“The Stanford Prison Experiment” Review


The real story of “The Stanford Prison Experiment” is about how Doctor Philip Zimbardo wanted to see the psychological aspects of a prison re enactment of Stanford University. The experiment was suppose to last for two weeks, and it only lasted six days due to how the violent behavior of the students (who portrayed guards and prisoners) were impacted. The experiment led to students wanting psychological treatment and had nightmares for long periods of time. Zimbardo insisted on letting suspenseful situations get more out of control as a way to lead to results of his experiment. As Zimbardo saw the negative behavior through his own eyes, he decided to end the scenario early. The goal of the movie, however, was to capture the harshness of the scenario, rather than the psychological result of it.

Zimbardo turned a hallway of Stanford University into a prison. He got bunks, designed places for the guards, and assigned policies in regards to how guards can treat the prisoners. The guards push the prisoners to the limit though. They are quite horrid, intense, and vulgar towards the prisoners where it messes with the prisoners minds. Therefore, the movie has good acting, good plot structure, but there is no result of the psychological purpose of what Zimbardo is trying to find with what he has created for just volunteer students. Things go ballistic.

Doctor Philip Zombardo (Billy Crudup) assigns guards and prisoners based on their interview questions. The main guards are Christopher Archer (Michael Angarano), Anthony Carroll (Moises Arias), and Karl Vandy (Nicholas Braun). They are guards that are a recipe for disaster. The main prisoners are Daniel Culp (Ezra Miller), Peter Mitchell (Tye Sheridan), and Jeff Hansen (Johnny Simmons). These prisoners are heavily impacted by the guard’s behaviors. The prisoners and guards both have a generous amount of time to think about their behavior for the next two weeks. However, both of the parties decide to abuse the privilege. The guards start first with verbally abusing the prisoners consistently. This makes the prisoners become rebellious. Zimbardo does not think of ways to calm down the conflicts between the two parties, he wants to let the intense situations get out hand to be able to find a result for his psychological study.

Zimbardo has many options to calm down his victims he has chosen. Instead he ponders with agitation, discomfort, and hope. He does this because he wants something big out of it. He would then feel like the experiment was all for nothing. I will not give any more information away regarding the judgment of the characters. That is something for viewers to see (if they choose to view this brutally intense thriller).

The guard moments are heavy with language, brutality, and being outspoken. This is all ran by Archer. He is the guard that wants to be a guard just to have the authority and to feel like he is the Big Kahuna.

Despite the film’s violence, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” is vast with cinematography, acting, and plot development, but there is not a good solution to the movie. Since “The Stanford Prison Experiment” is a true story I would have liked to view the film for its psychological purpose, rather than just violence after violence. Overall, I will say two and a half stars.


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