review for Compliance on AllMovie

Compliance (2011)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

Director Craig Zobel delivers a hard-hitting and tense study of morality with Compliance, a menacing drama meant to provoke strong reactions and discussions after the credits roll. The ripped-from-the-headlines tale of a fast-food employee who is forced to endure extreme mental, physical, and eventually sexual abuse because of a prank call gone horribly awry is successfully adapted for the screen, with Adam Stone's artful cinematography providing the claustrophobic feel required for the deplorable back-room crime. Much of the film relies on the two female leads, effectively played by Ann Dowd and Dreama Walker, who lend a realistic air that's necessary for the drama to work. Viewers who have read up on the actual event that inspired the movie might question a few instances when the filmmakers softened the harshness of the incident, yet the majority of the situation's horror still comes through without feeling exploitive.