7.7/10
86,037
172 user 112 critic

The Experiment (2001)

Das Experiment (original title)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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: Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Run Lola Run (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Comedy | 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Moritz Bleibtreu ... Tarek Fahd - Häftling Nr. 77 / Prisoner #77
Christian Berkel ... Robert Steinhoff Nr. 38
Oliver Stokowski ... Günther Schütte Nr. 82
Wotan Wilke Möhring ... Joe Maier Nr. 69
Stephan Szasz Stephan Szasz ... Häftling Nr. 53
Polat Dal Polat Dal ... Häftling Nr. 40
Danny Richter ... Häftling Nr. 21
Ralf Müller Ralf Müller ... Häftling Nr. 15
Markus Rudolf Markus Rudolf ... Häftling Nr. 74
Peter Fieseler Peter Fieseler ... Häftling Nr. 11
Thorsten Dersch Thorsten Dersch ... Häftling Nr. 86 (as Thorsten J.H. Dersch)
Sven Grefer Sven Grefer ... Häftling Nr. 94
Justus von Dohnányi Justus von Dohnányi ... Berus - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard (as Justus von Dohnànyi)
Nicki von Tempelhoff Nicki von Tempelhoff ... Kamps - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard
Timo Dierkes 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:

Nach einer wahren Begebenheit. 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

8 March 2001 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Experiment See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,857, 22 September 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$141,072, 27 October 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (cut) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 15 mins) Oliver Stokowski (Schütte) is actually claustrophobic. In an early scene where the prisoners are crammed into the elevator, a hint of his genuine uneasiness is visible. See more »

Goofs

Tarek's eyeglasses continually disappear and reappear without any apparent reason. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The first cinema version had an insert in the beginning of the movie which stated "This is based on the Stanford Prison Experiment". Since Prof. Philip Zimbardo wasn't asked by the filmmakers - and the movie doesn't really show the true experiment, but an exaggeration, the insert was changed to say "This movie is based on the novel Black Box" See more »

Connections

References The Thin Red Line (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Wann fangt denn endlich d'Musi an
MARIANNE & MICHAEL
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Montana
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Compelling thriller that disturbs as much as it entertains.
15 August 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

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...


74 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 172 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed