Cool concept … poor execution. For 12 hours each year, Americans are allowed to go all helter skelter and commit their felony of choice—including murder—with no legal consequences. James (Ethan Hawke) has made a lot of money capitalizing on this day, selling high-priced security systems to his neighbors. When he locks down his house on the night of “the purge,” he’s thinking his home is an impenetrable fortress. Obviously, something is going to go very wrong. There’s a great idea at this movie’s core, but it degenerates into a home siege movie where everybody, and I mean everybody, acts stupidly. This is a movie where the villains walk around all slow, guns down, faces up to windows … and the armed people they are pursuing fail to take them out. It drove me a little crazy watching this movie, especially when the surprises were not at all surprising. I imagine this premise is ripe for a sequel. I’d like to see a movie where we are witnessing this fabled “purge” outside the confines of one house. Hawke gives it a good try, but the film lets him down.
Director: James DeMonaco
Producer: Jason Blum, Sébastien Lemercier, Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, Dana Bunch and Peter Gvozdas