All 5 The Purge Movies By Their Release Year

The purge franchise has given a series of films that have established themselves on top of the horror world. Starting in 2013, with the first film named “The Purge,” the franchise kept feeding curiosity and interest, proving to be a viewer’s delight. Based on a dystopian theme, it takes us to a future America where the crime rate is all set to reduce to zero. But, one dark night is chosen annually when all crimes are legal. This event named the purge, is not only horrid but full of action and diplomatic politics. If you also plan to see this feast, here is the correct order to watch all the purge movies.

The Purge Movies

All 5 The Purge Movies By Their Release Year

  1. The Purge

    Director: James DeMonaco

    Writer: James DeMonaco

    Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder

    Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    The Purge (2013) on IMDb

    The Purge is set in 2022 when the complete society and the country have accepted the concept of the Purge as an annual ritual of life. To manage an overcrowded country of prisons and criminals, the government of America decided to handle crime and shoot down the crime rate by announcing and sanctioning a 12-hour annual ‘Festival’ of Purge, where every single criminal activity, including murder, is allowed to the public as a legal activity.

    Not everyone is glad about the decision and welfare on a mass scale; one is the family of James Sandin, who has returned to their home in Los Angeles, where they will be waiting for the Purge to end and complete its difficult course of 12 hours.

    James is confidently relies on the security system that James company makes. The Purge is about to begin when Zoey meets her boyfriend one last time before the next brutal 12 hours end. James enables his security system to be safe from any purge-related activities entering their house as the Purge begins. Zoey returns, and everybody in the house goes about their daily routine when Zoey finds her boyfriend, Henry, hiding in her room and ready to confront her father about their relationship.

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    On the other hand, Charlie finds a wounded man begging for help outside their house against the security systems, which he disables temporarily to let him in. James luckily re-engages the system and holds the man at gunpoint. Henry then comes downstairs and shoots James to the riposte, of which James does the same to Henry, wounding him mortally. Amongst the chaos, the wounded man held at gunpoint escapes.

    A masked group enters the home’s lawn, threatening the homeless man to comply or face the consequences. Marry is terrified about the possible outcomes and asks James about the security system, which is incapable of withstanding an assault as such to happen. The family complies with the gang’s orders and gives the homeless man to them, but they soon realize their odds as the gang breaks into the house. There is a gruesome fight between the group and James, whom he manages to take down but gets stabbed by the leader.

    The neighbors then too enter the scene and kill the remaining gang members. In the meantime, Marry is restrained by two purgers but is saved by the neighbors. The leader is all about to kill the family as James dies due to his injuries but is fortunately killed by Zoey in this attempt.

    After it is all done, Marry thanks the neighbors for helping her out. Still, Grace Ferrin announces her group’s hatred towards the Sandins because of the way they make money on the neighbors’ expenses. All the neighbors are about to kill the Sandins, but the homeless man returns and kills the neighbor taking Grace, hostage in return for the lives of the Sandins. Mary asks the stranger not to kill any neighbors and spend the rest of the Purge in harmony. Before the final siren counting the end of purge rings, Grace tries her luck to kill Marry but ends up wounded and helpless.

  2. The Purge: Anarchy

    Director: James DeMonaco

    Writer: James DeMonaco

    Stars: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford

    Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    The Purge: Anarchy (2014) on IMDb

    Just like the previous movie, the basic concept of The Purge: Anarchy has been the same throughout where the country’s government has sanctioned a particular day in a year as an annual ‘Festival’ of Purge where every single person in the country is allowed to commit any crime including murder and will not have to face any legal punishments or imprisonment.

    This time the movie revolves around Leo, a sergeant who has lost his son and is all ready to take a vigilante mission during this purge but surprisingly ends up as a savior of four who depends on him to survive the night.

    This time we also follow a few more arcs of characters involved in the story, including Eva Sanchez, a waitress in Los Angeles who has returned home to her daughter and her ill father. Her father is in a serious rebellion against the new founders of the country and believes in an anti-purge nation. Before the purge begins, the family prepares their barricades and is ready to protect themselves from any purge entering the apartment. Rico also rests in the room, waiting for the purge to end. When the purge begins, Rico leaves his family with a note disclosing that he has sold himself to a rich family in return for $100,000 for Eva and Cali after the purge.

