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Movie Review: Dredd (2012)

Updated on June 24, 2022
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.


Quick Info:

Director: Pete Travis
Studio: Lionsgate
Runtime: 103 Minutes
Release Date: Jan 8, 2013
Availability: on DVD and Blu-Ray, at stores or online, streaming for free on Amazon Prime video with ads

Is this new reboot worth it?

Dredd is a movie adaptation of the Judge Dredd Comics. In this particular story, we follow a new Judge named Cassandra Anderson, a psychic who failed the aptitude tests to become a Judge. They have to take down a drug dealer named Ma-Ma after she locks down the Peach Tress block, leaving them trapped inside with her entire gang after them. They have to take out Ma-Ma and get out alive.

I’ve never read the Judge Dredd comics, but I really enjoyed this movie. It was that kind of mindless popcorn flick fun that I enjoy. The story was interesting and even though there wasn’t too much character development for Dredd as a character, but Cassandra Anderson was an interesting character, there was enough that I thought it was an interesting movie.

Dredd Trailer 1:

I liked the Relationship between Cassandra and Dredd:

I really liked the relationship between Cassandra and Dredd. I liked how the hardened veteran taught the newcomer how to enforce justice and that they have to rely on each other to survive and stop criminals.

It was a very interesting relationship and it's a shame they'll never have a sequel because I would have liked to see them continue developing as characters.

Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd | Source

The Visual Effects:

One interesting visual style of the movie was the use of slow motion, because the drugs being sold cause people to see things in slow motion so it was a cheap gimmick that other movies use. It made the movie different from other comic book movies that throw it in for no apparent reason.

The action was exciting and over the top and it was very intense and I wanted to see what would happen next. I enjoyed Dredd as a comic book adaptation, although I can’t say how faithful it is to the source material since I’ve never read the Judge Dredd comics.

The Acting Was Okay:

The actors are pretty good with Karl Urban surprising me as Dredd, he did a very good job and I didn’t even know it was him under there. I liked his performance.

Olivia Thirlby is also good as Cassandra Anderson, portraying her as a novice wanting to pass her assessment and I liked her character a lot, she was the most interesting of the cast and I do hope there will be a sequel.

Lena Headey was really good as Ma-Ma (Madeline Madrigal) the main villain and she was interesting, although very evil and creepy. Her demise at the end of the movie is very enjoyable because she's a good villain.

The Film's Soundtrack:

Paul Leonard-Morgan composed the film’s soundtrack, and it is pretty good, but not particularly memorable. It’s decent, but it’s not something I’ll want to buy on iTunes and it fits the movie, it just doesn’t have any outstanding pieces in it.

Enjoy This Movie?

Did you enjoy Dredd (2012)

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A Box Office Disappointment:

It’s a very interesting film and visually unique, although it is bogged down by a lack of character development for one of the leads, it is well worth your time to watch it, if you’re looking to buy it, then pick it up online, it’s very inexpensive. It’s also available online on Netflix streaming if you want to watch it to see if it’s something you like.

Content Warning for Parents:

This is an R-rated movie and is not for kids because of strong profanity, graphic violence and some sexual content and drug use. This is for adults and shouldn’t be shown to kids just because this is a comic book movie.

It Was an Entertaining Adult Superhero Movie:

I found Dredd to be a fun and entertaining superhero movie. It was adult because it dealt with an adult premise and a mature setting. It also had adult content that pushed it into the R-rating and although I don't watch R-rated movies, I wanted to see this one because I love superhero films.

It was a shame that it didn't do well at the box office, but Dredd isn't really a mainstream comic book character like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man or Captain America. It didn't really catch on with mainstream superhero movie fans so it didn't make a lot of money.

Quick Summary:

What Works:
What doesn't work:
Intersting story, characters and setting
Mindless action flick
Good acting
Characters didn't catch on with mainstream moviegoeers
Good visual effects

Final Grade: B:

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys comic book movies. If you’re someone who likes mature comic books then this is something you’ll want to see It’s a fun popcorn flick and if you like action you’ll enjoy it.

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite good enough for me to buy, even though I did enjoy the movie. It didn't really reach the level of being a must-have, must-own superhero movie, even if it was fun.

I won’t be buying this but it was worth it for me to borrow it from my local library, stream it on Netflix or get it from Red Box, it’s fun, but if you want to support it for a sequel, buy it because it made less than its budget at the box office only getting $36.5 million way below its $45 million budget, which is disappointing to me because I feel it deserved to earn more money than it did. It’s worth your time if you like action movies, worth your money if you like Judge Dredd. I do hope they will make a sequel one day.

I definitely know that the actors enjoyed their roles because they always talk about it if Dredd comes up, and it's nice to see that this wasn't just about the money for them.

My Rating:

4 stars for Movie; Dredd (2012)

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