Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 33
  2. Negative: 10 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Jun 4, 2013
    The Purge manages to be smart, scary, and subversive.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 351 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 140
  2. Negative: 52 out of 140
  1. Jun 7, 2013
    There’s something powerful in the way horror movies and thrillers are able to tap into the cultural fears of a given moment. Whether it’s the sexual politics of the 1980s slasher movie, or the torture porn explosion in the wake of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, no other genre is so adept at saying, “Here’s what's on our minds right now, and it’s scaring the hell out of us.”
    That’s the tradition writer-director James DeMonaco hopes to join with The Purge. A home invasion flick wrapped in Occupy-era themes and fears, 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. The setup is certainly promising. The year is 2022. In response to a tremendous economic crisis, America has been reborn at the hands of the "New Founding Fathers" a group of elected officials who initiated something called The Purge upon taking office. The problem with America, goes the rhetoric, is that its citizens are not able to keep their animalistic nature at bay. So once a year, all laws are suspended for 12 hours, during which citizens can rape, murder, and pillage to their heart’s content. And somehow this system has worked, quelling economic panic and returning America to prosperity. It’s Ayn Rand with a shotgun, and while there’s certainly territory to be mined here DeMonaco fails to follow through after he sets up the pieces. He tries again with a few character turns given to the mysterious drifter played by a black actor, because the film’s class warfare is subtle like that but they’re clumsy and obvious, the kind of after-school special lessons you know are coming the minute the drifter is put at odds with the Sandins. It’s a case of unfulfilled promise, and I can’t help but wonder if there was a great socio-political satire that got lost somewhere along the way. The high-concept setup is so ridiculous it reeks of the kind of over-the-top commentary we saw in the original RoboCop that it’s a shame the film drags through its 85 minutes without paying it off. The Purge does have moments that shine there’s a a great gag about the government regulating just which kinds of weapons can be used during the night of lawlessness, and Hodge does a lot with a thinly written role. The film even manages to squeeze in a surprise plot twist or two. But it’s a slog of a journey that ultimately leaves you wishing you could see the film The Purge wants to be instead of the film that it is.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 29, 2013
    The problem is that The Purge has a powerful plot and ideas that are never used before, what happens here is that it is turned into a tired, cliché ridden, low budget slasher horror film, that could have been great and thought provoking. Lost opportunity. Full Review »
  3. Jun 7, 2013
    This movie had an interesting and original story, but it doesn't have all the elements to work together. The movie doesn't really have the scary feel its suppose to have. Plus, the people in the mask only express their how psychotic they really are. They don't deliver any purpose. If it was more like the Joker in "The Dark Knight", then they would actually make this movie work. But honestly, these actors weren't made for their roles. I wish I had more to say, but that's all I have to say about this extremely short "psychological" movie. Overall, it doesn't completely work together. Full Review »