The film's hysterically pitched action overshadows its more subtle psychological points.
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It's empty calories trying to trumpet its bogus nutritional value, and the strain for social importance undermines the picture.
Because the confrontations between power and powerlessness are so dramatic and because Hirschbiegel's editing is so emphatic, Das Experiment is practically over before you realize that you don't know what its point is, exactly.
A solid slice of entertainment without reaching the psychological depths promised by the subject matter.
Eventually any serious statement is lost in a sea of sadism, as he forces us to watch scene after scene of gruesome, humiliating torture.
Too much of a mess to say anything with assurance, pieced together as it is from mismatched institutional movies such as "Cool Hand Luke" and "Shock Corridor" -- with "Lord of the Flies" thrown in for good measure -- and turning on plot points that simply don't wash.
As an exploitation picture, Das Experiment is mindlessly potent; subtitles are no guarantee of sophistication and subtlety.
Rigid, airless, and browbeatingly repetitive, Das Experiment is an overly didactic piece of thesis hectoring; it's like ''Lord of the Flies'' set in a Skinner box.
What impressed me is how effective the movie was, even though the outcome is a foregone conclusion. That's a tribute to the director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, and the actors, who have been chosen with the same kind of typecasting that perhaps occurs in life.