During the scene chief judge introduces Dredd to rookie Anderson, this conversation ensues.

Chief judge: Rookie Anderson what can you tell me about the person I am with?

Rookie: Male, another judge. (Thinks) I can feel anger and control, but there is something else, something behind the control. Something....almost.

Chief judge stops her at this point, what was she about to say? Is there anything explained about this towards the end?

  • 2
    Another good question would be why Chief Justice stops her. Did she just have enough demonstration and didn't care what else Anderson would say, or did she just not want to know what was going on inside of Dredd, or did she maybe know what conflict he had to cope with (according to Nobby's answer) and didn't want it to be spoken out?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Apr 28, 2013 at 23:18
  • i thought its because Dredd is a clone and the chief judge didnt want Anderson or maybe Dredd to know.
    – user5658
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 16:06
  • 1
    @Pat Wrong Dredd. This question asks about the 2012 remake, whereas you're thinking of the original movie from the early 90s
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 17:04
  • With all of Dredds abilities I'm wondering if he just might be a little psychic myself. Knowing what we know of his origins I wouldn't doubt this even though it is never really said. But think about how he always knows where the bad guys are and just where to be at the right time every time. I don't believe that is "dumb luck" as far as the conflict going on in his head about the judicial system hell, what cop doesn't have internal issues with the law, real cop or fantasy cop?
    – user18513
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 17:58
  • I have to disagree with you with your theory about him knowing where the bad guys are, in the movie he goes to Mama's territory based on Anderson's choice. I don't think he is a psychic by any means.
    – Dredd
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 16:45

4 Answers 4


I grew up reading 2000AD and Judge Dredd, and the snippet I just procured from an IMDb user on the Dredd page below does a good job of summing up my own theories:

If you know the story-line in the comics, what Anderson is sensing behind his need for control is his sense of doubt about the judicial system. In the comic this sense of doubt leads him to quit and head off into the Cursed Earth. That story-line about him questioning the Judge system was going to form part of the next sequel. Giving Anderson the pass even though she failed his usual high standards shows that he's considering that there might be limitations to his usual methods... (writer) Garland has said he intends to adhere to Dredd's origins as they are laid out in the comic.

I would add that Dredd is known mostly for claiming to be 'the law'. However, it is evident from the end of the film that his stance has softened slightly - he is willing to pass Anderson despite her automatic fails during the mission. This is a step towards Joe Dredd questioning the very system he upholds and this is a theme that resonates throughout the comic books. Dredd faces an eternal struggle to enforce the law he was bred to uphold, while at the same time doubting the motives of the very law-makers he serves. It is this internal struggle that Anderson detects. A chink in the armor?

  • i really like your answer,after seeing the movie again your answer makes sense given the fact he was for failing anderson earlier because of the grades and may be Anderson's stance with hacker changed dredd? or is it the other judges who came out to kill him?
    – Dredd
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 4:30
  • 2
    Certainly, the thought that Judges could so easily have been bought off must have shaken his view.
    – Nobby
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 14:12
  • i am curious to see if there are any more takes on this.
    – Dredd
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 15:41
  • I've often wondered why Anderson sensed he was angry. It's clearly a character trait of Dredd that he's always frowning, but I was wondering why.
    – Reactgular
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 16:58
  • may be he was really angry, probably angry as to why he was summoned to see the chief justice when he could be kicking ass outside
    – Dredd
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 17:58

Wouldn't say it was his doubt about the system, not at that point of the movie, at least.

From the interview about the comic-book sequel to the movie: "[This Dredd] is younger, a little more enthusiastic about his job as the years have ground him down less. He doesn't have any of the creeping doubts about the system that may have crept in."

Source: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=47971

I guess that's the canon (sounds about right). So whatever Anderson sensed behind the control.. well, it was probably something else.


He's angry because he's conflicted and he's conflicted because he lives in a "Cursed City" on a "Cursed Earth," festering with savages and animals and he is tasked with judging and sentencing them all, which he does to the T, even for minor infractions like placing a vagrant in an iso-cube for 3 weeks (even though he never gets around to doing it). Deep down, he senses the lopsidedness of the Law, yet he adheres to it anyway at an almost unbelievable level of dedication. But the cost is a fierce internal struggle. It's like he's also fighting a war within himself.

Like Nobby said, Anderson senses the conflict.

Or maybe he just needs to get laid.


I think they're probably going to a mixture of the two films as well as the comic book universe. I can foresee Dredd being a genetic experiment, or possibly being tampered with as a child to elicit a more augmented and controlled anger response; without the loss of fine motor control related to increased blood pressure and pulse rates.

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