    On the other hand, A married couple, Shane and Liz, are harassed by a masked gang on a bike. They try to avoid them, but the car breaks down midway, and the gang cuts their fuel line.

    At the commencement of the purge, the married couple is worried about looking for a hiding place, and Eva and Cali witness NFFA parliamentary amassing in the streets. Mother and daughter have not yet entered the building, and sadly, they are intruded on by Seargent Diego, who wants to commit an assault against Eva. To Eva’s temporary luck, Diego is shot by a platoon. Still, it ends up a platoon that captures women as an offering to their leader for his purge. The tables are turned again when Leo enters the scene and saves Cali and Eva, killing the troop.

    Taking the mother and daughter back to the car, they find Shane and Eva hiding there. In the same scenario, Big daddy and his remaining troop damage Leo’s car and flee away. Now the cannon group of strangers is roaming the hostile streets of the city. Through the search for a better place to spend the rest of the night, they witness the impact of anti-purge parliamentary groups on the purge and society in general. They find a parliamentary van surrounded by shot soldiers, which they drain out, taking all the ammo. They take the subway next, but the subway is blazon as well. Shane gets wounded here but escapes when Liz destroys the troop before them.

    Back on the streets finding Tanya’s apartment building, where they will get a vehicle as promised by Eva, but on the way, Eva accidentally signals a parliamentary troop about their location. As they reach the destination, it is disclosed that Tanya does not own a car. Still, they end up with Tanya’s family, who offers them food and shelter for the rest of the night. Things don’t go well in the house as Tanya’s sister kills her to sleep with her husband. The group leaves the family as is but then is captured by the troop that harassed Shane and Liz in the beginning.

    The capturing gang discloses that they won’t kill anyone in the group. Instead, they sell them in a bidding auction to upper-class purgers for human hunting. Leo kills a purger in the arena, tries to escape each group member, and provides them with ammo. In an unfortunate event, Shane is killed by security, whose death is mourned by Liz. Still, to their luck, the anti-purge group enters the site and kills all the members involved in the purge rescuing the innocents. Liz is all set to take revenge for Shane’s death while Eva, Cali, and Leo leave.

    As the end of the purge comes closer, Leo takes mother and daughter to Warren’s house to end his purge and comes out in blood a few minutes later, where Big Daddy shoots him. It is revealed that the death toll of the lower class has been very less in this purge. As Big Daddy is about to give a death shot to Leo, he is killed by Warren, who discloses that Leo had spared his life in the end. The remaining canon group here is about to be killed by the troop of Big Daddy, but the siren saves them all.

  3. The Purge: Election Year

    Director: James DeMonaco

    Writer: James DeMonaco

    Stars: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson

    Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    The Purge: Election Year (2016) on IMDb

    The Purge: Election Year is another movie released in the chronology of the movie series. This movie is set in the year 2040 and is the most popular movie of the entire series of The Purge, which plays a crucial role in setting the future of the movie series both in terms of the releases and the story arc of the entire series. This movie is the one that brings back the character of Sergeant Leo, who we saw in Purge: Anarchy, and gives better character development to this character. After protecting a group of helpless rebellions, Sergeant is back in this movie series to save and protect the Presidential nominee Charlene “Charlie” Roan, who stands for the 2040 elections in favor of an Anti-Purge State.

    This movie also takes us back to the past of Charlene, who, as a young woman, lost her parents to a cynical purge conducted by the U.S. government that year. She is dedicated to ending the yearly tradition of monstrosity as a presidential candidate. Things won’t be easy for her since the candidates from NFFA have planned to revoke immunity against her during this Purge. Things get more serious and political towards the concept as the movie escalates.

    It is disclosed that tourism in the United States has increased, especially around the day of the Purge. Joe and Marcos (other key characters of the movie) try to repel an attack by the teenage girls who were there to rob the store. Laney is roaming in the city, providing medical help during the Purge. Roan decides to spend the next 12 hours of The Purge in her house and not at a safe place to bag votes for the election day, along with Leo Barnes and a few police members protecting her.

