Dredd - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dredd Reviews

Page 1 of 358
Super Reviewer
½ January 9, 2013
Take two for this adaptation of the classic British dystopian sci-fi comic book character. Not that I disliked the first Stallone attempt, I think that has been given a harsh time personally. Sure it wasn't adult enough and had Rob Schneider in it but they captured the look and feel I thought.

I liked the plot idea for this film, the two Judges trapped within this enormous tower block and having to take down all the perps. Not exactly original but a good recipe for action, a slight nudge towards 'Die Hard' perhaps, mixed with 'The Raid'. Its also neat that 'Mega City One' has loads of these massive towers, so theoretically each tower may have the same criminal problem as this one. This gives you an idea of how big/vast the cities criminal problems are and the genesis for lots of stories within this universe, it gives a nice depth to this universe too.

First thoughts for this new film and I was slightly disappointed to be honest. As the movie opens up and we get narration about the worlds current climate I felt myself thinking this world doesn't actually look very futuristic. Now I didn't expect robots, laser guns and other typical sci-fi cheese but I guess I did expect a kind of...without trying to sound too cliched, 'Blade Runner' type world/environment. 'Mega City One' didn't really look very eye blisteringly cool, just looked like a massive urban sprawl, realistic yes, exciting no, perhaps a bit too realistic?.

I liked that they tried to keep things more grounded and in a possible near future which isn't too far fetched (I'm guessing), but it didn't really feel overly futuristic. This also goes for all the druggies and bad guys holed up in the massive tower block that Dredd takes on. Most of them dressed and looked like your average hoodie youths I see on the street today, bright coloured t-shirts, polo shirts, tracksuits, gold chains etc...Again I realize its a real take and we don't want them dressed in luminous spandex, but I just expected a bit more I suppose.

As for Dredd and his partner its all good, I loved the way they brought Dredd's suit down to earth, made it look functional and yet kept it recogniseable for the fans. Urban was also top notch as Dredd with his gravely voice (not as stupid as Bale's 'Batman', about on par with Eastwood) and trademark sneer, my only criticism would be he didn't look very big. I was impressed with Thirlby as Anderson and the way her psychic abilities were handled, could so easily of been corny. Thirlby did a really good job as the wet behind the ears rookie, she conveyed that nicely whilst also being really cute at the same time. As her confidence grows surrounded by violence so does her appeal to you the viewer.

The main head villain is played by a woman here which is a nice turn but ultimately ends being rather mundane. Lena Headey plays the role well and she does comes across as a real bitch that you just wanna see get blown away, but she never really does much apart from one scene. Her comeuppance is also pretty weak and slightly anti climatic.

The film is as violent as I expected, it goes from being a bit too ridiculous with skinning people (bit odd and sick that), to gut splitting, face piercing, head shattering shoot outs. Gotta love that gun Dredd uses eh, its right up there with 'Robocop's' hand cannon. I also liked that the film looms towards a Verhoeven style for gunning people down but I gotta say I didn't like all the slow motion. Yes I know that's the whole point with this drug but I just hate that kind of crap, I just wanna see the action, the slow motion just stops it dead, very frustrating.

Most definitely a success with this reboot mainly because it was done for the adult audience, I wonder if Hollywood has clicked on that yet?. Its no 'Die Hard' beater and its not the best action film I've seen recently but its a solid gritty film. Would like to see more futuristic shine in any sequel though, just a touch.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2013
Whereas the previous Stallone effort chose to sneer at the title character's adventure, here it is fondly embraced, and what a difference perspective makes indeed. Action and wanton mayhem for aficionados, thank you. The use of slo-mo only sweetens the pot. Woe that Lena Headey was not given more to do. She was eating the screen.
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2012
Unlike Stallone's comic book adaptation this one stays somewhat close to the source material in tone and attitude. Urban works great as the judge who never takes off his helmet and doesn't speak more than he has to. The violence is really graphic but at least pretty inventive. The limited place for the plot of a single skyscraper may have worked for Die Hard, here it feels as if we're seeing the same corridors over and over again. That makes the film somewhat repetitive, but overall you gotta applaud the creators for taking such a grim and "devil may care" route. Maybe a sequel could open up the hidden potential.
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2014
Taking more from the original comic than the 1995 adaptation, "Dredd" is simple, bloody, gory, gross, action packed, and thrilling. This new Dredd (Urban) is played as a straw man Clint Eastwood, who is vetting a young psychic (Thirlby) for active duty. Their interplay makes for an interesting team, and adds tension to an already thrilling plot. Lena Headey was an sound choice of villain, and she remains threatening throughout, especially when she calls for violence against her own people. Most of the film is set within the confines of a single housing project in a poverty stricken area of a futuristic world. Designer drugs come into play, there's economic and social disparity, and much of the film shows how big this world is without being explicit in details. It's paced rather well, and there's a lot of potential for a sequel. This truly delivers where other action films are happy to stand on the sidelines.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2014
Keeping the dark, edginess of the original 2000 AD comic this is also a visually impressive piece of sci-fi, with some great use of 3D. The only thing that lets it down is the story is very short with limited scope, it really needs a more epic sequel.
Super Reviewer
½ January 6, 2013
Not the typical sci-fi film in terms of tone and style, but I ate it up like the sci-fi geek I am. Karl Urban is simply hardcore. I think they did an excellent job at how this film was presented. The gore and killing may at times seem absurd (how many splattered heads can you get in one movie?) but I guiltily enjoyed every single moment. I am anxiously waiting for a sequel.
Super Reviewer
½ January 17, 2014
A day in the life of a tough as nails cop, set in a dystopian universe where violence is everyday and human life is worthless, Alex Garland's adaptation of Dredd will not only please the fans, it's smart, brutal, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2012
Resurrecting a franchise that (on screen) had been universally loathed due to the poor, Sylvester Stallone-fronted name bearer from 1995, "Dredd" was quite the gamble for the franchise kick-starter it was meant to be. Sure it didn't pay off financially, dooming a planned sequel in the process, but as a rampant action movie and a product that honors it's source material, "Dredd" exceeded WELL beyond my expectations.

