The Radio Times logo

The Purge

  • Drama
  • 2013
  • James DeMonaco
  • 81 mins
  • 15

Summary

Futuristic horror thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. In a future America that is overrun with crime, a period of 12 hours each year is set aside when all offences will go unpunished. Not the best time for a vicious gang to invade the luxury home of the Sandin family.

Advertisement

Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey play the husband and wife plunged into a long night's journey into day in this absorbing home-invasion thriller. Writer/director James DeMonaco is no stranger to contemporary siege scenarios having scripted The Negotiator and the 2005 remake of Assault on Precinct 13, but here he looks forward to the America of 2022, where, for 12 hours every year, any crime is allowed with no interference from the authorities. Hawke is a security salesman and the owner of a luxury home-cum-fortress, so the night promises to pass safely for him, his wife and two children. However, a Good Samaritan act from his son (Max Burkholder) has them all battling to survive the depraved attentions of a vicious mob of masked murderers. Political and ethical questions loom large here: can legalised murder be justified as a catharsis for society's ills, or is "The Purge" nothing more than an excuse to cull the poor? These issues permeate what is essentially a survival-of-the-fittest tale, which is sustained by convincing lead performances and a memorably scary turn from Rhys Wakefield (reminiscent of a young David Patrick Kelly from The Warriors) as the grinning, unnervingly polite leader of the psycho gang.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
James SandinEthan Hawke
Mary SandinLena Headey
Charlie SandinMax Burkholder
Zoey SandinAdelaide Kane
Bloody strangerEdwin Hodge
Polite strangerRhys Wakefield
GeorgeDavid Basila
HenryTony Oller
FreakNathan Clarkson
Mrs HalversonTisha French
Mr HalversonChris Mulkey
FerrinDana Bunch

Crew

rolename
DirectorJames DeMonaco

Details

Theatrical distributor
Universal
Released on
2013-05-31
Guidance
Violence, swearing.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content