film of this type. Dialog is crisp, sharp and central in the mix, while music which is a star in itself here comes from every angle possible. LFE is only active during music backed scenes as this film has no gunfire or explosions.
Overall Score 9/10