The Experiment (2010) Poster

The Experiment (2010)

  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 16,052 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 12 August 2010 (South Korea)
  • Runtime: 96 min
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The Experiment (2010)


The Experiment 2010tt0997152.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Experiment (2010)
  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 16,052 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 12 August 2010 (South Korea)
  • Runtime: 96 min
  • Filming Location: Alleman, Iowa, USA
  • Budget: $21,800,000(estimated)
  • Director: Paul Scheuring
  • Stars: Adrien Brody, Cam Gigandet and Forest Whitaker
  • Original Music By: Graeme Revell   
  • Sound Mix: SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Control | Psychological Study | Guard | Prisoner | Prison Life

Writing Credits By:

  • Paul Scheuring (screenplay) (as Paul T. Scheuring)
  • Mario Giordano (novel "Black Box")
  • Mario Giordano (film "Das Experiment") and
  • Christoph Darnstädt (film "Das Experiment") and
  • Don Bohlinger (film "Das Experiment") and
  • Oliver Hirschbiegel (film "Das Experiment")

Known Trivia

  • Elijah Wood was originally cast, but bowed out after only a few days of shooting.
  • This movie is a remake of a movie based on a book that was inspired by the real-life Stanford prison experiment. The experiment at Stanford ended early as both the guards and prisoners took their respective roles too seriously. The experiment will never be redone because it was deemed unethical. Under the rules of the American Psychiatric Association any research done must not physically or mentally harm the participants.
  • Originally made for theaters, but went straight to DVD in the US and most other territories.

Goofs: Continuity: In the toilet room: in the beginning there is no water in the toilet.

Plot: 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control. |  »

