Review: Dredd 3D

Dredd 3D

  • Starring:  Karl Urban (The Bourne Supremacy), Olivia Thirlby (The Darkest Hour), Lena Headey (300) and more.
  • Directed by: Pete Travis (Vantage Point)
  • Synopsis: “The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One–a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge–a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.” (-Collider)
  • Rated: Rated R for intense bloody violence, strong language, drug use and brief sexual content.
  • Trailer:

First off! Props to my friend Scott Lawlor of (who coincidently is the creator of the Focused Filmographer banner on the top of this page). In case you were curious, the poster above is not an official poster, but is one that Scott created on his own for the movie! I love it and had to give it top billing on my review. To see more of Scott’s work (he creates and sells t-shirts and more movie memorabilia) check out his page HERE). Great work, Scott!


Remember the movie Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone as the hardened and impartial judge from the gritty and bloody comic book series? Well…forget that movie.

Dredd 3D does not star a helmet-removing Sylvester Stallone fighting against robots, saying quick one-liners, and leaving a trail of bodies. It DOES however, star a griseled Karl Urban fighting a whole bunch of baddies, saying quick one-liners, and leaving a trail of bodies…and he does it WELL!

Dredd 3D is a new rendition of the character for the big screen that is not getting the attention it deserves. Almost immediately, it begins in a tone-setting way that lets you know that there will be little deviation from the comic character and plenty of deviation from the Stallone version. It impressively sets itself apart from expectations and sells the character in a big (and bloody) way.

Dredd is joined (reluctantly) by rookie judge Anderson (Thirlby) and on her first day of “assessment” they end up in the middle of a situation that highly resembles that of last year’s “action movie of the decade”:

Yes, it does resemble that of The Raid…and that truly is not a bad thing at all. It has its own brand of justice and action and it does indeed deliver. With a rather predictable plot, the exciting part of the movie is the action-packed journey to the end. Bullets, blood, and bodies fly in this futuristic film that shows the progression of technology, but not that of mankind. In a crime-ridden mega city, Dredd and the rookie must battle against insurmountable odds and fight their way through in hopes of surviving the onslaught from a druglord in a locked down tower.

Karl Urban plays the titular role seamlessly and proves to be the perfect choice for the character. The judge of few words carries out swift judgment and execution in this bloody battle of law vs. crime. The ruthless villain played by Headey is very quickly portrayed as the definition of “evil” and serves to be a believable antagonist for Dredd.

Comic book movie fans may begin to feel that this was the type of movie they had hoped other failed comic book movies would have been: i.e. Jonah Hex, The Punisher, Ghost Rider, etc.). Don’t mistake my meaning here. It’s not the perfect comic book movie and it definitely has some misplaced elements and a few cheesy/unnecessary moments (i.e. inconsequential characters, unnecessary twists, side stories, etc), but the credible threat, the action sequences, the believable acting, and the special effects/technology used really gives Dredd 3D the grit and appeal that serves it well.

Dredd 3D surprised me in that I was not all too interested in seeing this remake, but once I started the film I was paying attention to see just how this bullet-ridden ride would end. Urban did not disappoint and, while I can’t say I was “dredd-ing” seeing it (pun intended), I can say that I enjoyed the ride!

Negotiation’s over. Go see Dredd 3D. (or else Dredd will grumble at you as he pronounces judgment) Press PLAY on the video and move the timer to 2:15 and watch to the end to hear him do so.:

Score:  3.5 out of 5 stars for Dredd 3D

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer


  1. Ahah, you were dredding to see it, too funny!! I actually would rather wait to see this in rental because of the violence. As you know I LOVE Karl Urban. I was expecting a higher rating tho, as the earlier reviews were quite stellar.


  2. My rating for this one is half a point down on yours, but I pretty much agree with you. Though, I don’t think I was nearly as engaged as you were in the film. It didn’t bore me as such, but I just didn’t feel sucked into it all. Which is what I look for in films.

    Loved the soundtrack. Big, bassy and loud.


  3. I am surprised to see ur review for this movie so positive…although you only gave it a 3.5 which is still kind of mediocre so Ill go with my gut and let this one pass me by. The unfortunate problem this movie had is that the trailer is horribly corny. From the looks of ticket sales, Im not the only one who may have felt this way…lol. I enjoyed Raid Redemption, so I may look for this one on video when it is released. 🙂

    Did you see The Master? I’ve been waiting for your review before I see it.


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