It's plot is purely stock; even using a building as a confined plot device a la "Die Hard" and countless other movies. But this decision compliments the film's more limited budget and provides our two heroes, Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and a fresh-faced recruit with special abilities; Anderson (Olivia Thrilby) with a claustrophobic, daunting battleground. Dredd, the no-nonsense judge, jury, and brutal executioner is portrayed gruff, nuanced by the reliable Karl Urban, with Thrilby as the film's emotion core. Dredd and Anderson, on her training day of sorts, end up trapped in a sealed 200 floor skyscraper when they brush elbows with the intimidating crime figure Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), who is responsible for supplying the entire city with a designer neuro-drug "Slo-Mo;" the effects of which conveniently help stylize Dredd's gory violence.

Make no mistake, "Dredd" is all brawn. Luckily brains are evident in it's unexpectedly slick filmmaking. There is impressive world building in this film. The skyscraper is fittingly run down, with an impressive near-future aesthetic, but Mega-City One is immediately established in impressive fashion. This brings a weight and authenticity to the film, even when most of the action is restricted to a dark, indoor locale. The American wasteland setting is surely nothing new, yet Director Pete Travis has a unique take, no doubt possible due to his ambitions on a budget. His action sequences are also terrific. Bloody, shocking, in your face (and if viewed in 3D, I mean that literal). There is all kinds of glorious bloodletting in this film, and that's a plus only if you are down for that (I was). The "Slo-Mo" gimmick really dazzles as well. Honestly, these segments are beautiful and that's coming from someone who thought movies had exhausted this cinematic effect. Are these scenes necessary? No. Are they indulgent? Hell yes, but they are awesome and this time I can actually say pivotal to the plot! As far as the genre is concerned, "Dredd" is quite visionary; and I say that sans sarcasm.

Alex Garland's script is a perfect balance of bleak sadism, dark situational humor, one-liners, and unabashed self awareness. It's not parody, and is not afraid of reveling in the same lurid excess as John Wagner's original comic series.

"Dredd" is a pleasant surprise and one that I enjoyed the hell out of. It's low-brow thrills are heightened because of an uncommonly thoughtful execution by a group of filmmakers who have an obvious love and respect for this material. There is also true artistry on display here, but you didn't here it from me!
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2013
Judge Dredd: What's it gonna be, kids? Body bags or juve cubes? Makes no difference to me.

"Judgement Is Coming"

Dredd is a much more satisfying film then the old Stallone vehicle. This is an action movie that knows when to move and when to slow it down. At times they slow it down a lot(to show effects of a drug called Slow Mo) and those slow motion scenes are beautiful and trancelike. The action, for the most part, is pretty nonstop and it all looks wonderful. It's the type of action film that uses all the violence to expand on a cool premise and it works brilliantly.

Judge Dredd is out with a rookie judge, who he has to assess. When they're called to a triple homicide in the worst part of the mega-city that houses all of America's population, they find themselves locked in. Ma Ma is a violent gang leader who controls all of the 200 levels that make up the building in which the judges are trapped. She tells the citizens of these levels that she wants the judges dead.

There's some cool stuff going on in this dystopian film for sure. For one you gotta love a movie that paints such a vivid and original view of what a dystopia may look like. Also the movie just looks and sounds amazing. All the violence, fast action and slow motion, looks so damn amazing. 