Story: 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Marty Adelstein known as producer
  • Pierre Assouline known as supervising producer: India, Westeast Films
  • Alyssa Beckerman known as co-executive producer
  • Cathy Beckerman known as associate producer
  • Jared Beckerman known as co-executive producer
  • Matty Beckerman known as executive producer
  • Amanda Blue known as associate producer
  • Jeanette Buerling known as producer
  • Verenice Buerling known as associate producer
  • Marc Conrad known as executive producer
  • Anette Czagany known as associate producer
  • Justin DeBlase known as associate producer
  • Anthony Gudas known as associate producer
  • Bill Johnson known as producer
  • Huw G. Lewis known as co-executive producer (as Huw Leis)
  • Judith Lewis known as co-executive producer
  • John Michaels known as executive producer
  • Maggie Monteith known as producer
  • Scott Nemes known as producer
  • Dawn Parouse known as producer
  • Norbert Preuss known as executive producer
  • Al-Saadi Qadhafi known as executive producer
  • Kevin Raymond known as associate producer
  • Joel Sadilek known as line producer
  • Paul Scheuring known as producer (as Paul T. Scheuring)
  • Jim Seibel known as executive producer
  • Dinesh Shenoy known as line producer: India
  • Tracee Stanley known as executive producer
  • Friedrich Wildfeuer known as executive producer (as Fritz Wildfeuer)
  • Stephen Hays known as executive producer (uncredited)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Adrien Brody known as Travis
  • Forest Whitaker known as Barris
  • Cam Gigandet known as Chase
  • Clifton Collins Jr. known as Nix
  • Ethan Cohn known as Benjy
  • Fisher Stevens known as Archaleta
  • Travis Fimmel known as Helweg
  • David Banner known as Bosch (as Lavell 'David Banner' Crump)
  • Jason Lew known as Oscar
  • Damien Leake known as Govenor
  • Maggie Grace known as Bay
  • Rod Maiorano known as Rex
  • Rachel O'Meara known as Female Administrator
  • Jeanne Hopson known as Gertrude
  • Jack Mishler known as Henry (as Jack W. Mishler)
  • Ross Vander Werf known as Inmate #1
  • Matt Harwell known as Sandberg
  • Steve Mathews known as Jack
  • Ronald Chvala known as Charon
  • Mike Smith known as Veteran
  • Matthew Duey known as Protester
  • Meg Merckens known as Worker
  • Erin Kiernan known as TV Reporter
  • William S.E. Coleman known as Charles
  • Brandon Adamson known as Inmate (uncredited)
  • Mikeal Burgin known as Inmate (uncredited)
  • Ingrid Coree known as Waitress (uncredited)
  • Rory Markham known as Guard (uncredited)
  • Frank Meeink known as Inmate (uncredited)
  • Piet Paulusma known as Weatherman hit by car (uncredited)
  • Mario Sciorrotta known as Inmate (uncredited)
  • Jay Villwock known as Haggard Man (uncredited)
  • Kelcey Watson known as Inmate (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Paul Anthony known as hair department head (as Paul; Anthony Morris)
  • Shelly Banks known as key makeup artist
  • Roxy D'Alonzo known as makeup artist
  • Gina M. Diaz known as additional hair stylist
  • Lindsay Donald known as additional makeup artist: New Mexico
  • Andrea Politte known as key hair stylist
  • Yasmin Rogers known as makeup artist: India
  • Franci Sciorrotta known as additional hair stylist (as Francine Marie Sciorrotta)
  • Mike Smithson known as makeup department head
  • Rick Stratton known as tattoo transfers
  • Natasha Ladek known as wig maker: Forest Whitaker (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Kent Abbott known as propmaker
  • Gregory Anderson known as propmaker foreman
  • Ryan Anderson known as on-set construction
  • Peter Bankins known as property master
  • Alan Broadbent known as painter foreman
  • Nick Ciarimboli known as property master assistant
  • Jerry L. Coy known as propmaker
  • Edward M. Devine known as propmaker
  • Jeff Foust known as propmaker
  • Malcolm Greeley known as carpenter foreman (as Malcolm Greely)
  • Gary Guttenfelder known as propmaker
  • Bill Hamilton known as painter
  • Anna Jones known as art department coordinator
  • Gabriel Lueders known as painter
  • Jon Marshall known as painter
  • A. Russell McGlothlen known as set dresser (as A. Russell McGlothen)
  • Colin McGreal known as storyboard artist
  • Ryan McNerney known as set decorator intern
  • Andrea Metzler known as props assistant
  • Connie Middleton known as buyer
  • Richard A. Orona known as propmaker
  • Troy Osman known as construction coordinator
  • Zachary Osman known as labor foreman
  • Ahna Packard known as set designer
  • Aaron Page known as carpenter
  • Jason Pirtle known as set decorator gang boss
  • Sabin Portillo known as swing gang
  • Patrick J. Quinn known as painter
  • Vince Rubino known as propmaker
  • John H. Schulz known as lead scenic
  • Brian J. Simpson known as set dresser (as Brian Simpson)
  • Paul Steffensen known as propmaker
  • Ryan Tallant known as set dresser
  • Jeffrey A. Thompson known as painter
  • Richard Van Del known as painter
  • Rob Walstead known as lead man
  • Mark Wojahn known as on-set dresser (as Mark E. Wojhan)
  • Rachel Yancey known as prop intern
  • Kelly Hemenway known as lead graphic designer (uncredited)
  • Erika Hood known as swing art (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Inferno Entertainment (as Inferno)
  • Magnet Media Productions (as Magnet)
  • Magnet Media Group (producer)
  • Stage 6 Films (presents)
  • Adelstein-Parouse Productions (as Adelstein Productions)
  • Mercator Pictures (as Mercator)
  • Natural Selection
  • Tax Credit Finance
  • Westeast Films (executive production: India)

Other Companies:

  • Digital Post Services  post-production digital facility (picture & sound)
  •  uniforms
  • Digital Post Services  digital intermediate and mastering
  • Digital Post Services  quality control and deliverables
  • American Roadshow Motion Picture And Television Catering  catering
  • Bellwood Media  script clearance services provided by
  • Cast & Crew Payroll Services  payroll services provided by (as Cast & Crew)
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
  • Chicago Audio Works  production sound services
  • Comerica Entertainment Group  production financing
  • Curious Joel Productions  production services: Iowa
  • Cutting Edge Group  music services provided by (as Cutting Edge Music Group)
  • Digital Post Services  transcription & closed captioning
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Doppler Studios  additional adr recording
  • Final Word, The  adr voice casting
  • FotoKem Digital Film Services  digital intermediate
  • Front Row Insurance Brokers  production insurance provided by
  • Gigantic Studios  additional adr recording
  • International Film Guarantors  completion guaranty provided by
  • Keslow Cameras  camera equipment provided by
  • Picture Mill, The  main title designed by
  • Post Matters  additional post services provided by
  • Precor Incorporated  product placement provided by
  • Radio Garage  additional adr recording
  • Rockbottom Rentals  cell phone rentals
  • Rockbottom Rentals  junxion box rentals
  • Rockbottom Rentals  walkie rentals
  • Ronnie Yeskel Casting  casting
  • Sessions Payroll Management  extras payroll services
  • Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton  legal services: Magnet
  • Smécky Studios  score recording facility
  • Sonic Magic  sound post-production (as Spnic Magic Studios)
  • Spark Alliance Marketing  production resources provided by
  • Tadlow Music  orchestra contractor
  • Tequila Mockingbird  additional adr recording
  • Truman Van Dyke Company  production insurance provided by (as Truman Van Dyke)
  • United Group  production insurance provided by
  • Ware House Productions  additional adr recording
  • Westeast Films  consulting: line production and production services: India
  • Yankowitz Investments & Consulting  electronic press kit services provided by


