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The Purge (2013)

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A wealthy family are held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legal.

Director:

James DeMonaco

Writer:

James DeMonaco
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Popularity
1,177 ( 150)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ethan Hawke ... James Sandin
Lena Headey ... Mary Sandin
Max Burkholder ... Charlie Sandin
Adelaide Kane ... Zoey Sandin
Edwin Hodge ... Bloody Stranger
Rhys Wakefield ... Polite Leader
Tony Oller ... Henry
Arija Bareikis ... Mrs. Grace Ferrin
Tom Yi ... Mr. Cali
Chris Mulkey ... Mr. Halverson
Tisha French ... Mrs. Halverson
Dana Bunch Dana Bunch ... Mr. Ferrin
Peter Gvozdas Peter Gvozdas ... Dr. Peter Buynak
John Weselcouch ... Freak Interrupting
Alicia Vela-Bailey ... Female Freak
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Storyline

In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide. Written by Universal Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Reminder all emergency services will be suspended for a 12-hour period during the purge. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong disturbing violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vigilandia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,058,360, 9 June 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$64,473,115

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$89,328,627
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ethan Hawke previously worked with director James DeMonaco on Little New York (2009). See more »

Goofs

It made no sense for Charlie to hide in the basement. The secret room inside his closet was a far superior hiding spot, you very likely wouldn't even notice it if you didn't know it was there. See more »

Quotes

Newscaster: Incoming reports show this year's Purge has been the most successful to date, with the most murders committed.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Purge: Anarchy (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Is 'e an Aussie, Is 'e Lizzie?
Written by B.C. Hilliam
Performed by B.C. Hilliam (as Mr. Flotsam) and Malcolm 'Mr. Jetsam' McEachern (as Mr. Jetsam)
Courtesy of JSP Records
Published by EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Painfully disappointing despite some curious beginnings...
20 October 2014 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Purge (2013)

Well, this is either the stupidist movie ever or it's a mishmash of something audacious and creative and a slasher film with campy expectations. It doesn't make the grade as a great movie mostly because of an hour of redundant ax-wielding around a big suburban house. But the first half hour is really great—some potential here that went aground fast.

The premise is clear right away: it's the near future, maybe 2021, in the United States. Once a year for twelve hours everyone is allowed to be an ultra criminal without repercussion. None. Kind of like Devil's Night in Detroit without any cops. You can murder, destroy things, be a general naughty boy or girl, and have no criminal consequences the next day. Hurray!

Everything is just okay! Or not.

Well, the reason this works in the first half hour is the calm, steady, well appointed believablility of the acting and scenario in this fancy (upscale American) house. Ethan Hawke plays a great regular, successful, nice Dad. His wife (Lena Headey) is a sweetheart in the clichéd way (she is sadly the typical Hollywood female, incompetent but nice to have around). They have two children in the standard mode, talented and slightly disaffected.

So 7pm rolls around and the family has a fortress of a house (steel doors drop down in front of the windows and doors). So they watch on their monitors the calm and then the lack of calm on the nice street outside, at night. And things go sour badly.

Okay, so a great set up. Of course, if you think about it, it's about as believable as zombies. And so therefore you can go with it if you decide to. So the public can expunge their violence by killing a few people and the other 364 days are crime free. Great. Except, well, uh, really?? Yeah, it implies that we would kill without compunction, and that the next day you would walk by your neighbor, who just killed a few people during the Purge, and say, "Good morning Mrs. Johnson," as if all was fine. And there is no guilt. Or feeling. Or morality.

But that's if you think about it. A lot of Hollywood's idea of the future is not meant to be parsed out and logical. Look at "The Giver," or even (yes) "Avatar." Etc.

So on a simpler level we have the problem of a movie that turns into a slasher film. Because the bad people do, of course, get into the house (you saw that coming) and the family tries to defend itself. This part of the movie is not especially well made, or well acted, or original. It destroys all potential, and makes it a disturbing bore.


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