A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
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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?
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?
- In theaters: July 18, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: October 21, 2014
- Cast: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford
- Director: James DeMonaco
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong disturbing violence, and for language
- Last updated: September 4, 2020
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