I have to admit, when I heard they were re-doing Judge Dredd I was not thrilled. The Stallone version, cheeseball as it was, carried a lot of weight and honestly I didn't see where there was room for any sort of improvement given the source material. I'm not knocking the Dredd comics, I just did't expect anyone to have the will to translate them in any way faithfully to the big screen. Man, was I wrong. This film is dark, violent, gory, and unrelenting. It has not real morally redeeming moments. It is... almost perfect. Dredd, this Dredd, is a bad ass for the ages. Kudos to Alex Garland for a solid script. And kudos to Karl Urban for throwing himself into a role that no one is every going to recognize him for (literally, he's a frown with a helmet for the entire movie).
The other surprise for me was the cinematography. This movie is visually stunning in a way you just don't expect from a action movie like this. The visuals are balanced with a terrific sound track as well. The movie really draws you into the world the filmmakers were trying to create.
I don't know, maybe my initial doubts going in are clouding my judgement, but this was a stand out movie for me for 2012 and I can't wait to see it again on blu-ray.