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Dredd 3D Review
By Darrin Jones / September 21

Ingredients: If you liked the characters of Judge Dredd (1995), the plot of The Raid: Redemption, and the action of Watchmen, you will like this movie.

I was excited to see Dredd 3D. Really excited. So excited I even did something I never do, I watched a 3D movie IN 3D! And my overexcitement paid off because Dredd 3D is a damn good movie. In this re-imagining, the remnants of humanity survive in a post-apocalyptic future living in giant mega cities suffering from overpopulation and rampant crime. The only thing standing between the city’s citizens and total anarchy is a highly specialized police force with the responsibility to act as judge, jury, and executioner. Judge Dredd (as played by Karl Urban) is a legendary law-enforcer tasked with evaluating a new recruit with psychic powers, Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby.) The evaluation becomes a life and death struggle when the judges stubble upon the rising drug queenpin, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her brand new illicit substance, Slo-Mo. Ma-Ma locks down the entire block trapping the judges in a steel fortress controlled by her vicious gang. Unfortunately for Ma-Ma, she’s locked in with Dredd and now it’s judgement day.

The big selling point of the film is, of course, the 3D but this is probably the smartest way I’ve seen it introduced. 3D is at its best when involving slow-motion and director Pete Travis actually found a way to make it a key plot device through the drug, Slo-Mo. Now there’s a big difference between a scene that is just shown in slow-motion and an actual slow-motion scene. The Slo-Mo moments show different camera angles, alter lighting schemes, focus on subtle ripples of movement and it all comes together for some truly memorable and, dare I say, artistic scenes. Oh, and you get to see all the bloody violence and gore, too. So much violence and gore.

But Dredd 3D is more then just a competently made action movie, it is an all around well-made film. The violence is balanced with quiet moments for quality character development. The hard hitting tragic scenes are balanced by scattered moments of humor. And the filmmakers expertly dodge the usual cliched pitfalls that most other action movies fall in and instead use them to their advantage. Urban, Thirlby and Heady all give outstanding performances injecting lots of personality into their characters in a short amount of time without relying on clunky exposition or dialogue.

I was a big fan of the previous Judge Dredd movie, campiness and all. But now I’m an even bigger fan of Dredd 3D. If you like your movies on the juicier, more gritty side you should check it out. A great watch for action flick fans. And, for anyone wanting to experience some truly beautiful scenes, I recommend seeing it in 3D.


  1. Are you saying that you liked the Dredd movie with Stallone? If so, you're the only person other than myself who liked it, awesome

    1. Of course, Sly. Stallone's portrayal of Judge Dredd was some high quality 90's camp.