Das Experiment (The Experiment) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 21, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
½ January 8, 2009
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.)
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2010
The Experiment failed to yield any favorable reports for me. If you wish, experiment it on yourself; though IMO, it should be aborted.
Super Reviewer
½ September 22, 2007
The line between reality and role playing gets blurred in this creepy study of human behaviour. Only thing that keeps this from getting more stars is the pointless repetition of "what is the girlfriend doing?" scenes, which really didn't add a lot, with the exception of some bits of info about the main character. Great performance by Moritz Bleibtreu, very solid leading man i must say.

A shame that the director has also bitten the hollywood chain of doing useless remakes. I guess he's the one swimming in a pool full of naked women right now, while i'm here writting this review :X
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2007
The picture here makes this movie look pretty silly. The guy looks like the older brother, from Everybody Loves Raymond. He doesn't look very happy about this so called "experiment" at all. I saw this movie, and it's actually really good, in a serious way, not in a silly way.
Super Reviewer
June 4, 2006
A brilliant look at the abuse of power, and mans violent nature. The cases are looked at from all sides, but the director seems a little eager for us to pass judgement and really shock us. The end turns into average Hollywood action and slightly OTT. However it makes its point and isn't easily forgotten.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2011
This is the perfect archetype of a movie that starts out tame and gets more and more disturbing as it progresses. I've really never seen another movie that did such a good job of showing people descend into pure madness at a pace that makes sense. It was realistic, which made it truly frightening. The main character is also really likable, which helped to turn my stomach when things got bad.
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2009
The plot is fairly simple with some weak points but overall I think they did a very good job writing the screenplay. The story flows naturally and never feels like a screenplay and even though the movie is quite predictable, one is very excited through the entire film and a special atmosphere is created in the beginning of the film, and you know something terrible is going to happen. The movie has fine acting from the leads and they did well reflecting the claustrophobic feeling.
This German film is a great piece of psychological horror.
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2007
As a social experiment goes wrong, questions are raised about human nature and how far they will go if they only get the chance. Das Experiment is refreshingly un-American, although I am not the biggest fan of German direction (trip hop OST and fast editing, think Run Lola Run). Yet, the cast is a very good ensemble, and I think that most of the secondary actors shine out the lead by far, which can often be the case if the screenwriter uses the main char only as axis of the other characters. The film is not gory or very brutal but contains some defty scenes of humiliation and general human atrocity. The romantic sub-plot as well as the reason why the experiment is able to continue despite it going out of hand feels a bit forced and slighlty takes off some of the believability of the movie. It is based on a true story, although it takes the truth to quiet another level in the fictionalization.

All in all, very recommended !

Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2009
Interesting and intiguing (prison movies often are), but with a pretty bad implemented side story.
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2008
One of the best films I've seen for a long time. Watching the sudden power or sudden lack of power corrupt ordinary human beings and reveal their true natures was fascinating. As the situation began to escalate, absolute power, corrupted absolutely and the film became both scary and riveting. A definite must-see, particularly for anyone with an interest in human psychology.
Super Reviewer
½ January 27, 2007
Pretty cool concept.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2006
Great German film, very intense, good psychological thriller.
November 18, 2012
"Das Experiment" is a movie based on the Stanford prison experiment back in the 70's, while it's obviously made more extreme for the sake of entertainment, it still succeeds at creating a claustrophobic, tense experience. Mortiz Bleibtreu from Run Lola Run is the main character and is pretty great, while the rest of the cast is equally good, playing interesting roles on both the prisoner and guard sides.

While you can guess the outcome from a mile away, it's still intriguing throughout and the 2 hour duration damn near flies by, especially when all hell breaks loose. This movie is also a prime example of early 2000's German cinematography. It's fast paced, surreal, and visceral like a MTV music video, when MTV was still good. It feels great and fits the mood perfectly.

Though overall, this movie is worth your time, there are some problems. As I said, the movie is predictable near the end and there's an "everything that could go wrong, will go wrong" feel to the whole thing, that rides throughout. It's not a deal breaker, but it gets annoying. Also the final frames leave much to be desired, since it goes for the art house route instead of showing more of the aftermath.

Das Experiment, it's fun, disturbed, and visceral. A great time with friends or by yourself. Definitely recommended.

PROS: Tense, well acted, nails the late 90's vibe well, music video-esque at times
CONS: Weak ending, predictable
½ February 1, 2012
The cover to this movie is misleading. I was expecting a sci-fi film but got a real life drama. And yet I wasn't dissapointed. I was very much impressed on the whole thing. I have not much else to say but you should watch this.
½ April 25, 2009
First note that this film is based on a 1971 event which revealed disturbing truths about the human race. The film neglects to inform this, and I think it reduces the relevance. It's a fascinating thought experiment, and clearly the transfer to film works quite well, mixing romance and dramatic, thrilling threads effortlessly. You see just how far typified people of society work to defend their positions under microcosmic conditions, and observe how time and claustrophobia affect the people nearest to the protagonist. It's engaging watching the ethics of dominant and submissive roles evolve into their animalistic states.
March 11, 2010
An engrossing and disturbing dive into the psychology of a power struggle that develops out of a simulated environment. For me, at least, the fact that this film is German combined with its subject matter adds a certain creep factor.
November 20, 2007
One of my all-time favorites. The intensity is amazing...it's the one film I can recall that the palms of my hands were actually perspiring. YIKES.
½ September 14, 2007
Loved this movie. Half-star deduction for last 1-2 min. of movie (don't think the beach scene was necessary). Other than that, it kept me glued. I found myself wondering how far would we go for science.
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