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The Experiment

93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Oscar® winners Adrien Brody (Best Actor, The Piano, 2002) and Forest Whitaker (Best Actor, The Last King of Scotland, 2006) star in this mind-shattering psychological thriller from the creator of TV’s Prison Break. Selected to participate in a two-week research project, a group of men agree to play inmates and guards in a simulation of life within a state prison. But as the 24 volunteers slip deeper into their roles, power corrupts, fears escalate and the experiment spins horribly out of control. Cam Gigandet (Twilight), Clifton Collins Jr. (Crank: High Voltage) and Maggie Grace (TV’s Lost) co-star in this intensely shocking film.

Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker star as ordinary men who find themselves transformed by strange circumstances in The Experiment. Tempted by a large paycheck, 26 men agree to be divided into prisoners and guards and placed in a mock prison for two weeks--but within a matter of days, these seemingly sane men have turned the mock prison into a sadistic pressure cooker. The Experiment is in part a remake of a German film, Das Experiment, which was inspired by a psychology experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971--an experiment sometimes cited as demonstrating an innate human capacity for sadism. But despite a strong cast--in addition to solid work from Brody and Whitaker, Clifton Collins Jr. (Capote) gives a typically strong performance--and some delving into several characters' back-stories, The Experiment never quite grabs hold. Still, there are compelling sequences and a creepily effective use of infrared cinematography. Also featuring Maggie Grace (Lost), Ethan Cohn (Gilmore Girls), Cam Gigandet (Twilight), and Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit). Directed by Paul Scheuring, the creator of Prison Break. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Fisher Stevens, Maggie Grace, Jr, Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker
  • Directors: Paul T. Scheuring
  • Producers: Paul T. Scheuring, Scott Nemes, Jeanette Buerling, Maggie Monteith, Marty Adelstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003VEL9EI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,088 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Experiment" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dayna Newman on September 21, 2010
Format: DVD
The Experiment was quite entertaining from start to finish.
It was very satisfying in story ,acting and conclusion.The experiment is where men are paid 1000 dollars a day to supposedly Simulate either a Prisoner or a guard in a maximum security setting,no one knows which they will be until they enter the facility..

Adrien Brody is an uber hottie in my opinion and a great actor he plays an anti violence anti war advocate,but just how long and how much can he take before he changes his way of thinking to an eye for an eye? The stand out was Forest Whitaker as a man given authority as a guard in a make believe world, but in actuality he's s 42 year old man living with his coddling,emasculating mother. He see's this as a way to get back at her by being cruel to those put in a weaker position because he feels weak in her presence.In one shocking scene he pops a woody just after handcuffing and humiliating Brody's character.

Cam Gigandet is evil as another faux guard who in his characters real life lives for sex, drugs and sleep..
He takes a shine to an effeminate faux prisoner and does some very evil things to him..This movie is quite brutal and hard to watch at times,some of the acts that are put upon Brody especially are very humiliating and would be hard for any man to take..
a favorite actor of mine,the much under rated Clifton Collins Jr plays another faux prisoner and tough guy in typical Collins style to the hilt .The climax is a shocking and impactful.All in all a really good film.I would buy it and watch it again.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Wicasawakan on September 22, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
When looking up the new releases here on Amazon, seeing this movie NOT on the few movies listed on the main page was a real mistake in my opinion. I even went to 3 stores looking for this movie and the first 2 had no idea what movie I was requesting and didn't even have it on release day! I saw a trailer for it a few months ago and immediately knew I had to have it.
The basic story is: Volunteers will be paid for an experiment where they are put into a simulated prison experience. Stressfull challenges are then introduced throughout the experiment. If any physical attacks are observed between the guards and prisoners, the experiment will end and no one gets paid. We meet Adrian Brody and Forest Whitaker introducing themselves to one another prior to the experiment and we see that these are 2 very different people but there is a mutual respect forming. We then find out, some volunteers will be guards and some will be prisoners.
Amazing performances by Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Clifton Collins Jr. and many more supporting roles, will have you sitting on the edge of your seat through the whole movie. It is clear, at the beginning, some volunteers are going to be trouble and as the movie moves along, power does corrupt even the best of the men but we feel for them because they are told, "you will not get paid if you do not follow and enforce the rules."
I do NOT agree with Amazon's review that this movie "never quite grabs hold". By the end of the movie, I was almost in tears after watching men who respected each other at the beginning, couldn't even look each other in the eye by the end. There isn't much more to say. The synopsis of the movie pretty much tells you what it is about.
5 stars and a must see.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Maladjusted on September 30, 2010
Format: DVD
Based loosely on the 1971 Stanford prison experiment.

A "soft" Liberal; a repressed, verbally abused religious
man; a sadist and latent homosexual; a Mexcian Aryan; a
stereotypical geeky artist; and a slew of supporting
characters are all put within the confines of a psuedo
correctional facility for 11 days. Naturally, the promise
of $1,000 a day attracts the money-hungry test subjects
and the pretense of safety makes the offer even more
alluring, naively subjecting themselves to a much harsher

The subjects are split into two teams: guards and prisoners,
carefully chosen based on psychological profiles. A typical
Hollywood jab as the most cruelest of the guards is the
religious sociopath and the hero of the prisoners a pacifistic
atheist. Most of the "guards" follow suit, expressing their
repression in violent ways towards their "prisoners" and
feeding their need for power.

The actual Stanford test results were shocking as some of the
more abusive guards inflicted physical punishment, sexual
humiliation (even an instance of simulated sodomy), and even
refusing to allow some to urinate or defecate. As with most
movies based on fact, The Experiment closes with a very dramatic
fictional finale (perhaps not too far-fetched had the Stanford
test been allowed to continue).

The pacing is steady at 96 minutes, however, they could have
tacked on 15 minutes of character development before their
incarceration to help along the latter shock of transformation.

The prison setting is dark, unnerving and claustrophobic,
helping to give one the sense of being helpless and
imprisoned among the actors. And it is in this respect that
The Experiment really suceeds. It's fairly memorable, but
nowhere near classic.
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Format: Blu-ray
In 1971, one of the most well-known and controversial psychological experiment's in the United States was conducted by Stanford University Professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo. The experiment was known as the Stanford prison experiment and 24 undergraduate students participated in mock experiment in which they would play the role of guards and prisoners. The goal was to promote disorientation, depersonalisation and deindivisualisation.

The students playing the guards adapted to their role rather quickly and ended up humiliating, hurting and causing emotional and physical trauma to the students playing the prisoners and Dr. Zimbardo played a passive role and being a scientist and not stopping the experiment until the woman he was dating confronted him for passively allowing unethical acts to be performed under his direct supervision.

The experiment lasted only six days and after the study was completed, the Dr. submitted his findings to the U.S. House Committee on Judiciary.

Because of his experiment, the findings were quite important but also highly debated. What made the students playing the guards become abusive and oppressive? Was it because there were no clear instructions? Were the guards playing a part of what they felt should be the role of a guard? And this was within six days of the experiment that all hell broke loose.

This experiment was covered in the novel "Black Box" by Mario Giordano and the novel would receive a 2001 German adaptation titled "Das Experiment". The film is similar to 1971 the real Stanford Prison Experiment but in this case, the scientists play a passive role in observation of the inhuman and the guards not only become power hungry and oppressive to the prisoners but they go even further by killing.
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