Dredd is definitely a film that is worth checking out. Even if you didn't care for the old Judge Dredd, this one is still worth a look, as it is it's own film. I can't say I was too surprised at how good this film was, but I love when the movies that I think are gonna be really good, are.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2013
Unlike the 1995 Stallone action vehicle, this is a worthwhile adaptation of the venerable comic book antihero's exploits.

To simplify, in the near future, the U.S. is a post-apocalyptic dystopia where most of the country is divided up into massive cities. Mega City One encompasses most of the east coast from Boston to D.C. and is where this story is set. The land is policed by Judges- ultra militaristic law enforcers who swiftly act as judges, juries, and executioners.

Dredd is a renowned Judge, and this film represents a basic day in his life. On this particular day he is assigned to have a rookie judge named Cassanda Anderson follow him along, and he is to evaluate if she is worthy of being a judge. This is really important too since she had previously failed, but only by a narrow margin. What makes Anderson special is that she is a "mutant" with some rather powerful psychic abilities.

Seeing as they can only respond to so many calls at once, our pair decide to tackle a case at a massive 200 story housing block ghetto controlled by the ruthless drug pusher Ma-Ma, whose latest potent product, the highly addictive Slo-Mo makes the user experience things at 1% normal speed.

It's not long after their arrival at the building that the pair are trapped, and forced to fight the veritable army of violent residents in order to get to the main prize at the top level.

As far as plot, that's pretty much it. There's controversy about this plot being similar to the one of The Raid: Redemption, but apparently, even though that came first, this one was in development first, and just took longer to get released.

Bottom line: I liked this movie, A lot. Yeah, it's a simple and straight forward bare bones plot, but sometimes, that's all you really need. It's lean, mean, stylish as hell, and brutally entertaining. I unfortunately didn't get to see it in 3D, but I hear it was used rather effectively, especially during the awesome slow-motion sequences which, besides functioning as eye candy, actually figured into the plot as well.

The film is light on character development, but we're given enough to where we care, and, in the case of Anderson, have an actual arc that gives a tad bit of weight and emotion to the proceedings.

So, even though the film is more style than substance, it really excels, and delivers the goods in a kick ass way, with lots of bloodshed, often brutal, and sometimes quite graphic. During the slow-mo scenes especially we really get a lot of jaw-dropping money shots.

There's of course a justifiable reason for the violence, but unfortunately, some people still don't get it and slam the movie anyway.

I personally felt it did justice to the comics, served the story, and helped make it the strong film that it is, especially considering the modest budget it was made for. And that is something I'm a fan of. I love it when modest budget indie films make the most with what they have and rise above the limitations set before them.

Karl Urban is as cold as steel as the hard-assed non nonsense Judge Dredd. It's impressive how he managed to convey all that he needed to without showing any part of his face above the bottom of his nose thanks to the helmet his character characteristically never removes. Olivia Thirlby is quite good and convincing as the rookie Anderson, and I think she could reasonably succeed at taking on more action oriented roles in the future. Lena Heady is fine, though a tad underwhelming as Ma-Ma, but, like Thirlby, it was nice seeing her in a role like this.

