Dredd (2012) Movie Review


Karl Urban stars as Judge Dredd, and he may be familiar as to some as Bones in Star Trek.  Cassandra Anderson, a psychic and recruit, is played by Olivia Thirlby. Lena Headey stars as Madeline Madrigal or “Ma-Ma,” the drug lord of Peach Trees.  She may be most recently recognized as Cersei Lannister of the Game of Thrones television series. Caleb,  one of her henchmen, is played by Warrick Grier. Kay, another one of Ma-Ma’s henchmen, is played by Wood Harris

Some of the other minor roles include: Judge Lex played by Langley Kirkwood; Judge Alvarez played by Edwin Perry; Judge Chan is played by Karl Thaning; and Judge Kaplan is played by Michele Levin.  Lastly, Rakie Ayola stars as the Chief Judge who makes an appearance at the end of the film.


In the future on an irridiated Earth — and United States, there exists few safe zones.  With the destruction of the former cities, there came mega-cities, slum towers, drugs, high-crime, overpopulation and Judges.  These Judges serve as judge, jury and executioner without forgiveness.  Judge Dredd is one of many judges in Mega-City One and he and his new recruit, Cassandra Anderson, must overtake Peach Trees, a drug-filled, crime-filled slum tower, as they attempt to escort Kay, one of Ma-Ma’s henchmen.  Ma-Ma is the druglord of Peach Trees who leads the manufacture and distribution of Slo-Mo, an illicit drug, throughout Mega-City One.  However, with the arrival of the Judges in her tower, she takes control of the security room and seals the building thus preventing Judge Dredd and Anderson from leaving with Kay.  Ma-Ma escalates the violence and bloodshed as one failure follows after another — eventually pulling a couple of aces out of her pocket to no avail.

Overall (Out of 10)

Overall, this is an enjoyable action movie, but it was filled with cliches.  The Slo-Mo effect was a bit distracting although the use of it was understandable.  Comparably though, The Matrix trilogy still did the effect much better than Judge Dredd.  The acting in of itself was decent as Karl Urban could only do so much in his helmet.  Olivia Thirlby was too soft in her role and not entirely believable as a Judge or recruit potential for one.  Wood Harris as Kay and Lena Headey as Ma-Ma played their roles to perfection — almost.  As an action movie, it was solid, but action cliches filled the entire movie whereas others have done better.  I will give credit to this movie was quite faithful to the source, the comic books. In my honest opinion, The Raid: Redemption and the original Die Hard both were better action tower-climbing movies and added far more testosterone. This movie deserves a 7.5 out of 10 — worth a watch but not much more.