  • Audio Visual Entertainment (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Nikkatsu (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Cinemax (2010) (Russia) (all media) (CIS + Baltics)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2011) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Emerald (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • G2 Pictures (2010) (UK) (all media)
  • Seven Films (2011) (Greece) (all media)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Sungwon I Com (2010) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Universe Laser & Video Co. Ltd. (2011) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
  • Universe Laser & Video Co. Ltd. (2011) (Hong Kong) (DVD) (Blu-ray)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • 11:11 Mediaworks (visual effects)
  • All Special Effects

Visual Effects by:

  • Richard Kratt known as lead compositor: 11: 11 Mediaworks
  • Julie Landholt known as graphics: wnd title (as J. Kathryn Landholt)
  • Tom Martinez Jr. known as digital artist: 11: 11 Mediaworks (as Thomas Martinez Jr.)
  • Roger Nall known as creative director: 11: 11 Mediaworks
  • Rene Simen known as visual effects artist: Fotokem Digital Film Services
  • D.J. Shea known as compositor (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • South Korea 15 July 2010 (Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • South Korea 12 August 2010
  • Germany 19 August 2010 (Hamburg Fantasy Filmfest)
  • Canada 21 September 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 21 September 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 4 November 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Hong Kong 11 November 2010
  • Italy 17 November 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Argentina 25 November 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 25 November 2010 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • Japan 4 December 2010
  • Sweden 15 December 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Turkey 31 December 2010
  • France 11 January 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Netherlands 15 March 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Greece 26 May 2011
  • Kuwait 16 June 2011

MPAA: Rated R for strong disturbing violence including a rape, language, some sexual content and nudity



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

The Experiment (2010) Related Movie

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Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. KVolchok from Portugal
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    The Experiment is a 2010 American thriller film directed by PaulScheuring and starring Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker,Cam Gigandet andMaggie Grace.The film is also a remake of the 2001 German film DasExperiment, which was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. The experimentbegins when 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards andprisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out ofcontrol. $14,000 for two weeks, it is easy-earned money. The studyexamines aggressive behavior in an artificial prison setting. At firstthe tenants are divided randomly into prisoners and guards, but soon aspiral of violence begins.

    I had some hope for this film because I remember seeing the originalDas Experiment more then a year ago and enjoying it. Although brutalthe film was brilliant in the way it explored human nature, humaninstincts, and one's moral compass. It's actually quite surprising thatit took such a long time (9 years) for Hollywood to assassinate, pardonme, remake this very interesting story which is actually based on theStanford prison experiment that took place in 1971 and was highlycriticized afterwords. The problem with this remake is that, as in mostthings Hollywood, it's all about big name actors and big fights andnice camera angles. What's most important, the characterization and thecharacter development which are the things that make this story, werecompletely thrown aside. One of the consequences of doing so is thatthe film felt extremely rushed and therefor the payoff wasn't thatgreat. I didn't think there was real tension, and the film lacked thatgritty look of the original, instead it looks sharp and polished.

    Also, it's one thing to put your own spin into a story but this remakeeliminated an entire dimension of the original film. I'm talking aboutthe people behind the cameras, the scientists watching and conductingthe experiment. They played a big part in the original and in thisremake they are nowhere to be seen and it truly diminished the story.Regarding the acting, I thought Adrien Brody did a pretty good job andCam Gigandet was delightfully nasty as he usually is. On the otherhand, Forest Whitaker was absolutely awful. In almost every film thatsee him in, he acts like he has a speech impediment and to be honest,it adds nothing to his performance. Overall, The Experiment it'ssomewhat enjoyable but not nearly as good as the original.


  2. dizfunx from Belgium
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    It's as if the title 'The Experiment' refers to Hollywood finallytrying to create a remake that surpasses the original.

