[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Compliance opens in limited release today.]
In recent memory, only last year’s Martha Marcy May Marlene made my skin crawl and stomach turn like Compliance. In some ways, Compliance is far worse since it goes beyond two people and instead casts an accusatory finger at humanity and asks, “How easily can you be tricked into dehumanizing another person?” Craig Zobel‘s incredible script and brilliant direction slowly puts you in a chokehold until you’re struggling to breathe and begging to be let go. Compliance is almost impossibly difficult to endure and it only eases up when Zobel makes a minor mistake in casting, explanation, or resolution. But these are small missteps in a film that sickens you to your core. And then it gets worse when you remember that the story is based on true events.