Update: The biggest 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of the year has arrived with Avengers: Infinity War and it's just as great as you'd expect  — find out why we've added it, and the first Avengers film, to our list on page 2!

In our busy lives, it’s truly difficult to make it down to the cinema to witness the cinematic splendor of all the newest films like It or Dunkirk – we just have too much going on. But what if we told you there was another way? The best 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray movies can give you an experience that is about the closest thing you can actually get to having a movie theater in your living room. In fact, we'd with the advent of HDR, Dolby Vision and readily available Dolby Atmos sound systems, it's arguable better. And let's not forget the film buffs among us who simply want to watch certain movies over and over again at the highest quality currently available for your home. 

The image fidelity that the best 4K Ultra-HD Blu-rays offer is the closest thing to a true cinematic experience that cinephiles can get outside of a movie theater. And now that high dynamic range (HDR) is slowly becoming more and more prevalent by the day, the color reproduction will make standard definition movies look decrepit in comparison. The high resolution and HDR combine to bring you an experience that is unlike anything you’ve likely seen before in your own living room. That’s not to mention that the best 4K Ultra-HD Blu-rays will absolutely demolish anything you can stream online.  

While it’s true that some streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video do offer a good amount of content in 4K – Netflix Originals for instance – you’ll be sorely out of luck if you’re trying to find the newest movies in 4K with HDR on those platforms. And even among older titles, finding titles that are compatible with both technologies will be rare indeed.

These streaming services might have a ton of amazing content that takes advantage of your 4K TV, but you it might take you a long time to be able to find the same amount of content offered by the best 4K Ultra-HD Blu-rays. And even if you do decide to just wait it out, the image quality of streaming video doesn’t even come close to the fidelity offered by 4K Ultra-HD Blu-rays.

With that in mind, we've compiled a list of the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies you can buy today. Each of the discs on this list, regardless of how good the actual films are, can be considered 'reference quality' and we've exhaustively tested each to ensure they're truly worthy of our recommendation. Best of all, every 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc is region free, so anyone with a 4K Blu-ray player can enjoy these films.

Read on to find out which Blu-rays have made the list!

Avengers: Infinity War

The kind of cinematic event that 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray was made for, Avengers: Infinity War explodes onto the format with show-stopping HDR10 and Dolby Vision visuals and a fantastic Dolby Atmos audio track. 

Though Avengers: Infinity War was finished on a 2K digital intermediate (possibly due to the sheer amount of visual effects on display), it was captured at 6.5K, so the upscaled end result looks exceptional regardless. 

We see incredible definition and wonderful detail throughout the entirety of Infinity War, particularly in any scene featuring the towering computer-generated character, Thanos. Thanks to the incredible work of the film's animators, Thanos' face reveals outstanding textures and lines, with the added clarity of the film's resolution uptick providing additional gravitas to Josh Brolin's riveting motion capture performance. 

Elsewhere, the Infinity War shines thanks to HDR10 and Dolby Vision color grading, which gives the movie incredible vibrancy and contrast. Highlights, for instance, are incredibly strong here, with Thor's thunder-summoning abilities proving to be a standout. Skin tones also appear warmer and more natural, particularly during daylight scenes, such as the film's climactic battle. 

Topping off the film's astonishing visuals is a punchy Dolby Atmos track which offers impressive bombastics and atmospherics, providing a convincing three-dimensional soundscape in the process. 

While we would've loved for Avengers: Infinity War's full-frame IMAX sequences to have been included on the disc, it's hard to argue with what we did get here. Barring an unlikely 4K release of the film's IMAX version, this release is easily the best way to watch Avengers: Infinity War at home for the foreseeable future. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master), HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 7.1, French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 149 minutes

Black Panther

Captured at 3.4K resolution and then finished at 4K, Marvel's Black Panther arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a disc that easily outclasses its 1080p counterpart thanks to additional accuracy in its color palette and a more natural appearance overall. 

Right off the bat, the film impresses with its CGI introductory scene. We are given a quick history of Black Panther's country Wakanda, starting with the vibranium meteorite that gifts the African nation with the world's most precious (and technologically useful) metal. The level of detail in the animation is very high, and we're able to really appreciate the light and shade benefits that HDR allows for. 

Admittedly, the disc is less impressive during the night-time jungle rescue that comes shortly after, showing some muddiness in the darkness, something that may or may not resolve itself when viewed on an OLED screen. That said, later scenes set at night look glorious, including a car chase through Seoul that sees vibrant neon signs shimmer off the various luxury vehicles featured in the action-packed set piece. 

But really, detail and color are the standouts on this disc, with the film's flamboyant costumes looking especially eye-popping — witness, for instance, the ritual combat ceremony scene, in which each tribe gathers in their traditional garb to watch the country's top warriors battle for the right to be king. 

Clarity is also astounding here, with the various textures and fibers of each costume exhibiting jaw-dropping detail. A truly wonderful disc and a must-have for Marvel fans. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 135 minutes

Justice League

Though the film was finished on a 2K digital intermediate, that doesn't stop Justice League from looking astonishing on Ultra HD Blu-ray. Part of this is due to its 1:78.1 aspect ratio, which films the entire frame of your television (no black bars here), making these heroes look larger than life in the process. 

Like all of Zack Snyder's movies, Justice League was shot on film (35mm to be precise, though it was then blown up to 70mm using IMAX's digital media remastering), so you can expect incredible detail and additional texture to be found here. Costume detail looks absolutely extraordinary on this transfer, particularly in the texture of Batman's costume and the various surfaces of The Flash's super-complex outfit. 

When it comes to digital effects, Justice League also benefits on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. For instance, Cyborg's CGI body, which is made up entirely of shiny metal, lights and wiring, looks especially intricate and impressive here — particularly when it comes to specular highlights. 

