Daily reviews and interviews



Festival Favorites
D: Director Craig Zobel; with Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp

Craig Zobel's controversial film is based on true incidents, although the filmmaker seems to draw greater inspiration from Stanley Milgram's famous social experiments concerning the link between obedience and authority. In his study, the majority of Milgram's participants (depressingly) inflicted physical harm on other individuals when instructed to do so by a blame-accepting authority figure. These experiments helped explain the Nazi phenomenon, but they also help make sense of the hideous events that occur in this movie's suburban Ohio fast-food joint. To reveal too much will ruin whatever suspense the movie holds, especially for those unfamiliar with the distressing results of Milgram's experiment. And that becomes the paradox of Compliance: The film is absolutely riveting while at the same time consistently repetitive, upping the stakes with each new character drawn into the travesty but never really moving the bar. The performances by Ann Dowd and Dreama Walker are superlative and are intrinsic to maintaining viewers' fascination with the characters' outcomes.

Saturday, March 17, 6:30pm, Alamo Lamar

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Hawking'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Michael King, March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013 Film Reviews: 'Museum Hours'
Daily reviews and interviews

Andy Campbell, March 15, 2013

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
SXSW Film Review: The Greatest Hits
SXSW Film Review: The Greatest Hits
Love means never having to flip to the B side

March 16, 2024

SXSW Film Review: The Uninvited
SXSW Film Review: The Uninvited
A Hollywood garden party unearths certain truths

March 12, 2024


SXSW Film, Compliance, Ann Dowd, Craig Zobel, Stanley Milgram

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle