Copious Notes

Lexington will have to wait to see 'American Animals' movie about Transy book heist

Barry Keoghan as Spencer Reinhard and Evan Peters as Warren Lipka in "American Animals."
Barry Keoghan as Spencer Reinhard and Evan Peters as Warren Lipka in "American Animals." The Orchard

American Animals” is set in Lexington and tells the story of one of the city’s most high profile crimes. But moviegoers in town will need to wait a few weeks to see it.

While the movie opens Friday in major markets, it is a platform release that is not expected to open in Lexington until June 22 at the Kentucky Theatre. There's no word on whether it will open at other area theaters.

Platform releasing is a method distributors often use for movies believed to have a more limited appeal, where they open in larger markets first and expand into smaller markets in subsequent weeks, hopefully followed by favorable buzz from audiences that have already seen it.

The movie, which tells the story of a heist at Transylvania University in which four students stole some valuable books from the school's special collections library, is already buoyed by favorable notice from the Sundance Film Festival and other advance screenings of the movie.

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"American Animals" purports to tell the story of the heist without the infamous "dramatic license" movies based on true stories usually take. Directed by longtime British documentarian Bart Layton, it mixes a dramatic portrayal of the story with interviews with the actual perpetrators of the crime — Warren Lipka, Spencer Reinhard, Eric Borsuk and Charles Allen II — who all were caught when they attempted to sell the items and served lengthy prison sentences. It was shot in the Charlotte area, with Davidson College standing in for Transy.

If you pay attention to national entertainment media outlets, you have probably been seeing features and reviews of the film — which stars Jared Abrahamson, Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, and Blake Jenner — as the film prepares for its major market opening Friday. Watch for extensive coverage of the movie on, and in the Herald-Leader as the movie opens here, in June.

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