The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

A review by Shlomoh Sherman
Tuesday, July 28, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
Director: James DeMonaco
Writers: James DeMonaco, James DeMonaco (characters)
Stars: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford
Plot Keywords: revenge - news report - body in a dumpster - hanged man - subway
Plot: A young couple works to survive on the streets after their car breaks down right as the annual purge commences.
Taglines: Welcome to America where one night a year all crime is legal
Genres: Action - Horror - Thriller
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for strong disturbing violence, and for language
Country: USA - France
Language: English
Release Date: July 18, 2014 (USA)
Also Known As: The Purge 2
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office:
Budget: $9,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $29,816,675 (USA) (18 July 2014)
Gross: $51,272,000 (USA) (25 July 2014)
Production Co: Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes, Universal Pictures
Technical Specs:
Runtime: 103 min
Sound Mix: SDDS - Datasat - Dolby Digital
My Twilight Dream - Written by F. Chopin - Performed by Piano Lounge Players - Courtesy of Cleopatra Records
Rack 'Em Up - Written by Matthew Corbett and Mike Wilkie - Courtesy of Sound Ideas
Quisiera Saber - Canta Mi Corazon - Ana y Saoco - Written by F.R. Machuca - Performed by The Countdown Singers - Courtesy of Countdown Media GmbH
No Me Reganes - Buscando Ambiente - Written by F.R. Machuca - Performed by The Countdown Singers - Courtesy of Countdown Media GmbH
Our Souls Were Clean - Written by Chip King, Lee Buford - Performed by The Body - Courtesy of RVNG Intl.
America the Beautiful - Arranged by Christy Carew - Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music/Imagem Production Music

The Purge: Anarchy
A psychological and philosophical review.

When I saw THE PURGE [the first one], I accepted it at face value as a horror, sci-fi, action movie with little to recommend it ethically. The sequel, PURGE ANARCHY strikes me as something more, a metaphor for the exploitation of the poor and disenfracnchised in Western society by the rich and powerful. In this case, the poor and minority groups are used as objects of a hunt and kill exercise on the one night of the year, from dusk till dawn, when all crimes, including murder, are legalized.

The metaphor of course is actualized when the rich and powerful do send poor and minority citizens off to actions in cases such as the invasion of VietNam and Iraq where murder and even torture ARE legal. Of course these actions are always, we are told, sacntioned by the Christian God Who usually reserves the right to kill for Himself while telling humanity, THOU SHALT NOT MURDER. And both THE PURGE and THE PURGE: ANARCHY invoke religious ideas and langauge.

Indeed, in the PURGE movies, the American government gives its imprimatur and blessing for the slaughter of human beings by other human beings for 12 hours of Purge Night, "blessing" being an operative word.

The website at tells us that "There are murderous domestic disputes, trucks full of masked and drugged-out loons, revolutionaries, and one crazy lady on a bridge who yells that she´s doing both the Lord´s work and her patriotic duty: 'I am the right arm of the free world and the left hand of God!' she yells, brandishing her weapons."

And the Emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of The Purge warns citizens, "Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours. Police, fire, and emergency medical services will be unavailable until tomorrow morning until 7 a.m., when The Purge concludes. Blessed be our New Founding Fathers and America, a nation reborn. May God be with you all."

We even see one purger wearing a face mask bearing the word, "God", on the forehead. Well, if the "One nation under God" proclaims that it's alright to kill, then it's probably alright with the Man Upstairs as well.

Apparently my insight into the movie metaphor is not my own or even as original as I initially thought it might be. Other reviewers also understand and report on what might be seen as redeeming qualities in an otherwise senseless orgy of violence. An additonal difference between the original PURGE move and this one is that while in the former, killings are done for their own sake, here at least several are done as acts of revenge for personal wrongs, not that that makes it any the more legally justified in the real world.

The major plot is centered around the desparate plight of a group of people accidently trapped in the streets of the city when their car breaks down and their fight for survival. There is also a subplot that deals with a party held in a wealthy estate at which minority people have been abducted and are used as prey in a hunt where kills are bid on.

Call me a freak but I enjoyed both movies if "enjoy" is the appropriate word. Maybe my moral superiors would have a problem with enjoying such a movie but let's face it, we all have killers within us and anyone who thinks he/she is "better than that" is self-deluding.

Did You Know?
The film takes place in 2023.

Message Boards:
Recent Posts:
"I loved the Spanish Friend's Apartment scene! Tricky directing?+ - kkshoda
"Should I see this or Lucy?" - nick-umin4
"When will tea-tard republicans admit...?" - lyinhorizon
"Should The Purge '3' be a continuation of Anarchy or completely new?" - michiganst2003
"Would people really stop killing at the end of the Purge?" - michiganst2003
"Anyone else bored?" - Horrified

Discuss The Purge: Anarchy (2014) on the IMDb message boards

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Grillo ... Sergeant
Carmen Ejogo ... Eva Sanchez
Zach Gilford ... Shane
Kiele Sanchez ... Liz
Zoë Soul      ... Cali
Justina Machado ... Tanya
John Beasley ... Papa Rico
Jack Conley      ... Big Daddy
Noel Gugliemi ... Diego
Castulo Guerra ... Barney
Michael K. Williams ... Carmelo
Edwin Hodge      ... The Stranger
Keith Stanfield ... Young Goul Face
Roberta Valderrama ... Lorraine
Niko Nicotera ... Roddy

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