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Dredd 3D review roundup

Now that Dredd 3D is out, the critics have spoken, but the audience ratings are suspiciously higher. I've rounded up key sections from the reviews of 10 top critics (click their names for the full review), but it's also important that you, the viewers and die-hard 2000 AD fans, also throw in your two cents by giving us your review below.

If you want an even shorter review roundup, here are a few major points that we can take away from the reviews of the film critics:

  1. Dredd 3D is way better than Sylvester Stallone's 1995 movie Judge Dredd.
  2. The visual effects of Dredd 3D, especially the slow-motion sequences, are phenomenal, and spaced nicely throughout the film.
  3. Dredd 3D is extremely dark, bleak, grim, sinister, and [insert synonym].
  4. Karl Urban is not relied upon for too much "acting".
  5. Whether or not the story is outdated seems to be a major concern.
  6. It's entertaining, but an extremely average film.


Here are the reviews:

Loved It

James Rocchi - MSN Movies

Score: 4 out of 5 stars

There is, to be sure, nothing new under the sun in "Dredd 3D," director Pete Travis' take on the British comic-book futuristic supercop; at the same time, the film's near-perfect understanding of the tone of both the source material and itself makes it a high-octane heavy-gloss ugly-pretty adrenaline rush far easier to enjoy than you'd think.

Thought It Was Okay

Claudia Puig - USA Today

Score: 2.5 out of 4 stars

Garish, funny and cartoonishly violent are not terms generally associated with post-apocalyptic action films. But Dredd 3D has a likeable self-mocking streak and its limited dialogue, by novelist/screenwriter [Alex Garland, makes it a tersely comic futuristic thriller, better than 1995's dreadful Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone.

Sean O'Connell - Washington Post

Score: 3 out of 4 stars

Good news, Judge Dredd fans. Pete Travis’s savage interpretation of John Wagner’s futuristic law enforcer adheres to the character’s grim graphic-novel roots and proves far superior to the corny misfire attempted by Sylvester Stallone back in 1995. This, finally, is the Dredd movie comic book readers have been anticipating.

Dreadful news, Dredd fans. If you also caught Gareth Evans’s like-minded Indonesian thriller “The Raid: Redemption” earlier this year, then “Dredd 3D” will strike you as derivative.

Peter Hartlaub - San Francisco Chronicle

Score: 3 out of 4 stars

Don't think about it too much - screenwriter Alex Garland certainly didn't. Instead he focuses on the bleak tone, simplicity of character and cathartic violence of the comic strip source material. The result is a B-movie success - and the rare superhero film that revels in its carnage instead of stifling it for a PG-13 rating.

Christy Lemire - Associated Press

Score: 3 out of 4 stars

The visceral visuals, shot in 3-D by Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire" cinematographer and frequent Lars Von Trier collaborator Anthony Dod Mantle, feature extreme close-ups and sequences of super-cool slow-motion photography, which wisely are spread sparingly throughout the course of the picture. A guy doesn't just get shot in the face - we see the bullet enter his mouth and send blood spurting out his cheek through the screen in such deliberate, distinct fashion, you can practically count the drops.

Mark Olsen - L.A. Times

Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Smartly cast and with a sharp team behind the scenes, there is no good reason why "Dredd 3D" is such a clunk-headed action picture. That "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.

Frank Lovece - Newsday

Score: 2 out of 4 stars

The film's one believably human scene involves Anderson meeting the family of a murderous gang member she's killed. Otherwise, it's all tough-guy talk and humorless cynicism -- which is odd since the comics feature, running since 1977 in the weekly anthology "2000 AD," is largely a satire of this kind of story, with deliberately over-the-top attitudes that anticipated the satirical violence and societal corporatization of "RoboCop" (1987). This by-the-numbers movie, however, seems the product of RoboFilmmakers.

Tom Russo - Boston Globe

Score: 2 out of 4 stars

We get mesmerizingly grisly 3-D looks at bullets shredding facial flesh, among other impossibly drawn-out images of punks meeting their doom. If only the villainy or the tone here were half as crazy. Not every dystopian comic book movie needs to play like “The Dark Knight Rises” these days. A bit of “RoboCop” screwiness would be OK, too.

Hated It

Kyle Smith - New York Post

Score: 1 out of 4 stars

My notes are as follows: “Shoot bad guy.” “Shoot bad guy.” “Shoot bad guy.” There’s a climactic confrontation with Ma-Ma that isn’t very climactic, and some corrupt judges work against our heroes, but it’s hard to care which faceless authoritarian maniac shoots which faceless authoritarian maniac. 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.

Manohla Dargis - New York Times

Score: 2 out of 5 stars

Karl Urban, his face almost completely obscured by Dredd’s mask, plays the monosyllabic hero who’s cop, judge, jury and trigger-happy executioner in one expressionless package. Guns are fired; viscera squishes, squirts and sprays in 3-D and sometimes in slow motion. 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.

Wikian Reviews

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