Movie Review: The Purge [2013]

Once a year ALL CRIMES are legal, even murder

In 2022, the United States is a nation ruled by the New Founding Fathers of America. To maintain low crime and unemployment rates throughout the year, the government has instituted an annual 12-hour period called "The Purge" during which all crimes, including murder, become legal. Movie gives a look at one of those horrific nights exposing the whole brutality of negative freedom, when one can do anything they want and they want really really bad things.

James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) is a security company salesman, who turned into wealthy man by selling security system - designed specially for The Purge nights. He got a wife Mary (Lena Headey), a daughter and a son. During early hours of purge a black man chased by number of outlaws, penetrates their house asking for help. Sandins decide to protect him despite the threats by chasers. And they start to hunt for the family.

As a horror The Purge does not give much to scary. You can easily watch it with your lights off. Sometimes creepy sounds was making me jump a little. However, the story itself is a bit thrilling and it got lots of things it actually made me think about. Movie clearly delivers total cruelty of human actions, what each of us is capable of without some control. People who are neighbors, friends, companions during 364 days a year, become enemies for 1 day and they are ready to kill anyone to let their negative emotions go. But it's not how one or two people behave, most of them do the same things - they kill, rob, rape others. I do think that there are some people around us, who are capable of doing same things if it was permitted. But I don't think that it's gonna be that massive, that people will just come out and start attacking others for no reason.
Besides the story, that really shocked me, I loved Lena Headey - who'll always be a brilliant Cersei. She brings a touching act that totally delivers the tragedy of that particular mother trying to protect her children. Mary's emotions are real, so natural and thrilling that it made experience whole psychological terror on me. Hawke does a great job as a father who has to either protect it's family or save a persons life. His character challenges moral dilemma - whether one persons life is worth for threatening your own family safety?!

The Purge also has some let downs, for instance totally illogical death of Zoey's (James's daughter) boyfriend, who's accidentally killed by mr. Sandin. Soundtracks, which mostly is a bingo thing for this genre movies, is very poor and does not make film any better. And last one, everything in there escalates very quickly and this weakens emotional impact on viewers. James DeMonaco as a director could make a little more engaging and tragic plot to make this sick story even more sicker.

All in all, this movie is good to watch once and you won't waste time. It's definitely above average. 


  1. Good review. It's a dumb premise, but the least the movie could have done was milk it all for what it was. But it didn't, and just came off like a lame thriller.

  2. Good Review! You definitely enjoyed more than I did. :) I just can't get over the fact that they let a superb idea go wasted on a silly and predictable thriller.

  3. OK, I agree with that wasting argument. But still idea was something not ordinary.

  4. Thanks Dan, but come on, it was not that lame :D