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Not nearly as good as the original.
BernardoLima21 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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3/10
Another crappy USA remake.
dizfunx20 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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1/10
Absolutely horrible. Watch Das Experiment instead. Please save yourself the trouble.
monkies338822 March 2011
Warning: 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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1/10
How to Destroy a German Masterpiece
Claudio Carvalho21 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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1/10
A masterful American remake..NOT!!
pete_hatchetharry5 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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6/10
Important Message, but a movie with flaws
fpollinger28 August 2010
Warning: 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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8/10
Don't Listen to the Idiots.
qwert369856 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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4/10
Suspension of disbelief
EasyGoinDFW13 November 2010
Warning: 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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3/10
The Brody
moonbeaver1 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.

Sigh.

Okay. 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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8/10
Excellent movie!
jbbazot10 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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3/10
Contrived and slow plot makes for a boring ride to a known end
Maddis19 August 2010
The Experiment as you know from the summary is a film about psychological tests performed on everyday citizens put both in the role of prisoner and jailer in a makeshift prison. They are videod and given a regiment of "normal" prison life to discover how they will react or change from their principals stated during initial interviews. Sounds interesting but ultimately nothing much happens. We are not invested enough in the character to truly believe they would behave in the manner presented. It follows the expected formula to a tee. Of course the guards power trip, of course the prisoners band together, of course we will need escalating events to bring us to our already predicted conclusion. Brody and Whitaker are great here, they bring as much passion as could be expected. However, their backstories are just not flushed out enough to bring empathy to the portrayals. It was like watching a fight and rooting for the guy you knew was supposed to be good. No one really learns anything about themselves, nor do the events really matter more than the shock value they provide for the screen. Sadly, I thought this could have been much better and while the original doesn't stray too far behind, at least with the relative unknowns in that film, we could connect and believe their struggle.

Maddis
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8/10
All I could ask for.
Tyla Thomas29 June 2013
The Experiment. Definitely doesn't get the credit it deserves. While its extremely fast paced (even though some say its slow - which is not true), It has an interesting and intriguing storyline with great actors and some twists which, all in all, made me confused, excited, worried and even gave me an intense hatred for some of the characters. Whoever you are, I think you'll enjoy the film all in all. Try not to compare it to what most say it's a remake of - it's its own film and should be acclaimed for its self, without comparison to other versions. Fast paced and constant tension building throughout, which is just what I love in a movie. While it is not hugely thriller-like, or physiologically stimulating as may be expected, it is a great movie, especially for younger viewers (15+ as stated). Some explicit, adult natured themes should be expected, so kids should stay well away from this movie, however the worst stuff is fee and far between, so can be avoided - although you'll be missing some of the best parts of the movie.

Don't listen to those who say its awful - it's a great film, and don't knock it because of others opinions. Make your own judgement.
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10/10
The Experiment is flawed, or is it?
eekaeeka27 October 2011
What a film. At first the development of the characters is well worded and driven, which leads seamlessly into a frenzy of moral adjustments later on in the film, when the plot has thickened so much so that the edge of the seat is perhaps the only place to be for the next hours viewing.

This is very much an actor's film, gritty stuff that can only be carried by the brilliant acting that is in "The Experiment" both lead roles are almost Oscar worthy. The supporting cast manage to pull their weight too.

The whole story and concept of this film is brilliant, very very dark, but very very brilliant. You are often kept guessing as to what happens next and it is very unpredictable, very hard to call how this film is going to pan out. Many times it's a thriller, with hardly any comedy, if any, but this film did not need comedy.

The dark and derelict feeling this film gives you is riveting, and there is many a moral lesson to be learned here, the main character really does carry himself well through his trials and tribulations and you are often in awe in how well he handles the situations he finds himself in.

This film will leave you better off after having watched it, sure it's uncompromising but you will be pondering the significance of it for many days after.

