Movie Review: Compliance
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Directed by Craig Zobel
Written by Craig Zobel
Starring Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger
Magnolia Pictures
Rated R | 90 Minutes
Release Date: August 17, 2012

At a suburban Ohio fast food joint, neurotic manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) gets a phone call from Officer Daniels (Pat Healy), a policeman who has received a complaint that one of Sandra’s employees has stolen money from a customer’s purse.

Officer Daniels explains that the police are preoccupied with a search of the suspect’s home and the possible connection to a larger investigation. With Daniels on the phone, Sandra agrees to help and escorts 19-year-old Becky (Dreama Walker), who fits the officer’s description of the perpetrator, into her office.

Becky denies committing the crime, but Sandra commences the investigation, following step-by-step instructions from Daniels, no matter how invasive they become. Daniels instructs the manager to strip search Becky in an attempt to find the stolen money, the first in a series of questionable directives given from Daniels that only get more and more bizarre.

Director Craig Zobel‘s Compliance is perhaps the most upsetting, disturbing film of the year. Inspired by true events, the film examines how far an average citizen will go to obey authority – and the cost of blindly following those who wield power.

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