With a tight pace, and a suitably grim and grungy aesthetic, this is a solid action romp that really rocks. Unfortunately it is also underappreciated, but hopefully that changes, and enough support is garnered to get this film a sequel, because, in all honesty, this is a film that actually earns the right to have a sequel, especially if it's done as good as, if not better than this one.
Super Reviewer
September 24, 2012
An awesome and explosive action-packed thriller. A total blast from start to finish that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A cinematic experience that you wont soon forget. It`s loaded with eye-popping visuals and special effects that keep your eyes glued to the screen and has enough hard-core action to keep your pulse-pounding. Dredd packs enough action, humor and attitude to keep you going all the way through and wanting more. A tremendously entertaining and spectacular action movie. An exhilarating and adrenaline-charged thrill-ride. It`s wickedly well-crafted, strongly performed and sharply shot. Karl Urban is excellent, he owns Dredd. Urban stays true to the essence of the character and is beyond perfect in the role. Dredd is a combination of Dirty Harry and Batman in the future. It`s savage, gritty stylish and just great instant classic. A real treat for sci-fi action fans. A beautifully stylized and hard-core good-time. Dredd fans wont be disappointed. Director, Pete Travis crafts a visual triumph and gives us a purely entertaining wallop. A bold and unforgettable action movie experience. Even though lacks character development, it still leaves lots of room for a sequel.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2013
Didn't care for the original, and this one wasn't much better, in my opinion...
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2012
Hollywood takes a second stab at bringing the faceless, fascistic law giver to the big screen after Sylvester Stallone's badly misjudged outing in 1995. In fact the previous attempt wasn't a complete failure; it captured the feel of the comic strip quite well, with some excellent production design and well orchestrated set pieces. The problem was that the script completely missed the point of the character. Dredd NEVER removes his helmet and most certainly would not tolerate the dubious comic "talents" of Rob Schneider any more than I would. At least the new interpretation gets the first part right and Karl Urban's jutting, bestubbled jaw certainly looks the part as does the grimy, Mad Maxified version of the uniform and artillery. Unfortunately, once more the writer has woefully missed the point of the character. Judge Dredd was a very British, darkly satirical parody of a merciless, fascistic one man judge, jury and executioner. Travis' version is just a humourless, plotless exercise in gratuitous violence that just felt to me like sitting watching someone else play an ultra-violent video game. It's basically Robocop with a sense of humour bypass and considering that it was the wide streak of black humour that made Verhoeven's film work, this is not a glowing recommendation. Despite some efficiently handled action sequences, Dredd is just another example of the fact that American film makers seem to have absolutely no concept of irony.
Super Reviewer
½ February 22, 2013
I can barely remember the first Dredd film with Stallone in it. This felt more violent and gritty, which is what they aimed for. The action is ok and it has a slick visual style to it, it just felt a bit too simple in terms of plot for a big film. It's very similar to The Raid in terms of plot as well, and I actually liked that more.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2013
"Dredd" was a pleasant surprise. The plot is a rip off of "Raid: Redemption," but I still loved every second of it. Travis directs a fast-paced, fun action movie, which doesn't require much thinking on the part of the viewer. You know what you're getting with this one. Grade: C
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2012
"Dredd" is more of a re-imagining of the "Judge Dredd" character, than the original Stallone movie than a remake, and a much better film. The plot is pretty simple, Dredd(Karl Urban) and a rookie Judge go to a building to investigate 3 homicides when they are then trapped in a battle with a drug lord and her gang. The action is great, and the story while not original or anything special, is very entertaining. I've read it's a lot like "Raid: The Redemption", and there are a lot of similarities, but it's a very different film. One of the better adult comic book adaptations, as it's rated R, and it puts the rating to good use with the violence. I watched this on 3D Blu Ray and had read that the 3D was amazing. I thought the scenes with the drugs in use were great, but I didn't think the movie demanded it. Searching for a good action movie then give it a chance.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2013
this film is NOTHING like the original film. For one it actually follows the gritty and violent apocalyptic future tone much closer than the original. Karl Urban (Star Trek 2009) plays the role of Dredd and he is amazingly well cast as the monotone but badass judge, and plays off the role much better than Stallone ever could've IMO (I could actually see Urban play Batman if he played the character like his portrayal of Dredd.) The other actors in the film doo okay jobs but no extremely stand out performances outside of Urban Also the film has a very artsy kind of feel to it, especially since the key focus of the film is a drug called Slo-mo which does exactly what it sounds like and all the scenes with bullets flying are sometimes slowed down or brightened to give it a somewhat epic or dramatic feel too it which is very cool to see and it probably was on the big screen too. The film also has some surprisingly disturbing scens such as the apprentice judge to Dredd who happens to be a mutant (no not X-men but that would be awesome) and she can read peoples thoughts and go into them at points and they show a brief rape for a few seconds, but the one thing that disturbs me more than anything in the whole movie is the scene where she goes into one of the criminals minds and takes over him mind and drives him insane. We see flashes of skin being peeled off, blood flying, rape, oh and his penis being sucked and then he screams you look down, and you see the girl with blood all over her mouth. Yes this movie isn't for the squeamish, but I do highly recommend this film to anyone who likes the Dredd comics or just great sci-fi action films.
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2013
Dredd is a stellar sci-fi action film that's filled with ominous shots, spectacular visuals, and gruesome violence.
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2012
Dredd is a gory, violent, and gritty B-movie that offers nothing new, but does everything well enough that it is still enjoyable, especially on a visceral level. Karl Urban makes for an awesome Judge Dredd, even if he doesn't have to do much other than shoot a bunch of bad guys and say some witty one-liners along the way. The story is simple, and Lena Headey's main villain is not the least bit on the same level as Dredd, but there's some fun action sequences. They overdo it a bit with the slow-motion (even though it is technically part of the story since a drug makes people feel like the world around them is moving at 1% its actual speed) and try to make it cooler than it actually is. We understand what the drug does, you don't need to show us every time someone takes it. Other than these few quibbles, Dredd is a no holds-barred and very entertaining 90 minutes well worth it if you can stomach the gore and violence.
Page 1 of 358