The film is about four men who carry out a daring robbery at a library. Determined not to live ordinary lives, they become involved in something that will change their lives forever. American Animals is based on a real-life incident that took place in 2004 at Transylvania University in Kentucky when four students assaulted a librarian and stole valuable special editions from the library. Interviews with the four who were behind the robbery are woven into the plot of the film. The film has received many awards, including the British Independent Film Awards.