Movie Review: Dredd (2012)


If you look at the movie indutry in our modern times, there aren’t many good action movies that aren’t superhero movies. Good action movies that don’t count as superhero movies are rare these days. So when I heard that they had rebooted “Judge Dredd” I was like “Really? This will suck!”. Then I saw the reviews that were for the most part positive. So my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to watch it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Dredd”.

The world has gone to shit. Basically everything has become a nuclear wasteland, except for one giant city called “Megacity One” which is made up of “Megablocks”. In this giant city the law is held up by Street judges who can act as Judge, jury and executioner at the scene (I AM THE LAW!!!). In this movie we follow the street judge named Dredd (Karl Urban) as he and a rookie who also happens to be a psychic named Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) as they go to the megablock called “Peach Trees” to take down a drug cartel led by the criminal known as Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and stop the distribution of this new drug called slow-mo. The plot is simple and I think that it is the movie’s biggest strength. It doesn’t need some huge and convoluted plot to be great as this plot has a basic idea, mix in one genuinely good twist near the end and fill out the rest of the runtime with action. And from that we have the plot of “Dredd”. Oh yeah, another plot point that I thought would suck is the fact that Anderson is a psychic, but it actually worked and made for some cool scenes. Overall, this simple video game plot was a strength of the movie.

The characters are pretty interesting and also entertaining. Any backstories stay pretty hidden to make room for action. But in some cases that might work… like for the character of Dredd. He didn’t need a backstory, he just had to be badass. I also like how they decided to not show his face, kind of like in the comics and unlike in the hilarious 1995 movie “Judge Dredd”. I can also say that Karl Urban, despite only really showing his mouth, was really good as Dredd. Olivia Thirlby was also great as Anderson and showed that women can be total badasses too. And Lena Headey as Ma-Ma… to quote movie reviewer Jeremy Jahns: “She plays arguably the biggest thundercunt you’ve ever seen on screen“. I couldn’t agree more… she was great in her role though! all the actors were in fact great and all characters that needed to be interesting are interesting.

The score for the movie was done by Paul Leonard-Morgan and it is pretty fucking badass. It creates a perfect blend of a little bit of orchestra, a big amount of electronic sounds and metal that perfectly fits the badass “gives no shits” style of this movie. I mean, this is a score I could see myself listening to just for fun because of it being that… fun (and badass).

Pete Travis did a great job directing this movie. I have never seen a movie by him before so I had no expectations when it came to how this movie was directed, but what I saw here I approve of. Also, what this movie does differently compared to 1995’s “Judge Dredd” is that this movie is ultra violent. This isn’t for kids AT ALL. You get to see bullets fly in slow motion and just tear through people with blood just shooting out of the holes that the bullets make… yeah, it is pretty badass. Also, the scenes where they take the slo-mo drug are actually kind of beautiful. not only because they are in slow motion but also because of the lighting and how it changes in those scenes, it just looks fantastic. Going back to what I said before about the movie being violent, the action is fast-paced, brutal and like I have said a million times… fucking badass.

This movie has been generally well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. And on it has a score of 7,0/10.

If you are looking for much of substance, “Dredd” will disappoint you. But if you go in knowing that it’s a straight up action thrill ride, then you will have a good time with the simple plot, really good acting, great music, great direction, brutal violence and amazing action. Time for my final score. Judgement time! My final score for “Dredd” is a 9,85/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Dredd” is completed.


2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Dredd (2012)

  1. ”I am the law and you cannot beat the law”. You’re right about backstories, I wish they had more time! But you cannot have everything in one movie. The budget was also not that big.

  2. Pingback: Dredd | indie sci-fi 451

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