The Purge: Anarchy

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Purge: Anarchy Movie Poster Image
Stronger characters but weaker ideas in violent sequel.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 38 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The ambiguous message of the first movie is gone, replaced with a more black-and-white idea: that, in this case, the end does not justify the means. The movie is anti-wealthy, suggesting that rich people's empathy toward other humans takes a back seat to their love of money and power; the poor people are the ones who suffer here. But people who help others are looked on favorably.

Positive Role Models & Representations

This sequel has more sympathetic characters than its predecessor, and it takes a sour view of those who participate in the purge. Good characters try to help others, even when it's inconvenient. A main character is bent on vengeance but learns that "an eye for an eye" doesn't really solve anything.


Many characters die, including major ones. Characters are beaten, shot, and stabbed. Many guns; bullets are fired. A great deal of blood is shown as bullets penetrate bodies. Women are stalked and treated roughly. A man threatens to rape two women but is stopped. Characters wear scary masks and stalk the good guys. Cars are set on fire and explode. Characters wield huge blades, fully automatic rifles, and flamethrowers. An injured man is run over by a vehicle. A couple argues and seems to be on the verge of breaking up.


Some brief but strong innuendo; a character refers to a man "sniffing her ass." A would-be rapist licks the side of a woman's face (disgusting more than erotic).


Strong language includes several uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch," as well as "a--hole," "ass," "d--k," "Christ," and "godforsaken."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man is shown drinking and drunk enough to be unsteady on his feet. (He later attempts to rape two women.) Another woman is shown drinking wine and taking pills, with the attempt to become drunk and/or high enough to get through the evening.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Purge: Anarchy is the sequel to 2013's low-budget horror hit The Purge. Set in the future, it depicts the annual 12-hour "purge," in which lawlessness prevails and people can do anything without repercussion; in exchange, this apparently makes the country a safer, stronger, and healthier place to live for the rest of the year. Violence is very strong, including use of guns, swords, flamethrowers, and other weapons, with many characters shot and killed, and much blood shown. Language is also strong, with several uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch." Two women are treated roughly and are almost raped by a drunken man. A minor character drinks wine and takes pills in an effort to become drunk/high. This sequel is quite different from its predecessor; it's not a "home invasion" movie and features more sympathetic characters and a clearer message.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byluvmykids100 July 27, 2014

Solid Movie

I took my 13 year old son to see this with some of his friends. They are all horror movie fanatics! They loved this movie, because it went more in depth to the... Continue reading
Adult Written byMaxxxok May 9, 2021

Great movie

Not too violent perfect for 11 or 12 year olds.
Only a few swear words, such as f*** s**** b*****
But you have to put yourself in your kids shoes. They aren’t g... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 16, 2014

not as much violence as you might think

this movie is probably in my top 5 movies of all time. it isn't as scary as it is creepy though with only a couple of heart stopping scares. it does have o... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bycomegetsomeladies July 27, 2014

good movie

I saw this movie with some of my friends and we all thought that it was better than the first one but this movie definitely shouldnt be rated r. ya there's... Continue reading

What's the story?

A year after the previous event, Americans in the year 2023 prepare for THE PURGE: ANARCHY, a night of lawlessness, rampage, and murder that supposedly results in a healthier, happier nation. A waitress (Carmen Ejogo) and her spunky daughter (Zoe Soul) find themselves attacked in their own home. And a feuding couple (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez) are stuck outside after their car breaks down. The vengeance-seeking tough guy (Frank Grillo) winds up rescuing the four of them, reluctantly agreeing to protect them, but remains intent on completing his violent plan. Who will survive when this night is over?

Is it any good?

Whereas the low-budget original The Purge focused on a stressful situation, this sequel seems to be more interested in sympathetic characters. But the ambiguous theme of the previous movie, the thought-provoking concept of whether the end justified the means, is now gone.

The Purge: Anarchy is more purely black-and-white in its thinking. Here, only rich, evil, greedy people participate in the purge. The movie brings up some surface platitudes about class inequality and pays homage to more inventive movies, but nothing ventures very deep. Upsetting the balance even more is the camera-shaking quality of James DeMonaco's direction. Any time a chase or a shootout is required, the movie simply turns to mush.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Purge: Anarchy's violence. What point is it trying to make? Does the movie celebrate or condemn violence?

  • Does the movie qualify as horror or a thriller? Is it scary? How is it different from or similar to other horror movies? How is it different from or similar to the original?

  • What's the movie's stance on the concept of "the purge"? What are the arguments for or against it?

  • Who are the leaders and followers in this movie? What attributes do they have? Are they admirable? Are they role models?

  • What good deeds are done in the movie? What is their end result?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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