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The Experiment
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Experiment More at IMDbPro »

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124 out of 154 people found the following review useful:

Not nearly as good as the original.

6/10
Author: BernardoPinto from Portugal
21 August 2010

The Experiment is a 2010 American thriller film directed by Paul Scheuring and starring Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker,Cam Gigandet and Maggie Grace.The film is also a remake of the 2001 German film Das Experiment, which was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. The experiment begins when 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control. $14,000 for two weeks, it is easy-earned money. The study examines aggressive behavior in an artificial prison setting. At first the tenants are divided randomly into prisoners and guards, but soon a spiral of violence begins.

I had some hope for this film because I remember seeing the original Das Experiment more then a year ago and enjoying it. Although brutal the film was brilliant in the way it explored human nature, human instincts, and one's moral compass. It's actually quite surprising that it took such a long time (9 years) for Hollywood to assassinate, pardon me, remake this very interesting story which is actually based on the Stanford prison experiment that took place in 1971 and was highly criticized afterwords. The problem with this remake is that, as in most things Hollywood, it's all about big name actors and big fights and nice camera angles. What's most important, the characterization and the character development which are the things that make this story, were completely thrown aside. One of the consequences of doing so is that the film felt extremely rushed and therefor the payoff wasn't that great. I didn't think there was real tension, and the film lacked that gritty look of the original, instead it looks sharp and polished.

Also, it's one thing to put your own spin into a story but this remake eliminated an entire dimension of the original film. I'm talking about the people behind the cameras, the scientists watching and conducting the experiment. They played a big part in the original and in this remake they are nowhere to be seen and it truly diminished the story. Regarding the acting, I thought Adrien Brody did a pretty good job and Cam Gigandet was delightfully nasty as he usually is. On the other hand, Forest Whitaker was absolutely awful. In almost every film that see him in, he acts like he has a speech impediment and to be honest, it adds nothing to his performance. Overall, The Experiment it's somewhat enjoyable but not nearly as good as the original.

6/10

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122 out of 165 people found the following review useful:

Another crappy USA remake.

3/10
Author: dizfunx from Belgium
20 October 2010

It's as if the title 'The Experiment' refers to Hollywood finally trying to create a remake that surpasses the original.

It's a pale and poor remake of the brilliant German movie 'Das Experiment', which blew my mind first time I saw it.

None of that with 'The Experiment'... Even the presence of two gifted actors (Brody and Withaker) cannot rescue the poor cinematography and awful diluted script. I couldn't even properly empathise with the main character played by Brody. His actions seemed ridiculous put against the prison-experiment backdrop, so terribly written so that there isn't any true logic to his rebellion. It's also very obvious he's not doing half the acting that Moritz Bleibtreu performed in the original.

The casting was terrible, even before the experiment, I could immediately identify which characters were to become guards, and which ones prisoners. Mix this with the poor script-rewrite that put in unnecessary scenes and dialogues and that took out some of the most brilliant scenes in the original, and you get a straight-to-video production that will never be looked back on by movie fanatics anywhere, anytime.

If you have bought, borrowed or downloaded this copy, please burn or delete it. You will be much better off getting Das Experiment instead.

The Experiment has failed!

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138 out of 204 people found the following review useful:

How to Destroy a German Masterpiece

1/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
21 October 2010

The German "Das Experiment" is one of the best and most powerful movies of the Twentieth-First Century. Tense, powerful, having a wonderful screenplay and outstanding direction and performances, it is another great example of how the absolute power corrupts. "Das Experiment" is a must-see movie, which will certainly provoke reactions on the viewer.

Hollywood, as usual, made a remake showing how to destroy the German masterpiece. The decadent Forest Whitaker is awful, and he should have paid more attention in the acting of Justus Von Dohnanyi in the original film, as the sadistic Berus, instead of using grimaces. The writer and director Paul Scheuring is ridiculous, using sexual premises and sadistic situations freely. I feel sorry for the ridiculous reviews from viewers that have not seen "Das Experiment" and are happy watching this silly American crap. My vote is one (awful).

Title (Brazil): "Detenção" ("Detention")

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58 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

A masterful American remake..NOT!!

1/10
Author: pete_hatchetharry from United Kingdom
5 December 2010

'This was a surprisingly intense film that I'm so glad I watched. The concept was great and this was even before I found out it was based on a true story.'

Like the sound of the above? Well don't bother watching this awful American Remake , watch the original German award winning film 'DAS EXPERIMENT' which this snippet of a IDMB review was taken from. 'The Experiment' lacks the intensity of the original. I found myself caring very little about the characters. Don't be fooled by the employ of fantastic actors such as Forest Whitaker and Adrien Brody. There inclusion was a bit like employing Tiger Woods to play in the FIFA Football World Cup, sounds good on paper but awful to watch. The story has massive holes in the plot which remain unexplained and an ending that is about as satisfying as a chicken nugget. Overall the rewriting of such an intense drama and fantastic story has completely ruined it.

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66 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

The Brody

3/10
Author: moonbeaver from Canada
1 October 2010

The tragedy of this film is really two-fold: First, if you are a fan of Adrien Brody or Forest Whitaker (and respect them as brilliant actors), you have to empathize with their probable shame of having participated in the film at all. As you watch 'The Experiment', it's not difficult to imagine the two actors sitting in some dimly lit bar each day after filming, drinking whiskey together in silence.

Second, the script is poor. Or under-researched. Or over-researched. Maybe both. Maybe their were too many producers sticking their noses in. I don't know.

Sigh.

Imagine that you're a famous film producer and I'm pitching a movie idea to you...

Ready?

'The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted by Philip Zimbardo in 1971. Students were selected and divided into 'prisoners' and 'guards'. The doctors stood back and watched the bedlam.'

What do you think?

Me personally, I want to make this into a film right now. What's more, I want Oscar winners Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker to act the hell out of it.

I don't want to change the story. I don't want to take it into the 21st century. I don't want to ramp up the violence for effect. I don't want to make a big Hollywood production. I want to stick to the guts! Stick to what makes it interesting!

Now imagine you are Adrien Brody. He hears the pitch. He's in! Probably takes a pay-cut just to be involved, the opportunity is so great to show off his talent. Same with Whitaker! Next thing you know the script is spiraling out of control! Someone wants more sex scenes! Someone wants more violence! Someone is looking at test data and decides there needs to be a rape scene! More brutal beatings! And Nazis! Let's get a Nazi! Never mind the implausibility or it all! But Brody's committed. He hangs in there and gives the best performance that he can. But it's lost.

'The Experiment' is an example of Hollywood flying off the mark. It's a perfect opportunity gone wrong. It's badly edited and shouldn't have been released.

Why then, you ask, the 3 out of 10 rating? Why not a 1?

Near the end of the film, as the predictable climax approaches, Adrien Brody's acting saves the film. Somehow he has miraculously breathed enough life to his character that you suddenly feel connected. It comes out of nowhere.

Brody rules.

Forest Whitaker is also good in the film, but the lines he seems forced to read are so contrived that it's not worth commenting on here.

I didn't hate it. But I felt bad for those involved.

Maybe you should wait 'til you see it on TV some late night before you fall asleep. You can flick over to the Food Network or something during the boring parts.

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28 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely horrible. Watch Das Experiment instead. Please save yourself the trouble.

1/10
Author: monkies3388 from United States
22 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

it may not actually deserve a 1 rating, but i just finished watching the movie, so i still have a disgusting taste in my mouth, so to speak.

so, the original, Das Experiment, was an amazing movie. it was completely believable, for one. i find one of the worst qualities of a bad movie is believability. i can get over bad acting, or any of the other cliché signs of a bad movie... but if i cant even believe that what is going on could possibly be going on, it can be HARD to watch.

i can believe that scientists would hold an experiment of this kind... i can (reaching) believe that they would offer $1k per day to participants, considering the circumstances of the experiment. what i cannot believe... *if you don't know yet, they are not allowed to hurt anybody physically, or the experiment is immediately supposed to be ended* is that the guards would, without circumstances changing, in one scene, continue this 'humiliation without physical harm' by dunking the main character's head in water over and over... then turn around, and in the very next scene, beat the crap out of one of the guards who broke the rules.

i cannot believe, that after all the 'prisoners' saw the guards beat the crap out of the other guard, that the prisoners would not do SOMETHING. they sat there... as they outnumbered the guards... and watched the lead guard KILL one of the prisoners. STILL NOTHING. completely unbelievable... at one point, one of the guards has decided that he has had enough, that the lead guard is crazy, and basically begins walking out. the lead guard stops him... by saying some more crazy stuff... if you were standing next to somebody, and they said they get off on humiliating and beating the crap out of somebody, and you said, "thats crazy! Im leaving. you are insane." and they came back with something just as crazy, you don't stay... you leave. he didn't even threaten him.

the guard who wanted to rape that prisoner? completely unnecessary. actually, correction... they didn't weave it into the plot... at all. it felt like its own little gross side show.

the ending... good god.

i have to stop for a second on that one... its that horrible. i kept hanging on for the ending, because i wanted to know why they didn't end the experiment. i don't need to get into details, but suffice it to say, they all ended up riding a single bus home, the rapist, the raped, the killer, and although he wasn't shown, probably the killed. it wasn't some profound or poignant statement about humanity or something... it just seemed stupid, and again, not believable.

at a couple points, they were trying to some sort of statement about humanity, social evolution... it was not effective whatsoever.

IN SUMMARY! Not believable at all. you do feel a bit of that revenge satisfaction at the end, but it is minimal, to spite having waited for an hour plus. the acting was mediocre, to spite some big hitters being called in.