The ending of this film, although probably the correct way to do it, still left a feeling that you had been short-changed somehow, the makers could perhaps have given you an extra 5 minutes viewing to wrap things up, but when all is said and done, "The Experiment" comes highly recommended.

Out of 10 for the following facets: Acting: 9 Grittyness: 9 Charm of characters: 8 Moral reflections: 9 Overall: 8.5. More at toot bit.com
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6/10
Clever, but…
dejan837821 September 2010
Could've been done more with this one. Interesting story, slowly built, tensed, well portrayed characters (not just the main two), excellent acting (Brody and Whitaker especially), but in the end unfortunately fails to materialize all that in to something more. Apart from the plain ending and unnecessary undeveloped female character, everything else was done right and it is a gripping thriller indeed.

Probably the most important is that the movie succeeds in the main idea, catching the human nature and its transformation placed in certain conditions. As expected blinding of power and rebelling makes the violence slowly but surely spreads and the movie becomes more disturbing, answering my question why is it going straight to DVD.
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9/10
harsh and confronting
Alban-Paul Schellekens4 October 2011
if you're looking for a story that shows the goodness of mankind, or a tale of subtle changes in personality, move on, cause this isn't that... the premise and result of this film are simple and two fold...

if you like violence, it gives you all you can have, both psychological and physical.

As I said, the premise and result are twofold: the first is that of showing all sorts of violence in as raw a manner as possible, without being vulgar. It does this most successfully. the second premise is showing one simple thing: we can and will all be broken under the right pressure. this is shown by the character played by Brody, not a violent bone in his body, yet before the end of the film, this all changes....

Overall it is a very impressive production, considering the basic concept of the story. The acting work is convincing, the set design eerie. And the photography superbly effective.

In the end you may not feel sympathy for any specific character, though I certainly did, but if you don't come away knowing that we are all just animals, I would suggest that you take the advise Brody gives his main counterpart in the film...
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9/10
Brody and Whitaker Rule!
Marc Davis29 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great film and director Paul Scheuring keeps a nice pace going throughout the movie. No surprise there. Scheuring should know a thing or two about prison plots. He was the man behind the Prison Break TV series that ran on Fox for 5 seasons. The Experiment also has a heavy prison storyline but with a unique twist that makes this movie stand out. You see, this is an "experiment", as the simple title let's on. 26 men are chosen to participate in a group study in a prison environment. Unlike Prison Break, these are not actual prison inmates. In fact, they are required by the experiment administrators to not have ever been incarcerated (though one participant somehow slips through). 5 of the men are chosen to be guards, while the rest are chosen to be prisoners. They are isolated and given a list of specific rules which are to be followed to a tee. If the men fail to follow the rules, they will not be paid their nice compensation of $14,000 each at the end of the experiment. They have two weeks to last, and so you can image how this will turn out.

At first glance it seems the men are randomly chosen, but as the movie progresses, we see through their behavior and beliefs why they were chosen. The men were given specific questions during the interview process, and based on their responses, we began to see later on in the film how it all plays into the outcome of the experiment. It's a great element that gives the characters depth. But make no mistake about it, it's the power struggle that develops between Adrian Brody's character Travis, a prisoner, and Forest Whitaker's character Barris, a guard, that makes this movie great. Both are excellent actors that nail their parts. Whitaker in particular shines through as a momma's boy who's first taste at having authority takes him over the edge. Whitaker also has a way of making these intricate facial expressions that lends his character even more depth.

Maggie Grace stars as Brody's love interest; a relationship that is mostly forgettable. Fisher Stevens has a short role as the slightly off-kilter doctor in charge of the experiment, and hip hop star David Banner even puts in a respectable performance as a guard with a heavy conscience. But mostly, it's all Brody and Whitaker in this film.

