Compliance 2012

Compliance

Critics Consensus

Anchored by smart, sensitive direction and strong performances, Complicance is a ripped-from-the-headlines thriller that's equal parts gripping and disturbing.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 143

60%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,909

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Movie Info

A fast-food worker (Dreama Walker) who's accused of theft is put through the wringer as her boss (Ann Dowd), at the direction of a phone caller who says he's a cop, subjects her to increasingly harsh forms of interrogation.

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Critic Reviews for Compliance

All Critics (143) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (127) | Rotten (16)

Audience Reviews for Compliance

  • Jun 16, 2020
    Set nearly entirely in the back of what some might consider to be a greasy and claustrophobic fast food outlet, a phone caller identifying himself as a policeman makes requests of the unknowing staff, under the guise of that official police title, that become more and more, er, uncomfortably manipulative. It's a fascinating descent into madness, particularly as normal people are asked to cross the line of their own inhibitions, well played by writer/director Craig Zobel as well as his very able cast, and making for a squirmy time at the movies.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2016
    Law Abiding Citizens!!
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2014
    You will be hard pressed to find a more disturbing thriller this year. Compliance is a harrowing experience, made all the more stressful when you see the terrible way these characters behave thinking the law is on their side. The film is ultimately a testament not just to our inability to question authority but our unwillingness to. We the audience sit helplessly as we watch a young woman humiliated by people who are supposed to be her friends, all in the name of compliance to what they think is a police officer. This film explores the dark side of humanity in a way that few films have. It does it with minimal locations and a phone. When the credits rolled I couldn't believe this was based on a true story. Then I looked up the actual case this film was based on. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the events happened exactly as they were told in the film, and how unsettling it is to know that it happened 70 different times and that the perpetrator was acquitted.
    Edward B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2014
    Even with her imminent engagement to Van(Bill Camp), this looks like it will turn out to be a very long day for Sandra(Ann Dowd) in her job managing a fast food restaurant in Ohio. That starts with food spoiling from the night before leading to a critical shortage of pickles and bacon. And then Police Officer Daniels(Pat Healy) calls to report that Becky(Dreama Walker), one of her employees, has been accused of stealing from a customer. Taking her to the side, Sandra cannot find the missing money in her belongings, so Daniels tells her the search will have to be more thorough... The first thing they tell you(or should) in any creative writing class is that just because an event happened in real life does not automatically mean it will make for a good story. Case in point: "Compliance" which is inspired by true events(According to the endnote, something like this has happened at least 70 times.) and does not make for convincing drama in the least, even if it probably gets the day to day operations of a fast food restaurant right. In fact, with the movie observing events from a comfortable distance, it comes off as condescending, wondering how the characters could have possibly let this happen. And then it pushes things beyond simply an R-rated PSA into the dubious realm of exploitation.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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