The Purge: Anarchy

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The Purge: Anarchy
The Purge – Anarchy Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames DeMonaco
Produced by
Written byJames DeMonaco
Music byNathan Whitehead
CinematographyJacques Jouffret
Edited by
  • Todd E. Miller
  • Vince Filippone
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • July 18, 2014 (2014-07-18)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$9–11 million[2][3]
Box office$111.9 million[3]

The Purge: Anarchy is a 2014 American dystopian action horror film written and directed by James DeMonaco. A sequel to 2013's The Purge and the second installment in The Purge franchise, the film stars Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul, and Michael K. Williams. Edwin Hodge reprised his role from the first film. It was released worldwide on July 18, 2014.

The film grossed over $111 million and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised it as a improvement over its predecessor, but criticized its clichéd formula and screenplay. While the first film was set entirely in one house, Anarchy takes place around the Greater Los Angeles area and shows more of what happens to the surroundings during the Purge. A third film in the series, The Purge: Election Year, was released on July 1, 2016.


In a dystopian United States ruled by a totalitarian government known as the New Founding Fathers during the year 2023, the annual Purge, a 12-hour event that legalizes all crimes without authorities intervening, is credited as having saved the country's collapsing economy. While everyone across the United States prepares for the carnage, the nation's impoverished population is no longer seen as people, but as living garbage, whom the wealthy denounce as only living to serve their needs. However, before the sixth annual purge begins on March 21, a successful anti-purge resistance group led by Carmelo Johns and his partner, the Stranger from the first film, hijack government feeds to denounce the New Founding Fathers and their actions.

In Los Angeles, working-class waitress Eva Sanchez returns home to her 17-year-old daughter Cali and terminally ill father Rico, who also despises the New Founding Fathers. As Eva and Cali prepare to barricade themselves into their apartment, Rico retires to his room to be alone as the Purge starts. As the Purge alarm sounds, Rico slips out to a waiting limousine, leaving a note for his family revealing that he has sold himself as a Purge offering in exchange for $100,000 to be paid to Eva and Cali after the Purge. Eva and Cali are distraught by this situation.

Estranged married couple Shane and Liz visit a grocery store, only to be harassed by a masked gang of bikers. As they drive away to avoid them, their car breaks down, as the biker gang had cut their fuel line. Meanwhile, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, Leo Barnes, plots to kill Warren Grass, a man who had inadvertently run down and killed his son while driving drunk not during the Purge, and was acquitted on legal technicalities. Despite pleas from his ex-wife Janice to abandon his plans, Barnes drives out into the streets with an armored car and several weapons, posing as a vigilante.

As Shane and Liz try to find safer hiding places, the purge commences. Eva and Cali are attacked by their lustful superintendent Diego, who felt insulted in the past by Eva, but he is gunned down by a paramilitary platoon, which captures the women to offer them to their leader Big Daddy for his own personal purge. Leo passes by the scene and rescues them after killing the troops and wounding Big Daddy. They find Shane and Liz hiding in Leo's car. The group flees just as Big Daddy fires at them, damaging the vehicle. After Leo's car breaks down, the group flees on foot, and Eva promises Leo a new car from her co-worker, Tanya, in exchange for Leo’s protection.

As they navigate the hostile streets, they find evidence that the anti-Purge group has been gaining the upper hand against the Purgers, discovering a paramilitary van surrounded by soldiers who were shot to death by the resistance fighters. After freeing Shane from a trap and taking guns from the abandoned truck, they head to the subways. There, a pyrotechnic Purging gang invades the subways and sets hiding people on fire, causing chaos. Shane is wounded, but the group manages to escape after he and Liz destroy the gang's all-terrain vehicle and its propane tank with the salvaged submachine guns, killing the entire gang.

After running for their lives, Eva unknowingly signals a traffic camera to identify them to the paramilitary troops who pick up the location of Tanya's apartment building. The group reaches Tanya's house, but learns no car is there. Tanya's family takes them in, offering dinner and medicine. However, Tanya's sister Lorraine proceeds to murder her sister for sleeping with her husband. The group leaves the family to their fate, only to be captured by the masked gang who ambushed Shane and Liz earlier. This gang reveals that they had no intention to kill the group and are selling them off to an auction, taking them to a theater where upper-class Purgers bid on them for human hunting. After the group is forced into the arena, Leo subdues and kills a Purger, taking his weapon and night-vision glasses, using the devices to overpower and kill several other attackers, providing their arms to Shane and the others before the head Purger calls in security to suppress the uprising; Shane is shot and killed by security forces. As Liz mourns Shane’s death, the anti-Purge group attacks the compound, killing the security forces and remaining Purgers; Liz chooses to stay with the resistance fighters to retaliate against Shane's murderers, while Leo, Eva and Cali leave; Leo carjacks the head Purger, holding her at gunpoint and threatening her before leaving in her car.