The film offers some real insight into the human psyche and how our beliefs, values, and environment can shape it. In the movie, just when all hell starts to break loose, the men are brought back down to reality and realize the gravity of what the experiment has done to them. On the bus ride back home from the experiment site, Brody's character summed it up best when asked by another participant did he still think humans were higher in the evolution chain than monkeys. He takes a slight pause to reflect and responses, "Yes, because we can still do something about it." Great movies like this not only entertain us, but also give us something to take away from it. Watch the movie, it's great!
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7/10
Hollywood storytelling + a psychological experiment = a mediocre movie
Lasse Kärkkäinen8 September 2010
The Stanford prison experiment was about group dynamics when people were assigned roles of prisoners and guards but the movie only revolves around the two main characters most of the time, with others being almost entirely absent. As group dynamics do not really get into play, they miss many opportunities for personality development, which is what made the actual experiment interesting in the first place.

Due to the complete lack of character development (with one exception) the movie feels rather dull and the behavior of the characters, as well as their backgrounds, suggest that the researchers had knowingly picked individuals who had mental or other problems in the past. Even though the plot is about as linear as it can get, it is still full of holes.

The German version is much better, not because The Experiment is a remake but because it is dumbed down way too much. A typical reality-watching simpleton may find the remake easier to follow, though.

Even with its flaws, I give it 7/10 because the basic premise is interesting and the movie is refreshingly different. The set and the cast were certainly good enough.
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4/10
Okayish film... Nor good or bad.
Warning: Spoilers
This is a difficult film for me to review. I've never seen the original film that this is based on, so I can't comment on that. However, I have studied Reicher and Haslam's prison experiment in depth and know quite a lot about Zimbardo's study.

Without any prior knowledge about any of the above. 'd rate it average. You don't particularly gain anything from watching this film. You just learn that everyone is capable of pretty much anything given the circumstances.

This film is different to other films... It's interesting how money motivates them. All of them are free to leave at any point so that is never the issue unlike other films. But all of them need to stay because they all need the money.

In terms of Reicher and Haslam and Zimbardo... It's interesting to see how the film makers have put the film together. One person taking charge and everyone listening even if they disagree. People being pushed to extremes.I've studied Zimbardo and Reicher and Haslam... So I know all of this. This isn't something I've learnt specifically from the film.

The film itself has a clear meaning - people are capable of anything. I want to rate this film more... But it's not really that good. Maybe other people who haven't studied Psychology will find this film much better. For me, I didn't find this film anything new...

Spoilers ahead!

1. The prisoners were violent before, why did the red alarm not go off?

2. The researchers let someone die!

3. Why did we never see the researchers?

4. Why didn't we get any real backlog on the prisoners?
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7/10
Good because of Brody and Whitaker
fridaynightchicken18 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'll give it a seven. Brody and Whitaker are both good. The movie is somewhat low budget and the script isn't the best, but the themes and the character analysis is actually pretty good. I pondered the themes throughout multiple viewings. You can tell both actors put work into their roles and wanted it to be a success. I don't know why people are complaining, because compared to 90% of what else is on t.v. this is way better.

As an aside, the progression of the protagonists can be seen as sort of a self character study for the viewer. You get to see what types of personalities are more power hungry and apt to infringe on other people's lives, what types of people stand up for goodness, and the others that fall in between.

Brody's character is a peace activist and also an underachiever, perhaps the script writers wanted to show that these types of people are usually oppressed even though they feel the occasional desire to protest. Over the course of the film his character's psyche is peeled back like an onion to reveal his true underlying self; a fighter for good. Brody's character doesn't have it in him to oppress, and it takes being put into an ultimate situation like this, where his sense of safe civilly adhering human is completely stripped away. He has nothing left to do but fully be the 'savior' type that his personality type is at its core. This may sound stupid, but I sense a unicorn-ness about Brody's character. The ultimate good versus evil. Which can be read between the lines of this movie.

