The Experiment (2001)

The Experiment (2001)
  • 91312
  • R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 2001 ()
  • Running time: 120 min
  • Original Title: Das Experiment
  • Voted: 91312

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.

1Moritz BleibtreuTarek Fahd - H?ftling Nr. 77,Prisoner #77
2Christian BerkelRobert Steinhoff Nr. 38
3Oliver StokowskiGünther Schütte Nr. 82
4Wotan Wilke MöhringJoe Maier Nr. 69
  • A lesson for all humans by 7

    Without fancy tricks and clichés, this movie tells us why riots occurs, why hatred spreads, and how to solve it.

    In the beginning of this movie, the main character (prisoner no.77), an ex-journalist who hopes to take his job back, participates in a experiment in a mock prison for 2 weeks in order to record down this story, and publish it on the newspaper. Furthermore, he taunts and insults mock prison guards who are also the participants in this experiment so that he can make this story more interesting. However, things become worse and worse...

    I am really surprised that this movie doesn't either glorify main characters, nor malign bad guys. Everyone has their characteristics, and their interaction is cruel but practical. We can see how the whole thing becomes worse. Don't stereotype this German story as a reflection of Nazism, because this movie is a warning for every culture which the power is overused. I am really glad that German dares to make this movie without too much clichés and fancy tricks. If you are tired of clichés in Hollywood films, this is a great movie for you.

  • Zee Germans by 9

    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. But once I heard that it makes me want to look into it a lot more and see what differed from actual life and such. Supposedly the movie was pretty accurate though. It's amazing that good foreign films blow the socks off of most Hollywood garbage any day of the week. They're more realistic and the characters act more like real people would in day to day situations. The love story in this might've been the only thing that I think could've been done better since it became a little weird here and there. Other than that the suspense kept me going and the thought that this could happen to anyone is really scary to ponder. I'm pretty sure I'd like to see this made into an American version only because I'm quite positive they'd butcher it and wouldn't contain anything near the desired effect as has usually been the case in the past. It was kept simple and because of worked! The acting was great all around as it really was a job well done.

    Final Import:

    Movies: Not a possibility here in the U.S.

    DVD Purchase: Worth looking into.

    Rental: A wise choice my friend!

  • Too true to life by 7

    I saw this film recently on the Sundance Channel. I could not stop watching. After seeing the prison pictures from Iraq, the film fully explored the reasons for the abuse of prisoners. When I read some of the reviews posted, I noticed how many dismissed the film as contrived and not plausible. I wonder if any of those reviewers would like to modify their dismissal of Das Experiment. Human behavior under stress often declines to the lowest common instinct. It reminded me of an adult Lord of the Flies. Degradation and humiliation seems to exactly follow what happened in Iraq. As a veteran who spent most of time working on Military Mental wards, I witnessed a number of abuses, as force had to be used patients were acting out or lost control, but all those memories seem pale compared to the horrors of the Iraq prison camps. Since life imitates art, this makes the film even more profound.

  • It could be you!... by 10

    When I went to see the movie. I thought:"Oh, well, I wouldn't be caught losing my temper there. I'd just be there to get the money and I wouldn't care about anything more". What the movie did in a brilliant way was to show you that it COULD be you. As time passed, I was looking at my watch. And that was because I had become one of the prisoners. The end of the movie would mean the end of their torture-the end of the experiment. Near the end, I caught myself thinking "Kill him!Kill him!"And I'm a calm person, you know. It's very surprising and also frightening to realise that all people are the same. When they feel threatened, they tend to make groups to protect themselves, like animals. And they can get very violent, too...

  • One of the Best and Most Powerful Movies of the Year by 10

    In Germany, a group of men is invited to participate in an experience promoted by the Army. They would receive DM 4,000.00 for fourteen days performing the roles of guards and prisoners in a prison, under certain predetermined rules and monitored by a team of doctors. A journalist infiltrates in the team looking for a great matter. However, problems happen and the experience looses control, jeopardizing the integrity and the safety of the prisoners.

    This movie is amazing: just released on DVD in Brazil, it is certainly one of the best films of the year. Tense, powerful, having a wonderful screenplay and outstanding direction and performances, it is another great example of how the absolute power corrupts. All the cast is magnificent, but I would like to highlight the role and the acting of Justus Von Dohnanyi, as the sadistic Berus. A must-see movie, which will certainly provoke a reaction of the viewer! It is almost impossible not to make a comparison of the situation presented in this film with the abuse and humiliation of the prisoners of Iraq recently showed on TV and newspapers. My vote is ten.

    Title (Brazil): 'A Experiência' ('The Experience')

1Oliver Hirschbiegeldirector
2Marc Conradproducer
3Norbert Preussproducer
4Mario Giordanowriter
5Christoph Darnstädtwriter
6Don Bohlingerwriter