The Stanford Prison Experiment

Watch The Stanford Prison Experiment

"They were given 2 weeks. It lasted 6 days."
  • R
  • 2015
  • 2 hr 1 min
  • 6.8  (45,005)
  • 67

The Stanford Prison Experiment is a psychological drama film based on the real-life Stanford prison experiment conducted in 1971 by psychologist Philip Zimbardo. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015 and stars Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Billy Crudup, and many other talented actors. The film takes place in the summer of 1971, where a group of 24 male students are randomly divided into prisoners and guards and placed in a simulated prison environment in the basement of Stanford University. The experiment was designed to last for two weeks but was terminated after only six days due to the extreme and abusive behavior of the guards towards the prisoners.

The film is a character-driven piece that explores the complexities of human nature and how ordinary people can be transformed into tyrants when placed in positions of power. Miller plays the role of the infamous prisoner 8612, who tries to rebel against the guards and the unjust treatment of his fellow prisoners. Sheridan portrays the role of prisoner 819, who struggles to adapt to the harsh prison environment and the psychological torment inflicted on him by the guards.

Meanwhile, Crudup plays the role of Dr. Zimbardo, the psychologist who oversees the experiment and becomes increasingly fascinated by the power dynamics between the prisoners and the guards. As the experiment spirals out of control, Dr. Zimbardo struggles to maintain his objectivity and suddenly realizes that the experiment has become more than just a scientific study but a social experiment on human nature.

One of the strengths of the film is its ability to create a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere that immerses the viewer in the prison environment. The use of dim lighting, tight camera angles, and the sparse set design all contribute to the sense of confinement and entrapment that the prisoners face. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez also does an excellent job of building the tension throughout the film, leading up to the explosive climax.

The performances of the actors are also top-notch, especially Ezra Miller, who gives a powerful and emotionally charged performance as prisoner 8612. His transformation from a rebellious prisoner to a broken and traumatized victim is both heartbreaking and haunting. Tye Sheridan also delivers a strong performance as prisoner 819, portraying the fear and desperation that many of the prisoners must have felt during the experiment. Billy Crudup brings a calm and steady presence to the role of Dr. Zimbardo and effectively captures the character's gradual realization of the experiment's ethical and psychological failures.

Overall, The Stanford Prison Experiment is a tense and thought-provoking film that lingers long after the credits roll. It raises important questions about power dynamics, authority, and the human capacity for cruelty. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, or the darker aspects of human nature.

The Stanford Prison Experiment is a 2015 thriller with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 67.

The Stanford Prison Experiment
Where to Watch The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Stanford Prison Experiment for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (45,005)
  • Metascore