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Peter Sarsgaard pushes sociological boundaries in the Experimenter trailer

07.23.2015

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In 1961, Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) designed a psychology experiment that still resonates to this day, in which people thought they were delivering painful electric shocks to an affable stranger (Jim Gaffigan) strapped into a chair in another room. Despite his pleads for mercy, the majority of subjects didn't stop the experiment, administering what they thought was a near-fatal electric shock, simply because they were told to do so. Milgram struck a nerve in popular culture and the scientific community with his exploration into people’s tendency to comply with authority. Celebrated in some circles, he was also accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster, but his wife Sasha (Winona Ryder) stood by him through it all. Check out the first trailer, showcasing the portrait of Stanley Milgram, below!

Director Michael Almereyda has dabbled with modern takes on William Shakespeare with the likes of CYMBELINE and HAMLET (2000), but EXPERIEMENTER looks far more interesting if only for the subject matter alone. I can't say I'm too familiar with the life and times of Stanley Milgram, but I've always found sociological experiments to be fascinating, and Sarsgaard is a hell of an actor. If the movie is as fascinating as the concept, we should have a sleeper on our hands come this fall.

EXPERIMENTER will be released on October 16, 2015.

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