The film was met with mixed reviews, with most critics agreeing the film was an improvement over the original, and grossed over $111 million. While the first film was set entirely in one house during the carnage, Anarchy takes viewers out to the Los Angeles area and shows more of what happens to the surroundings during the Purge. A third film in the series, The Purge: Election Year, was released on July 1, 2016.
On March 21, 2023, the media credits the annual Purge, a twelve-hour period wherein all crimes are legal without authorities intervening, as an economic success. Everywhere, people either prepare to barricade themselves indoors or commit acts of violence. The nation's impoverished population are no longer seen as people, but as living garbage, whom the wealthy denounce as only living to serve their needs. However, before the sixth annual Purge begins, a successful anti-Purge resistance group led by Carmelo Johns and his partner, the Stranger from the first film - revealed as "Dwayne" - hijack government feeds to denounce the New Founding Fathers and their actions.
In Los Angeles, working class waitress Eva Sanchez returns home to her daughter Cali and terminally ill father Rico, who also despises the New Founding Fathers. Rico slips out to a waiting limousine, leaving a note for his family revealing that he has sold himself as a Purge offering in exchange for $100,000 to be paid to Eva and Cali after the Purge.
Married couple Shane and Liz visit a grocery store, only to be ambushed by a masked gang of bikers. As they drive away to avoid them, their car breaks down as the biker gang had cut their fuel line. Meanwhile, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Leo Barnes, plans to join the Purge to avenge the death of his son against the advice of his ex-wife, and goes out to the streets heavily armed, posing as a vigilante.
As Shane and Liz try to find safer hiding places, the Purge commences. Eva and Cali are attacked by their lustful superintendent Diego, but he is gunned down by a paramilitary platoon, who capture the women to offer them to their leader Big Daddy for his own personal Purge. The Sergeant rescues them after killing the troops and wounding Big Daddy. They find Shane and Liz hiding in Sergeant's car. The group flees just as Big Daddy fires at them, damaging the car. As the Sergeant's car breaks down, the group flees on foot to reach the home of Eva's co-worker Tanya and borrow her car. As they navigate the hostile streets, they find evidence that the Anti-Purge group has been gaining the upper hand against the purgers. After freeing Shane from a trap and taking guns from an abandoned van, they head to the subways. A pyrotechnic purging gang invades the subways and sets hiding people on fire, causing chaos. Shane is wounded, but the group manages to escape.
After running for their lives, Eva unknowingly signals a traffic camera to identify them to the NFFA troops who pick up the location of Tanya's apartment building. The group reach Tanya's house but learn there is no car there. Tanya's family takes them in, offering dinner and medicine. However, Tanya's sister Lorraine proceeds to murder her sister for sleeping with her husband. The group leaves the family to their fate, only to be captured by the masked gang, who take them to a theater where upper class Purgers bid them for human hunting. In the purging arena, the Sergeant fights back, killing the hunters. The host purger calls for backup and security forces kill Shane. The Anti-Purge group invades the arena and kills more of the purging team. Liz chooses to join the Anti-Purge group to avenge Shane's death. The Sergeant hijacks the host purger's car and threatens her before leaving.
The Sergeant, Eva, and Cali drive up to a suburban neighborhood, and stop at the home of Warren Grass. He reveals that Grass killed his son while driving under the influence, but was acquitted. He ventures into the house, threatening Warren and his wife. The next scene shows Sergeant exiting the house covered in blood, only to be shot by Big Daddy, who reveals that the New Founding Fathers have secretly dispatched death squads to increase the body count because the Purge eliminates too few of the lower class, possibly due to purgers murdering those they have personal grudges on and not just random people. Just as he is about to kill the Sergeant, Warren appears and kills Big Daddy with his .45, revealing that the Sergeant had forgiven and spared him. As Big Daddy's death squad appears, sirens blare to signal the end of the Purge. Warren drives Eva, Cali, and the Sergeant to the hospital as news and police helicopters fly over the city.
On June 10, 2013, Universal Pictures and Jason Blum announced the development of the sequel, after the success of The Purge. Initially a release date was set for June 20, 2014, although this was later pushed back to July 18.
Principal photography was underway in Los Angeles when Blumhouse Productions released their countdown promo art on January 1, 2014. Filming wrapped on February 10, 2014.
The first trailer was released on February 12, 2014. On March 27, another full-length trailer was released by Universal. Another new trailer was released on June 23.
The Purge: Anarchy was released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on October 21, 2014.
The Purge: Anarchy grossed $72 million in America and $40 million in other countries for a total gross of $111.9 million, against a budget of $9 million.
The film was released in North America in 3,303 theaters, and earned $2.6 million in its first night. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $29.8 million, finishing in second place behind the continued run of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This was about $4 million less than the opening of the original film ($34 million).
The Purge: Anarchy received mixed reviews from critics, but most agreed that the film was an improvement over its predecessor and found praise for Grillo's performance. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 56%, based on 127 reviews, with the consensus reading: "Gritty, grisly, and uncommonly ambitious, The Purge: Anarchy represents a slight improvement over its predecessor, but it's still never as smart or resonant as it tries to be". On Metacritic, the film has a score 50 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a "B" grade on a scale of A+ to F.
A third film in the series titled The Purge: Election Year was released on July 1, 2016.
The film was the theme for a scare zone in the 2014 edition of Halloween Horror Nights at two of the Universal Parks & Resorts. It was also a house at Halloween Horror Nights the following year in Orlando while Hollywood received a scare zone and being the main theme of Terror Tram.