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The Boston Globe


Movie Review

When bad things happen to good people once every year

Somewhere between Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and the “Family Guy” episode in which Peter Griffin joins the Tea Party lies “The Purge.” Unfortunately, it’s as funny as the former and as thoughtful as the latter.

The scenario probably sounded great when writer-director James DeMonaco pitched it. Sometime in the future — say, 2022, March 21 at 5:58 p.m., to be precise — unemployment in the country is at 1 percent and crime barely registers. The reason? Perhaps inspired by “The Hunger Games,” a cabal called The New Founding Fathers has taken over the country and instituted an annual Purge, 12 hours of anarchy during which anything goes: murder, rape, mayhem, all can be enjoyed with impunity. That way everyone gets it out of their system. We have something similar to this already — watching mindlessly violent films like “The Purge,” except without the lecturing.

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