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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Dredd learns that his black-and-white rulebook doesn't necessarily apply when he's assigned to test out a new rookie; she doesn't officially pass, but she behaves above and beyond in other ways. On the other hand, the way that criminal behavior is dealt with in this futuristic world may raise questions about how far the power of the law should extend.
Positive Role Models
Dredd doesn't grow or change much over the course of the film, and his brand of heroism includes killing. But he is brave and heroic. Anderson, the rookie, is an example of a courageous and strong female character; she's not there for romance, but to complete a challenging journey of her own.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme sci-fi/fantasy violence, with gallons of blood spilled, hundreds of casualties, and thousands of bullets fired (some in detailed slow motion). Characters are smashed by cars, burned alive, and thrown from great heights, splattering on the ground. Other characters are beaten, pummeled, and bloodied; a neck is broken violently. In a few extremely quick flashback shots, characters are skinned alive. Two teens pick up guns to try to kill Dredd; he stuns them before they can cross that line.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In a kind of fantasy sequence, a woman with psychic powers enters a man's mind; he imagines her performing oral sex on him, but the entire thing is brief and is suggested rather than shown. Other very brief, suggestive, but not graphic, erotic images appear in his thoughts. The lead villain is said to have once been a "hooker" and a "prostitute."
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Language isn't constant but contains many uses of "f--k," as well as a few uses of "s--t," "motherf---er," "ass," "goddamn" and "bitch." The heroes mostly refrain from using bad language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main villain manufactures and sells a (fictitious) illegal street drug called "Slo-Mo," which slows down the user's experiences. Slowed-down "drug trip" scenes are shown throughout the movie. Some teens are seen using the drug. No real-life drugs or alcohol are shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dredd 3D is based on the futuristic comic book hero Judge Dredd, who was also the subject of a 1995 Sylvester Stallone movie. The new movie is full of extreme sci-fi/fantasy violence, with thousands of bullets fired, gallons of blood spilled, and hundreds of casualties, including victims splattered and burned (and it's all even more intense in 3-D). Language is almost as strong, with many uses of "f--k," as well as a few other words. Sex comes up in a kind of fantasy "psychic" sequence in which a character briefly imagines oral sex being performed on him (nothing graphic shown). Though real drugs/alcohol don't appear, the entire plot is about the manufacture and distribution of a fictitious, illegal street drug called "Slo-Mo." Viewers see drug trip scenes and teens trying it. Overall, this is fairly intense for a popcorn movie and is best for mature older teens and up. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
No subplots, romances, or comic sidekicks get in the way of the pure action in this adrenaline-filled movie. Both Dredd 3D and the earlier The Raid: Redemption are set in a high rise with the bad guy at the top, where every floor is more dangerous than the one before it. Fortunately, the two movies are different enough -- and enjoyable enough -- that they can exist side by side. Based on the popular comic book, Dredd 3D is extremely violent but minimalist at the same time. Even Urban, as Dredd, speaks only when necessary and only in an emotionless murmur.
Director Pete Travis uses space well and also incorporates an awesome production design, such as a skateboard ramp that hangs off the side of the building several hundred feet up. The "Slo-Mo" drug trip sequences in particular are quite dazzling. Thankfully, even these flashier elements are all employed solely for the purpose of underlining and enhancing the action. Overall, Dredd 3D isn't as rich or as deep as The Dark Knight Rises or The Avengers, but it's good, solid comic book fun.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.