    It's a pale and poor remake of the brilliant German movie 'DasExperiment', which blew my mind first time I saw it.

    None of that with 'The Experiment'… Even the presence of two giftedactors (Brody and Withaker) cannot rescue the poor cinematography andawful diluted script. I couldn't even properly empathise with the maincharacter played by Brody. His actions seemed ridiculous put againstthe prison-experiment backdrop, so terribly written so that there isn'tany true logic to his rebellion. It's also very obvious he's not doinghalf the acting that Moritz Bleibtreu performed in the original.

    The casting was terrible, even before the experiment, I couldimmediately identify which characters were to become guards, and whichones prisoners. Mix this with the poor script-rewrite that put inunnecessary scenes and dialogues and that took out some of the mostbrilliant scenes in the original, and you get a straight-to-videoproduction that will never be looked back on by movie fanaticsanywhere, anytime.

    If you have bought, borrowed or downloaded this copy, please burn ordelete it. You will be much better off getting Das Experiment instead.

    The Experiment has failed!

  3. Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    The German "Das Experiment" is one of the best and most powerful moviesof the Twentieth-First Century. Tense, powerful, having a wonderfulscreenplay and outstanding direction and performances, it is anothergreat example of how the absolute power corrupts. "Das Experiment" is amust-see movie, which will certainly provoke reactions on the viewer.

    Hollywood, as usual, made a remake showing how to destroy the Germanmasterpiece. The decadent Forest Whitaker is awful, and he should havepaid more attention in the acting of Justus Von Dohnanyi in theoriginal film, as the sadistic Berus, instead of using grimaces. Thewriter and director Paul Scheuring is ridiculous, using sexual premisesand sadistic situations freely. I feel sorry for the ridiculous reviewsfrom viewers that have not seen "Das Experiment" and are happy watchingthis silly American crap. My vote is one (awful).

    Title (Brazil): "Detenção" ("Detention")

  4. moonbeaver from Canada
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    The tragedy of this film is really two-fold: First, if you are a fan ofAdrien Brody or Forest Whitaker (and respect them as brilliant actors),you have to empathize with their probable shame of having participatedin the film at all. As you watch 'The Experiment', it's difficult notto imagine the two actors sitting in some dimly lit bar each day afterfilming, drinking whiskey together in silence.

    Second, the script is poor. Or under-researched. Or over-researched.Maybe both. Maybe their were too many producers sticking their nosesin. I don't know.


    Imagine that you're a famous film producer and I'm pitching a movieidea to you…

    Ready? The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted by Philip Zimbardoin 1971. Students were selected and divided into 'prisoners' and'guards'. The doctors stood back and watched the bedlam.

    What do you think? Me personally, I want to make this into a film rightnow. What's more, I want Oscar winners Adrien Brody and Forest Whitakerto act the hell out of it.

    I don't want to change the story. I don't want to take it into the 21stcentury. I don't want to ramp up the violence for effect. I don't wantto make a big Hollywood production. I want to stick to the guts! Stickto what makes it interesting!

    Now imagine you are Adrien Brody. He hears the pitch. He's in! Probablytakes a pay-cut just to be involved, the opportunity is so great toshow off his talent. Same with Whitaker! Next thing you know the scriptis spiraling out of control! Someone wants more sex scenes! Someonewants more violence! Someone is looking at test data and decides thereneeds to be a rape scene! More brutal beatings! And Nazis! Let's get aNazi! Never mind the implausibility or it all! But Brody's committed.He hangs in there and gives the best performance that he can. But it'slost.

    'The Experiment' is an example of Hollywood flying off the mark. It's aperfect opportunity gone wrong. It's badly edited and shouldn't havebeen released.

    Why then, you ask, the 3 out of 10 rating? Why not a 1?

    Near the end of the film, as the predictable climax approaches, AdrienBrody's acting saves the film. Somehow he has miraculously breathedenough life to his character throughout that you suddenly feel somewhatconnected. It comes out of nowhere.

    Brody rules.

    Forest Whitaker is also good in the film, but the lines he is handedare so contrived that it's not worth commenting on here.

    I didn't hate it. But I felt bad for those involved.

    Maybe you should wait 'til you see it on TV some late night before youfall asleep. You can flick over to the Food Network or something duringthe boring parts.

  5. monkies3388 from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    it may not actually deserve a 1 rating, but i just finished watchingthe movie, so i still have a disgusting taste in my mouth, so to speak.

    so, the original, Das Experiment, was an amazing movie. it wascompletely believable, for one. i find one of the worst qualities of abad movie is believability. i can get over bad acting, or any of theother cliché signs of a bad movie… but if i cant even believe thatwhat is going on could possibly be going on, it can be HARD to watch.

    i can believe that scientists would hold an experiment of this kind…i can (reaching) believe that they would offer $1k per day toparticipants, considering the circumstances of the experiment. what icannot believe… *if you don't know yet, they are not allowed to hurtanybody physically, or the experiment is immediately supposed to beended* is that the guards would, without circumstances changing, in onescene, continue this 'humiliation without physical harm' by dunking themain character's head in water over and over… then turn around, andin the very next scene, beat the crap out of one of the guards whobroke the rules.

    i cannot believe, that after all the 'prisoners' saw the guards beatthe crap out of the other guard, that the prisoners would not doSOMETHING. they sat there… as they outnumbered the guards… andwatched the lead guard KILL one of the prisoners. STILL NOTHING.completely unbelievable… at one point, one of the guards has decidedthat he has had enough, that the lead guard is crazy, and basicallybegins walking out. the lead guard stops him… by saying some morecrazy stuff… if you were standing next to somebody, and they saidthey get off on humiliating and beating the crap out of somebody, andyou said, "thats crazy! Im leaving. you are insane." and they came backwith something just as crazy, you don't stay… you leave. he didn'teven threaten him.

    the guard who wanted to rape that prisoner? completely unnecessary.actually, correction… they didn't weave it into the plot… at felt like its own little gross side show.

    the ending… good god.

    i have to stop for a second on that one… its that horrible. i kepthanging on for the ending, because i wanted to know why they didn't endthe experiment. i don't need to get into details, but suffice it tosay, they all ended up riding a single bus home, the rapist, the raped,the killer, and although he wasn't shown, probably the killed. itwasn't some profound or poignant statement about humanity orsomething… it just seemed stupid, and again, not believable.

    at a couple points, they were trying to some sort of statement abouthumanity, social evolution… it was not effective whatsoever.

    IN SUMMARY! Not believable at all. you do feel a bit of that revengesatisfaction at the end, but it is minimal, to spite having waited foran hour plus. the acting was mediocre, to spite some big hitters beingcalled in.

    If you like the premise… if you want to see it done right,believable, emotionally charged, and with an ending that will knockyour socks off? watch Das Experiment.

    would somebody please…. stop Americans from remaking foreign films?just stop it 😐

  6. fpollinger from Germany
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    First off: I am German and i've seen the original Das Experiment manyyears ago. I wouldn't call all Americans dumb because they remakeforeign movies. In fact this movie is better in some ways, like theacting of Forest Whitaker, which reminds me like a evolution from astay-at-home-dude to his interpretation of Idi Amin.

    But the movies share a big problem. The original experiment was theMilgram Experiment, which was in the 60s if i recall correctly. Thedifference to the movie experiment is, that they originally usedcompletely sane men. So that's why this study had such a big impact.They stopped the experiment at a earlier stage, but they were right atlosing control. So in the movies there are psychopaths, Nazis, misfitsand even an emo. I think that weakens the message of the movie. Itshould not be saying: Maniacs and psychopaths are capable of violence,oppression and humiliation. The message of the movies should be: Everyman is capable of violence, oppression and humiliation. But it ispossible to prevent such things if we ever arrive a level of empathy,philosophy and post-capitalism, then we could prove that humans aremore than monkeys with funky weapons.

    So apart from the message the movie is OK. Don't expect an actionflick, so everything's fine.

  7. pete_hatchetharry from United Kingdom
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    'This was a surprisingly intense film that I'm so glad I watched. Theconcept was great and this was even before I found out it was based ona true story.'

    Like the sound of the above? Well don't bother watching this awfulAmerican Remake , watch the original German award winning film 'DASEXPERIMENT' which this snippet of a IDMB review was taken from. 'TheExperiment' lacks the intensity of the original. I found myself caringvery little about the characters. Don't be fooled by the employ offantastic actors such as Forest Whitaker and Adrien Brody. Thereinclusion was a bit like employing Tiger Woods to play in the FIFAFootball World Cup, sounds good on paper but awful to watch. The storyhas massive holes in the plot which remain unexplained and an endingthat is about as satisfying as a chicken nugget. Overall the rewritingof such an intense drama and fantastic story has completely ruined it.

  8. EasyGoinDFW from Fort Worth, Texas, United States
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    This movie was well acted and could have been good. Well, it had AdrianBrody and Forrest Whitaker in it, and they are body wonderful actors.This review has several spoilers in it, so don't read further if youare thinking of seeing this one and want to be surprised.

    The main problem is that the film did not define the universe in whichit operated. If they really needed me to suspend my disbelief THATmuch, they needed to give me some guidelines, like a good sciencefiction would have done. The three major drawbacks in my ability to getsucked into this film's universe were:

    1) no lab personnel on the premises… NONE… AT ALL. They lost meright there. They were all in some isolated facility in the middle of acorn field with no supervising personnel,

    2) we never even saw any lab personnel watching the cameras, commenting"no, don't stop it yet", and

    3) even after the diabetic 051 got his skull cracked, they didn't flashthe red light. After the guy was lying there twitching having had hisskull cracked, and the red light didn't go off, I was done. I didfinish watching the movie, but it really made me feel stupid for doingit.

    Adrian, Forest… do you need work THAT badly? Get a job atMcDonald's… don't make any more garbage like this one, please. I wantto be able to trust your name on a movie.

  9. sddavis63 ( from Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted in 1971 by psychologistPhilip Zimbardo. It selected a random group of people and divided theminto prison guards and prison inmates and then placed them into arecreated prison on the grounds of Stanford University for two weeksbasically to see how they would adjust to their new roles. Theexperiment was controversial and was aborted after only 6 days and itsresults and methodology are still considered questionable. "TheExperiment" is a sort-of recreation of that experiment, starring ForestWhittaker as one of the pretend guards and Adrien Brody as one of thepretend prisoners.

    The movie is extreme in its portrayal of what actually happened.Conditions in the actual experiment were apparently pretty bad (whichis why the experiment was aborted early) but this movie exaggeratesconditions. I can understand dramatic licence, but if one really wantsto learn about the details of the Stanford Prison Experiment, there's alot of material available, and the movie shouldn't be taken as anaccurate depiction.

    Having said that, the movie does make a psychological point, I suppose.Whitaker's Barris and Brody's Travis are basically pretty normalseeming guys who get put into situations in which their basicpersonalities and life experiences are put to the test. Barris is 42and lives with his mother – a kind of powerless guy who suddenly findshimself leading the "prison guards," while Travis is a "peace-nik" whoengages in anti-war rallies and doesn't believe in violence, who endsup as the leader of the inmates responding to the abuse they sufferfrom the guards. I suppose the point is that our basic personalitiesand how we react to circumstances are directly dependent on ourcircumstances. That point was made, but on the whole the movie took toomany liberties with the actual experiment and as a result came acrossas little more than a fake prison movie, rather than as an account ofthe experiment. (4/10)

  10. PhoenixElite from Puerto Rico
    29 Mar 2012, 9:02 pm

    I haven't seen Das Experiment, but I'd read up on the Stanford PrisonExperiment and was very intrigued as to how that premise could betransfered to the screen. This film, unfortunately, is surprisinglybadly executed. The first few minutes aren't all that bad, andScheuring presents an interesting basis amidst all the cheesiness:exploring the darker side of human nature and just how high up theevolutionary chain we are. The idea is to pit some people into a barelycontrolled prison simulation where one group takes the role of guardsand the other one plays the prisoners. In the actual experiment, thefirst day was more or less uneventful and then the situation spiraledout of control. The guards, either personifying their rolesstereotypically or for some other reason, started to abuse their power,and the experiment had to be cancelled prematurely. However, what thisfilm does is turn what was potentially a great storyline into a clashbetween the overwhelmed prisoners and the inherently, almostcartoonishly cruel guards.

    The whole purpose of the film is lost when the "guards" are written outas intrinsically violent and mostly flat-out insane. The characters areunrealistic and, perhaps in an attempt to simplify the plot, mind-numbingly clichéd. In fact, the amount of sane people involved in this"experiment" is five at most… out of twenty-six. The film goesdownhill from the moment the filmmakers decide to try to amp up thesuspense, and the ending is almost incredibly stupid. The film doesn'teven achieve the "so-bad-it's-entertaining" status because, despite thefact that it tries to put forth a serious issue, it is so overlysimplified that it ends up insulting the viewer's intelligence. Theonly reason this has a three instead of a one is because thecinematography is good and both Brody and Whitaker do the best they canwith their crappy characters in this god-awful screenplay;unfortunately, it's not nearly enough to save it.

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