The Stanford Prison Experiment Reviews

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August 22, 2019
[Alvarez] does an excellent job encapsulating the intense, dehumanizing, and claustrophobic nature of the experiment. [July 10, 2018]
June 3, 2019
Shelton's excellent cinematography goes a long way in keeping the claustrophobic, oppressive mood going, mainly by shooting the tight, cramped and dull office settings with a wide Cinemascope ratio.
May 2, 2019
While it sometimes drags on in certain places and becomes repetitive in its showing of the actions taken by the guards, the film still stands well enough and is able to explore the ugly side of humanity that is very revealing.
March 29, 2019
The Stanford Prison Experiment isn't so much a period thriller as it is a modern horror in '70s clothing, vividly confronting its audience with the depths the human soul can plunge to, given the right circumstances...
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.
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 3, 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
October 11, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June 9, 2016
Alvarez directs without artifice, his flat tracking shots emphasising the repetition of "prison" life and the sadism of the guards.
June 7, 2016
Demands investment and cuts deep down in the mind.
April 17, 2016
The talented cast and fascinating real life story are enough of a foundation to make it worth the 2-hour sentence.
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.
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.
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