'The Purge,' Starring Ethan Hawke, Opens To Positive Reviews, Buzz
The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, opened in theaters on Friday to generally positive reviews and buzz that it might beat out The Internship at the box office.
The movie, set in the year 2022, tells the story of America’s new standard of living – with unemployment at an all-time low of 1%, the U.S. government has instituted an annual 12-hour event in which nearly all laws are suspended to maintain it. This night, called Purge Night, allows citizens to commit whatever crime they want without risk of punishment, and closes all emergency services.
On this night, James (Hawke) and Mary (Headey) hide in their home with their children and an arsenal of guns in the glow of their security monitors.
All hell breaks loose, though, when their son Charlie (Max Burkholder) disarms the security temporarily and allows in a bloodied stranger (Edwin Hodge) being chased by a mob.
Masked “purgers” appear at the Sandin’s door, searching for the strange man. They threaten to break in and kill everyone in the house if the Sandins don’t comply. James wants to hand the stranger over, but the family ultimately doesn’t give in.
The mob breaks into the house and the Sandins are forced to fight for their lives. James kills most of them, not including their unmasked leader (Rhys Wakefield). After the leader stabs James with a machete, Zoey shoots and kills him. The Sandin’s neighbors help them kill off the rest of the intruders, and then quickly turn on the Sandins themselves. The stranger appears from within the house and kills one of the neighbors. Mary decides that too many people have died, and that she no longer wants to participate in the purge. After injuring her neighbor Grace (Arija Bareikis) in self-defense, the neighbors leave as emergency services arrive.
The Purge is rated R for disturbing violence and language.