Compliance: taut workplace thriller based on real events
Craig Zobel’s brilliant psychological thriller questions our obedience in the face of authority
What you need to know
American psychological thriller Compliance is released in UK cinemas today. The film, written and directed by Craig Zobel, is based on actual events.
It tells the story of a man posing as a police officer who convinces the manager of a fast food restaurant that one of her employees has committed a crime. When the manager complies with his orders, the results are nightmarish. The movie questions our obedience in the face of authority.
Ann Dowd stars as store manager Sandra and Dreama Walker plays her young employee Becky. Pat Healy plays the caller, 'Officer Daniels'.
What the critics like
This brilliant film is driven by an urgent moral inquiry, but also has mesmerising detail and humour, says David Denby in the New Yorker. For this fable to work, you have to believe everything in it – and there isn’t a false note.
Compliance is taut and unsettling, says Sheri Linden in the Los Angeles Times. It’s a clear-eyed, harrowing exploration of the dark side of human behavior and it’s "played by a pitch-perfect cast".
It’s "a riveting, horrifying film, shot through with beautifully observed moments of unwelcome truth", says Tom Huddleston in Time Out. "Dowd and Healy are flawless."
What they don’t like
Zobel's potent and provocative thriller is torture to sit through, says Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. It will haunt you long after you leave the theatre. "It's also indispensable film-making." ·