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The Purge (2013)



Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 134
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 83

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


Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 27

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



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Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 90,306

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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

Oct 8, 2013


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All Critics (134) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (83) | DVD (2)

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

June 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Orange County Register
Orange County Register
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 10, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gimmicky chiller lacks the robustness and distinction needed to support its social-commentary ambitions.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The blunt instrument plot allows for a few sneaky moments of satire and social commentary lite.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Hearst Newspapers
Hearst Newspapers
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One gigantic missed opportunity.

July 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A fascinating commentary on class warfare is blended into this fun quasi-futuristic horror thriller.

June 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

A brute, icy little shocker, "The Purge" is a thriller willing to engage blood as well as tension, with just a little politics.

April 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity

It starts off strong but is ultimately neither scary nor smart enough to kick off the kind of thought-provoking conversations it so clearly wants to be part of.

January 22, 2014 Full Review Source: The Verge
The Verge

What should be a taut thriller stretches into an overextended slog with periodic scolding lectures.

July 11, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

A workable blueprint for a movie that falls apart in its shoddy construction. Hammers home its concept, then smashes down the doors of horror-movie clichés. Its beaten-to-a-pulp idea leaves the 'hood and sublets to some weakly shot home-invasion B-horror.

July 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

You won't believe that any part of it is even remotely plausible, but you'll go along with it enough to get a few thrills.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Twitch

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

July 8, 2013 Full Review Source:

Honestly, this is not a high-quality movie. The script has gaping plot holes, and you need to suspend your disbelief. But it does encourage people to talk about violence. While 'The Purge' may not be entertainment, I can say it's thought-provoking.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

...quickly forgets its fake concern because there's too much awesome stalking, stabbing and shrieking demanding camera time, too many luxury objects that cry out to be righteously smashed by bad guy skulls.

June 18, 2013 Full Review Source:

Contrary to the home-invasion emphasis of its trailer, it never loses touch with its ingenious premise.

June 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

...a big, dumb home invasion horror movie.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Yahoo! Movies
Yahoo! Movies

DeMonaco makes his point, but it's one that only resonates in the improbable scenario he's concocted.

June 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Seven Days
Seven Days

The premise is intriguing but the movie is pretty disgusting. If it really had something to say about violence in our society okay, but it's just there for entertainment so beware.

June 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Movieline

The execution is lackluster in this subversive examination of contemporary suburban violence, which gradually drains the credibility from its intriguing if cynical futuristic idea.

June 13, 2013 Full Review Source:

Have you seen worse? Sure. I suppose you could call this efficient, but that stops short of being a recommendation.

June 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Lacks the Strength of its Flimsy Convictions

June 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Illinois Times
Illinois Times

It really oughtn't be quite this easy to screw up something as bog-standard as a home invasion thriller quite this thoroughly.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

"The Purge" plays like a weak "Twilight Zone" episode whose message gets horribly muddled by its over-the-top violence.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Audience Reviews for The Purge

You'll go into The Purge intrigued by its premise and you'll leave 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.
July 29, 2014

Super Reviewer

Cliches around every corner, "The Purge" tries very hard to be original, but in the end, it's clever twist on the genre that the trailers make it out to be, kind of falls flat, with hardly any suspense or genuine terror throughout the film. Ethan Hawk is a great actor, so the film is held together well performance-wise, but the script is so simple and uninspired that the plot of the film is completely shit on in the final act. There is hardly any development as to why this "Purge" happens every year and by the end, anything that has been set up in the first two acts is completely ruined. Once the third act kicks off, moments that are supposed to be intense have no suspense, and sad moments happen in an instant and then move on to something else, leaving you no time to cope. Once the killers get possession of the home, the entire film pretty much goes downhill. This movie has LAME written all over it. The idea is interesting but that is all I will remember this for, just a missed opportunity, and the final 10 minutes will have you laughing, unintentionally. "The Purge" is a bad film that had the potential of being great in the right hands.
July 22, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

A very sharp and shockingly unpredictable edge of your seat thriller. One of the most utterly original and unrelenting thrillers in years, it grabs your like you wouldn't believe with its story and sadistic nature and some great performances from its cast. It's ineradicably tense, wickedly suspenseful and explosively action-packed. A darkly entertaining and riveting movie that's exhilarating and intensely terrifying from start to finish. Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey are excellent. Rhys Wakefield is sensational, he gives a standout performance and proves to me an exceptional talent.
April 12, 2014

Super Reviewer

Not bad. Not great. Too many unanswered questions. Good premise, but weak plot...
January 20, 2014

Super Reviewer

    1. Mary Sandin: Get the fuck out of my house.
    – Submitted by John * (13 months ago)
    1. James Sandin: We're gonna make it through tonight, and everything is gonna be okay.
    2. Zoey Sandin: Nothing is ever going to be okay again.
    – Submitted by John * (13 months ago)
    1. Polite Leader: Just let us Purge.
    – Submitted by Dylan C (13 months ago)
    1. Zoey Sandin: Nothing will ever be okay again.
    – Submitted by Jacob Z (13 months ago)
    1. Mary Sandin: Just remember all the good the purge does.
    – Submitted by John * (13 months ago)
    1. Mary Sandin: We don't know who's after him.
    – Submitted by Facebook U (13 months ago)
View all quotes (10)

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