Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 18, 2012
    75
    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."
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Sep 20, 2012
    80
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Sep 26, 2012
    78
    Absolutely, 100% kickass. Now would someone please get busy on the "Tank Girl" do-over, please?
  4. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Sep 20, 2012
    40
    Every so often there's a suggestion that a police state may actually be a lousy idea, but this thought dies even faster than the disposable characters.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 20, 2012
    38
    Calling Dredd 3D a movie is sort of a lie. It's a premise, and there are levels to reach, and always there's another grimy hallway to stalk, and then you turn right or left, and then kill some more.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 20, 2012
    25
    All I wanted to do was escape from this aggressively ugly world and its equally unattractive characters. It's not that the movie is in bad taste or cheesy (though it is) but that all of its hyperviolence adds up to nothing: This thing is dedd.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 20, 2012
    20
    The drug that Ma-Ma trafficks in, Slo-Mo, slows its user's brain to 1% of its normal speed. Dredd unfortunately makes you feel as if you, too, have partaken.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Sep 19, 2012
    33
    Dredd, a second attempt at making Judge Dredd a movie star, overcorrects, veering in the opposite direction with a dark - literally and otherwise - nearly humorless bit of ultraviolence distinguished largely by a fondness for spurting CGI blood.
  9. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Sep 18, 2012
    80
    The impressively lean script by Alex Garland (28 Days Later) is shorn of almost all superfluity beyond a few dud Schwarzeneggeresque kiss-offs, while Anthony Dod Mantle's sensational widescreen cinematography harkens back to the tension-inducing inventiveness of early John Carpenter.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    Fitfully uneven, Dredd is nevertheless an intriguing consolidation of action-movie excess -- and even makes a solid case for its aesthetic appreciation.
  11. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 19, 2012
    75
    The story places a premium on delivering its disreputable sex-and-violence goods with a minimum of fuss or pretension.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    The themes are also dated. There are times when Dredd 3D feels like an escapist companion piece to "The Day After." But there we go again, thinking too much. No sense in ruining such a fine piece of cheap entertainment.
  13. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Sep 20, 2012
    50
    Pretty clearly determined to deliver the antidote to Stallone's movie, the filmmakers take their cues from Christopher Nolan's Batman filmscape, dropping Dredd into a fictional concrete sprawl (actually South Africa) that's relentlessly grounded, visually and dramatically. In a generic way, the environment works.
  14. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    For sci-fi action fans, it's an instant classic. For everyone else, it's a dark, bloody mess.
  15. Reviewed by: Geoff Berkshire
    Sep 3, 2012
    70
    Grim, gritty and ultra-violent, Dredd reinstates the somber brutality missing from the U.K. comicbook icon's previous screen outing.
  16. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt (1)
    Sep 3, 2012
    60
    There was much to dread about this new iteration of Dredd, but it's a solid, occasionally excellent take on the character, with Urban's chin particularly impressive.
  17. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Jul 25, 2012
    67
    Dredd is a video game procedural tied to great visuals, but one without deeper substance to make its experience remotely meaningful.
  18. Reviewed by: Jonathan Crocker
    Sep 3, 2012
    60
    Grungy, compact and delightfully violent, Dredd wants to hit you as hard as it can. The sequel may be the movie you really want, but for now, justice has been done.
  19. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Sep 22, 2012
    70
    Dredd 3-D places you firmly in an unreal, dreamlike world and rouses you with its unexpected grace and its rhythms and its movement. The plot ceases to matter after a certain point: This is a great big beautiful music video, and there's nothing really wrong with that.
  20. Reviewed by: Sean OConnell
    Sep 21, 2012
    75
    This, finally, is the Dredd movie comic book readers have been anticipating.
  21. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Sep 20, 2012
    42
    Olivia Thirlby adds some humanity as the empath. And as the scarred queen of a drug cartel, Lena Headey chews the scenery, and some of her costars, with relish.
  22. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Sep 20, 2012
    50
    Dredd's cinematography is one of its strongest assets speaks to the film's larger problems - the parts and pieces just don't have the total impact they should, like a punch sailing helplessly through the air rather than forcefully smacking its target.
  23. Reviewed by: Joel Arnold
    Sep 20, 2012
    95
    Dredd works because it's an action flick with wide appeal that takes risks it doesn't need to - in its delightfully off-putting violence and daring style - and those choices pay off in a singular and exhilarating movie experience. It's savage, beautiful and loads of fun.
  24. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Sep 20, 2012
    70
    This breathless science-fiction thriller isn't just gory. It practically revels in graphic violence, with several scenes shot in excruciating slow motion.
  25. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    Sep 19, 2012
    83
    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.
  26. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Sep 18, 2012
    80
    Dredd is proudly degenerate - and it never feels compelled to slow down and explain itself.
  27. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Sep 15, 2012
    60
    The stylish sci-fi film makes some eye-popping and unexpected choices that add up to one heck of a fun film.
  28. Reviewed by: Phelim O Neill
    Sep 7, 2012
    80
    In a world of compromised adaptations, Dredd is something of a triumph.
  29. Reviewed by: Stephen Dalton
    Sep 3, 2012
    80
    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.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 544 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 167
  1. Sep 22, 2012
    10
    The critics giving this a bad review either decided they weren't paid enough to give it a good one or have an allergy to extreme badassery. This is the most accurate portrayal of Judge Dredd we could have hoped for. And as for "no humour". There humour but it requires a strong stomach. Much like... you know... the comic did. Full Review »
  2. Sep 21, 2012
    10
    No need to dread this Dredd. Karl Urban nails the title character, and staying true to the comic book, that helmet never comes off. The audience is introduced to Dredd's world through the eyes of Dredd's rookie partner Anderson, beautifully played by Olivia Thirlby. The movie starts off with a bang, and doesn't let up. Stylish and violent, this is one of the better comic adaptations this year. Full Review »
  3. Sep 21, 2012
    10
    One of my personal favorite movies of the year, Dredd delivers in every way. The story is pushed by Dredd's commitment to law and the rookie, he's a gruff badass that shines throughout. Karl Urban nailed the character, you can always tell there's something deeper with him, but he pushes the story with bloody and relentless violence. The cast is superb, I love the film quality, and there isn't one slow moment the entire film. It's some of the best action I've ever seen and a very hard R rating, but if you don't mind that, jaw dropping and absolutely brutal violence, with a smart and simple plot that flows on its own, you'll love Dredd. Full Review »