American Animals (2018)
At this point, Evan Peters could appear in an advert for loo paper and we’d swoon. From his performances in American Horror Story to his achingly sad portrayal of Stan in Pose to his role as Quicksilver in the X-Men franchise, he is one of the brightest new talents out there.
That said, American Animals is more than the Evan Peters show. This crime drama is based on a real-life event in which a group of college students hatched a plan to rob their Kentucky university library’s rare book section, which included some of the most valuable books in existence, including a copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and their true target, a rare copy of James Audobon’s The Birds of America.
This crime caper turns out to be more than an art heist, as the robbers bungle their way through the American dream (get rich, die young). They give each other code names straight out of Reservoir Dogs, don truly ridiculous disguises and get ready to taser the poor librarian (played by Ann Dowd, Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale).
Empire magazine calls American Animals a “knowing, blistering mix of heist flick and true-crime documentary”. We call it fun.