American Animals 4.0 stars

American Animals movie poster

Why would a quartet of 20-year-old desperados (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson, and Blake Jenner) choose to knock over a university’s special collections library? Try $12 million dollars in rare books, with only one old lady (Ann Dowd) guarding them. For every great documentary that’s been spun, there are dozens of cine-illiterate, shoot-now-figure-it-out-later examples that exist solely to spit out talking points in choking closeup. In pleasant contrast, American Animals is a narrative drama wherein beats the heart of a documentary. The one outstanding difference is, having served over seven years apiece for their participation in the failed robbery, our four card-carrying ex-cons are given supporting roles, adding their own onscreen commentary track of sorts. Writer/director Bart Layton (The Imposter) knows full well the the difference between dramatic reenactment and TV docudrama, and he shrewdly blows any similarities to the latter out of the water. 2018.

Scott Marks

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Saturday, June 23

10:00am, 12:40pm, 3:45pm, 6:50pm, 10:00pm

Sunday, June 24

10:00am, 12:40pm, 3:45pm, 6:50pm, 10:00pm

Monday, June 25

10:50am, 1:35pm, 4:20pm, 7:05pm, 9:50pm

Angelika Film Center & Café

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Saturday, June 23

10:00am, 3:15pm, 5:45pm

Sunday, June 24

10:00am, 3:15pm, 5:45pm

Monday, June 25

10:00am, 3:15pm, 5:45pm

Tuesday, June 26

10:00am, 3:15pm, 5:45pm

Wednesday, June 27

10:00am, 3:15pm, 5:45pm

Thursday, June 28

10:00am, 3:15pm, 5:45pm

Reading Cinemas Town Square

4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 858-274-9994 | Directions

Saturday, June 23

11:25am, 2:05pm, 4:35pm, 7:15pm, 9:50pm

Sunday, June 24

11:25am, 2:05pm, 4:35pm, 7:15pm, 9:50pm

Monday, June 25

11:25am, 2:05pm, 4:35pm, 7:15pm, 9:50pm

Tuesday, June 26

11:25am, 2:05pm, 4:35pm, 7:15pm, 9:50pm

Wednesday, June 27

11:25am, 2:05pm, 4:35pm, 7:15pm, 9:50pm

Thursday, June 28

11:25am, 2:05pm, 4:35pm, 7:15pm, 9:50pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Saturday, June 23

10:00am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm, 6:45pm, 9:45pm

Sunday, June 24

10:00am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm, 6:45pm, 9:45pm

Monday, June 25

10:00am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm, 6:45pm, 9:45pm

Tuesday, June 26

10:00am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm, 6:45pm, 9:45pm

Wednesday, June 27

10:00am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm, 6:45pm, 9:45pm

Thursday, June 28

10:00am, 12:45pm, 3:45pm, 6:45pm, 9:45pm

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