It is March 21, 2023, and televisions everywhere are broadcasting credit towards the Purge for record low unemployment and poverty levels, all just hours before the fateful night begins once again. Citizens across the country watch either in excitement for the treacheries they will commit that night, or in fear of what may terrors may come after they lock themselves in for the night. Meanwhile, an anti-Purge resistance group hacks television programs one by one to broadcast their own rebellious messages and challenge the sanctity of the national event.
In Los Angeles, a waitress, Eva Sanchez, hurries to ask her boss for a raise before heading home to her daughter, Cali, and her sick father, Rico. After relating the news that she would not be getting the raise that she desparately needs, Papa Rico locks himself in his bedroom for the night to supposedly try and sleep through the dreadful night. Unbeknownst to Eva and Cali, Papa Rico slips out of the apartment and quickly rushes into a limo outside the apartment building. After he has left, Cali and Eva discover a letter he left explaining that he sold himself to a wealthy family as a Purge offering in exchange for $100,000, which will be transferred immediately to Eva and Cali's bank accounts following the completion of the annual Purge. Distraught, Cali and Eva secure their apartment in a frantic manner, just as the Purge is about to begin.
Meanwhile, a young couple, Liz and Shane, are driving to Shane's sister's house to ride out the Purge. They quickly stop at a market for supplies, but as they are returning to their car, Shane is startled by a man covered in white facepaint who heavily bumps into him, in the watching eyes of his gang. They quickly drive away but don't make it very far when their car suddenly dies. They realize that their fuel line was cut just as the Purge sirens begin to blare. Suddenly, they turn around to find the gang that had sabotaged their car following close behind, forcing the couple to flee on foot.
At the same time, police sergeant Leo Barnes is confronted by his ex-wife before he goes out to join the Purge. She begs and pleads, but he insists that he needs to take revenge on the man who killed his young son while driving under the influence of alcohol a year earlier. Leo loads his armored vehicle with an array of weapons and speeds off into the night, with his headlights off, in search of his target.
Eva and Cali hear a truck pull up in the street and watch as heavily armed and high-tech paramilitary men fan out into the neighborhood. A drunken neighbor bursts into their apartment intending to assault them both, but before he can, the paramilitary men enter, kill him, and drag Eva and Cali into the street. Leo drives by and, impressed by their attempts to fight back, rescues them, killing all of the guards and wounding their leader, Big Daddy. When they return to Leo's car, they find Shane and Liz hiding in the back seat. Leo tries to kick them out but must take them all when Big Daddy begins firing a Gatling gun at them. However, a short time later Leo's car is disabled by the bullets. When Eva promises that she can get him another car at the apartment of her co-worker, Tanya, Leo agrees to take them there on foot. During the journey, the five friends endure intense fights against purgers in the streets, and they also notice many dead paramilitary men of the same kind, killed by powerful unknown rivals. The protagonists finally reach Tanya's apartment, but the violence encouraged by the Purge also infects Tanya's family, and they barely escape the resulting gunfight. Meanwhile, Big Daddy, who has been tracking them through traffic cameras, arrives with more armed guards. Leo and the others manage to slip away only to be captured by the gang that had been pursuing Liz and Shane.
The hired gang delivers them to a theater where upper-class Purgers bid on the right to kill them. After being auctioned off, Leo and Liz kill and drive off the Purgers, but soon they are outnumbered by the security forces of the elite who kill Shane. Suddenly, numerous and highly organized anti-Purge resistance fighters, led by Carmelo and Dwayne, storm the compound and rescue them, revealing a significant armed revolt. Liz chooses to stay with the resistance fighters to get revenge on the people responsible for Shane's death. Leo, Eva, and Cali take one of the cars in the theater parking lot and leave.
Leo finally drives to the house of Warren Grass, the man who killed his son. After confronting the man and his wife in their bedroom, Leo leaves the house seemingly purged of his hate. Once outside the house, Leo is shot and wounded by Big Daddy. Big Daddy reveals that the New Founding Fathers believe that the Purge is not killing off enough of the lower class and have been secretly sending out death squads to increase the body count. He informs Leo of the unwritten rule: do not save people. As Big Daddy is about to kill Leo, Warren—who Leo forgave and spared—steps out of his house, shoots and kills Big Daddy. As Eva, Cali, Warren, and the death squad have a Mexican standoff over Leo, the alarm siren sounds to announce that it is 7:00 AM and that the Annual Purge is finished. As a result the other death squad members leave the scene. Warren, Eva and Cali rush to take Leo to the hospital as emergency services rush to clean up the annual Purge.
- Frank Grillo as Sergeant Leo Barnes
- Carmen Ejogo as Eva Sanchez
- Zach Gilford as Shane
- Kiele Sanchez as Liz
- Zoë Soul as Cali Sanchez
- Michael K. Williams as Carmelo Johns
- Justina Machado as Tanya
- John Beasley as Papa Rico
- Jack Conley as Big Daddy
- Noel Gugliemi as Diego
- Castulo Guerra as Barney
- Edwin Hodge as Dante Bishop
- Keith Stanfield as Ghoulface
- Roberta Valderrama as Lorraine
- Brandon Keener as Warren Grass
- Chad Morgan as Janice
Numerous NFFA Soldiers
ProductionEditDespite mixed reviews, Jason Blum and Universal Pictures announced on June 10, 2013 that The Purge would be receiving a sequel. It was later announced in October 2013 that James DeMonaco would be writing and directing again and that the film would be released on June 20, 2014.
On June 29, 2013 the title was officially revealed to be The Purge: Anarchy.
On February 28, 2014 the release date was pushed back to July 18, 2014 for unknown reasons. The most probable cause is unknown delays in the editing process for the final cut of the film.
The film was released as planned on July 18, 2014 in theaters nationwide.
Principal photography was shot in Los Angeles. Blumhouse Productions released promo art on January 1, 2014. Filming wrapped in late February of 2014.