American Animals

WSR Score4
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Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Language throughout, some drug use, and brief crude/sexual material
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Bart Layton
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"American Animals" is the unbelievable but entirely true story of four young men who attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Determined to escape their predictable suburban lives, Spencer (Keoghan) and Warren (Peters) decide to do something extraordinary: steal some of the world's most valuable books from a college library. Enlisting two other friends, Spencer and Warren meticulously plot the theft––but their caper takes on a wild life of its own. (Gary Reber)

Special features include Director Bart Layton and cast commentary, deleted scenes (HD 02:51), four short featurettes (HD 04:12), a still gallery, and upfront previews.

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini, Arri Alexa XT Plus, and Sony A7S ii and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture exhibits a stylized saturation that has a documentary flavor. Hues are strong, and fleshtones are pasty-looking. Contrast is compressed with crushed blacks and dark shadows that hide detail. Resolution is decent but not particularly detailed to the extent possible with the Arri camera systems. This is the stylized look throughout the movie. Still, the imagery is captivating and engaging. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack opens with a really spectacular aggressive and directional surround presence. The sonics include an insect moving throughout and around the soundfield, as well as bird sounds. This leads into a deep bass sequence. Atmospherics add to the realism of the settings. The music is pre-released rock tunes and originals, which use the surrounds aggressively and are heard infrequently, and are otherwise a nicely presented largely synthesizer score, with segments of orchestral compositions that extend to the surrounds. But the main focus is the dialogue, which is consistently intelligible but varying in the quality of spacial integration, which mostly is due to body microphones. Overall, this is an engaging soundtrack with elements that really create a holosonic® soundfield with aggressive and directionalized surrounds. (Gary Reber)