7.8/10
81,001
172 user 109 critic

The Experiment (2001)

Das Experiment (original title)
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.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
14 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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
Run Lola Run (1998)
Crime | Drama | 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
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
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
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
Head-On (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

With the intention to break free from the strict familial restrictions, a suicidal young woman sets up a marriage of convenience with a forty-year-old addict, an act that will lead to an outburst of envious love.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Birol Ünel, Sibel Kekilli, Güven Kiraç
In July (2000)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Can Daniel follow the sun from Hamburg to the Bosporus by Friday to meet his love?

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christiane Paul, Mehmet Kurtulus
Downfall (2004)
Biography | Drama | History
    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
Soul Kitchen (2009)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Pheline Roggan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tarek Fahd - Häftling Nr. 77 / Prisoner #77
...
Robert Steinhoff Nr. 38
...
Günther Schütte Nr. 82
...
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
Edit

Storyline

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 <armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hikensha motomu [Japan] See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 March 2001 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Experiment  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$141,072 (USA) (25 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (cut) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian Berkel originally auditioned for the part of Schütte but was then cast as Steinhoff. See more »

Goofs

After the car crash in the beginning of the film, the right rear of the taxi has been damaged, including the rear light. When Tarek drives Dora to his place, it's just the other way around. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Version of The Experiment (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Mali Ghanni Aannak
Azeez Alnecheymi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Fascinating and Disturbing Film
6 December 2004 | by (Oxford, England) – See all my reviews

Based on a real psychological experiment at Stanford University in 1971, using a group of male students, the mood of this film captures the sense of disorientation and loss of reality that was experienced by the original volunteers. Acts of humiliation present a violent and effective method for stripping individuality and asserting power over prisoners. The psychological transformations into masochistic and submissive roles are fascinating when you consider that that the only real distinguishable difference between the characters, is that by a random selection process, some are labeled 'wardens' and others are labeled 'prisoners'. The levels of violence, brutality and humiliation in the film seem extreme but in the original experiment, humiliation tactics were also extreme – prisoners were also made to wear chains round their ankles and stockings on their heads at all times! The film's conclusion is carefully constructed and appears to bear an implicit reference to the real prison riot of San Quentin (which occurred the day after the Stanford experiment was prematurely halted), in which guards and informant prisoners were tortured and murdered during the prisoners' escape attempt. This film is a sensitive study into power relationships within an altered reality and is masterfully crafted to build tension and invite the viewer to question the character's morality and ethical codes. Far more relevant and interesting than the bland reality TV shows we are plagued by these days…highly recommended!


103 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?