American Animals (2018) (mini-review++)


(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

The mini-review:

American Animals

acting 6

directing 5

writing 5

effects 5

editing 5

SW score: 26

2.5 out of 5 šŸ™


(SPOILER ALERT) everything was just ok about this movie. The actors acquired themselves but there’s not a performance I’ll remember. The most compelling parts were the interview scenes with the real-life robbers the movie was dramatizing. I guess, unlike typical heists movies, the fact that they totally fucked it up was sort of novel (except that Reservoir Dogs did that and the filmmakers clearly were aware since the movie is steeped in Reservoir references – both overt and subtle). But Reservoir Dogs has dialogue that far, far surpasses this movie and it had Tim Roth’s bravura performance and Harvey Keitel’s rugged turn (not to mention Michael Madsen’s marvelous madman, the incomparable Steve Buscemi, and the charming Chris Penn) which completely eclipse the sum total of all the performances here.

The thing I dig most about heist movies is that the robbers always seem like everything is about to collapse but they pull it off at the last second and it’s usually revealed that they had accounted and fully prepared for that harrowing moment when their well-laid plans looked dooms.

At the end of this movie, I just felt like “that’s it?” I don’t find incompetence compelling or interesting. Especially not in a movie that’s clearly not just going for laughs.




(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 šŸ™, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feelingā€¦not that SW score is scientificā€¦but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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