Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment
Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller and Michael Angarano

Rated: R for language including abusive behavior and some sexual references.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: Released by: IFC Films

A tough cinematic endurance test to say the least is Kyle Patrick Alvarez's The Stanford Prison Experiment starring Billy Crudup (Watchmen), Ezra Miller and Michael Angarano.

It's a fictional account of a harrowing regimented reification in 1971 arbitrarily letting students be guards or prisoners. A side-burned, wide-collared Crudup is the overseer Dr. Zimbardo who is so obsessed with this program that he can't tell when it is going awry well before the intended two week duration.

A raw, visceral abyss is felt especially through the wantonness endowed most notably by Angarano in somehow illuminating what the mind is subject to under a claustrophobic duress. The production exudes the foreboding and sparseness from a visual standpoint as a mostly strong male cast like Miller, Tye Sheridan, Miles Heizer, and Ki Hong Lee fit the bill. Even Olivia Thirlby (Juno) has her moments as an amour of a psychology student who sees the horrible effects before the good doctor. Stanford is quite a pressing experiment indeed.

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