Metascore
41

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: Rex Reed
    Jun 11, 2013
    25
    As a nauseating variation on the home-invasion theme, The Purge is as sickening as it is dreary.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 9, 2013
    25
    This is quite possibly the most moronic motion picture I have seen thus far in 2013 and that's saying a lot.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 9, 2013
    25
    The Purge isn’t just stupid; it’s also pretentious and often makes no sense.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jun 7, 2013
    38
    The problem with high concepts like this is cooking up a story and characters to go along with it.
  5. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jun 7, 2013
    60
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Jun 7, 2013
    38
    Instead of being a creepy B-movie about the necessity of suppressing one's animalistic urges, The Purge is just an uninspired film.
  7. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 6, 2013
    42
    So here I am, trying to like The Purge because I’m drawn to its simple and horrific premise, and it’s treating me (and you) as if we have the IQs of lawn ornaments.
  8. 50
    So, 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.
  9. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 6, 2013
    40
    The message just gets louder and louder, cruder and cruder, which is too bad because Mr. DeMonaco knows how to set a stage.
  10. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 6, 2013
    50
    The people of 2022 may “release the beast” by slaughtering their fellow Americans. In 2013, that’s still what we go to the movies for.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 6, 2013
    50
    Makes its point ham-fistedly and then devolves into a blood-spattered slasher movie. It also unashamedly cribs from more disturbing films like "Straw Dogs," "Funny Games" and "A Clockwork Orange."
  12. 63
    Good but not-good-enough schlocker.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Jun 6, 2013
    75
    There are flaws, but also some fun surprises. Much closer to Hitchcock than "Hostel," this is what can happen when a pile of trash falls into the hands of a talented and resourceful director (James DeMonaco).
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 6, 2013
    50
    DeMonaco shows a sure hand at building tension. Too bad the film devolves into a series of home-invasion clichés. The Purge was almost on to something.
  15. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 6, 2013
    20
    The movie even makes night-vision-goggle scares more irksome, a rare feat.
  16. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 6, 2013
    50
    After a wickedly promising start, this pointed political satire quickly deteriorates into a fairly routine, if sporadically quite effective, home-invasion thriller.
  17. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Jun 6, 2013
    20
    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. The characters are undeveloped, the twists clumsily telegraphed and unsurprising.
  18. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 6, 2013
    30
    A routine home invasion movie more interested in B-horror tropes and bloodletting than a thought-provoking look at "Hunger Games"-ish class warfare.
  19. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 5, 2013
    50
    After establishing this interesting premise, writer/director James DeMonaco only scratches the surface of its implications before devolving into a creepy roundelay of murders and deaths averted.
  20. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jun 5, 2013
    50
    The result is inchoate: not involving enough to work as a thriller, and too self-defeating to mean anything.
  21. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 5, 2013
    67
    The Purge clearly has a lot on its mind, but it never really manages to express it.
  22. 38
    Mostly, it’s just a clumsy lecture about who we’re becoming, haves vs have-nots, with the haves armed to the teeth.
  23. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jun 5, 2013
    38
    A rote home-invasion thriller afraid to be seen as just another rote home-invasion thriller, the film turgidly grasps for profundity by framing bloodlust as patriotic duty.
  24. Reviewed by: Matt Patches
    Jun 5, 2013
    68
    There’s gold in the premise of “The Purge” and its dismissal of subtlety. But like the residents of its world, when given the opportunity, it drops restraint and goes for blood.
  25. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jun 4, 2013
    70
    As in so many Hollywood spectacles, the message and medium are at hopeless odds... Still, 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.
  26. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 4, 2013
    40
    The filmmakers are too much in love with their made-up holiday to observe it to the fullest.
  27. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Jun 4, 2013
    83
    The Purge manages to be smart, scary, and subversive.
  28. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Jun 4, 2013
    50
    The film’s thudding shocks and predictability dull its edge.
  29. Reviewed by: Neil Young
    Jun 1, 2013
    50
    What should be a clammy exercise in claustrophobic, queasy tension becomes, in the hands of writer/director James DeMonaco, an underpowered compendium of over-familiar scare tactics and sledgehammer-subtle social satire.
  30. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    May 31, 2013
    60
    James DeMonaco’s blood-splattered thriller begins well before expiring slowly from multiple improbabilities.
  31. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    May 31, 2013
    40
    The film doesn't develop its one good idea so much as stumble around in the dark with it for 85 minutes, crashing noisily into the furniture.
  32. Reviewed by: Nigel Floyd
    May 31, 2013
    40
    The film's would-be subversive ideas about the kneejerk appeal of social violence get lost in the mix.
  33. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    May 29, 2013
    40
    This movie starts from a premise so sociologically batty it’s hard to take any of its subsequent terrors seriously, which means tension doesn’t so much fly out the window as fail to even get up the driveway.
User Score
5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 349 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 140
  2. Negative: 52 out of 140
  1. Jun 7, 2013
    0
    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
    3
    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
    5
    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 »