Movie Reviews: The Purge

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The Purge is one of those B-movies made on a microbudget of $3 million whose charm principally comes from the fact that it was made on a microbudget of $3 million. It's about a future world in which all crime is forbidden for 364 days but is permitted on day 365. It has received quite a few positive reviews. Rafer Guzmán in the New York Daily News criticizes the director's execution of the script. However, he quickly adds, the effort deserves an A-plus. In the midst of summer's predictably complacent entertainment, The Purge is a nice, nasty surprise. Likewise Peter Howell in the Toronto Star writes that there's no denying the horrific engagement of The Purge, or the way [director James] DeMonaco amps up suspense by the judicious use of silence, rather than the constant sound of gunfire you'd reasonably expect. But most reviews are far less generous. Manohla Dargis in The New York Times allows that for most of its first hour, The Purge isn't exactly an evening's elevating entertainment, but it effectively creeps under the skin. But then, she adds, the message just gets louder and louder, cruder and cruder. And Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times dismisses it as a routine home invasion movie more interested in B-horror tropes and bloodletting than a thought-provoking look at Hunger Games-ish class warfare.



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