The Purge


The Purge

Critics Consensus

Half social allegory, half home-invasion thriller, The Purge attempts to make an intelligent point, but ultimately devolves into numbing violence and tired clichés.



Total Count: 150


Audience Score

User Ratings: 96,444
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Movie Info

If on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do? In The Purge, a speculative thriller that follows one family over the course of a single night, four people will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the vicious outside world breaks into their home. In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide. Directed by James DeMonaco (writer of Assault on Precinct 13 and The Negotiator), The Purge is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister), Platinum Dunes' partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), as well as Sébastien Kurt Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13).(c) Universal

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Ethan Hawke
as James Sandin
Lena Headey
as Mary Sandin
Adelaide Kane
as Zoey Sandin
Max Burkholder
as Charlie Sandin
Edwin Hodge
as Bloody Stranger
Rhys Wakefield
as Polite Leader
Arija Bareikis
as Mrs. Grace Ferrin
Tom Yi
as Mr. Cali
Chris Mulkey
as Mr. Halverson
Tisha French
as Mrs. Halverson
Dana Bunch
as Mr. Ferrin
Peter Gvozdas
as Dr. Peter Buynak
John Weselcouch
as Freak Interrupting
Alicia Vela-Bailey
as Female Freak
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Critic Reviews for The Purge

All Critics (150) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (91)

  • Writer-director James DeMonaco's The Purge fritters away its promise in lurid, frenzied violence.

    Jun 13, 2013 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • DeMonaco clearly hopes to make a significant moral statement on the level of Shirley Jackson's literary masterpiece The Lottery. Alas, his aim at political conservatives who support the gun lobby falls flat before he can pull the trigger.

    Jun 12, 2013 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic
  • If The Purge is as far-sighted as Network proved to be, we are in for very ugly times.

    Jun 10, 2013 | Full Review…
  • That old horror-movie standard, a homestead besieged by psychos, gets remixed with a bit of Occupy-era class-conflict satire in the disappointing future-set thriller The Purge.

    Jun 7, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Gimmicky chiller lacks the robustness and distinction needed to support its social-commentary ambitions.

    Jun 7, 2013 | Full Review…
  • The blunt instrument plot allows for a few sneaky moments of satire and social commentary lite.

    Jun 7, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Purge

  • Aug 06, 2017
    seen it all before done better i.e. clockwork orange, funnny games.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2016
    The purge is one of the most hyped horror movies ever to date. The commercials and spots where great and the posters got us incredibly hyped to experience the purge. Its fresh concept all lured us in only for a short cliche horror film with its story mostly revolving around its jump scares. Using scares from the likes of Nightmare on Elm Street and even other thrillers this movie falls short on originality and ultimately just loses all credibility for its weak script and cheap scares. It should've score lower on RT at around 20%-23% a poor horror movie.
    Tyler H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2016
    This film is largely forgettable with a story climax that pretty much wraps in about 5 minutes and then the end of the film you really can see coming. I guess the only thing you can take from this is the message that people in large groups (social justice) can be violent and bad but people in smaller groups or individuals are, for the most part, good. Whatever though. This movie was completely forgettable but like 80s slasher films, they just keep making new ones.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2016
    I thought the premise for this movie was great. The execution... awful. Set in the near future, an authoritarian government allows citizens one night of committing crime with no legal repercussions. The action that follows degrades into implausible nonsense and the promising premise never materializes into anything worthy of discussion afterward. A disappointing failure.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer

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