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

User Score
5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 340 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: 51 out of 137
  2. Negative: 51 out of 137
  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. Jun 15, 2013
    9
    These reviews are all a little off. I don't think the writers were going for any awards with this one, they just wanted to entertain. You shouldn't expect thoughtful characters or realistic scenarios in a movie about a nation that knowingly disregards crime once yearly. What I expected was suspense, and plenty of situations that would scare me if imagining myself in that scenario. If characters were realistic or made good decisions in any horror movie, the horror would quickly end. Expand
  3. Jun 28, 2013
    7
    The movie keeps your heart beating from the start to the end. Its takes a ludicrous plot and provides a fairly reasonable and logical explanation that gives an almost surreal feel to the event. There are many… many cliches to in the film and character development is non existent… still a good watch. pretty entertaining. Expand
  4. Jun 9, 2013
    4
    The movie had a good premise, but the characters were all 2-dimensional. They didn't really learn anything. We already knew the the "purge" day would be bad, and you are left with the exact same conclusion at the end. The characters act completely irrational the entire movie, which is what you might expect from a horror movie, I guess.

    If you like a movie with scary jump shots, little to no character development, and some shaky action scenes, you might like this movie.
    Expand
  5. Jun 7, 2013
    4
    Let me preface this by saying my lord did this movie actually have an original, interesting story. When I saw the first preview for this I thought it had potential. Okay, got that out of the way, now, on to the point.

    Saw the movie with moderate expectations, didn't think it would be overly great, and didn't think it would be terrible either. So, the movie starts, the annual Purge starts, okay, so good, so far. Pretty good opening. When the neighbor woman handed Lena Headey's character the cookies, I knew something was going to happen towards the end. Like I said, The Purge starts and so far so good. Then, like every movie with kids, they ruin everything. Not going to give any spoilers, but the movie, a good part of the movie was a search & destroy mission, then the final part of the movie went along with deciding what the right and wrong things were to do in the Purge and a final showdown and just when you think its about to end.....they SUCK you in for one last act of The Purge, it was predictable to a certain degree, and it wasn't really good. A let down and it felt very forced and stupid.

    All in all, it wasn't horrible, but it didn't approach decent either, it was stupid. The acting was okay. I mean, Ethan Hawke is a very good, underrated actor, we all know that from his past work, but this wasn't his best role. The idea was original and fantastic, exciting really. However, the execution was poor, the story was badly written and if in the 12-hour window of the Purge, all crime is legal, why did they focus on just murder? I understand that was suppose to be the whole theme of it, but all crime is legal. Be realistic. Where's the rape, the bank robbing, the drugs, etc? The movie felt like one big run around and got very boring. Don't waste your time on this over-hyped crap.
    Expand
  6. Dec 6, 2013
    3
    I quickly found myself very intrigued by the premise of 'The Purge'- a near future America under the new 'Founding Fathers' political regime. However, my intrigue and excitement soon turned to despair and annoyance as it became clear the film was to focus on a single, white, rich household. I wanted to see the wider stories within 'The Purge', something we only get a taste of on CCTV footage and radio broadcasts at the beginning of the film.The Writer, James DeMonaco, could have done so much more with such an innovative world, yet he took the easy way out by regurgitating the same old modern horror tactics with feeble jump scares and predictable 'plot twists'. The acting too left a lot to be desired. Ethan Hawke who plays James Sandin, the father and lead, does a good job of conveying himself as a morally confused figure; unsure whether to do what is 'right' or what is best for his family. However, you will find yourself frustrated with the acting from Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane and Lena Heady, the respective son, daughter and wife of James Sandin. The son is meant to be the moral touchstone of the film, yet bland and uninteresting acting from Burkholder failed for this to be conveyed. There is not really a gel between the three, making moments between son and mother or mother and daughter somewhat awkward. Ultimately, we don't really care about their fate when they are thrown into potentially horrible situations. If you are looking for an in depth view into a futuristic world that examines the wider implications of a new and potentially possible regime, you won't find it here. If you are looking for something a bit simpler with occasional moments of excitement, by all means give this film a go. Expand
  7. Jul 9, 2014
    0
    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.
    Expand

See all 137 User Reviews

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