Up 357 this week

The Experiment (2001)
"Das Experiment" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  8 March 2001 (Germany)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 73,982 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 170 user | 107 critic | 19 from

For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.


(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 10 Feb 2012
a list of 31 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 22 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Experiment" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Experiment (2001)

The Experiment (2001) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Experiment.

User Polls

14 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Wave (2008)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A high school teacher's experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.

Director: Paul Scheuring
Stars: Adrien Brody, Cam Gigandet, Forest Whitaker
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova
Run Lola Run (1998)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s.

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek
The Edukators (2004)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three activists cobble together a kidnapping plot after they encounter a businessman in his home.

Director: Hans Weingartner
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Julia Jentsch, Stipe Erceg
Action | Crime | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two young men, Martin and Rudi, both suffering from terminal cancer, get to know each other in a hospital room. They drown their desperation in Tequila and decide to take one last trip to ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Jahn
Stars: Til Schweiger, Jan Josef Liefers, Thierry van Werveke
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman
Cell 211 (2009)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.

Director: Daniel Monzón
Stars: Luis Tosar, Alberto Ammann, Antonio Resines
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch
Downfall (2004)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.

Director: Marc Rothemund
Stars: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Alexander Held


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tarek Fahd - Häftling Nr. 77 / Prisoner #77
Robert Steinhoff Nr. 38
Oliver Stokowski ...
Günther Schütte Nr. 82
Wotan Wilke Möhring ...
Joe Maier Nr. 69
Stephan Szasz ...
Häftling Nr. 53
Polat Dal ...
Häftling Nr. 40
Häftling Nr. 21
Ralf Müller ...
Häftling Nr. 15
Markus Rudolf ...
Häftling Nr. 74
Peter Fieseler ...
Häftling Nr. 11
Thorsten Dersch ...
Häftling Nr. 86 (as Thorsten J.H. Dersch)
Sven Grefer ...
Häftling Nr. 94
Justus von Dohnányi ...
Berus - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard (as Justus von Dohnànyi)
Nicki von Tempelhoff ...
Kamps - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard
Timo Dierkes ...
Eckert - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard


The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For two weeks 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards. The 'prisoners' are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the 'guards' are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. Everybody is free to quit at any time, thereby forfeiting payment. In the beginning the mood between both groups is insecure and rather emphatic. But soon quarrels arise and the wardens employ ever more drastic sanctions to confirm their authority. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nach einer wahren Begebenheit. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, disturbing situations, language, sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 March 2001 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Experiment  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$19,857 (USA) (20 September 2002)


$141,072 (USA) (25 October 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(DVD) | (cut) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed in chronological order. See more »


Some arrestees can be seen in underwear, although they were not allowed to bring it in. See more »


[first lines]
Tarek Fahd, Häftling Nr. 77: [voiceover, reading newspaper ad] Test subjects wanted. Earn 4000 marks for a 14-day experiment in a simulated prison.
See more »


Version of The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) See more »


Are You Lonesome Tonight
Lou Handman / Roy Turk
(C) by Redwood Music Ltd. / Carlin Music Corp.
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung der
Greenhorn Musikverlag GmbH & Co. Munchen
(i.Hs.Warner / Chappell Music GmbH Germany)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A true experience
10 May 2004 | by (The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Now this is the kind of movie Hollywood should make!

Movie about an experiment gone all out of hand, with 20 men posing to be guards and prisoners for a period of 2 weeks. We follow the events mainly through the eyes of reporter/taxidriver Tarek, a 'prisoner', who thinks there's a good story to tell.

But things go all wrong when the guards really feel like they're God and things only get worse from that moment on. There's an amazing scene with Tarek in a 'black box', that scene is as scary as I have ever seen on screen.

Surely a movie you won't forget too soon. Terrifying, exciting, horrific, brilliant!


47 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I hope they make an american remake asti223
I couldn't belive it how angry made me at some point! nonearfear
Totally implausible luau_foot
Similar films? rory-g
Subtitles or english thekeeperscages
Spanish movie with experiment... Please help! gerbenrog
Discuss The Experiment (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: