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The Experiment (2010)

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26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.


Paul Scheuring (as Paul T. Scheuring)


Paul Scheuring (screenplay) (as Paul T. Scheuring), Mario Giordano (novel) | 4 more credits »
4,697 ( 389)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrien Brody ... Travis
Forest Whitaker ... Barris
Cam Gigandet ... Chase
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Nix
Ethan Cohn ... Benjy
Fisher Stevens ... Archaleta
Travis Fimmel ... Helweg
David Banner ... Bosch (as Lavell 'David Banner' Crump)
Jason Lew ... Oscar
Damien Leake ... Govenor
Maggie Grace ... Bay
Rod Maiorano Rod Maiorano ... Rex
Rachel O'Meara ... Female Administrator
Jeanne Hopson Jeanne Hopson ... Gertrude
Jack Mishler Jack Mishler ... Henry (as Jack W. Mishler)


26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Prisoner #77 chose to be here. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong disturbing violence including a rape, language, some sexual content and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

12 August 2010 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Eksperiment See more »

Filming Locations:

Alleman, Iowa, USA See more »


Box Office


$21,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


While this film is based on actual experimentation performed by psychologists on college students. Some of the experiment's findings have been called into question. The experiment has been criticized for unscientific methodology, possible fraud bordering on a hoax. Results are believed to have been forced and manipulated to fit the researchers motives. See more »


In the scene near the end, where Travis is beating up Barris, Travis had recently grabbed the blade of the knife when Barris tried to stab him. His hand was shown to be very bloody. However, when the red light and the alarm went on and Travis raised his hands to his head, his hand was completely clean and unharmed. See more »


[first lines]
Travis: [playing shuffleboard] You suck, don't you?
Gertrude: You suck.
Travis: Yeah, I suck so bad I just skunked you. Which means, you gotta eat your pills.
Gertrude: You're supposed to be nice to me.
Travis: I am nice to you. It's not my fault you got no game.
Gertrude: You suck, Travis.
Travis: I know.
See more »


References Full Metal Jacket (1987) See more »


Illusions of Love
Written and Performed by Stephen Edward Moos
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Contrived and slow plot makes for a boring ride to a known end
19 August 2010 | by MovieMaddisSee all my reviews

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.


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