the purge ethan hawke

The Purge

Ethan Hawke

Directed by James DeMonaco
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
June 6, 2013

It's 2022. and in the u.s. crime is at an all-time low. Why? Once a year, for 12 hours, the government condones robbery, rape and murder. Apparently, an annual purge clears our heads. Mr. President, are you listening? It's a nifty premise, if you don't think about it much. God knows James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) can deal with it. He's making a killing selling home-security systems. During that 12-hour period, he locks up his wife (Lena Headey) and two kids (Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder). It's good to be a one-percenter. Until something goes wrong, which of course it does. What if a family member hears a stranger (Edwin Hodge) screaming outside, and lets him in just before the gates lock shut? What if your neighbors, some wearing masks, have a blood lust to get him? For starters, that's a lot of "what ifs." Hawke is strong and subtle at delineating the war inside Sandin's head. And director James DeMonaco shows a sure hand at building tension. Too bad the film devolves into a series of home-invasion clichés. The Purge was almost on to something.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »