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Das Experiment (The Experiment) (2001)

tomatometer

52

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 10

No consensus yet.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 21,911

My Rating

Movie Info

A man taking part in a scientific study finds the fine line between play-acting and reality has been blurred beyond recognition in this taut drama. Tarek Fahd (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a journalist who is temporarily making ends meet by driving a taxi when he sees an advertisement offering 4,000 marks to people willing to submit to a psychological experiment. Intrigued, Tarek offers to take part in the study and persuades one of his former editors to help him work up a story about his experiences.

Jul 1, 2003

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All Critics (78) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (18) | DVD (20)

The movie's central premise -- is well supported in a film whose strength is in its close-ups on characters and its ability to put the viewer in the cell with them.

November 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Probably it's more action film than anything else, but has enough insight to be of interest to serious filmgoers.

November 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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What impressed me is how effective the movie was, even though the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

October 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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An R-rated version of Survivor, Big Brother or any number of reality-TV shows that present voyeurism as entertainment and exploitation as insight.

October 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Das Experiment may make an obvious point, but it's still a relevant one.

October 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, it looks as if this experiment proves only one thing: People forced to play guards and prisoners tend to end up imitating bad prison movies.

October 4, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Never has there been such a chilling portrait of the human psyche.

May 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Go in expecting whatever you want, chances are you're going to get something that much better.

February 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Dread Central
Dread Central

The Experiment est un bon film, mais je comprends mal qu'il ait pu gagner des prix.

December 16, 2004

Certamente provocaria mais impacto caso o roteiro tivesse abandonado subtramas dispensáveis como a "namorada que perdeu o pai" e se concentrado mais na fascinante experiência.

April 24, 2004
Cinema em Cena

Works as action drama, psychological thriller, and cautionary tale.

October 15, 2003 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

When a picture about the roots of evil takes the easy way out, the price is potentially more grave than just the failure of a film: it starts to smell a little like exploitation, after all.

September 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

"The Experiment" keeps your adrenaline pumping nearly from beginning to end.

July 22, 2003 Full Review

...takes its time with what it has to say, but very little of it is uninteresting - and the whole thing is capped off by a third act that will have you squirming in your seat.

July 7, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Director Oliver Hirschbiegel uses a stark and spare style to depict the action. . . with breakdowns sudden and savage in contrast to the intermittent quiescence

April 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

Bleibtreu is a clone of Brendan Fraser in looks, but he's far superior in talent.

January 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

...it gets all murky and brutal, with rape and murder and all kinds of Hobbesian business going on.

December 23, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Expect to do plenty of flinching, recoiling and face-covering.

November 8, 2002
Jam! Movies

Psychologically resounding but bedeviled by somewhat preposterous plot developments.

October 6, 2002 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire
SPLICEDWire

Audience Reviews for Das Experiment (The Experiment)

20 men volunteer to participate in a lab experiment in a simulated prison. At first the men have a good time with it, but then things go downhill when some of the men take the experiment more seriously than others. The film is based on a true experiment, and the results are pretty much what you expect, if you're familiar with either the original experiment or LORD OF THE FLIES. Pretty grim at times, and not a feel-good film by any means. But the performances are good, and the film is involving and intense. Fans of films such as TAXI DRIVER would find things to like here.
February 10, 2011
webalina

Super Reviewer

Das Experiment is a theatrical "what if" inspired by the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) and Mario Giordano's subsequent novel. The script is gritty enough but there are more than a few holes and lapses of logic. Still, the overall aura of the film is gripping and intense. I'm sure an inferior Hollywood remake is already in the works (see also: RIngu, Old Boy, Let the Right One In, etc., etc., etc.)
January 29, 2011
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Based on a real life psychological experiment, the simulated prison environment is like a ticking timebomb, waiting to see the power struggle between Guards and Prisoners unleash into violence and humiliation.

A good film, well acted, but possibly not quite as good as a lot of reviews have led me to believe, I think, because the ending tends to go on for a little too long.
November 28, 2010
76Majikat

Super Reviewer

The Experiment failed to yield any favorable reports for me. If you wish, experiment it on yourself; though IMO, it should be aborted.
May 13, 2010
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Das Experiment (The Experiment)

    1. Tarek Fahd: Test subjects wanted. Earn 4000 marks for a 14-day experiment in a simulated prison.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Das Experiment (DE)
  • The Experiment (UK)
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