2015 Sundance Film Festival

IFC Films has debuted the first trailer for the indie film The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most jacked-up films of Sundance 2015, from director director Kyle Patrick Alvarez.

Starring Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Thomas Mann, Keir Gilchrist, Johnny Simmons and Olivia Thirlby, The Stanford Prison Experiment has a July 17, 2015 release.

Here’s the plot:

In the summer of 1971, Stanford psychology professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo (Crudup) recruits students to participate in a study simulating prison conditions. The role of guard and prisoner are assigned randomly. It doesn’t take long for the experiment to spiral out of control.

The film won two awards at the Sundance Film Festival, including Best Screenplay (Tim Talbott), and created with the close participation of Dr. Zimbardo himself. A notorious real-life experiment has been the basis already for several films, including the German Das Experiment and its bad American redo, The Experiment. Watch the trailer for the upcoming Alvarez’s film, which is “less concerned with thriller elements, but rather the loss of individuality the participants experienced.” (JoBlo)

The lesson of Stanford isn’t that any random human being is capable of descending into sadism and tyranny. It’s that certain institutions and environments demand those behaviors—and, perhaps, can change them. (The New Yorker)

2015 Sundance Film Festival