The Stanford Prison Experiment

Release Date: July 17, 2015
Review Date: January 27, 2015
Reviewer: Blake Leath
Genre(s): Drama, Documentary/Docudrama, Independent & Artsy

Movie 2 of 12, "The Stanford Prison Experiment" is powerful and woefully disturbing, precisely like the study that inspired it (and the book that followed, "The Lucifer Effect" by Dr. Philip Zimbardo). We all felt claustrophobic and rightfully sickened.

Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez was on hand for this screening and fielded questions from 1:45 to 2:15 AM. He was thoughtful and articulate.

This is clearly among the strongest reviewed films coming out of Sundance this year, and deservedly so. Everyone clapped enthusiastically and scored it 3-4 stars on ballots, as it's very well made, eerie in every right way, and a "conversation starter" (particularly in light of perennial world events and incarcerative/prison dilemmas and Gordian Knots here and abroad, from public to private institutions, large to small, transparent to occluded, Abu Ghraib to Guantánamo).

Lots of passionate dialogue afterward.

Bodes well for those who enjoy seeing psychological research studies brought to life using verbatim transcripts and accurate re-creation(s). I literally felt the walls closing in on me after two hours....

Am glad to have been released for good behavior!

Well done.