Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Experiment

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Experiment - 4 out of 5

What happens when you assign people roles in a mock prison? Some are made guards, others are made prisoners. What happens to those who are given the power and what occurs when people have their power taken away? Those are the basic questions asked in The Experiment.

The movie is a remake of a film that was based upon a book written about the real-life Stanford prison experiment that put students at Standford University into a mock prison. Some students were assigned the role of guards and others were assigned the role of prisoners. The goal of the experiment was to see if personal traits had anything to do with abusive situations found in prison and what they found was abuse of power and a near perfect example of the cognitive dissonance theory. Ultimately, the experiment was cut short and was blasted and called unethical and immoral but it found out some amazing things. The film, over-dramatically, follows the events of the real experiment--with many liberties taken.

A group of men, all in need of cash, answer a want-ad that promises $1,000 a day pay to engage in a psychological study and the experiment begins. Everything starts fine but as the guards are forced, by the rules, to keep order in the mock prison, things start to go haywire. The film stars Adrien Brody delivering better than he did in Splice and Forest Whitaker delivering like he always does--LIKE A BOSS!!! The film does a wonderful job at racking up the tension and giving each character some emotion and depth. Although some characters are your typical cardboard cutout cliches, they provide their roles perfectly for the events that take place.

Overall, The Experiment does its job well. It entertains and keeps you entertain from beginning to end. The film isn't perfect as some of the characters aren't the greatest and some elements to the story felt unnecessary but, in the end, the results are that the film was pretty darn good.

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