Whitaker's persona is the opposite of light and good, it is dark and oppressed and thus seeks to oppress. He has become what he was raised from. Backstory vignettes show how his mother was domineering and he still lives with her at age 41. He begins the story as meek and polite and god fearing, but further into the story you see that those were just covers for his true quiet desperation. And once he is placed in a position of power he gets to embody all of that pain that made him feel powerless throughout his life. Like a tortured animal that wants to see his trauma wrought upon another, in a very sociopathic way, his character can't live without experiencing that. It is unfortunate, but as is seen in this movie, that is why there are roles in society for people brought up like this; prison guard.

By the end of the movie, and after empathizing with the characters, you see that humans are just the products of their environments. I would say it is good versus evil, but Whitaker's character is too complex to fully write off as true evil, he is a naive human grown in an unideal home, and I feel bad for him. Brody's character, though more enjoyable to watch and the 'hero' of the story, is somewhat less fulfilling, because he has obviously been raised into a life that has given him freedom and light, he is sort of the fool, as he is in most of his films, and so in a broader sense is regarded with less depth. But as is seen in the last bus scene, it's all about choice, and in the end everybody has one. And Whitaker's character chooses to be dark and Brody's to be light.
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6/10
Quite an interesting twist
Jak Maloret10 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Reading through the reviews, I was taken back to when I watched it.

For my educational course, watching and reviewing the behaviour of characters in this film is a necessity.

Having not watched the original, I am basing my experience purely by the Stanford university prison experiment.

The link between Travis (Brody) and Barris (Whitaker) struck me as significant, before the experiment had even begun. It was inevitable that they would be pinned against each other, however I had no idea it would elevate to the extent it did.

As mentioned in a previous review by somebody, there were 5 rules to be followed by the prisoners. If these are broken, then the guards must react accordingly within 30 minutes of the incident, or a red light will go off, signalling the end of the experiment. This red light quickly becomes the obsession of Barris, who relies upon this and seems to worship it (A godly reference). Barris plays this role EXTREMELY well in my opinion, pouncing on every occasion there is to uphold these rules that the guards have been given.

The guards are not to use violence, if they do, the experiment will end. As stated once again in the same previous review, the experiment doesn't end when Benjy (Cohn) is killed by a blow to the head. However I thought this reflected very well upon the nature of the Stanford University Prison Experiment, where Zimbardo quickly adapted to the role of a prison warden, overlooking any of the guards gross misconduct. This act was very well done, with very little interference by the leaders of the experiment.

The ending was quite strange and not what I expected at all. I had expected some chaos to be imminent at times, however not on the scale that closed the film. The slow motion during the riots adds to the effect of the defeat of the guards by allowing you to capture their reactions in every frame; fear, anxiety, horror.

Overall I enjoyed this film, partly because of the alienation that the guards felt towards the prisoners after the experiment had been ceased. This film, I felt, reflected exceptionally well on the reality of the experiment, where events got out of hand very quickly - With the people taking on the role of a prisoner or a guard, having their behaviour and thinking shifted perpetually by the perception of their character.
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10/10
Are we so different from the rest of the animal kingdom???
Kelly197823 August 2010
I am compelled to encourage people to watch this movie, as I have been profoundly affected by the concept of this experiment. (Please note that I have never bothered to write a review prior to now).

I understand that this film is a remake and also loosely based on a true story, however, the director/writer obviously put much thought into altering the concept to suit the understanding of modern day motivations.

The Experiment is an anthropological study of the behaviour of 26 ordinary men that are confined to an imitated prison environment. Each is assigned the role of either prisoner or guard and given 5 basic guidelines to which they must adhere.

This film was thought provoking and stirred up heated discussions among my family...

I ask you one question; If Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker's characters in the film (keeping in mind that Adrien was a "Hippy" and Forest was a 42 year old man who still lived with his mother) were assigned the opposite roles of prisoner and guard, would the prison environment have been the same?
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3/10
A very disappointing film all around
PhoenixElite2 May 2011
I haven't seen Das Experiment, but I'd read up on the Stanford Prison Experiment and was very intrigued as to how that premise could be transfered to the screen. This film, unfortunately, is surprisingly badly executed. The first few minutes aren't all that bad, and Scheuring presents an interesting basis amidst all the cheesiness: exploring the darker side of human nature and just how high up the evolutionary chain we are. The idea is to pit some people into a barely controlled prison simulation where one group takes the role of guards and the other one plays the prisoners. In the actual experiment, the first day was more or less uneventful and then the situation spiraled out of control. The guards, either personifying their roles stereotypically or for some other reason, started to abuse their power, and the experiment had to be cancelled prematurely. However, what this film does is turn what was potentially a great storyline into a clash between the overwhelmed prisoners and the inherently, almost cartoonishly cruel guards.

The whole purpose of the film is lost when the "guards" are written out as intrinsically violent and mostly flat-out insane. The characters are unrealistic and, perhaps in an attempt to simplify the plot, mind- numbingly clichéd. In fact, the amount of sane people involved in this "experiment" is five at most... out of twenty-six. The film goes downhill from the moment the filmmakers decide to try to amp up the suspense, and the ending is almost incredibly stupid. The film doesn't even achieve the "so-bad-it's-entertaining" status because, despite the fact that it tries to put forth a serious issue, it is so overly simplified that it ends up insulting the viewer's intelligence. The only reason this has a three instead of a one is because the cinematography is good and both Brody and Whitaker do the best they can with their crappy characters in this god-awful screenplay; unfortunately, it's not nearly enough to save it.
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4/10
This Takes Too Many Liberties In Portraying The Stanford Prison Experiment
sddavis6316 July 2011
The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted in 1971 by psychologist Philip Zimbardo. It selected a random group of people and divided them into prison guards and prison inmates and then placed them into a recreated prison on the grounds of Stanford University for two weeks basically to see how they would adjust to their new roles. The experiment was controversial and was aborted after only 6 days and its results and methodology are still considered questionable. "The Experiment" is a sort-of recreation of that experiment, starring Forest Whittaker as one of the pretend guards and Adrien Brody as one of the pretend prisoners.

The movie is extreme in its portrayal of what actually happened. Conditions in the actual experiment were apparently pretty bad (which is why the experiment was aborted early) but this movie exaggerates conditions. I can understand dramatic licence, but if one really wants to learn about the details of the Stanford Prison Experiment, there's a lot of material available, and the movie shouldn't be taken as an accurate depiction.

Having said that, the movie does make a psychological point, I suppose. Whitaker's Barris and Brody's Travis are basically pretty normal seeming guys who get put into situations in which their basic personalities and life experiences are put to the test. Barris is 42 and lives with his mother - a kind of powerless guy who suddenly finds himself leading the "prison guards," while Travis is a "peace-nik" who engages in anti-war rallies and doesn't believe in violence, who ends up as the leader of the inmates responding to the abuse they suffer from the guards. I suppose the point is that our basic personalities and how we react to circumstances are directly dependent on our circumstances. That point was made, but on the whole the movie took too many liberties with the actual experiment and as a result came across as little more than a fake prison movie, rather than as an account of the experiment. (4/10)
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1/10
One of the worse Films ever seen & written
dj_princey131 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Sadly, you cant vote 0/10 but signed up just to warn others if you have not already witnessed how bad this film really is! Das Experiment i have not seen yet however sounds much better than this. The problem for me in this film was not the acting, the acting was great to be honest.

26 men get sent to do a prison experiment over 14 days. Some are set to be guards and some set to be prisoners, and there is 14,000USD each at the end of the experiment. There are 5 Rules.

The Main Rule: No Violence or the red light goes on and its off & no-one gets paid.

