The Purge - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Purge Reviews

Top Critic
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
June 13, 2013
Writer-director James DeMonaco's The Purge fritters away its promise in lurid, frenzied violence.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 12, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
June 10, 2013
If The Purge is as far-sighted as Network proved to be, we are in for very ugly times.
Top Critic
Leslie Felperin
Variety
June 7, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Neil Young
Hollywood Reporter
June 7, 2013
Gimmicky chiller lacks the robustness and distinction needed to support its social-commentary ambitions.
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
Hearst Newspapers
June 7, 2013
The blunt instrument plot allows for a few sneaky moments of satire and social commentary lite.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 7, 2013
When critics bemoan the dumbing down of movies, they're talking about stuff like The Purge.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Simon Abrams
Chicago Sun-Times
June 7, 2013
Instead of being a creepy B-movie about the necessity of suppressing one's animalistic urges, "The Purge" is just a product of uninspired filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 7, 2013
In its own clumsy, exaggerated way, The Purge takes a strong stand against our cultural obsession with violence and our tendency to conflate justice with vengeance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 7, 2013
Fans, gear up for rock-em-sock-em action, yet don't be disappointed if much of the goonery seems a bit tepid and, dare I say, staged.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
June 7, 2013
A nutty if bloody lark, with a strange artificiality to the behaviors it portrays. That blunts the sharpness of any cultural critique it might aspire to.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 7, 2013
There's nothing you'd want to see again, particularly served up with all these shaky closeups and off-kilter angles and a cast mostly waiting - like us - for it to be over.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 6, 2013
The message just gets louder and louder, cruder and cruder, which is too bad because Mr. DeMonaco knows how to set a stage.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 6, 2013
The Purge is not subtle. But why should it be? It's not a movie about class or morality, but about the need for violence -- our own. We are the audience, after all, and we must be purged, too.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 6, 2013
Audiences will feel the need for a good cleansing after experiencing The Purge.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 6, 2013
It's cultural commentary as blunt instrument - and as blunt instruments are wont to do, it achieves an end while making a bloody mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kevin C. Johnson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 6, 2013
The great premise in "The Purge" - and it is a great premise, while being no "Hunger Games" - is squandered on a few levels.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
June 6, 2013
The vague posters for "The Purge" won't prepare you for how sharp and shockingly subversive this home-invasion flick can be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kristin Tillotson
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 6, 2013
Its premise requires more sophisticated layering for the audience to really get on board with the notion that people leading very comfortable lives will suddenly go on a murder bender just because they can.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
June 6, 2013
The Purge is mostly a genre picture trying to layer on some prestige by way of social commentary. The latter falls flat; the film is actually stronger when it just goes for our baser instincts.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Peter Keough
Boston Globe
June 6, 2013
Somewhere between Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and the "Family Guy" episode in which Peter Griffin joins the Tea Party lies "The Purge." Unfortunately, it's as funny as the former and as thoughtful as the latter.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 6, 2013
The film has some vague things to say about class and racial differences, but they are drowned out by the sounds of blasting shotguns and huge knives being plunged into chests.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 6, 2013
Too bad the film devolves into a series of home-invasion clichés. The Purge was almost on to something.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
June 6, 2013
"The Purge" is one of those unimaginative horror flicks that depend on skreeky music and sudden appearances to startle, but never actually frighten, the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 6, 2013
You hope for a purge to wipe away bad movies like this.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 6, 2013
After a wickedly promising start, this pointed political satire quickly deteriorates into a fairly routine, if sporadically quite effective, home-invasion thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
June 6, 2013
A routine home invasion movie more interested in B-horror tropes and bloodletting than a thought-provoking look at "Hunger Games"-ish class warfare.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
June 6, 2013
The Purge suffers from BioShock Syndrome: Its survive-at-all-costs plot and anti-libertarian slant are incompatible.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
June 6, 2013
No real answers are provided by writer-director James DeMonaco. He simply presents this bizarre dystopian future, and the audience is left to take it or leave it.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
June 5, 2013
The Purge clearly has a lot on its mind, but it never really manages to express it.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Matt Patches
Film.com
June 5, 2013
A blunt takedown of 1%-er politics masquerading as a home invasion picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 6.8/10
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
June 4, 2013
The film morphs into a dull version of Straw Dogs ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
June 4, 2013
The set-up is arresting, the domestic scenes well observed and acted, and the payoffs involving that Roomba toy excellent. Also, a late-film twist isn't a surprise, exactly, but it is delicious.
Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
May 29, 2013
The film's would-be subversive ideas about the kneejerk appeal of social violence get lost in the mix.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5