Plot: 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.
My Thoughts: I have never heard anything about this movie until tonight when I saw it advertised on Starz, I thought the concept sounded very solid and I love Adrien Brody especially in movies like Splice, also I love Forest Whitaker. Now Brody plays a character named Travis who is a free-spirited young man who is into movements against war and you learn about his views very early on and also see the things he faces with believing in what he believe in when a serviceman attacks him. Whitaker plays a man named Barris, he is the definition of mama’s boy, maybe he didn’t have th courage, couldn’t manage it on his own, but at the age of 42 he is still living with his mom. Now something that I did not realize until maybe half way into this movie was how intricate the plot was, it was deep and there were some points that you were praying and keeping your fingers crossed that the ending would not ruin the movie and it wold tie up all the plot points, thankfully it did so, without giving anything away, the ending to this movie was great.
Something that I noticed in this plot, which it makes me feel brilliant for realizing it but at the same time it was pretty overt. Travis is the free spirit and he is chosen to be the prisoner so he experiences what life is like to be under ruling, which he is not in his own personal life. Barris, is the opposite of Travis, he lived his life under the ruling of his mom and never got to feel a bit of freedom or power over anyone else, now the plot unravels because the people get to see what the other sides of their lives would be like. I loved that idea.
This movie was based on a true story (somewhat) it was based on an experiment that was done in 1971 by some people at Stanford. That lends credence to the fact that things like this happen, it goes to show that when people see a glimpse of a life they had not seen before they lose control and can often hurt people in the process of exploring what they had not found before.
I do not mean to get philosophical with this review so let me get back to the movie itself. Brody and Whitaker are both Academy Award winners and rightfully so, they are amazing actors in nearly every role that they are placed it, granted this movie may not win awards even though it should because it is an amazing piece of cinema. Brody and Whitaker are not the only people in this movie who did a very good job, an actor who I have begun to see in more movies did a fantastic job, Cam Gigandet played Chase, one of the guards, I felt that he did a really spectacular job or portraying an evil villain for the movie, the one who begins to instigate and expose some of the power that they wield to the rest of the other guards. I felt that he did a really good job in the movie Never Back Down and he is currently working on 3 more projects which should be good because I think he is turning into a really good actor.
I absolutely loved this movie, yes there were maybe 1 or 2 things that I wish were executed differently but not one of those really changed my thoughts on the movie, I thought it was really good at getting the genre of the prison movies and maybe reinventing of some sorts because it is not a straight prison movie, it is something a little bit more and a little bit deeper than that.
I give this movie a 5 out of 5 and I definitely recommend this movie to anyone out there. The rating for this movie says that there is a lot of violence in it but I found that a little misleading because while there was a fair amount of violence, it wasn’t as much as I was expecting from reading the rating, also it mentions a rape scene, so if you have trouble with that then this is may not be the movie for you.