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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The homeless man squatting outside Peach Trees. Dredd quizzes Anderson, who answers the punishment is several weeks in prison, but their murder investigation should take priority, so Dredd tells him to leave before they come back, then later arrests him when he's still there. Was he intentionally trying to get arrested to get off the streets?
    • Was Judge Lex always the cutthroat mercenary he is in the film proper, a brutal thug with a badge who abuses his authority at the expense of the public he is supposed to serve? Or does his rant to Dredd imply he was once an honest judge who just got ground down by the system?
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  • Can't Un-Hear It: Karl Urban as Judge Dredd.
  • Cult Classic: Since its DVD release, it got a bigger following, a sequel petition and won out in Amazon's March Movie Madness poll in 2014, beating out such films as Pulp Fiction, Indiana Jones and The Lord of the Rings.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Clan Techie. While quite underrated and a bit-part at best in the movie, he's played by Domhnall Gleeson, who went on to star in quite a few high-profile movies after 'Dredd''. The Clan Techie has garnered a small fanbase as a result. One of the sequel comics actually focuses on his life after the Peach Trees incident.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: This is the first Judge Dredd film to examine the core premise of the comics; Democracy Is Bad. If people can't learn to live together peacefully on their own, all that's left is the Appeal to Force; the shotgun blast of Ma-Ma's enforcers, or the surgical ruthlessness of Dredd and his fellow Judges. Either way, civilization is held together by mutual self-interest or unreasoning fear; a fear the Judges know all too well how to exploit.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Ma Ma's Rape as Backstory has a whole new meaning in light of Lena Headey being one of the many women accusing Harvey Weinstein of being inappropriate towards her.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Ma Ma's death by being shot and thrown from a height would be echoed in the comics in the form of PJ Maybe's death.
    • In the legolambs Dredd: The Musical song, a Karl Urban impersonator complains about not getting a sequel, while Thor gets one. Now, Urban is playing Skurge in Thor: Ragnarok.
    • Urban's casting as Skurge is hilarious in and of itself, as Skurge is also known as the Executioner in the comics.
  • Jerkass Woobie: In this comic, Ma-Ma was surprisingly enough, portrayed sympathetically as a prostitute trying to escape the grim life of streets, until she snaps when her friend is tortured and murdered.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Perps were ... uncooperative," and variations of it.
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    • "I am the law." Obviously.
    • "[Insert random comment] is an automatic fail."
    • Posters of upcoming sequels to subpar films that came out after Dredd accompanied by a picture of Dredd scowling have become quite popular on the "Make a DREDD Sequel" Facebook page.
    • Judge Dredd is not amused.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Ma-Ma crosses it for some in the audience in her very first scene, in which she orders a trio of drug dealers to be skinned alive and thrown off a very high balcony, having been dosed up on Slo-Mo beforehand to draw out the pain for as long as possible. She crosses it for everyone else when she callously massacres an entire floor of innocent people with gatling cannons just to kill the two protagonist Judges. Which even then, she fails at doing.
  • She Really Can Act: Olivia Thirlby's best known role before this was a very different kind of film, but she manages to hold her own with Karl Urban and that's no small feat.
  • Signature Scene: Dredd's speech to the inhabitants of Peach Trees, particularly his stony delivery of the character's iconic "I am the law".
  • Too Dumb to Live: The bum outside Peachtrees is firmly told by Dredd to clear out before he comes back through or he's getting arrested, the type of threat which is rare for someone like Dredd. When Dredd comes back, he hasn't moved an inch. Furthermore he somehow decided that the best place to loiter was directly underneath a giant steel gate where he can get squished if, say, the building went into lockdown.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Some fans voiced dislike of the film thanks to the helmet being bigger and the smaller Eagle (the shoulderpads). It should be noted though, that some early stories had smaller shoulder pads Depending on the Artist.
    • Dredd handing out death sentences can also be a little odd as, depending on the writer, the death penalty is not used in the Mega-City One of the comics.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Slo-Mo scenes are gorgeous, and provide a handy in-universe excuse for the film to use Bullet Time.
  • The Woobie: The Clan Techie, who had his eyes gouged out by Ma-Ma with her own hands, had them replaced with cybernetic ones and is threatened with death or torture if he fails. Or if she's bored. Thank god Anderson let him go.

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