Compliance (2012) Review


Compliance is a 2012 American thriller film written and directed by Craig Zobel, based upon a strip search phone call scam that took place in Mount Washington, Kentucky, in which the caller, posing as a police officer, convinced a restaurant manager to carry out unlawful and intrusive procedures on an employee.


It stars Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, and Bill Camp.


It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2012. It was released on August 17, 2012, by Magnolia Pictures. Dowd's performance as Sandra, the manager, won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress.


Sandra, manager of a ChickWich fast food restaurant, receives a call from someone identifying himself as Officer Daniels. He claims to be in contact with the regional manager about a customer who had money allegedly stolen by an employee that day.


Daniels claims that he is searching the suspect's residence, but will remain on the phone while Sandra detains the employee until the police arrive. Sandra identifies Becky as the suspect based on the description; Daniels confirms the name.


Sandra brings Becky to the restaurant office with another employee, Marti. She denies the theft. At Daniels' behest, Sandra searches Becky's pockets and purse and finds nothing. Telling her that the alternative is to have Becky go to jail, Daniels has her strip-search Becky.


Daniels tells Sandra that he and other officers are searching Becky's home on suspicion that her brother is involved in drugs, and that Becky may be involved. He has Sandra put Becky's clothes into a bag and take it to her car for inspection by the police.

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