American Animals ★★★½

Tipping its ambition from its "American" title, Bart Layton's doco/drama hybrid is desperate to do a lot of things. Some of them, like first celebrating and then undercutting the glamour of committing a fantastic crime, it does well. Others, like question the nature of truth and reliability, seem uncomfortably grafted on, or perhaps vestigial, something that created his interest in the project but doesn't feel vital to the end product. People who like clever sharp filmmaking will find lots to like, but for a good amount of the time it felt a bit too clever and sharp for my tastes. That cleverness does pay off when the heist finally hits, but I can't help but wonder if five scoops of indulgence might have done the trick instead of fifteen? Anyway.