Directed by Michael Almereyda
Yale University, 1961. Stanley Milgram designs a psychology experiment that still resonates to this day, in which people think they’re delivering painful electric shocks to an affable stranger strapped into a chair in another room. Despite his pleads for mercy, the majority of subjects don’t stop the experiment, administering what they think is a near-fatal electric shock, simply because they’ve been told to do so. With Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s trial airing in living rooms across America, Milgram strikes a nerve in popular culture and the scientific community with his exploration into people’s tendency to comply with authority. Celebrated in some circles, he is also accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster, but his wife Sasha stands by him through it all.
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★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
I would love to get violently stoned with Peter Sarsgaard.
★★★★ review by Sean Gilman on Letterboxd
"All you need to make a movie is Winona Ryder and an elephant." - Stanley Milgram
★★★½ review by Scott Renshaw on Letterboxd
That was an entertaining and informative movie!
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But that's all I really have to say. I'm glad I saw it. It was good.
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I won't. What if I cause harm to my #brand by just blathering when I've said all I needed to say?
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WE ARE FINISHED HERE.
★★★★ review by Chadwin on Letterboxd
“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
I’ve always found Milgram’s obedience experiment to be really compelling, so I knew I’d also probably find this film compelling at the very least.
The film’s execution of Milgram and his experiments is really well done and unique enough to set this apart from other biographical films. I found the inclusion of the old black and white photos as backdrops in some scenes to be kind of interesting too. I also surprisingly really liked Sarsgaard’s performance and his fourth-wall breaking monologues.
But if someone wants to explain the elephant to me that would be nice.
★★★★ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd
What better way to dramatize the most famous electric shocks in the history of psychology than in a movie featuring all kinds of seemingly random moments of shock, like a lumbering elephant who wanders, unexplained, in the background of several scenes and obviously phony process shots. Provocative stuff, much of which is tied together in the final scenes about Stanley Milgrom’s philosophy than men are puppets who can be made conscious of their strings. EXPERIMENTER is almost a test to see if the same can be said of film audiences.
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