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Dredd Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Make them die slowly... Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    If there's a serious disappointment, it's the villain. Ma-Ma, despite being played with over-the-top zest by Lena Headey, isn't a very impressive foil for the mighty Judge Dredd, even when she calls for "back-up."

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Pitched at the right level to please original fans, but still slick and accessible enough to attract new ones, Dredd 3D feels like a smart and muscular addition to the sci-fi action genre.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    What's exceptional is the orchestration of color, form, light and dark (lots of dark), 3-D technology and digital effects into a look that amounts to a vision.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Paul Leonard-Morgan's thumping techno soundtrack is thrilling. And Urban manages to give a credibly wry performance using little more than his gravelly, imitation-Eastwood voice - and his chin.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Extreme violence, drugs in intense comic book tale.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dredd 3D is based on the futuristic comic book hero Judge Dredd, who was also the subject of a 1995 Sylvester Stallone movie. The new movie is full of extreme sci-fi/fantasy violence, with thousands of bullets fired, gallons of blood spilled, and hundreds of casualties, including victims splattered and burned (and it's all even more intense in 3-D). Language is almost as strong, with many uses of "f--k," as well as a few other words. Sex comes up in a kind of fantasy "psychic" sequence in which a character briefly imagines oral sex being performed on him (nothing graphic shown). Though real drugs/alcohol don't appear, the entire plot is about the manufacture and distribution of a fictitious, illegal street drug called "Slo-Mo." Viewers see drug trip scenes and teens trying it. Overall, this is fairly intense for a popcorn movie and is best for mature older teens and up.

  • Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence, gore, and blood. How necessary was it to the story? How does it compare to what you might see in a horror movie? Which has more impact?
  • How do the actions of law enforcement characters differ from those of the villains? Why is one set of characters right and the other wrong? What is the movie saying about the powers of the law?
  • As a superhero and/or comic book hero, is Judge Dredd a role model? How does he compare to other comic book heroes you've seen (Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, etc.)?
  • What does Anderson learn over the course of the movie? Is she a positive female role model?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Dredd learns that his black-and-white rulebook doesn't necessarily apply when he's assigned to test out a new rookie; she doesn't officially pass, but she behaves above and beyond in other ways. On the other hand, the way that criminal behavior is dealt with in this futuristic world may raise questions about how far the power of the law should extend.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Dredd doesn't grow or change much over the course of the film, and his brand of heroism includes killing. But he is brave and heroic. Anderson, the rookie, is an example of a courageous and strong female character; she's not there for romance, but to complete a challenging journey of her own.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Extreme sci-fi/fantasy violence, with gallons of blood spilled, hundreds of casualties, and thousands of bullets fired (some in detailed slow motion). Characters are smashed by cars, burned alive, and thrown from great heights, splattering on the ground. Other characters are beaten, pummeled, and bloodied; a neck is broken violently. In a few extremely quick flashback shots, characters are skinned alive. Two teens pick up guns to try to kill Dredd; he stuns them before they can cross that line.

  • sex false3

    Sex: In a kind of fantasy sequence, a woman with psychic powers enters a man's mind; he imagines her performing oral sex on him, but the entire thing is brief and is suggested rather than shown. Other very brief, suggestive, but not graphic, erotic images appear in his thoughts. The lead villain is said to have once been a "hooker" and a "prostitute."

  • language false4

    Language: Language isn't constant but contains many uses of "f--k," as well as a few uses of "s--t," "motherf---er," "ass," "goddamn" and "bitch." The heroes mostly refrain from using bad language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main villain manufactures and sells a (fictitious) illegal street drug called "Slo-Mo," which slows down the user's experiences. Slowed-down "drug trip" scenes are shown throughout the movie. Some teens are seen using the drug. No real-life drugs or alcohol are shown.