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The Purge Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Blood sport boosterism Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    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."

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Variety Leslie Felperin

    The film’s thudding shocks and predictability dull its edge.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Neil Young

    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.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    The Purge clearly has a lot on its mind, but it never really manages to express it.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Village Voice Alan Scherstuhl

    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.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Home invasion movie has intense ideas, strong violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Purge is a futuristic sci-fi/horror movie with a horrific idea: Once a year, American citizens are given a 12-hour period in which they can do whatever they want -- including murder -- legally. This supposedly has the effect of reducing crime and lowering unemployment. Violence is strong throughougt the movie, with various beatings, stabbings, and shootings, with lots of dead bodies (including teens) and a fair amount of blood. Language includes a few uses of "f--k" and other strong words, and a teen couple is shown making out and getting a bit hot and heavy. The movie may inspire discussion about human nature, mob mentality, the function of society, consumerism, exploitation, the rich and the poor, and other hot topics.

  • Families can talk about The Purge's strong violence. Is the violence necessary to express the movie's point? Could it have been less violent? More violent?
  • What do you think of the idea of "the purge"? Would it really lower crime and lessen poverty? What other issues does it bring up?
  • What's the movie's perspective on business? The rich and poor? What reaction do you think the filmmakers expect from viewers?
  • Should Charlie have let in the man calling for help? Why is his good deed punished?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The messages in this movie occupy complex gray areas. The youngest boy in the family tries to do a good deed, but it goes horribly awry. The family must also decide between fighting (possibly killing others or getting killed) or facing certain death. Then there's the overall message of the "purge" itself. The movie includes many voices on television and radio arguing over the event's good points and bad points -- although either way it comes down to violence and killing without consequences.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Most of the characters are simply meant to illustrate the horrific, dual-sided nature of the movie's sinister idea; they're symbolic rather than sympathetic. The main characters are kind and likeable, and they exhibit bravery in the face of danger, but viewers are certainly better off questioning their behavior than emulating it.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The movie starts off with surveillance footage of acts of violence, fighting, stabbings, shootings, and dead bodies. During the course of the movie, characters (both major and minor) -- including teens -- are shot, stabbed, and/or killed. There's heavy fighting, including attacks with various objects (pool cues, vases, etc.). A prisoner is tied up and tortured (a character pokes a letter opener into his open wound). A woman's face is smashed on a glass table, and her nose and mouth bleed profusely. A fair amount of blood is shown, though the movie isn't overly gory.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Two teens are shown kissing and engaging in "heavy petting." The girl undoes a couple of buttons on her top, but they stop before anything goes further. Otherwise, the movie shows a married couple who are comfortable with each other, but with no real sex or innuendo.

  • language false4

    Language: Language is fairly infrequent but contains strong words. "F--k" and "motherf----r" are used a few times. Other words include "bulls--t," "son of a bitch," "penis," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "hell," and "goddamn." A middle finger gesture is used.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink glasses of wine with dinner.