American Animals is a 2018 crime drama film written and directed by Bart Layton. The film stars Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, and Ann Dowd. It is based on a real life library heist at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in 2004. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2018 and was released in the United States on June 1, 2018, by The Orchard and MoviePass Ventures. It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom on September 7, 2018, by STX International. The film received positive reviews from critics, with many praising the performances.