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Review: Compliance

Behind the Milgram experiments
By GERALD PEARY  |  August 31, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Filmmaker Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound) takes an infamous 2004 rape case — in which a caller claiming to be a cop talked a McDonald's manager and later her fiance into assaulting a teenage worker — and uses this as a basis of a thoroughly disturbing, sometimes mean-spirited indie narrative film. In a fast-food restaurant, the female manager is commanded by telephone to strip-search a female employee accused of stealing money from a customer, and that sets in motion a barbed chain of humiliations and depravities almost too grotesque to watch. Just when you might want to bolt the theater, so angered by the hatefulness on screen, Compliance calms down and makes philosophical sense. Ultimately, there is a logic to Zobel's sadistic storytelling, even a kind of morality.

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