Do as you're told and see Compliance | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Do as you're told and see Compliance

Craig Zobel's indie drama tells a true story of workplace degradation

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Craig Zobel—whose crafty debut feature Great World of Sound (2007) played at the Chicago film festival but never opened here theatrically—takes on the unenviable task of dramatizing a story that defies credulity even though it's quite true. At a crummy fast- food restaurant in Ohio, a prank phone caller posing as a police detective manages to persuade the officious but gullible manager (Ann Dowd) that her pretty 19-year-old cashier (Dreama Walker) has been witnessed stealing from a customer, and the prankster walks the supervisor through a secondhand investigation that includes a strip search and worse. "No one could be that stupid," I kept telling myself, though an end credit affirms this has happened for real dozens of times. Like a John Hughes movie hijacked by Roman Polanski, this troubling indie effort lays bare the sadomasochism of the American workplace.

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Compliance

Director: Craig Zobel

Cast: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger, James McCaffrey and Ashlie Atkinson

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