Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 349 Ratings

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  • Summary: In a future America devastated by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government provides a 12-hour period once a year when all criminal activity (including murder) is legal. A man attempts to protect his family from an intruder during one such period.
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.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 5, 2013
    The Purge clearly has a lot on its mind, but it never really manages to express it.
  3. Reviewed by: Neil Young
    Jun 1, 2013
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    May 31, 2013
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Jun 7, 2013
    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: Kerry Lengel
    Jun 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. The characters are undeveloped, the twists clumsily telegraphed and unsurprising.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 140
  2. Negative: 52 out of 140
  1. Oct 10, 2013
    I don't feel that the low user score is warranted. The movie deserves an 8/10 for originality alone. A great concept with some really quality acting, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie which leans more towards the more extreme portions of the human condition but is nonetheless a thoroughly entertaining flick (unless you're a pacifist or bleeding heart liberal) which is certainly worth a watch Expand
  2. Aug 29, 2013
    What is wrong with people? Purge is exactly what the audience wants. Action,horror,suspense and blood. How people didn't like it? The plot may sound silly and some people may not like it I accept that) but it is original something that most horror movies nowadays aren't. I also don't understand how critics like The Cabin in the woods which is a movie and they didn't like the Purge which was a scary intense film. Lena Headey was a big surprise to me as I've only seen here in Game of thrones where she is excellent as "the bad guy" and she was even good playing "the good guy" and the mother who protects her daughter and son. In overall there is suspense and The Purge it has a good original plot that many people will like and others will not. I like the Purge and I consider it as one of the best horror-thriller movie that I have seen Thumbs up! Expand
  3. Jun 17, 2013
    The movie was great. I loved it. I really keeps you on your feet the movie but the movie is very short. But I would recommend seeing it. It's a whole new paradigm. The movie has a bit of that horror feeling and jumps but it won't leave you with nightmares but only the illusion that keeps you wondering...could this ever happen.?? Expand
  4. Jun 24, 2013
    The idea of the movie is good,12 hours a year crime is legal, I think it had its inspiration from the Episode 21 Season 1 Start Trek series "The Return of the Archons" where people of Beta III "let loose" at the striking of "The Red Hour" (at 6:00pm), starting "Festival": a period of violence, destruction and sexual aggressiveness.
    This idea was never used into a movie but interesting that the only movie to use this idea turned out to be a disappointment that didn't live up to our expectations.
    In the near future of 2022 USA is a "reborn" nation because of the New Founding Father who brought order and prosperity to the nation by eliminating crime, poverty, unemployment and one of the reasons to this prosperity seem to the Purge, 12 hours where crime is legal. There we see our problems:

    - this utiopian/dystopian society happens to fast, really 9 years? Who would vote for these guys to make the Purge legal? Do the american people and international community accept this and do nothing? It is too soon and so implausible!

    - who is the one to come up with this idea of crime being legal, Princess Morbucks from the Powerpuff Girls

    - what will the victims of the Purge do? Won't they complain, protest or revolt?

    - who is going to pay for all the deaths, hospitalizations and consolations of the victims, destroyed public and private property?

    - what about the people who have health problems or suffer an accident, not because of the Purge, will they be left for death and the ambulance and firefighters will do nothing?

    - what will the poor, the homeless and the less fortunate ones do? Is the Purge the reason why poverty is down to 1%?

    And speaking of homeless, out of all the people to be hunted down it had to be a homeless, retired veteran, black man! Of course they have to pic on the black guy, because in Hollywood the black guy always dies first. Really? Even in this "reborn nation" the unfortunate and poor are still blacks and soldiers who fought in the war? Seems like some things never change, isn't that right John Rambo?Fighting for your country just to become homeless and hunted down by people of the country your served.

    Overall from a suspenseful and tense dystopian movie this turned into another silly home invasion movie with stupid expandables for villains.
    The acting was ok, the main villain was well played and so annoyingly evil you just really want him purged.

    This movie is as bad, in fact more bad than Daybreakers! Good idea but badly exploited in a bad movie.
    The plot for this movie would have been good in the 70s and 80s not in the second decade of 2000s. Back then it would have been a cheesy B-movie but it would have been saved from being forgotten or tared to pieces by critics by becoming a cult classic.
    All this strong faith and patriotism to the New Founding Father and the purge makes the movie laughable and I think that people who hate USA will probably use this movie to show how bad USA is. Heck, I think this movie might be legal in North Korea, saying that this actually happens in USA.

    I rated this movie 4/10 on Metacritic but it deserves a 4.5/10 and I look forward to see the sequel in hopping that will explain how USA got reborn and who are these New Founding Fathers, and what are Level 10 government officials and Class 4 weapons?
  5. 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. Expand
  6. Sep 26, 2013
    Lets start with the flaws of the imagined social/economic consequences of the Purge system... Crime rates would drop to 1%? Economy would rise? Why the hell would it? Prostitution, drug dealers, corruption is done on a daily basis. Perverts, abusers would not wait until the government allows them to commit crimes. The purge system would only decrease a minimal amount of crime. Other then that imagine You try to kill your fellow worker, because he/she was not nice with on you workplace...Now imagine you fail, now you can spend the rest of the year feeling hatred toward that person. It is not really productive in a workplace. As I have wrote before criminals who live from crime, would not stop after a purge. Also why would they allow using fire-based weapons during a Purge? (There are some restriction but nothing for arson?) It would cost a lot to build up a city from the ashes right? The whole thing could use some more thinking to it.... Other than these, the characters were boring and the kid was the dumbest movie character I have seen in a long time. The kid actually wanted to save a stranger more than his own family... The bad guys looked more stupid then threatening in my opinion. Well a generic action thriller. Expand
  7. Jul 9, 2014
    Watch this movie. Watch this movie if you like the feeling of anger pulsing through your bloodstream because you gave Ethan Hawke another chance. Because you thought the plot sounded cool, because you wanted to see rich people die.
    If not, leave this one alone, because it is one of the most infuriating movies I have ever had the opportunity to see.
    I wish there was an annual "purge" (like that fairy tale BS would fly in any country) so that I could legally execute the talented individuals who brought us this film.

See all 140 User Reviews