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.
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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
Compelling thriller that disturbs as much as it entertains.
I was initially a bit dubious about 'Das Experiment', thinking it looked like it was going to be lame, but within half an hour I was hooked. It isn't the greatest movie ever made, the most technically dazzling, or the most insightful into the human condition, but as a thriller it is first class, and far better than any I've seen come out of Hollywood for years. The movie in inspired by an experiment conducted in America in the early 1970s. 'Das Experiment' isn't a documentary it is after all but a thriller, so the outcome is more sensational than in real life. But I think people may be shocked when they read about the real experiment, as they will see that the basic pattern of what happens in the movie happened in reality. And if people are still skeptical I just suggest they look into their heart and ask themselves honestly what they would do in a similar situation... The cast are all terrific. The only actor I recognized was the star Moritz Bleibtreu, from 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' and 'Run Lola Run', but it really is an ensemble piece and all the actors were well cast and convincing. I highly recommend this movie and just hope that Hollywood doesn't decide to remake it because I'm sure it'll be another 'Insomnia' farce all over again...
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