6.4/10
49,170
126 user 55 critic

The Experiment (2010)

Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
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 (as Paul T. Scheuring)

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1971, twenty-four male students are selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Stars: Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Billy Crudup
Wrecked (2010)
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A man trapped in a car wreck at the bottom of a ravine must overcome incredible odds to survive.

Director: Michael Greenspan
Stars: Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas, Ryan Robbins
Detachment (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment.

Director: Tony Kaye
Stars: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden
The Jacket (2005)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Gulf war veteran is wrongly sent to a mental institution for insane criminals, where he becomes the object of a doctor's experiments, and his life is completely affected by them.

Director: John Maybury
Stars: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Daniel Craig
Short | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Well, I guess the experiment worked...because in eight hours, I'm going to kill myself.

Director: Calvin Main
Stars: Anthony Fanelli, Arielle Fanelli, Brock Powell
Backtrack I (2015)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A psychotherapist has nightmares and sinister visions. Ghosts? Is it more than his daughter's death causing this? He returns to his childhood home and dad to put things to rest.

Director: Michael Petroni
Stars: Adrien Brody, Jenni Baird, Bruce Spence
High School (2010)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A high school valedictorian who gets baked with the local stoner finds himself the subject of a drug test. The situation causes him to concoct an ambitious plan to get his entire graduating class to face the same fate, and fail.

Director: John Stalberg Jr.
Stars: Matt Bush, Sean Marquette, Adrien Brody
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
Phone Booth (2002)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Publicist Stuart Shepard finds himself trapped in a phone booth, pinned down by an extortionist's sniper rifle. Unable to leave or receive outside help, Stuart's negotiation with the caller leads to a jaw-dropping climax.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker
Exam (2009)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Eight candidates for a highly desirable corporate job are locked together in an exam room and given a final test with just one seemingly simple question. However, it doesn't take long for confusion to ensue and tensions to unravel.

Director: Stuart Hazeldine
Stars: Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox
The Machinist (2004)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
Edit

Cast

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)
Edit

Storyline

For a handsome $1,000-a-day reward, the unemployed pacifist, Travis, decides to take part in a controversial two-week behavioural experiment that will attempt to simulate life within the prison walls. Now, inside a controlled environment, two hand-picked groups of twenty inmates and six guards must follow a simple set of basic rules, while high-tech cameras monitor the entire makeshift jail. However, devoid of their civil rights and their identities, the volunteers will soon find themselves dragged into a dangerous and volatile situation, as the sadistic warders begin to take extreme pleasure in enforcing their authority. Under those circumstances, Travis, or the rebellious Prisoner #77, will have to explore his limits. How long can he last? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Prisoner #77 chose to be here. See more »

Genres:

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 August 2010 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Eksperiment See more »

Filming Locations:

Alleman, Iowa, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$21,800,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$716,580
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The bracelet in the left hand of Travis says "Abhay" in Hindi which means "The Fearless". See more »

Goofs

After using the fire extinguishers on the prisoners everyone is covered in white powder as if a powder apparatus had been used. The actual extinguishers used are of the CO2 type which is easily identified by the big "funnel" at the end of the hose and would not leave everyone covered in white powder. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Remake of The Experiment (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
You are what you are, and few are willing to change that
7 June 2012 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

The Experiment is based on that very well known experiment that took place in Stanford University's basement where a mock prison was constructed and twenty-four applicants were divided up and given the vague roles of either a "guard" or a "prisoner." The motivation? A decent pay cut, around $15 a day (the film counterpart ups the pay to $1,000 a day). Guards were armed with intimidating, militaristic outfits, while the prisoners were ill-equipped with a smock and no underwear. Originally set to be a fourteen day test, the experiment ended after day six due to drastic measures taken by the inmates and guards that could've been fatal. Abuse was common, the issue of inferiority plagued the prisoners until they tried to force a rebellion, and borderline torturous acts were committed by the guards.

The film is the American remake of the German picture Das Experiment, as of now, unseen by me, but not totally written off. I'm not entirely sure if a film based on the prison experiment could effectively be made. This is one of those cases where history and facts overshadow fictionalization and dramatization. I believe a documentary would've been far more suited for this subject.

We are met with Adrien Brody, playing Travis, an Atheist softie who agrees to partake in a psychological experiment held by a local organization along with twenty-three other people. Early on, he meets Michael Barris (Whitaker) who seems to be a content and well-managed individual, but when he is given the title of a "guard" and Travis the title of a "prisoner," their true sides come out, and abandonment is quickly brought forth.

Much of what I explained above occurs in the film, but in a seemingly muted form. Nothing is ever very explicit or, for that matter, truly interesting. The cinematography is some to commend, perfectly personifying the prison as the one instigating the violence. The atmosphere is so gritty and real that we can see it takes a drastic effect on the people.

The whole event feels like Lord of the Flies come to life. Both Golding's timeless novel and Philip Zimbardo's 1971 experiment prove that when stripped of all things just and civil, humans will scram for security and the gray idea of "what is right?" before completely forgoing all the former rules, recognizing this is a new place, and furthermore, begin to act on their id, their desire to feed their consuming savagery. This is definitely taken into consideration in the film, and is the highest point this picture has to offer.

But as far as a worthy retelling of the events, it's pretty thin and underwhelming. The film was directed by Paul Scheuring, who directed some episodes of the FOX crime drama Prison Break, and that is exactly how it plays; like a Television crime drama. The performances, mainly by Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker, and the exceptional cinematography elevate the film to a passable status, but The Experiment lacks essential character development essential to furthering ones feelings towards its prisoners, and, instead of playing like an superbly intense film, it plays like what it is; an American remake.

Starring: Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker. Directed by: Paul Scheuring.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 126 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed