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Experimenter is a compelling, thought-provoking feature film directed and written by Michael Almereyda. Premiering in 2015, the movie stars Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, John Palladino, and Anthony Edwards. This engaging narrative offers a deep and insightful exploration of the life and work of renowned psychologist Stanley Milgram.

In the 1960s, Milgram masterminded a series of incisive social behavior tests, his notoriety predominantly stemming from his groundbreaking and controversial obedience experiments. These experiments, provocative and disputed by many, provoked a global discourse on the human capacity for cruelty under the duress of authority. Sarsgaard, in the role of Milgram, provides a compelling and captivating performance, brilliantly embodying the intricate psyche of the psychologist.

Experimenter further explores Milgram's personal life, acquainting us with his relationship with his wife, Sasha, performed by Winona Ryder. Sasha's role offers a more intimate perspective on Milgram, simultaneously highlighting the profound influence and support she provides to him in his controversial journey of pushing psychological research boundaries.

In terms of cinematography, Experimenter is visually endearing, carefully depicting the time period's nuances. Black-and-white footage is smartly interspersed with color, maintaining a perfect balance between past and present. This serves as an insightful look into Milgram's mind and memories, subsequently drawing the audience even further into his intriguing world. The narrative's stirring visual cues also cleverly reflect the movie's themes of authority and obedience, lending the story a powerful and impactful atmosphere.

One of Experimenter’s additional major highlights is its sterling ensemble cast. Anthony Edwards, known for his role in the television series ER, steps into the role of Miller, a participant in Milgram's experiments. His character adds a vital dimension, underscoring the human responses at the heart of Milgram's studies. Jim Gaffigan, known for his comedy, divulges another side of his acting abilities as James McDonough, another participant providing an outside perspective on the experiment's complex moral questions.

John Palladino, recognizable from Orange is the New Black, contributes to the film's dynamism, accentuating the range of personalities involved in Milgram's controversial studies. The cast’s varied yet symbiotic performances elevate the narrative, skillfully stringing together the many aspects of Milgram's life into a coherent and engaging story.

The film pans out as a captivating unfolding of Milgram's life and work, though it carefully strays from being a monotonous biopic. It is punctuated by the abstract, almost dream-like, sequences of Milgram addressing directly to the audience, creating a strikingly meta narrative structure. Milgram's habit of speaking directly to the audience underlines the dynamic nature of the narrative, reinforcing the probing and question-raising nature of his work. It encourages the audience to not just be passive bystanders but to reflect on their own beliefs about obedience, power, and human morality.

Experimenter adroitly relays the complexities of Milgram’s research and the controversies that abound. It investigates, not only the obedience experiments but also delves into Milgram's other lesser-known studies such as the six degrees of separation concept, and the lost-letter experiment.

While Experimenter does test the audience’s comfort levels, it never strays into the realm of sensationalism. The ethical dilemmas presented in the film nudge viewers to introspect on their own morality, making it as much a personal journey as it is a journey into Milgram's life and tumultuous career. It takes on a subject that is complex, controversial, and often grim, yet presents it in an engaging and nuanced manner.

In conclusion, the movie Experimenter offers a captivating look into the mind of Stanley Milgram, a man whose psychological experiments left a lasting impact on the field. It effectively merges elements from biography, drama, history, and thriller genres to create a film that's intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging. It's not just a movie about a psychologist; it's a daring exploration of human nature itself, of our tendencies towards obedience, and the moral conflicts that occur therein. The impeccable performances, compelling storyline, and compelling direction make Experimenter a must-watch for anyone intrigued by the complexities of human behavior and the psychology that drives it.

Experimenter is a Drama, History movie released in 2015. It has a runtime of 98 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.6. It also holds a MetaScore of 81.

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Where can I stream Experimenter movie online? Experimenter is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, FuboTV, Crackle, Plex, Tubi TV, Vudu Free, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Experimenter for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Michael Almereyda
Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder
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