Experimenter is based on the true story of famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, who in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans' willingness to obey by using electric shock. We follow Milgram, from meeting his wife Sasha through his controversial experiments that sparked public outcry.Written by
John Palladino would later go on to join the cast of "Orange is the New Black" alongside veteran of the series Taryn Manning. See more »
When Stanley Milgram talks to the man dressed as Abraham Lincoln, modern cars passing by can be seen in a window reflection. This scene is set in the 1970s. See more »
I don't get along with all my students. The "flash in the pan?" How many people can manage even that flash? I've done some psych experiments, but in my mind I'm still about to write my great Broadway musical.
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Less a biopic of Stanley Milgram and more a reenactment of his behaviour experiments in the 1960s and a look at the controversy they sparked, 'Experimenter' offers a fascinatingly detailed account of contemporary history while also raising several intriguing questions about the way we as human beings function. It is quite a stylish film too and while some of the stylistic touches (green screen backgrounds; wandering elephants) offer more of a distraction than enhancement, Bryan Senti's music score is appropriately creepy and the film utilises a technique in which Milgram (played by Peter Sarsgaard) speaks to the audience to very good effect. While the film skims over Milgram's background and simplifies his interest in psychology to a fascination with Nazi control, we get an excellent insight into how Milgram constantly feels along the way with the ethics of his research put under the microscope. Sarsgaard is very good too, ageing a fair bit during the course of the film, and the distinct dearth of non-work scenes feels very much on point as we get the sense that Milgram was a man married to his work. The film also uses some dark humour to highlight the arguable detriments of dedicating one's every waking hour to one's work. In a memorable scene, a bunch of Milgram's student react nonchalantly to his announcement of the 1963 Kennedy assassination, not believing him for a second and instead trying to work out what reaction what Milgram must be looking for with the declaration of such news. It is a relevant point too; while ethical dilemmas exist when subjects do not realise that they are being experimented on, can behaviour ever really be analysed if participants on the flipside believe or know they are being experimented on?
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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