    Sadly, their companions betray Leo and Roan as they let the parliamentary forces into Roan’s house and kill her. Barnes escorts Roan but ends up wounded in the process. As both successfully escape the site, they are taken captive by a group of purgers. Both are about to be executed when Joe and Marcos kill the gang from the rooftop. Roan and Leo take shelter in Joe’s store. In the same site, the teenage girls trying to rob the store return their supplementary to Joe but are killed by Laney. Danzinger is still on the hunt for Roan and Barnes. As Laney approaches them, Leo Barnes realizes that the bullet inside him has tracked them. The bullet is successfully extracted from him.

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    Escaping from Danzinger, all the people in the store rescue an anti-purge underground facility where Bishop is planning the assassination of Owens. Exiting this hideout, they also end up on the streets again to return to the store. As the movie’s climax comes closer, Danziger’s team collides with the ambulance they are in and extract Roan. Barnes then takes everyone, including the Bishop’s team, to the cathedral where Roan will be sacrificed. At the site, before Roan is executed, Bishop and his team unleash a mass shootout killing all the NFFA officials except Owens, who escapes with Harmon James.

    In a chase and quest to find him again, Bishop and his team bump into Owen and finally execute their plan but are persuaded by Roan not to kill him. Amongst it, Bishop and his men are killed by the remaining forces. On the other hand, we get to witness an action sequence between Barnes and Danzinger won by Barnes. Roan frees Owens and his men on her mercy, but an ungrateful James kills one of the victims, who a dying Joe then shoots.

    The movie ends with things getting better and Roan winning the elections while NFFA supporters also cause a violent uprising in the country.

  4. The First Purge

    Director: Gerard McMurray

    Writer: James DeMonaco

    Stars: Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade

    Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    The First Purge (2018) on IMDb

    This movie deliberately takes you to the past, to a place in time when the disturbing concept of Purge emerged in the world of blood-hungry people.

    Set in 2017, it begins with a maniac called Skeletor stating his desire to practice killing with no bounds. The other person assures him that soon he can. The NFFA plan, the first Purge, which shows the world the initial political mechanism of the disturbing festival, followed to control the crime rate in the United States in a new world.

    It is executed on a very short scale in Staten Island to test the results of the initial concept prototype. To push the country’s crime rate down to 1% by following the concept of Purge, where every single person in the country will be allowed to commit any type of crime, including murder, without the fear of any punishment or imprisonment due to the actions taken. The NFFA also promises to compensate those participating and living inside their houses five thousand dollars on the purge night.

    Drug lord Dmitri decides to leave with his associates, and captain A wants to stay back.

    Another dealer Isaiah fights with Skeletor, who cuts his neck. He returns home to aid his wound when he meets his sister Nya. She confronts Dmitri because she thinks Isaiah is dealing with him, but he denies it.

    On the purge night, several people roam on the streets while Skeletor stabs a person to death, scoring the first Purge of the night. All this is being recorded by cameras and trackers attached to participants.

    Soon Skeletor kills a few more people before Isaiah points a gun at him but fails to shoot. Skeletor follows him, but he manages to get to a safe place to call Nya for help.

    Meanwhile, Dmitri is seduced by hookers and purgers sent by captain A, but he successfully fights them. Skeletor attacks Nya, but Isaiah stabs him to rescue his sister. Then the two arrive at the church where purgers drenched in the blood are making their way out. Soon Nya unites with her three friends.

    Captain A visits Dmitri’s place, where he is killed. Then Dmitri heads to kill all purgers when he knows they are heading towards Nya’s apartment. He informs her and reaches for rescue. Nya and Dmitri fight together and manage to kill the mercenaries. Dmitri is shot but walks out with other survivors as a hero. When Isaiah asks what’s next, Dmitri says they must fight back.

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    In the end, chief of staff Sabian proclaims the Purge was a success and will continue next year.

    But as time passes, things escalate into a large scale going out of the state into the entire country and unleashing a nationwide disturbing criminal chaos which is way harder to control at that stage.

  5. The Forever Purge

    Director: Everardo Gout

    Writer: James DeMonaco

    Stars: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Josh Lucas

    Genres: Action, Crime, Horror, Thriller

    The Forever Purge (2021) on IMDb

    Fast forward to 2048, eight years after Charlene Roan was elected president, the NFFA is back in the picture. Earlier declared illegal, it gained power and started its deadly warfare, “the purge,” again. The rules are the same, with racial supremacy as a crucial element. The purgers are on a mission to sweep away all non-Americans. Another group outside the ruling party is concerned that the purge will bring more destruction than one could ever imagine.

    A married couple, Juan and Adela, dodge the Mexican drug cartel and illegally enter Texas. Juan tries to start a new life with his wife and supports it by working as a farmhand at the Tucker family. To make ends meet, Adela starts working near Austin. Post ten months, and the annual purge is all set to launch. Adela and Jaun side with a migrant community to protect the vulnerable. Adela has her first encounter with a Purger Group called the Purge purification force.

    Their evil will is to kill all non-natives, but luckily Adela, along with the migrant, survives. The happiness is short-lived, as several fellows are missing when the couple returns to work. A Purger duo attacks Adela, but she is saved by her boss Darius. Meanwhile, the Tucker family is held hostage by purgers who pose as farmhands. Caleb Tucker sacrifices his life for Juan and T.T. to rescue Dylan and his pregnant wife, Cassie. As they escape, they rescue Darius and Adela, but he returns to search for his family. Later, the news bulletin is full of the “forever purge” massacre. Looking at the situation, Canada and Mexico opened their borders for those in trouble for six.

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    So the group advanced to the Mexican border, but martial law was imposed just in time. The borders are closed earlier than said, leaving them as prey to purgers.

    While Adela protects Cassie, she reveals herself and her husband as members of a self-defense group trained to fight drug cartels. Cassie stays back at a safe place while Juan, Adela, and Dylan go with the refugees. A gunfight commences between the trio and purgers, which turns into a hand weapon fight as ammo runs out. While Purgers are killed, they hold Adela hostage. She is rescued by her husband Juan and Dylan, who kills Alpha.

    They reunite with Cassie, who has already given birth to a baby girl. NFFA is blamed for the violence and disbanded. The headlines state that 2 million people had taken refuge in Canada and Mexico while some fought back.


The Purge movies collectively provide a chilling commentary on societal issues, presenting a nightmarish vision of a society where extreme measures are taken to address crime and social unrest. The series combines horror, thriller, and political elements to create a thought-provoking narrative. While opinions on individual movies may vary, the franchise aims to entertain and provoke contemplation about the consequences of extreme social policies.

All The Purge Movies By Their IMDb Rating

  • The Purge: Anarchy – 6.4 with 161K Votes
  • The Purge: Election Year – 6.0 with 109K Votes
  • The Purge – 5.7 with 238K Votes
  • The Forever Purge – 5.4 with 43K Votes
  • The First Purge – 5.2 with 70K Votes

All The Purge Movies Box Office Collection

  • The Purge – $91.3 million
  • The Purge: Anarchy – $111.9 million
  • The Purge: Election Year – $118.6 million
  • The First Purge – $137.1 million
  • The Forever Purge – $77 million


How Many Purge Movies Are There?

There are five Purge movies: The Purge (2013), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), The Purge: Election Year (2016), The First Purge (2018), and The Forever Purge (2021).

What Is The Purge Concept?

The Purge movies depict a dystopian future where all crime, including murder, is legal for 12 hours annually, known as “The Purge.”

Do I Need to Watch Them in Order?

While each movie stands alone, watching in order (release sequence) enhances the overall understanding of The Purge universe.

Is There a Purge TV Series?

Yes, The Purge TV series, which ran for two seasons (2018-2019), is set in the same universe as the movies.

Is The Purge a Horror Franchise?

Yes, The Purge movies are classified as horror films, known for their suspenseful and dystopian themes.

Who Created The Purge Concept?

The Purge concept was created by writer and director James DeMonaco, who directed the first three films and wrote all five in the series.

Are There Any Returning Characters Across Movies?

Each movie introduces new characters, recurring themes, and references that connect the films. However, the central character appears in only some of the movies.

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

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