I watched Dredd recently. (I do love schlocky thrillers) and it was way better than I expected and a pretty simple story.
Anyone who remembers that terrible Judge Dredd movie with Sylvester Stallone knows how badly the violent comic can be mismanaged into something so terribly, terribly wrong.
But Dredd is a relatively small movie, which got half decent reviews, all of which mentioned the over the top violence (so please don't watch if you're squeamish)
What I liked about it was it over performed to my expectations, the story was simple, but straightforward and the performances were half decent. And they made smart story telling decisions. For those of you that are not familiar with Judge Dredd, he's one of a small group of police/judges in a futuristic America, sort of a sheriff, with the authority to both determine and undertake sentencing of lawbreakers on the spot.
So the movie introduces a new world, and a new system of policing and they do this, by using the rookie judge to explain it all, without really having the so you know Bob conversation. And it allows the movie to keep the Judge Dredd character mysterious, so much so we never see him without his helmet on, so we never see his full face. It's a clever move, because it keeps the aura of unpredictability to his character, but also can make him larger than life, because we see him through another's eyes.
so we have the rookie who is the the hero and struggling through an impossible situation and we have Dredd who is also heroic, but in a different way. One character is rooted very much in her vulnerability and one who appears invulnerable. And then the story gets to play with twisting that around. Seriously clever.
And the villain is a woman really well played by Lena Headly, so all in all a really good, gorey thriller.