Anarchy in the Movies

The Purge: Anarchy

Lest we forget, The Purge: Anarchy is set in 2023, not in the present day, which gives us a little time to figure out how to avoid the doomsday scenario presented in the film. Sanctioned by the U.S. government, the annual "purge" makes all criminal behavior legal for a 12-hour period; murder is encouraged with the idea that it will "cleanse" the good citizens of America.

The Purge: Anarchy is filled with frightening situations in which the absence of governmental authority imperils the lives of countless innocent people. When previous movies have touched on the subject, their attitude toward anarchy has varied wildly, from endorsing the idea to rejecting it outright.


Fight Club (1999)

David Fincher's adapation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel followed Edward Norton as a white-collar worker who has become discontent with his life. He strikes back against materialism and the undue influence of large corporations in society by forming a secret "fight club" that breeds a spirit of anarchy that spreads across the country.  


Dawn of the Dead (2004)

The sheer panic of the zombie apocalypse has rarely been captured as vividly and dementedly as in Zack Snyder's remake of George A. Romero's classic. Jettisoning much of the original's social commentary, Snyder keeps his remake razor-focused on the terror of surviving certain death only to be plunged into anarchy and a very uncertain future at a shopping mall.


V for Vendetta (2005)

In a dystopian future, the United Kingdom is ruled by a fascist government that has imprisoned dissidents in concentration camps. "V" is determined to inspire a revolution against the government by killing officials and blowing up buildings, leading to anarchy in the streets.


Children of Men (2006)

With anarchy reigning around the globe, the United Kingdom is the last government standing, and enforces stict (and harsh) anti-immigration laws to protect iself and its citizens. There may not (yet) be anarchy in the U.K., but it's still a dangerous, miserable place to live.


The Signal (2007)

Not to be confused with the more recent sci-fi flick with the same title, this independent movie is divided into three segments that examine what happens after a mysterious signal has a profoundly disturbing effect upon everyone who hears it, including law-enforcement officials. Chaos erupts, panic reigns, and dead bodies pile up quickly. It's a street-level view of anarchy, and it's not a pretty picture.


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