Too bad the focus on the experimenter and not on the experiment. It suffers from the same problem of Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method": it's a biopic, when we have at hand a brilliant legacy. But in this case it's worse. Scientists are often not as interesting as their science. I'd prefer a narrative about the impact of the Milgram Experiment on society and science and not about how life turned out for Milgram. *
The true fascinating story of Stanley Milgram, wasted on an uninspired, gimmick-y film with a very confused tone. The filmmaker seems to lose sight of the story, the tone, and the overall conflict - allowing the film to slip into a glacial pace with absolutely nothing of interest happening for decades. Shout out to the disastrous prosthetic facial hair and absurd Anton Yelchin cameo.
Knocking Milgram's experiments because they're in all the introductory psych texts would be like knocking Beethoven's ninth because we can all hum the Ode to Joy - something so fundamental was uncovered here that even when we all were told about it, nothing changed. This movie has its shaky moments (that fake beard) but Sarsgaard puts forth a performance worthy of the Beethoven behind your Psych 101 text's sidenotes.
The experiments of Stanley Milgram aimed to prove certain conditions must be present for humans to inflict systematic pain onto others but instead controversially proved that the majority of people prefer to shirk responsibility for their actions in the excuse of 'just following orders'. Almereyda adds an experimental style of filmmaking to the proceedings that make the film less clinical yet impersonal. Interesting.
This is a rose in a garden of nettles of modern age cinema: new, inventive and superb creativeness was the bullseye of Experimenter. You see, the colours and the scenarios stormed my mind with the idea of the parallelism between two different times and one concept that perpetuates throughout time. It's loud and clear even to those deaf conservative people.