Judge Dredd Movie Poster Image

Judge Dredd

(i)

 

'90s Stallone action movie guilty of nonstop violence.
  • Review Date: October 31, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a grim dystopian view of society where justice and crime are equally violent. There is an attempt to make a political point about the dangers of consolidated power, but these points are overwhelmed by constant violence.

Positive role models

While entertaining, the characters are two-dimensional comic book heroes and/or anti-heroes engaged in constant comic book-style violence.

Violence

Continuous violence throughout the film. Rioters throw broken bottles, fight with sticks, and start fires. Judge Dredd shoots and kills one of the rioters. Dredd blows up a car with a grenade. A prison warden is shot with a futuristic gun and killed. Characters are taken prisoner and left hanging from a rope by their wrists. Cannibals roast a dead body on a spit. Fistfights and gun violence throughout.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

"Ass," "a--hole," "p---y," "bitch," "s--t," "f--king."

Consumerism

A robot selling snacks appears on screen with the Coors beer logo clearly shown on top of it. During a hovercraft chase, characters crash into a store stocked with bottles of Wild Turkey whiskey.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main antagonist of the film smokes a cigar.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Judge Dredd is a grim and violent sci-fi movie in which characters are continually fighting -- shooting futuristic guns, throwing grenades, and punching. In some instances, the violence borders on cartoon-like in its outlandishness, but that in no way softens scenes where dead bodies roast on spits or prison wardens are shot in the throat. Expect strong language, too, including "f--k" and "p---y." Considered a flop when released, the movie has acquired a cult following that teens may find attractive.

Parents say

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What's the story?

In a future where humans survive in mega-cities on a devastated planet now called "The Cursed Earth," it's up to judges like Joseph Dredd (Sylvester Stallone) to maintain what is left of order. The judges are literally "judge, jury, and executioner" as they police the streets and make arrests. They also determine guilt or innocence and pass sentence. Dredd is known as the toughest of the judges, but when he is framed for a crime he did not commit Dredd must find a way to avoid prison, prove his innocence, and stop an evil criminal (Armand Assante) from destroying the judges and creating his own army of super-criminals.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

In spite of not being in the same league as similar films like RoboCop and Blade Runner, JUDGE DREDD is an enjoyable-enough movie as long as you moderate your expectations. The dialogue can be corny from time to time ("Emotions," says Judge Dredd. "There ought to be a law against them."), the action and the violence can be a bit much, and Sylvester Stallone is, well, Sylvester Stallone, grunting through his lines. That being said, as both an action movie and a story based on the comic books, the film revels in the exaggerations inherent in both forms, be it in the dialogue, the violence, and the characters themselves.

Judge Dredd certainly goes out of its way to not be boring, even if it feels derivative. If you can accept the cliches of the genre, you might find something worthwhile.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about adaptations of comic book stories. What makes them successful or not?

  • What similarities and differences do you see between Judge Dredd and other dystopian science fiction films?

  • What is the point of so much violence? Are filmmakers trying to make a point, or just keep audiences entertained?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 30, 1995
DVD release date:August 19, 1998
Cast:Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Sylvester Stallone
Director:Danny Cannon
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Robots
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:continuous violent action

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old September 16, 2013

Stallone does it again!

Action-packed piece of movie making awesomeness
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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