Leo, Eva, and Cali drive up to a suburban neighborhood, and stop at the home of Warren Grass at 6:55 A.M, five minutes before the end of the purge. After telling the story of his son's death, he ventures into the house despite Eva and Cali's pleas, threatening Warren and his wife. Later, Leo exits the house covered in blood, only to be shot by Big Daddy, who reveals that the New Founding Fathers have secretly dispatched death squads to increase the body count because the purge eliminates too few of the lower class, which was the NFFA's original intentions when the Purge was conceived. Just as he is about to kill Leo, Warren appears and kills Big Daddy with a single shot from a handgun, revealing that Leo chose to forgive and spare him. As Big Daddy's death squad appears, sirens blare to signal the end of the purge (making Big Daddy's death legal and sparing Leo). Warren drives Eva, Cali, and Leo to the hospital as news and police helicopters fly over the city.

At the end of the film it is shown that it is 7:09 in the morning of March 22 and that there are 364 days until the next purge.



On June 10, 2013, Universal Pictures and Jason Blum announced the development of the sequel, after the success of The Purge.[6] Initially a release date was set for June 20, 2014,[7] although this was later pushed back to July 18.[8]

Principal photography was underway in Los Angeles when Blumhouse Productions released their countdown promo art on January 1, 2014.[9] Filming wrapped on February 10, 2014.[10]


The first trailer was released on February 12, 2014.[11] On March 27, another full-length trailer was released by Universal.[12] Another new trailer was released on June 23.[13]

Home media[edit]

The Purge: Anarchy was released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on October 21, 2014.[14] The film was released on 4K UHD Blu-Ray on June 12, 2018.[15]


Box office[edit]

The Purge: Anarchy grossed $72 million in America and $40 million in other countries for a total gross of $111.9 million, against a budget of $9 million.[3]

The film was released in North America in 3,303 theaters,[16] and earned $2.6 million in its first night.[17] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $29.8 million, finishing in second place behind the continued run of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This was about $4 million less than the opening of the original film ($34 million).[18]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 56%, based on 137 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Gritty, grisly, and uncommonly ambitious, The Purge: Anarchy represents a slight improvement over its predecessor, but it's still never as smart or resonant as it tries to be".[19] On Metacritic, the film has a score 50 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[20] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a "B" grade on a scale of A+ to F.[21]


A third film in the series titled The Purge: Election Year was released on July 1, 2016.


The film was the theme for a scare zone in the 2014 edition of Halloween Horror Nights at two of the Universal Parks & Resorts. It was also a house at Halloween Horror Nights the following year in Orlando while Hollywood received a scare zone and being the main theme of Terror Tram.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "THE PURGE: ANARCHY (15)". Universal Studios. British Board of Film Classification. June 30, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Feature Film Study" (PDF). Film L.A. Inc. 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "The Purge: Anarchy (2014)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  4. ^ DeMonaco, James (2014). "Behind the Anarchy (Blu-Ray Documentary)". Universal Pictures.
  5. ^ The character's name was revealed to be "Leo Barnes" in The Purge: Election Year.
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (June 10, 2013). "Universal, Jason Blum Throw Purge Sequel into Development". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  7. ^ Ross, L.A. "Universal Sets The Purge Sequel for Just 8 Months From Now". Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  8. ^ "Universal Re-Slots The Purge: Anarchy". February 28, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "The Purge 2 Promo Art". January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "That's a WRAP on #ThePurge2! Can't wait to share more with all of you very soon. Stay tuned!". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "Hot Trailer: The Purge: Anarchy". February 12, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  12. ^ Anderton, Ethan (March 27, 2014). "Watch: Frank Grillo Wants Revenge in 'The Purge: Anarchy' Full Trailer". Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Anderton, Ethan (June 23, 2014). "Watch: More Crime Madness in 'The Purge: Anarchy' Latest Trailer". Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  14. ^ "The Purge: Anarchy DVD". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  15. ^ The Purge: Anarchy 4K Blu-ray, retrieved May 4, 2018
  16. ^ Rebecca Ford (July 17, 2014). "Box-Office Previews: 'Purge,' 'Planes' Sequels Face Off Against 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  17. ^ Lang, Brent (July 18, 2014). "'Sex Tape' Attracts $1.1 Mil, 'Purge: Anarchy' Scares Up $2.6 Mil at Thursday Box Office". Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  18. ^ "James DeMonaco Movie Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  19. ^ "The Purge: Anarchy". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "The Purge: Anarchy". Metacritic. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  21. ^ Breznican, Anthony (July 21, 2014). "Box office report: 'Apes' overtakes 'Purge: Anarchy'". CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2016.

External links[edit]