The Stanford Prison Experiment - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Stanford Prison Experiment Reviews

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December 7, 2018
The Stanford Prison Experiment isn't fun, but it is engrossing, and it provides fodder for thought (and perhaps even self-reflection) a long time after it ends.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
August 28, 2018
The reenactment is ugly and affecting, attention shifting from member to member among the excellent ensemble cast; Tim Talbott's script is streaked with an awareness of privilege that a lesser movie would have neglected.
May 1, 2018
The uneven film ran out of gas way before it crossed the finishing line.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 2, 2017
The scariest part is that viewers vicariously become Dr. Philip Zimbardo, hotly anticipating what happens next before coming to their senses realizing how inhumane this is, how far it has gone, and that it needs to stop
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
October 10, 2017
The most fascinating parts of the film depict the experimenters themselves, who are equally quick to abuse the power they have given themselves over the lives of others.
October 9, 2017
The Stanford Prison Experiment lives and dies by the quality of the performances, because there is very little else in the film.
December 27, 2016
Authentically tense and sweatily claustrophobic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 9, 2016
Crudup's Zimbardo shifts from ruthlessness to panic, but that shift isn't nearly as marked as what we observe among his subjects.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 14, 2016
Crudup excels as Zimbardo, casually sliding into the role of evil prison boss so subtly that we almost don't realize what's happening.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 17, 2016
Based on real events, this sharply well-made film shifts from a rather light-hearted comedy into a horrific thriller. And it feels unnervingly natural as it does so.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 12, 2016
Cranking up the tension by gradually moving his camera in closer and closer to his actors, Alvarez smartly shrinks the distance between them and us in order to intensify the what-would-you-do? discomfort the experiment was designed to explore.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 10, 2016
The film runs out of steam by about the half way mark, where matters of unequivocally passed through the gates of Hell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
June 9, 2016
Alvarez directs without artifice, his flat tracking shots emphasising the repetition of "prison" life and the sadism of the guards.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 7, 2016
Demands investment and cuts deep down in the mind.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 17, 2016
The talented cast and fascinating real life story are enough of a foundation to make it worth the 2-hour sentence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
April 6, 2016
Kyle Patrick Alvarez's The Stanford Prison Experiment is a grim slog of a film, but it capitalizes effectively on the morbid fascination the 1971 study has always inspired.
February 24, 2016
The film becomes a bit repetitive past the hour mark, building to a finale that feels more inevitable than anything else.
Full Review | Original Score: C
January 9, 2016
The convicts are like actors trapped on a set, their awareness of a line between this-is-just-an-experiment and playing power-games dissolving. Zimbardo comes off as a Faustian fiend; the film itself glitters and glares a bit too simply and devilishly.
January 5, 2016
Zimbardo himself was involved in the making of this film, and it follows the facts closely. Anyone who wants to see how this experiment worked can find out a lot by watching this film.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 4, 2015
The well-acted effort tries to sell the notion that Zimbardo's experiment had a lasting value, but by then we've spent more than two hours watching a man gravely compromised by his own cruelty.
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