The Stanford Prison Experiment

2015

Action / Biography / Drama / History / Thriller

20
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 24866

Synopsis


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November 21, 2015 at 04:12 PM

Cast

Ezra Miller as Daniel Culp / 8612
Olivia Thirlby as Dr. Christina Maslach
Billy Crudup as Dr. Philip Zimbardo
Michael Angarano as Christopher Archer
720p 1080p
438.07 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 3 / 12
706.07 MB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 3 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ronnie Sart2808 (ronthrenody) 8 / 10

Absolutely gripping and one of the all time most difficult movies to watch

This is perhaps one of the best movies I have seen in 2015 and yet I would think twice before watching it again. The Stanford Prison experiment is a taut and intriguing drama hat manages to thrill you for most of its run time as well as making you terribly uneasy as you ponder as to why people behave as they do in the movie. Inspire by the real life prison experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971 using college students where some would be assigned as guards and some prisoners and were stationed in a mock prison for 14 days within the Stanford University premises itself. It proved to be one of the most disastrous and widely criticized psychology experiments ever conducted by mankind and was shut down in just 6 days.

The movie doesn't spend too much time on buildup as you start feeling the claustrophobia and sense of loss of freedom quite early on. The script has been top notch as well as the direction. The best part about the script that I loved was that it remained truthful to the actual events and the documentary style cinematography added so much realism to the experience.

The other impressive aspect of this movie is the acting. The casting doesn't involve any big superstar names, rather most of them are well known in the indie and television scenes. Phillip Zambardo's character development was pulled off by Billy Crudup with absolute finesse while Ezra Miller and Thomas Mann left a lasting impression with the devolution of their respective characters. The rest of the cast, especially the ones who played the prisoners were great as well, as they were constantly able to maintain the sense of helplessness and psychological deterioration throughout. The main star of the film, however, is Michael Angarano. His character is what everybody would love to hate. I used to remember Angarano as this charming kid in Almost Famous and Lords of Dogtown and I was quite shocked to witness the whole sadistic and borderline sociopath side of him.

The only shortcoming I felt was the overall pacing. The movie slowed down at some points; especially during the first half (I am not going to spoil anything) and it could've done a better editing job. Some of the cast, especially on the guard side could've used a bit more screen time since the camera was almost entirely focused on Michael Angarano. However, this doesn't diminish the quality of movie in any way. It's a great albeit cringe worthy study of human psyche and the movie will leave a long trail of questions for you to think about.

Overall, The Stanford Prison Experiment is undoubtedly a great cinematic achievement both in terms of visual style, storyline, acting and direction. This is not exactly a family movie or something you want to watch with your girlfriend and definitely not a feel-good experience, but if you are a fan of psychological thrillers, then this film will give you a run for your money. My IMDb rating is 8.1/10.

Reviewed by ivko 7 / 10

Chillingly bad science

This film is a dramatization of a real psychological experiment that took place at the Stanford University in 1971. The motivation was to study the dynamics of individuals who were arbitrarily placed into roles as prisoners and guards at a simulated prison. Since none of the study participants were actual criminals or correction officers, the idea was to glean insight into the psychology of the power imbalance that arises from the situation, as opposed to the people involved.

Things famously degraded quickly and the experiment was terminated after only six days. Multiple guards displayed sadistic traits and performed acts of psychological and even (to a smaller degree) physical torture, all overseen, permitted, and arguably encouraged by "superintendent" Philip Zimbardo, the study's creator.

The conditions the participants were exposed to were reprehensible, but even worse is that ultimately this was simply bad science, making the whole endeavor a cruel waste of time. The experiment lacked much of the basic rigor required, as highlighted in the film by a verbatim repetition of an actual conversation Mr. Zimbardo had with a colleague who questioned some of the basic scientific methodologies being utilized in the study.

Zimbardo himself committed what I would consider borderline criminal acts such as initially denying "prisoner" participants the option to leave when requested (to instill in them the belief that their situation was, in fact, real), which came frighteningly close to converting the "study" into a criminal act of kidnapping in my opinion.

Zimbardo explains this as him getting "to close" to the experiment, but personally I'm not particularly sympathetic to that argument. When you watch the actual clips from the study and read the notes, I'm more inclined to think that Mr. Zambardo himself had a sadistic streak that he failed to control for a time. Honestly, I think the man should have faced criminal charges for his role in this fiasco.

In the end, some good did come out of this experiment in that it created a push for establishing standards and controls for psychological experiments in the future.

Despite knowing the actual outcome, I still felt anxious about the fates of the young men involved, a testament to the power of the acting and directing here. To me, this movie is a chilling and visceral reminder of how easy it is to create conditions that foster cruelty and dehumanization. A rewarding, if somewhat depressing, film to watch.

Reviewed by palavitsinis 7 / 10

Highly intriguing, very well-acted, retains the real-life effects

The plot is based on a true story, blah blah blah. It's a good one as well! Not the amazing ingenious movie and certainly not the thriller that "Das Experiment" was... If you can find it at your local video store, go and get it and watch this instead!

Don't get me wrong, the movie is a nice attempt, really interesting and raising all kinds of moral questions and dilemmas. The actors were true and professional all the way and overall, this is more than a movie for a pleasant afternoon...

The science behind the experiment was kind of crappy, but I guess back then, psychologists were a bit on the rough side and not too cautious with experimental parameters, etc.

Anyways, if you want the thrill and the tense, "Das Experiment" is what you should be looking for. This movie was unparalleled. Better yet, watch this one first and then "Das Experiment"...

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