There are cameras in all rooms bar one in this film. So why when a man died through lack of insulin for his diabetes and a series of beatings did the experiment not get called off. Why when a man got tied up, raped and another man urinated on & beaten. What an absolute pile of rubbish* this film really was. this happens about 25 minutes into the film so why watch the rest of it. Finally when the prisoners get sick of the bullying and mistreating, they fight back and beat the guards then all of a sudden, the lights go on and its game over. Strange that! And then for some reason, it shows only 1 man (forest Whitaker who plays the main guard), gets paid for it. Did the others get paid? How did they all get on after? Why were they all fine as soon as the doors opened with each other despite one person dying and everyone taking A beating.

This film is quite possibly the worse film ever made, storyline makes no sense and its idiotically played out. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. This is why films like this go straight to DVD and don't get released into the cinemas. Its because Hollywood would go BUST! Biggest Waste of 92 minutes of my life. 8 Rubbish was an understatement as you cannot swear on the reviews!
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1/10
Is Mankind On A Higher Evolutionary Scale Than Animals???
zardoz-1324 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This lackluster sociological study gone wrong poses the perennial question: is mankind higher than animals on the evolutionary scale? "Prison Break" writer & director Paul Scheuring argues that mankind is higher on the evolutionary scale because we can correct our problems. Unfortunately, "The Experiment" doesn't share so much as a glimmer of "Prison Break's" brilliance. Moreover, Scheuring's film constitutes a remake of Oliver Hirschbiegel's Teutonic film "Das Experiment" (2001) derived from Mario Giordano's book which was inspired by the notorious real-life Stanford prison experiment. Originally, college students participated in the real Stanford experiment that took place in 1971 and sought to document what would happen if morally conscious people were in a morally ambiguous situation. This claustrophobic yarn is presented in a straightforward fashion, meaning that humor is conspicuously absent from the action, but the gravity of the situation yields few rewards. You'd think with his background in the "Prison Break" series that Scheuring should have been more adept with his adaptation, but "The Experiment" degenerates rather quickly into a standard issue jailhouse drama that neither leaves you with a good taste in your mouth or a sense of catharsis about its dramatic upheavals. It is clear in retrospect why Elijah Wood withdrew from this debacle after several days of shooting.

A government think-tank hires 26 individuals and offers them $14,000 for two weeks and then divides them into guards and inmates in a facility out in the middle of nowhere and then watches what happens for two weeks. Of course, the guards usurp their authority and take advantage of the prisoners who outnumber them and eventually turn on them and overpower them. The surprises are few and far between in this one-dimensional sociological film. Travis (Adrien Brody of "Predators") answers a want-ad in the newspaper to participate in the study after he is laid off from his job at a nursing home. As you can imagine, Travis qualifies as the most sympathetic character. The cast fares better than the threadbare, woebegone material. The bespectacled behavioral scientist (Fisher Stevens) who coordinates the study tells guards and inmates alike that they must not strike each other and warn them that the study will be suspended if violence erupts. Furthermore, they point out that a red light will come on and they study terminate without them getting their paycheck. The scientists don't do a good job on the background check of one inmates, Nix (Clifton Collins, Jr. of "Brothers") because he has served time and is an Aryan nations guy. Forest Whitaker is well cast as a guard named Barris who lives with his mother and needs the dough to pay the rent. No sooner does the meek Barris don his guard's uniform than he goes off on a power trip. Scheuring shows Barris getting a hard-on after he bosses around another person. Later, Barris decides the best way to punish Travis is to urinate on him as well as shave his head. Aside from the opening and closing moments, "The Experiment" boasts an all-male cast. Before he joins the experimental study, Travis meets pretty blond girl Maggie Grace during a peace rally and they decide to visit India. At fade-out, Brody makes it to India and Grace kisses his scarred knuckles. Poorly done from start to finish with a plot that is predictable as a boulder tumbling down a mountain side. Some of Brody's scenes in a pipe-like enclosure bring back memories of "The Jacket."
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