The time has come. Execute Order 66.
Do you think me a Tyrant, Delta, vying for control of a dead man's dream? The city is nothing. Rapture must die, so that Eleanor may rise from its body. Allow me to demonstrate...
—Sofia Lamb, Bioshock 2
The United States government has been overtaken by a vaguely defined and, in the first of multiple cowardly copouts, politically indiscernible faction known as the New Founding Fathers, whose signature legislation is called, well, the Purge. For one twelve-hour period one day out of the year, everything is legal. (...) As the film opens, we're told that the Purge is considered a huge success, and that giving nearly everyone a yearly free pass to get their various rocks off has creating a thriving economy and a stable, safe society otherwise. The possibilities in this are damn-near endless just based on the many questions the premise raises on its base. (...) Are hackers and black marketers doing all their work during the purge? Do small tier retail stores no longer exist because only big retailers can afford the private armies necessary to keep their inventory safe? Would this not be the perfect moment for a foreign army or a terrorist cell to attack the United States? Is Las Vegas taking odds on everything? Are scientists getting together to conduct all of the banned research they can in the twelve hours? And yet amidst all these questions it opens up for exploration, the film only chooses to focus on one: What happens... When an army of masked psychopaths attacks your home. (...) Yes, the film chooses to take one of the most fertile pitches I've seen in years and uses it to make a movie where they don't even have to come up with a reason for why they don't call the cops.
—Moviebob, Escape to the Movies: The Purge
...And by God, he either takes absolutely none of this seriously, or every-single-molecule-of-breath-he-takes-on-the-set seriously. Either way, he's by far the most entertaining part of the film.
—The Nostalgia Critic on Rhys Wakefield playing the polite gang leader.
''This is not a test. This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the Annual Purge sanctioned by the U.S. Government. Weapons of class 4 and lower have been authorized for use during the Purge. All other weapons are restricted. Government officials of ranking 10 have been granted immunity from the Purge and shall not be harmed. Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours. Police, fire, and emergency medical services will be unavailable until tomorrow morning until 7 a.m., when The Purge concludes. Blessed be our New Founding Fathers and America, a nation reborn. May God be with you all.''
— Emergency Broadcast Service announcing the commencement of The Purge and several of its stipulations
"Insurance...is a nightmare."
— Alternate History Hub, on the butterfly effects of the Purge