The Purge - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Purge Reviews

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March 20, 2018
I am a huge horror fan and this is one of my all time favorite in the horror genre. It doesn't have good ratings but it deserves to have a much higher rating. It have a unique premise and executes well. All around great movie
March 10, 2018
In an idealized future version of America, we vent our national frustration on one golden night, in which all crime up to and including murder is legal and the results are somehow televised. Apparently it works, because violence is supposedly down and employment is way up, but there is the tricky issue of surviving that single naughty holiday without passing through the crosshairs of an enemy. As a concept, The Purge is ripe. Especially so today, four years after its release, when the nation seems as politically and culturally divided as ever and violent undercurrents are simmering. There's so much opportunity to toy with the metaphorical overtone (including one or two extra-interesting caveats about the event itself which are left unexplored) that it's amazing they're merely used to prop up a rather generic horror/suspense combo. Family makes a series of poor choices. Bad guys show up on their doorstep to make threats and embrace modern horror stereotypes. Big showdown with a few telegraphed twists. That's the jist. The allure of the Purge, and the nationwide embrace of what it means, is right there, just begging to be further mined, but instead it's relegated to mere background color. An excuse not to call the police, really, and nothing more. Despite an inspired (and, go figure, largely unexplored) take by Rhys Wakefield as the charismatic gang leader, this is some bland, uniform stuff.
March 4, 2018
Writer/Director James DeMonaco provides a dynamite set-up with the opening title card that reads, "America. 2022. Unemployment is at 1%. Crime is at an all-time low. Violence barely exists. with one exception..." That exception is The Purge. A government sanctioned annual 12-hour period in where all criminal activity, including murder, becomes legal. It's an insane premise that's ripe for unhinged Devil's Night mayhem along with all sorts of possibilities for commentary on society, politics, economics, ethics, and human nature. What's disappointing is that doesn't explore it's thematic potential and is instead a fairly routine siege film. The story follows wealthy home security salesman Ethan Hawke and this family on Purge Day, hunkering down when they find themselves the target of a well armed group trying to get in. There are some thematic nods regarding the economics of the haves and have-nots, but it never really goes all that deep. Despite my disappointment in terms of unexplored thematic potential, "The Purge" is a well done exciting and suspenseful siege film. It's not up to John Carpenter "Assault on Precinct 13" standards, but it's leaps an bounds better than Bruce Willis' "Hostage" or WWE's "The Day." The film also benefits from a stronger than average cast for a genre film, which besides Hawke also features Lena Headey as his wife. Rhys Wakefield, who was previously unknown to me, is also very memorable as the "Polite Leader" of the group trying to get inside their home to murder a homeless man their young son has given shelter to. And one bit of film geek casting that had me giddy was the casting of character actor Chirs Mulkey as one of Hawke's neighbors. Given the film's modest budget, it understandably couldn't have had the scale that the story premise could have lent itself to. According to IMDB, writer/director DeMonaco said that if he ever got a chance to do a second film, it would be more like "Escape from New York." He's since made two sequels and a fourth is in the works, so I can only hope that the sequels are worthy that build up (I'm actually very excited to watch the sequels now). Overall, even though the film's subtext is left largely left unexplored and the siege elements of the film were very familiar, the strong cast, the unique story premise, and DeMonaco's tight, suspenseful direction make "The Purge" a real winner for genre fans.
January 30, 2018
A thought provoking premise absolutely trashed by sophomoric writing. A shame really.
January 13, 2018
I dug the idea but it doesn't really create more than what the idea is.
½ January 4, 2018
Overall, I was entertained. Nothing much else I can say, however.
December 27, 2017
So interesting, chilling & thrilling:)
½ November 25, 2017
Not a bad movie. Entertaining. Not stupid. But I hated the ending.
November 20, 2017
There is plenty of potential in the idea, but this doesn't even come close to mining it. Predictable and dull from beginning to end.
November 18, 2017
The concept is ridiculous and nonsensical, but has potential for an entertaining movie. Unfortunately, "The Purge" is too bland and incompetent to be as clever or thrilling as it thinks it is.
November 10, 2017
Not the best as the second one but It wasn't that bad. It has a good story plot
½ November 5, 2017
Cheap piece of not-very-psychologically-effective horror, 'The Purge' attempts high and succeeds very little, as it gets unoriginal, exhausting and common, bad horror. The type of easy stuff that's trying to use art for artless ends -that is, to use usually artistic tools like social satire not to do anything artistic but to give the illusion that it isn't made for its hidden low exploitation sake, instead of what 'The Purge' could have done, that is, the taking of full advantage of its exploitation assets to make art.
½ November 4, 2017
The Purge is just ok. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't watch this expecting a good movie, don't watch this expecting an awful movie. This movie is just ok. It isn't the worst horror movie I've seen. It's not the best horror movie I've seen. The plot is creative and feels new but cliches bring it down. There is some good suspense in this movie and had me on the edge, but it wasn't enough. I just can't say anything else besides this movie just being ok. It's half good, half bad. B-
½ November 3, 2017
The Purge or Should I Say They Purged That Movie?
The satisfying thrill of the unexpected turn of events. The movie The Purge, directed by James DeMonaco, came out in 2013. Major actors include Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, and Edwin Hodge. This is a great suspenseful movie with a ton of scary moments and action scenes.
The Purge is about a man named James and his family during the annual Purge, a 12-hour period in which crime is now legal. James created a security system for his community that could withstand and protect people from those purging. Due to a few unwise decisions, James and his family must make one of the most important decision of their lives... should they save someone and have their lives be put in jeopardy or should they not save his life and go against what they truly believe in. Whatever choice they make they still must stick together and fight to keep their lives during this crucial time.
Throughout the movie I was so clueless about what was going to happen next because the whole night I was wrong at guessing what was going to happen. There was so much suspense and so many unexpected outcomes. My first impression of the movie was it wasn't going to be all that scary, but after finishing the movie, I highly disagree with my first impression. I was very wrong; this movie is scary, with all the creepy and pop-out parts. The masks of the people that participate in the purge are the creepiest part. The mask looked like a younger version of Hilary Clinton, who is smiling ear to ear. I thought it was so creepy and those masks still pop up in my mind.
The characters did an excellent job playing their parts, not one of the character's facial expression said they were feeling something different. Their acting was outstanding and looked like it was happening to them in that moment. For example, when James was stabbed, he didn't make it look like he was acting; the way he grimaced in pain after being stabbed is what sold the whole scene. The characters portrayed in the movie were multi-dimensional, with some aspects that I would not have expected, like I did not think this ritzy family would be able to defend themselves and stick to their ground, but I was proven wrong when they held off the intruders as they tried killing the family. Throughout the movie, I felt for the family, and was on their side. With all the events going on/everything the family was going through, I felt as if I was with them and was trying to help them make a right choice. The filming of the movie was superb; the way they would move the camera around made it seem like I was with all of them whenever it happened. For example, they would record the scenes as if it was the point of view of someone in the house, and for suspenseful scenes, they zoomed out, so you could see the enemies approaching hidden family members. Those were \ ideal approaches for the scenes.
They must stay loyal to one another but at the same time still loyal to what they believe in and what they are for. It compels because we face these problems in the real world and must fight through it. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys having the feeling of anticipation building up, loves suspense, and enjoys having been wrong on what you think is happening next. This movie is full of suspense with nail biting action scenes and keeps you on your toes whenever you are trying to guess what happens next. There are many parts where you don't see things coming at all. All around this movie is 4.5/5 stars, and I think everyone should watch it because it is an all-around great thriller of a movie.
½ November 2, 2017
Trying both to succeed as an intriguing social allegory and an intense home invasion thriller, The Purge fails to become either one of those things, settling for a clichéd riddled and numbingly dumb thriller film. The performances are nothing too bad to cry about and the actors try their best to work with the linear script they're given. The problem is the lack of consistency of the characters in the story, from the irritatingly dense child to the annoying dad, played tragically by Ethan Hawke. The characters are just too one dimensional and bland to work with, and come across more as frustrating. The film does at least boast one of the more memorable concepts in recent memory for a horror film, but entirely wastes that concept on poor execution and a parade of cliches that all but sinks it into a generic horror slasher that we've seen a million times before. It does have some interesting ideas however, on the position of politics and governmental standings but they come across as half baked and aren't really developed enough to mean anything and the film as a whole feels content with being a run of the mill clichéd riddled thrill fest. James DeMonaco's direction is actually strong, considering the flaws of everything else and he does manage to make the most of the restricted environments to generate a mild sense of suspense and terror as the film progresses and moments of genuine terror are there in aplenty. But the film eventually becomes tiring in that it takes forever to actually go anywhere. Its too silly to take seriously and the violence soon becomes unearned as it seems like its just there to be there. Setting the film in a home should have at least made The Purge an extremely intense film to sit through but its restraint as well as its failure to actually determine what it wants to be sinks it. -
October 22, 2017
Great intro, average second and third act, just like all the other movies. Funny how this movie is becoming the "Network" of the modern era, by predicting the actual future of our society by a few decades.
½ October 15, 2017
Very upsetting I thought I was going to like it but I hated it and regretted wanting to see it.
½ October 10, 2017
½ October 1, 2017
Today is your lucky day, a two-tha (no that is not a word). Today I decided to not only watch purge one for the first time but the 2nd one as well.

The Purge was consistently entertaining, a new all be it flawed concept. The concept that crime is legal for 12 hours is a interesting one, makes for a film that could go anywhere. Although The Purge happens to follow a small family, in the richer part of town. The family's night is ruined when there young son pity's a desperate man outside, and lets there defences down so he can join the family in safety. Which as you can imagine can't end well. The film quickly turns into a creepy stand off between the family and the predators searching for the man.

The purge tells a interesting and fun story, which really gets you thinking about morality, right and wrong. What would you do. As fun as the build up was, the predictable ending did knock it's rating down a bit.
September 25, 2017
Rating: 56%
The Purge is well-cast and boasts some good thrills, but it ultimately fails to make good use of its unique premise, squandering it with unlikable characters and obvious plot contrivances.
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