The Purge (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Purge (2013)



Critic 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.

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) Universalmore
Rating: R (for strong disturbing violence and some language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: James DeMonaco
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 8, 2013
Box Office: $64.4M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


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
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Purge

Critic Reviews for The Purge

All Critics (137) | Top Critics (34)

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

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Orange County Register
Top Critic

Standard "stalk, attack, revenge" home invasion material, but it's also laced with an appreciable sense of pointed social commentary.

Full Review… | August 24, 2015

There might be true satire here, but it would take a far less bored reviewer than me to pick away at the flab surrounding the satire.

Full Review… | July 15, 2015

An effective balance of mood and style, not overburdened by grotesque displays of violence but suggestive enough to create a space of believable bleakness that warrants our continued interest until the very last frame.

Full Review… | January 8, 2015

...a rather ludicrous premise that's employed to persistently underwhelming effect by writer/director James DeMonaco...

Full Review… | July 31, 2014
Reel Film Reviews

One gigantic missed opportunity.

Full Review… | July 10, 2014
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for The Purge

Couldn't agree more with the critic consensus.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


What comes up as a thought-provoking allegory that doesn't shy away from the sociopolitical implications of its premise soon gets lost in a last half hour that falls flat with a ridiculous excess of dei ex machina and reduces the Purge to what seems like a laughable sect.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

You will go into The Purge intrigued by its premise and you will leave very disappointed.
In a futuristic America, the new government (called the Founding Fathers) has managed to eliminate murder and unemployment by making all crime legal for one night each year. The logic is that this night of "purging" allows us to let loose our animalistic nature as well as letting the poor, less contributing members of society kill each other off.
The film does not expand on these concepts, leaving much to be desired. It'll be too easy for critics to expose all of its flaws as a plausible system. Instead, the plot devolves into a standard home invasion movie that is predictable and populated with really, really stupid characters.
The Purge is an example of taking a cool set up and turning it into cliche, forgettable crap.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

The Purge Quotes

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