A movie reboot of Judge Dredd starring Kiwi actor Karl Urban is getting rave reviews ahead of its New Zealand release.

Dredd, a reboot of the comic book law enforcement character who made his movie debut with Sylvester Stallone's failed 1995 attempt, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews ahead of its worldwide premiere later this month.

"Grim, gritty and ultra-violent, Dredd reinstates the somber brutality missing from the UK comicbook icon's previous screen outing," said Variety reviewer Geoff Berkshire

The comments were echoed by Stephen Dalton in The Hollywood Reporter, who called it a "superior sci-fi action thriller" and said it packed a "hard punch".


"Pitched at the right level to please original fans, but still slick and accessible enough to attract new ones, Dredd feels like a smart and muscular addition to the sci-fi action genre," he said.

And Guardian reviewer Ben Child said: "It is the very definition of a lean, direct, no-holds-barred action movie - albeit a stylish and atmospheric one"

"Grungy, compact and delightfully violent, Dredd wants to hit you as hard as it can," said Total Film's Jonathan Crocker.

Urban told MTV Dredd would avoid the criticisms of the first film and stay true to the comics it was based on.

"I can say that the producers of this film are going to make a very gritty, hardcore, faithful adaptation of the comic," he said.

"I've been reading Dredd in one form or another for 25 years, so to be given the opportunity to portray such an enigmatic, iconic comic book character is one that I'm absolutely elated about."

Dredd is due out in New Zealand on October 4.

- Herald online