copy to clipboard

Standard Operating Procedure

Plugin not supported.
Original title
Standard Operating Procedure
Running time
118 min.
United States United States
Errol Morris
Robert Chappell, Robert Richardson
Sony Pictures Classics
Documentary | Iraq War
Synopsis / Plot
Can a photograph change the world? In 2004, twelve photographs taken at the prison at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad changed the war in Iraq and had considerable consequences for the way the USA sees itself as a nation. The photographs portrayed Iraqi prisoners being humiliated and tortured by American soldiers. The pictures were taken by members of the army who had been deployed as prison warders. One important question remains unanswered: do these notorious images provide proof of systematic torture at the hands of the American Army? Or do they document the abnormal behaviour of a few moral deviators?
In his feature documentary, Errol Morris explores the meaning of these images by examining the photographs in their context. Why were they taken? To what end? What was happening outside the frame of each image? Morris spoke both to the soldiers who took these photographs and to those who appear in them. Who are these people? What went through their minds at the time? Errol Morris spent two years conducting interviews and studying files. Everyone knows these photographs, but only a few people know what really happened in Abu Ghraib.
At the time, many journalists were looking for incontrovertible proof of crimes in Abu Ghraib. This film illustrates that the prison itself is the proof. Errol Morris’ film is about America and the Americans. A film about the loss of innocence that has affected the entire country – not just the morals of a handful of soldiers.

2008: Berlin Film Festival: Gran Jury Prize. "Standard Operating Procedure" is the first documentary ever to enter the competition at the Berlin Film Festival.
2008: Berlin Film Festival: Silver Bear - Jury Grand Prix
2008: Nominated for Critics' Choice Awards: Best Documentary Feature
2008: Chicago Film Critics Awards: Nominated for Best Documentary
2008: Producers Guild Awards (PGA): Nominated for Best Documentary
Movie Soulmates' ratings
Register so you can access movie recommendations tailored to your movie taste.
Friends' ratings
Register so you can check out ratings by your friends, family members, and like-minded members of the FA community.
Is the synopsis/plot summary missing? Do you want to report a spoiler, error or omission? Please send us a message.
If you are not a registered user please send us an email to

All copyrighted material (movie posters, DVD covers, stills, trailers) and trademarks belong to their respective producers and/or distributors.

For US ratings information please visit:
FAQs | Privacy policy / use conditions | Privacy configuration
© 2002-2021 Filmaffinity - Movieaffinity | Filmaffinity is a movie recommendation site based on the concept of Movie Soulmates.
We are an independent movie lovers club worldwide with 646.000 users + 133.000.000 ratings. Not related to any Media or Corporation.
All Rights Reserved | Movie Soulmates™ is a Registered Trademark