Indie Gems: The Stanford Prison Experiment
They just wanted their $15, man.
Our prisoners, among others are Daniel, (Ezra Miller) Peter, (Tye Sheridan) Jim, (Jack Kilmer) and 416. (Thomas Mann) The guards among others are John, (Keir Gilchrist) Anthony, (Moises Arias) Benedict Samuel, (Jacob) and Christopher. (Michael Angarano) Christopher in particular decides he's going to play a part of his own, adapting an accent from a character in Cool Hand Luke, he escalates his antagonism of the prisoners to the point where other guards follow suit, and some prisoners began to break. Dr. Zimbardo and his team don't stop what's happening at first with the desire to see it through.
This little film is remarkable. This is the first time the real life study has been made into a movie, though there's a few others whose stories were based off it. This one actually tells us what happened, with only a few creative liberties taken. It's fascinating to say the least, and also very surprising, at least to me. If you haven't read Zimbardo's analysis on this or seen the movie, I won't spoil where it goes, but it's not what I expected. I realized about an hour into this that I was actually leaning in towards my TV. Like I needed to study it more closely.
There's so many wonderful actors in this film that have popped up in indies I've liked for awhile. Ezra Miller is probably my favorite young actor at this point, with Tye Sheridan following him. Michael Arangano is the star here though, and he makes you so uncomfortable as he keeps escalating things.
It's hard not to get mad while you're watching this, but it's the good kind of infuriating. The one that makes you question everything and want to learn more about the real story. That's when you know a film based on a true story, has done its job right.
Memorable Quote: "Is it just me, or are these guys taking this a bit too seriously?" - Peter (Tye Sheridan)