Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane
Director: James DeMonaco

Producer Jason Blum received tons of praise for The Purge‘s opening weekend box office tally: $36.4 million for a film that cost $3 million to make. He has experience with producing low budget movies that yield a high box office return. See Paranormal Activity 1-4, Insidious, and Sinister. Let’s see if Blum’s latest movie lives up to the hype…

The Purge 2013 poser

Picture it:

America. 2022. Crime and unemployment rates are at an all time low. The government gives credit to the “Annual Purge” which allows a 12 hour period where all criminal acts are legalized. From 7 pm until 7 am the next day you can steal, harm, and kill with no threat of punishment. You also can’t call the police, hospital, fire stations, etc. for help.

The Sandin family, James, Mary, Zoey, and Henry, lock down their home for the annual purge but they are quickly faced with threats from outside AND inside their home. Yikes!

Hi Ethan!

I like Ethan Hawke. He does a wonderful job of portraying the everyday family man. I’ve seen enough movies where I think “This dad/husband sucks.” I never get that with Ethan. Also, when he appears in a thriller he never overacts to express his feelings. In this movie he kicks ass to save his family, and that leads us into a sub plot that the movie tried to explore…

Is it every man for himself during the Annual Purge?

Of course we see the characters struggle with the morality of the Purge. Some people want to grab a gun and fire off a few rounds while other people want to be above the violence, even if it leads to their death. I think this movie tried to set up a situation where the Sandin family has to make a tough, moral decision, but it lost impact once the violence started up.


I enjoy home invasion movies but sometimes it seems like a double edged sword. You don’t always know where someone is hiding inside or outside the home, and that’s the fun. But, that means someone can appear at the right moment to make a kill or to save the day, and sometimes it seems too convenient. This happened alot in The Purge and it took away from the suspense because I could predict it.

Final thoughts

I like the premise of the movie and it was entertaining enough, but if you haven’t seen Fast 6, Iron Man 3, or Star Trek into Darkness go see those first. The Purge will probably serve best as a Redbox rental on a lazy weekend.