If you like the premise... if you want to see it done right, believable, emotionally charged, and with an ending that will knock your socks off? watch Das Experiment.

would somebody please.... stop Americans from remaking foreign films? just stop it :|

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Don't Listen to the Idiots.

8/10
Author: qwert36985 from United States
6 February 2013

Look, I'm a type of guy who doesn't like to get pretentious. Give me a black-and-white Dawn of the Dead and a color version of Dawn of the Dead, and I'll definitely pick the latter.

The people complaining about the Hollywood remake in THIS movie, though, going on and on about the movie **dare I say it?** Das Experiment, are kinda like those guys who'd go for the black and white version of Dawn of the Dead.

Don't get me wrong-- that's understandable. Some people like the plots and scripts in old versions. I can buy that.

What I CAN'T buy, though, is giving this movie a 1 out of 10 because Das Experiment was better. I mean, dude, the acting was God-driven, and I have never been so angry at a character in my life. When I saw that crazy Whitaker get that hell-pounding from Adrien Brody at the end, I felt a burst of adrenaline pulsing straight through my brain and just jumping up and down. I have not experienced that kind of satisfaction in a long time.

Look, the movie's great. Tension, check. Atmosphere, check. Acting, double check. The only things that bothered me were a couple of plot holes and the abrupt ending. I was kinda hoping they'd show more of what happened after. I get that the movie was based on the Stanford Experiment, but plenty of fact driven movies have blended creative elements in for entertainment.

But dammit, the movie was great. You're missing out big time if you don't watch it. Yeah, I get it, you guys think the German Das Experiment film was the real thing. But remakes don't always have to be crap, and The Experiment was amazing on its own.

Conclusion: think of all those 1 out of 10 rate reviews that mention Das Experiment as people who like the black and white version of Dawn of the Dead. They're just trying to sound smart.

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26 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Important Message, but a movie with flaws

6/10
Author: fpollinger from Germany
28 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off: I am German and i've seen the original Das Experiment many years ago. I wouldn't call all Americans dumb because they remake foreign movies. In fact this movie is better in some ways, like the acting of Forest Whitaker, which reminds me like a evolution from a stay-at-home-dude to his interpretation of Idi Amin.

But the movies share a big problem. The original experiment was the Milgram Experiment, which was in the 60s if i recall correctly. The difference to the movie experiment is, that they originally used completely sane men. So that's why this study had such a big impact. They stopped the experiment at a earlier stage, but they were right at losing control. So in the movies there are psychopaths, Nazis, misfits and even an emo. I think that weakens the message of the movie. It should not be saying: Maniacs and psychopaths are capable of violence, oppression and humiliation. The message of the movies should be: Every man is capable of violence, oppression and humiliation. But it is possible to prevent such things if we ever arrive a level of empathy, philosophy and post-capitalism, then we could prove that humans are more than monkeys with funky weapons.

So apart from the message the movie is OK. Don't expect an action flick, so everything's fine.

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Suspension of disbelief

4/10
Author: EasyGoinDFW from Fort Worth, Texas, United States
13 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was well acted and could have been good. Well, it had Adrian Brody and Forrest Whitaker in it, and they are body wonderful actors. This review has several spoilers in it, so don't read further if you are thinking of seeing this one and want to be surprised.

The main problem is that the film did not define the universe in which it operated. If they really needed me to suspend my disbelief THAT much, they needed to give me some guidelines, like a good science fiction would have done. The three major drawbacks in my ability to get sucked into this film's universe were:

1) no lab personnel on the premises... NONE... AT ALL. They lost me right there. They were all in some isolated facility in the middle of a corn field with no supervising personnel,

2) we never even saw any lab personnel watching the cameras, commenting "no, don't stop it yet", and

3) even after the diabetic 051 got his skull cracked, they didn't flash the red light. After the guy was lying there twitching having had his skull cracked, and the red light didn't go off, I was done. I did finish watching the movie, but it really made me feel stupid for doing it.

Adrian, Forest... do you need work THAT badly? Get a job at McDonald's... don't make any more garbage like this one, please. I want to be able to trust your name on a movie.

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35 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie!

8/10
Author: jbbazot from France
10 November 2010

Don't mind the bad review up there, whether you've seen or not the German original version, The Experiment still remains an excellent movie with two great actors (and a great plot): Forrest Whitaker and Adrien Brody. Interesting movie that shows that even if we all pretend to have some kind of moral, we all still remain animals that will bite to defend our pack. Sometimes you watch a 96mn movie and it feels like you were watching The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston (don't mean this is a bad film, it's just very long), but this one is the total opposite! you'll be annoyed when the credits will appear at the end. Also, if like me you're a bit sick and tired of the current Hollywood buzz which consists to make many spy movies with a huge budget, you will enjoy that film, because it's quite simple, only few rooms needed at location. So the question is: are you a prisoner?

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