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

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5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 288 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
    83
    The Purge manages to be smart, scary, and subversive.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  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
    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.
  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: 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.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 116
  2. Negative: 41 out of 116
  1. Oct 10, 2013
    10
    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. Jul 27, 2013
    9
    This movie wasn't spectacular but it sure was intense. Not a real deep plot but good scares and tension. The moral choice that plagued the protagonist and his family was a tough one. The ending and length of the movie were the only things I found wrong with it. Still a good movie I liked it better than the strangers which reminds me of this. Expand
  3. Jun 20, 2013
    7
    In my opinion, The Purge was an.... entertaining movie. I can't deny that it did keep me on edge. To my relief, it wasn't very scary either. It was more interesting and intense. The plot is very original, and it will definitely keep you entertained. Although it was a good movie, it was not great. I cannot stress how idiotic and stupid the family was enough. I found myself constantly realizing how fake the movie was. The actors didn't seem scared enough. Also, they kept making mistakes throughout the movie even though they knew that their lives were on the line! It was also really annoying how the killers tried to have a sense of humor. The killers seemed psychotic and creepy. The ending was really crazy too. The ending was awkward, funny, idiotic, surprising, and just interesting. On the other hand though, I liked the movie, but I wouldn't spend a lot to see it. Wait for it to come out and get it from the red box. It is very interesting, and even though it might not be your favorite movie, you will have something to enjoy from it. Expand
  4. Jun 10, 2013
    5
    From the producers of Paranormal Activity (as is all horror films these days) The Purge tells the story of a near future were crime is at an all time low and unemployment stands at under 1% of the US population, to compensate for one night a year all crime (including murder) is legal for 12 hours allowing society some kind of release.

    The film revolves around the Sandin family who are confronted by a group of college students hunting a man on the night of the Purge who the family had allowed into their home after lockdown. The Purgers (lead by Rhys Wakefield) drastically try to break into the family’s home causing James (Ethan Hawke) and Mary (Lena Headey) to protect their children from the invaders in order to survive the night.

    The main problem with the film is the premise itself, whilst interesting is filled with flaws and holes that just make the whole idea ridiculous. Such as what happens to the serial killers and career criminals of this world? Do they just control their urges to kill or steal for the other 364 days until the next Purge, as well what if someone has a heart attack on the night of The Purge? Is it just a case of bad luck you chose the wrong night to need medical care?
    Despite the flaws of the premise, the film repeatedly ignores the possibilities of the premise, instead of exploring the ideas behind the Purge or the events that occur on the night of the Purge from different perspectives and situations. Instead the film settles for a typical home invasion story that although done well, is nothing we haven’t seen done in many other films. The Purge in the end seems to only be the premise of this film to stop the age old question of “Why don’t they just call the police?” in home invasion films.

    To the films credit it is quite subtle, there’s a running theme that the Purge is just an excuse for the upper classes to exterminate the poor, driven by all the attackers wearing prep school blazers and the person they are chasing wearing dog tags around his neck. The film also contains some strong performances, especially from Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Lord of War) and Lena Headey (Dredd, Game of Thrones) who carry the film throughout. The film also has a twist near the end which allows the audience to get inside the heads of the people during this night.

    That cant be said for the leader of the Purger’s played by Rhys Wakefield (Sanctum, Home and Away)whose performance is slightly cringe worthy, hes trying to be psychotic yet in control of the proceedings but it just comes across as a amateur dramatics’ version of The Joker. He just never seems like a really threat and just a creepy next door neighbour.

    The film also contains some bizarre and just plain weird set pieces, such as the families’ son who builds a spy camera on a chard baby doll on the top of a rhino tank from Warhammer 40,000. The thing looks like a demented contraption from Sid’s bedroom in Toy Story.

    Overall, The Purge is an ok home invasion film, there are moments of suspense and a couple of jump scares are effective. The wasted potential of the premise is the films main downfall which could have lead to a more effective and possible original film then what we got in the end.
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  5. Jun 22, 2013
    4
    This movie very predictable, for me anyways. The plot was okay, but the way they executed it could have been much better. This movie actually reminded me of the movie "The Strangers." It had many strong points, but the ending sucked. It was more comical than horrific. I wanted so bad for someone to commit a crime after the 12th hour... Expand
  6. Sep 26, 2013
    3
    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. Oct 22, 2013
    0
    I signed up just to let people know how terrible this movie is, the idea of there being a single day in the year (which turns out to be only 12 hours starting from 7pm... in which people are legally allowed to commit heinous crimes, but higher level govt. employees are for some reason exempt, is so stupid, if you are drawn to a plot as ridiculous as this then maybe you need to be purged.
    The story is so bad and made no sense, there was no depth to it, the acting was terrible, and character's idiotic decisions were enraging, i hated myself for wasting my valueless time watching this movie, the only reason why i did was because i acquired a pirated copy for which i am thankful for, because if i had actually spent any money to see this, i would be so depressed and angry and would have demanded my money back.
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See all 116 User Reviews

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