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.
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 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
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
September 25, 2015
Alvarez' film would almost qualify as a psychological thriller if it weren't a faithful, slightly dramatized reenactment of history, and if we didn't already know how it ended.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 25, 2015
The acting is uniformly strong and the camera work is winningly claustrophobic, but the film is one note: scene after scene of bullying.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 24, 2015
It's paced like a drama but packs the intensity of a thriller, as the tension is compounded both wittingly and unwittingly by Zimbardo (played with ambiguous reserve by Billy Crudup) and his team.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
September 8, 2015
An at times very upsetting film about our true nature, The Stanford Prison Experiment is full of great performances, particularly from Michael Angarano and Ezra Miller.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.9/10
August 21, 2015
The simple and straightforward approach makes it more unsettling and provocative, offering a clinical yet suspenseful morality play about power and control.
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