The Grade Book: “The Purge”

The Purge

Plot: In the future, a family is harassed by a group of murderous people after they take in a stranger during The Purge — a 12-hour period in which all crime is legalized. 

Director: James DeMonaco. 

Writer: James DeMonaco. 

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, and Rhys Wakefield. 

Genres: Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi.

Running Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes.

U.S. Release Date: June 7th, 2013.

MPAA Rating: R.




(Lowest Grade Given to the Film: D-, Highest Grade Given to the Film: B+)

SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: The Purge has an interesting premise and features an excellent performance by Ethan Hawke, but the movie fizzles into a standard home invasion film after a bit.



  • Christian Becker:

Grade: C

An interesting set-up and a great performance from Ethan Hawke can’t save this film from being nothing more than a boring home invasion flick that doesn’t offer anything new or original to its audience. It isn’t a bad flick, just not one worth your time and money. This is a huge waste of what could have been a great thing. 

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: B-

The concept was amazing and I really enjoyed the film, even though it went into the same direction as most horror films go. I hope the sequel is better-executed!

  • Mike Holtz (WeWatchedAMovie):

Grade: B+

A cool and original idea mixed with some fun scares and surprisingly good action sequences. Ethan Hawke is a badass and the film looks great. Those damn kids are really stupid though.

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: D-

A rote, boring, stupid slasher movie that brings nothing new to the table. The characters are some of the stupidest I’ve ever seen. The movie has a great premise that it wastes in favor of becoming more of the same predictable jump scare garbage that is seen far too often nowadays. Lena Heady and Ethan Hawke are both very good, but that’s all the good I can find here.

  • Nick Iacobucci (Reel Screen Reviews):

Grade: D+

The plot is so ludicrous that you just can’t get over it. The film and the filmmaker don’t know what genre this movie wants to be in, and the only stand-out is newcomer Rhys Wakefield. This kid has talent…too bad the movie didn’t!

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: B-

This movie is really hard for me to rate simply because I loved the concept and the first half, but the second half goes too far into familiar territory. The first part is political and suspenseful, while the second half becomes the typical horror film. Ethan Hawke is great in the lead, but the supporting roles are rather dull and uninspired. I did like the movie as a whole, but truly felt if it went in the other direction, like Jason Blum and myself discussed, it could have been a truly epic film. Sadly, it’s just a film with a brilliant marketing campaign and a so/so execution.

  • Jake Peffer:

Grade: B-

Very interesting premise that does get undercut once the movie becomes a routine invasion movie. However, it is tension-filled and there are some good performances from a few actors here. It gets very violent in the last act, which makes for the best moments.

  • Austin Putnam:

Grade: B

A different and original concept that’s infused with a very fun home invasion thriller. A few parts were predictable, but I wont deny that I had loads of fun with it. Those f*ckin’ kids, man.

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