DREDD is one of the best films of 2012, and goes straight into my Top Five Sci-Fi Movies Ever.
A 2000AD reader in years past, I always enjoyed Dredd, and liked the Stallone movie too. But Karl Urban simply makes a far better Dredd - he has the gravely voice, he keeps the helmet and the scowl on, and the uniform is just great to look at. (The Judge helmets are much more authentic in this film version, which greatly adds to the appeal).
DREDD is a far more contained film than the Stallone version too, which probably tried to do too much. Confining this film to fewer locations really helps viewers to identify with the main characters more, as they are given far more screen time. Mega City One is far more like in the older 2000AD stories, with less flying traffic and the decaying old world buildings being much more evident.
I especially liked Olivia Thirlby, who looks, sounds and acts the part of Cassandra Anderson to perfection. She is a rookie in the film, assigned to Dredd for an assessment day, and like in the comics, she remains for the most part sans helmet, to extend her psychic abilities.
The film justifies its 18 certificate through graphic, bloody violence and expletives: no Drokk! Yelled here. Yet such is the nature of the world this version of Judge Dredd lives in, and this excellent film really does do the comic hero proud!
I know this film was made as the first part of a planned trilogy, and it would be rough justice indeed if parts two and three were never filmed.