The Purge (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Purge2013

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.

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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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Critic Reviews for The Purge

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (34)

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

June 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.

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

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…

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

June 7, 2013 | Full Review…

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

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

Audience Reviews for The Purge

Couldn't agree more with the critic consensus.

familiar stranger
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
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
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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