The Purge: Anarchy Movie Poster Image

The Purge: Anarchy



Stronger characters but weaker ideas in violent sequel.
  • Review Date: July 18, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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."

Not applicable
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.

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.

What's the story?

A year after the previous event, Americans in the year 2023 prepare for the coming purge, 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, THE PURGE: ANARCHY 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 new movie 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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:July 18, 2014
DVD release date:October 21, 2014
Cast:Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford
Director:James DeMonaco
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong disturbing violence, and for language

This review of The Purge: Anarchy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Home invasion movie has intense ideas, strong violence.
  • Sci-fi stunner is smart but gory; way too violent for kids.
  • Brisk, outrageous action movie has tons of witchy violence.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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 issues causing the government to have the purge. It wasn't all about the violence of the purge unlike the last one. Though there was too much violence for my liking, the children loved it. The language was not as frequent as the first, nothing too offensive and nothing used too frequently. If you think your daughter/son can handle a more mature movie then this movie shouldn't worry you too much. Very suspenseful too, it's a good movie if your child can handle that!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byStevie111 July 18, 2014

Pretty good movie

This movie has a lot more going on than the first one, and everything comes together quite well. It's suspenseful, dark, and a pretty well written/ well made movie. The violence is graphic and there is a scene with attempted but interrupted rape. Overall this was a good film.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
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 some violence but like if your kid can handle a little bit of violence and they like a thriller then this is the movie to see. I thought that it would be scarier but it really wasn't scary. also there isn't as much profanity as the last movie. only a few curse words in this movie that are like really bad to say. like balls isn't really profanity. so ya
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?