Judge Dredd

  • Review Date: October 31, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Common Sense Media says

'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.


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.

Not applicable

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


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

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

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?


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
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:continuous violent action

This review of Judge Dredd was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action