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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Ann Dowd
Dreama Walker
Pat Healy.
Directors
Craig Zobel.
Screenwriters
Craig Zobel.
Running Time
90 minutes

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Compliance
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Plot
A phone call from a policeman (Healy) leads the manager of a burger restaurant manager to apprehend a customer. But all is not what it seems and the stakes quickly escalate.


Review
Compliance
The limits of human gullibility are tested and found wanting in this disingenuous and prurient thriller. It begins with a phone call: Sandra (Ann Dowd), the manager at a burger bar, is contacted by a man claiming to be a cop (Pat Healy), who tells her that a staff member has stolen from a customer. Claiming he cannot leave his post, the officer issues a series of commands that become more and more shocking as he homes in on the weak. Healy’s turn as the perpetrator is key, working perfectly with Dowd’s naive but likeable Sandra. It feels a touch sleazy though, and the vague “based on a true story” coda — which one? Where? — doesn’t really wash.


Verdict
A punchy and effective drama.


Reviewed by Damon Wise

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Compliance
Empire Star Rating

RE: Compliance

The point of Compliance, which caused walkouts and shouting matches when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is how we are programmed to do things that go against our natural instincts as long as we believe we have the law on our side. ... More

Posted by chang at 12:14, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post


I'll have you know

I'll have you know the events the movie is based on DID, in fact, happen. At least 70 times as a matter of fact. It's mostly based on the last incident, which you can find on Youtube. All they changed were the names, the victim's hair colour, replaced McDonalds with a fictitional restaurant, and the personality of the fiancé. I can forgive simply not knowing that, but to resort defiantly daring us to do your research for you, in the Information Age when you could've easily done so yourse... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dechha1981 at 05:47, 01 September 2013 | Report This Post


RE: A lazy Empire review for a great and TRUE story

L: Blacklisted Sorry Damon, but this story is based on true events. It is well documented and a quick google search will prove your mistake and claims that it 'doesn't really wash'. Hell, here's a youtube link to interviews with the real people and the actual CCTV footage from the McDonald's it happened in. It's all there: s://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvnqdBm4szM his page is no longer available; but there's far better verification at the site below: step-by-step description + copious ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by drshi at 18:55, 23 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: A lazy Empire review for a great and TRUE story

That's my point exactly! Well put. ... More

Posted by Damon_Wise at 11:47, 28 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: A lazy Empire review for a great and TRUE story

While there's a lot of stuff about this is done well, I suspect that the prank phone caller would probably have enjoyed watching this film as much as he enjoyed making the phone call. I felt guilty watching this. Will not watch again. ... More

Posted by thedrin at 13:37, 27 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: A lazy Empire review for a great and TRUE story

*Spoilers* My point is not that I think it didn't happen, it's that I think it's more than a little disingenuous to use serious sexual molestation as a plot device and then basically tell the audience "something like this actually happened". Well – did it or didn't it?! I wasn't comfortable with that at all. It's also possible that I saw a slightly different cut of the film, which I'm looking into... ... More

Posted by Damon_Wise at 11:48, 27 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: A lazy Empire review for a great and TRUE story

L: Blacklisted Sorry Damon, but this story is based on true events. It is well documented and a quick google search will prove your mistake and claims that it 'doesn't really wash'. Hell, here's a youtube link to interviews with the real people and the actual CCTV footage from the McDonald's it happened in. It's all there: s://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvnqdBm4szM greed -- There is ample documentation that this was a real event. The film is closer to a crimewatch style reconstruction... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RobotDevil at 20:13, 26 March 2013 | Report This Post


A lazy Empire review for a great and TRUE story

Sorry Damon, but this story is based on true events. It is well documented and a quick google search will prove your mistake and claims that it 'doesn't really wash'. Hell, here's a youtube link to interviews with the real people and the actual CCTV footage from the McDonald's it happened in. It's all there: s://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvnqdBm4szM ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Blacklisted at 10:10, 26 March 2013 | Report This Post


A lazy Empire review for a great and TRUE story

Sorry Damon, but this story is based on true events. It is well documented and a quick google search will prove your mistake and claims that it 'doesn't really wash'. Hell, here's a youtube link to interviews with the real people and the actual CCTV footage from the McDonald's it happened in. It's all there: s://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvnqdBm4szM ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Blacklisted at 10:09, 26 March 2013 | Report This Post


A compelling and intelligent drama

Please see site rules for linking to personal review sites. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by thearchitect at 13:50, 22 March 2013 | Report This Post



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