This film is based on the actual events that took place in 1971 when Stanford professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo created what became one of the most shocking and famous social experiments of all time.
**Be cautious about what you're signing for!** Do you remember the Kubrick's film 'A Clockwork Orange', well, I'm not saying it is the same or similar film or storyline, but it reminded how it affects those people who are involved in a similar kind experiment. This is not too violent like that film, but it has its share where some might feel uncomfortable. Except in the opening and some other parts, the entire film takes place in a single location, most likely a studio setting. That part was well done, including the screenplay and direction. One of the rare films, about the rare subject, in some way it is a must see, but seems not suitable for everyone. It is a nice concept, but it was based on the real. It all begins when a university professor decides to conduct an experiment in the summer holiday where some students came forward to be the part of it. It is a two week long project, so the first day goes off well and then the real problem begins when a small incident leads to a series of others in the following days. How the remaining days goes and what were the results of the experiment is disclosed in the later parts. There are many edgy events; I thought it might get ugly at some point of the narration, but stayed real and ended with a good intention. It is a collection of good performances, everyone did their parts well. Particularly those student cast. Not many of them are famous, but the film provided quite an equal share of screenspace. It is not just an entertaining film, a character study as well. First of all, it is not a usual story, so if you decide to watch it, expect accordingly. I think it is a good film to give a try for once. _7/10_
Another very worthwhile production of a chilling real life experiment. The Stanford Prison Experiment makes for compelling reading/viewing, whichever format you choose to partake in, it's science gone bonkers and has the power to chill the blood. Did we need another film version? Especially since Das Experiment (2001) is an outstanding film and clearly the one that is recommended as a first port of call on the subject? As it is this Kyle Patrick Alvarez directed version is special as well, managing to get under the skin whilst being vivid in detail. Not just for 1971 period accuracy (clothes/social traits et al), but across the board characterisations as it's well written and performed. Not recommended for those who may be down on the human race, or for those obviously after a good time. But good film making is worth time investment - as is eye opening of the human condition. 7/10
I don't think they quite nailed what they were going for with this film, but I can't deny it does make for fairly uncomfortable viewing - which is the intention, I guess. 'The Stanford Prison Experiment' has a very localised and low-budget feel to it, things that arguably actually enhance the vibe of the production. The acting is up-and-down, while the run time is too long. Billy Crudup is very good as Dr. Philip Zimbardo, while those who portray the team around him are also solid. It's when you get to the 'inmates' that the acting gets weaker, none of them are bad but they aren't on the same level as Crudup & Co. - despite some familiar faces, including a few from 'The Walking Dead' world. Michael Angarano as "John Wayne", however, deserves praise. It took me a little while to connect to the story, it gets a tad iffy when it's setting everything up though soon finds proper ground in the middle act before ending kinda slowly; this didn't need to be 122 minutes. Would I recommend this? Yes. It's worth a watch. Perhaps could've been greater though.