The Stanford Prison Experiment Movie Poster
  • Released
  • July 17, 2015
  • R, 2 hr 2 min
  • Drama
  • Suspense/Thriller
  • 68 Fan Ratings

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Common Sense Says
Common Sense Media

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Stanford Prison Experiment is a drama based on a famous real-life 1971 psychological experiment in which college students took on the roles of either prison guards or prisoners. The material is very strong, with psychological abuse, fighting, beating with nightsticks, screaming panic attacks, and references to rape. (It might have actually qualified as a "torture" movie if not for the fact that it's not "real.") Language is also strong, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. Prisoners are forced to pretend to have sex, and there are sexual references. Cigarette smoking is prevalent, and there are references to drinking and drugs. The story of the experiment is standard in most psychology textbooks today, and it serves as a fascinating cautionary tale, as well as a look at our inner workings and the way that power can influence us. Adults and older teens with strong stomachs will likely have a lot to talk about.

  • Positive messages
  • Positive role models
  • Violence
  • Sexual
  • Language
  • Consumerism
  • Drinking & drugs
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