Dredd 3D Review

Movie: Dredd 3D
By: Maniac E
Date: September 28, 2012

Judgment is coming

After an absence of 17 years we finally get a new Judge Dredd movie. But like many after the last movie in 1995 with Stallone I didn't expected much. I like the comics of Dredd but the movie just didn't pull it off for me and now we get a bloody and more gritty movie called Dredd 3D. Let's see if Dredd 3D is the reboot that it needs to be.

Mega City is a post-apocalyptic dystopia covering the area between Washington D.C. and Boston, where newer 200-story atrium blocks sit nestled among crumbling skyscrapers. The city's cops are "Judges," entitled not only to enforce the law but also to carry out sentences instantly, even when that sentence is death. Judge Dredd is given the task of breaking in rookie Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby); she didn't quite pass training, but as her name suggests, she's a powerful psychic. What begins as a routine tour of duty through the mean streets of Mega City takes a twist when the two judges apprehend a drug dealer working for notorious crime boss Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). Not sure enough of his guilt to execute him on the spot, the cops plan to haul in their suspect for interrogation. To keep that from happening, Ma-Ma puts the whole block on lockdown and instructs the tenants to either kill the judges or to stay out of the way of the coming carnage.

Dredd 3D

Ok, the story isn't all that and it brings along a lot of resemblances with the Indonesian movie The Raid. The acting stays very lowkey meaning what you see is what you get don't think you will be getting any deep backstories. The judges are there to do their job and that is to bring justice and order to the block. Dredd 3D is the kind of movie that flirts with a Fascist point of view about law and order but barely acknowledges it while also firing round after round of ammo at its heroes without bothering to explain how they almost never get hit.

Dredd 3D

We get a few nice things in my opinion like slow-motion bullets, slow-motion shells falling, slow-motion water drops falling, slow-motion blood getting everywhere, and of course slow-motion bullet entries in random body parts with all the carnage in full effect. The slow-motion makes for some pretty cool shots though and really does give you a drunken feeling as it slows you down. Keeping with the theme of a dystopian world, the underworld and the gore, Dredd's cinematography is dark and dank. Which was for me a better translation of the comics, to me this had a better comic book feel to it at least it was closer to it.

Dredd 3D

The movie is raw in the most pure way possible that can be produced by Hollywood. Reminds me a lot of the 80tees movies like Terminator, Robocop, Flesh+Blood to name a few. The conflicts are raw and very graphic, and considering the heroes are significantly outnumbered and low on ammunition, each quarrel presents a different side of Dredd and Anderson's respective skill sets allowing the movie to showcase Dredd's ingenuity instead of dropping him into one brainless gunfight after another.

Dredd 3D

Dredd 3D isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it never really shines on any front. Did they end up with a good reboot? I think they came around 70% of it. There could have been a lot better work in it but the slow-motion shots are cool, this has also a downfall because there are way too much of them. With no backstories we end up with bleak and empty feeling characters which is a shame because there could have been a lot more work in it. If you were ever a fan of the comics you might find Dredd enjoyable but you have been warned, it's a 'bloody' loud watch.



Image quality

'Dredd' arrives on Blu-ray with an AVC/MVC 1080p encode at its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Filmed with three different digital cameras, the Red One MX, the Phantom Flex, and Silicon Imaging SI-2K, 'Dredd' was shot natively in 3D, and it shows. Additionally, the Phantom Flex was run at 3,000 frames per second to achieve the Slo-Mo shots that are such a standout feature of the film. Strangely enough the digital noise is more noticable in the 2D version.


This mix is incredibly aggressive. The movie may be low budget, but the sound is big enough for a movie with a three hundred million dollar bankroll. Directionality is spectacular, with bullets bouncing from left to right and front to back. The imaging is seamless and very organic. The sound field is almost always active with sonic detail.


For a $50 million movie that only raked in $30 million worldwide, I suppose we should be glad we're getting any special features at all. But for a movie this good, and a new release in 2012, the lack of substantial extras is a real letdown. The movie also had troubles in post-production, with writer/producer Alex Garland taking over editing from director Pete Travis, which could have been addressed. All in all we get some interviews, some extra's about Dredd's gear, some trailer stuff and the slo-mo parts.


What we got here is a solid package for a movie that is very watchable. Meaning the movie is one to atleast watch once! Entertainment One did put the 2D and 3D versions on the same disc. The visuals and the audio are top notch and should be a nice 3D expierence if you can handle it.

E1 Entertainment


Dredd 3D


Dredd 3D


Pete Travis






Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey