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The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

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Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Philip Zimbardo
Christopher Archer
Anthony Carroll
Karl Vandy
Paul Vogel
John Lovett
Gavin Lee / 3401
Prisoner 416
Daniel Culp / 8612
Jerry Sherman / 5486
Peter Mitchell / 819
Jeff Jansen / 1037
Mike Penny
Jesse Fletcher


Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They were given 2 weeks. It lasted 6 days.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including abusive behavior and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

17 July 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Stanford Prison Experiment Project  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$37,514 (USA) (17 July 2015)


$643,557 (USA) (18 September 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


A film project about the Stanford prison experiment was first announced in 2002, when producer Brent Emery assigned Tim Talbott to write the script for the film. Problems beset and delayed the project for twelve years, including financing and the 2007 writers' strike. See more »


When the principal investigator of the experiment speaks with his colleague, the colleague says that he will see him at the beginning of the semester. Stanford does not have semesters; rather, it has a quarter academic calendar. See more »


Peter Mitchell: Blow it out your ass, Mr. Correctional Officer!
See more »


References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

Don't go in for a casual watch
17 September 2016 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

This was horrifying. Definitely not for everyone. Most horrifying thing is that this really happened. I don't even know where to start.

The movie is well made and told. It's really claustrophobic and it will get under your skin. How horrible humans can be. There's no violence here, but the verbal abuse and the way people are treated and at the same time being watched by people who could have stopped it, is what makes this story the more haunting.

The actors do a good job here. Those guards, man. This movie is gonna make you hate them and feel very sorry for the prisoners. It's all acting, but you really get a grudge against those guards. So, the movie did a good job on that. It gets you invested, but it at the end leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Nothing feel good about it. One thing it lacks is a main character. The first half is centered on Ezra Miller, but he disappears halfway through. I think it lost something when he was gone.

It's a though one to watch and I don't think I need to watch it again. No, once was good enough. Maybe it can do good and remind you of the cruelty of us humans, and help stop these things from happening. But, it's not an experience for everyone like I said and the cruelty is almost overboard at times and a little over the top. I think it was trying to chock people too much.

Horrifying, but well made and acted. It dwells too long on some of the most cruel moments and it's gonna make it hard to watch. So, don't go in for a casual watch. You gotta be prepared to watch it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Why wasn't Stanford sued into oblivion for this? gilwood
How would this experiment work outside the U.S.? Mamabadger56
Is this movie worth seeing just for Olivia Thirlby? eyeforbeauty
So how do you think you would cope in this situation? pearlimaew
Rip Off of a German Film palmacci
Wow, what a masterpiece!!! mirogster
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