As expected, shadows and dark areas (this is a Snyder film, after all) benefit greatly from the film's HDR color grading, and fans will be happy to know that the disc offers both HDR10 and Dolby Vision support. As for the film's soundtrack, the disc's Dolby Atmos track is muscular and bombastic, with deep bass and clean dialogue that works well within three-dimensional soundscape.

If you're a fan of the film, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Justice League is a must-buy, as it will likely become your reference disc for the foreseeable future.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, Portugese DTS 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 1:78.1, Runtime: 120 minutes

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Arriving on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with an upscaled transfer based on a 2K digital intermediate, Kingsman: The Golden Circle shines on the format thanks to some terrific HDR color depth and a significant uptick in fine detail across the board.

Colors are incredibly rich here, with the film's many sets and costumes looking particularly vibrant on the format. Explosions, in particular, look especially vivid and hot, while flesh tones look appropriately realistic and warm.

Though not sourced from a 4K master, the detail here is excellent, with fine lines and wrinkles looking particularly clean. Clothing looks pristine, with fibres and stitching clearly visible, giving the film's presentation a more immersive look overall. 

Kingsman: The Golden Circle looks best however, during its many slow-motion action sequences, in which we really get a good look at all of the extra detail afforded by the format. Elsewhere, more fast-paced and kinetic action scenes, such as the film's opening car chase, look astonishingly crisp. 

Visual effects also benefit from the added resolution and visual clarity, with the film's robot dogs receiving added complexity in their moving parts. Overall, if you liked Kingsman: The Golden Circle, this is easily the best way to watch it in your own living room.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 141 minutes

Wonder Woman

Making her stunning debut on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, Wonder Woman looks, well, wonderful. Shot on a combination of 35mm film and using the Arri Alexa 65 digital camera, Wonder Woman receives an unbelievable boost in visual fidelity, even if its digital intermediate was mastered at 2K.

Color reproduction and contrast are where Wonder Woman really shines, with the former looking especially beautiful during the scenes set on Diana's home island of Themyscira. Blues and greens are especially lush here, really selling the warm, sunny paradise setting. This is juxtaposed brilliantly against the grim and gray World War 1 tone that comprises much of the film's second half.

This is where contrast becomes particularly important, as much detail is revealed in the dark, dirty environments surrounding the main characters. The smoke-covered battlefield of No Man's Land is especially breathtaking, with its layers of smoky depth creating the illusion of an atmosphere that you can all but touch. 

Dirt and debris flies as Diana marches into the line of fire, with every speck clearly visible and contributing to the feel of the scene. Then there's Wonder Woman herself, whose famous red, blue and gold costume stands out gloriously against her war-torn surroundings.

For the film's fiery, explosion-filled finale, Wonder Woman's HDR color grading really delivers when it comes to highlights in the fire effects and sparks that populate the scene. At every turn, Wonder Woman is a fantastic example of how this format is ideal for this type of movie. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 141 minutes

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

James Gunn is in no small way responsible for Disney and Marvel finally hopping aboard the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray train, the landmark director insisting that his visually-spectacular new film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, be released on the only format that could do it justice. And, what a first title! A reference quality disc if ever there was one, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the kind of film that will make doubters of the young format stand up and take notice. 

The film's opening credits, in which Baby Groot dances in the foreground while a whole lot of intergalactic action takes place in the background, is frankly breathtaking, making full use of the format's superior level of detail. See the neon lettering that decorates each name in the credits, now bursting with a super bright and realistic glow. Behind Groot, you'll spot a near constant flurry of rainbow-like bursts of mist and thousands of multi-colored particles, now even more vibrant thanks to the disc's increased resolution and the wider color palette that HDR brings in. 

Detail is also amazing, with animated characters like Rocket and Groot looking especially detailed – just look at Rocket's realistic fur and the woodgrain texture that Groot exhibits. Costumes also get a notable boost in texture – it's now possible to see fuzzy fabric and stitching. 

What’s really impressive is that the entire movie keeps its level of visual chaos up without ever dropping the ball. As the film gets more out there in terms of locations and visual effects, the number of show-stopping 4K HDR scenes continuously grows, making this a disc that will floor viewers from beginning to end. Contrast and color levels have been impeccably chosen, too, with the disc avoiding the blown-out brightness that some releases on the format have unfortunately had. 

If there's one downside to the 4K release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it's that the film's IMAX sequences are not presented full-frame in that eye-popping shifting aspect ratio like they are on the 3D Blu-ray. Star Trek Into Darkness sported this kind of presentation on its 4K release and left our jaws glued to the floor, so it would've been great to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 presented in the same way.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 137 minutes

Logan

Fox does it yet again with another fantastic superhero-themed 4K Blu-ray, only this time, the movie on the disc is shooting for a sense of gritty realism, making it more than ideal for the Ultra HD treatment. 

From the very beginning, Logan's opening night-time sequence sets the tone for what we’re going to get from this HDR presentation. Despite being a low-light scene, we have no trouble seeing pristine detail in the Logan’s black limousine and the surrounding desert.

When it comes to the color representation, Logan exhibits a realistic palette that faithfully renders the dusty, western-style environments the film is mostly set in. The blistering New Mexico sun also looks amazing in this presentation, with impressive HDR-enhanced highlights. 

As the film goes on, we also start to see a lot of wear and tear on Logan's attire and his skin, with bloody wounds that look quite realistic. This is no doubt an advantage the 4K Ultra HD presentation has inherited from its true 4K digital intermediate. 

If you're in the UK or US, you may have also received a 4K version of Logan Noir, a black and white feature created just for the film's home release. However, we were unable to test this monochromatic version of the film, though it would be interesting to see how HDR can improve something in black and white.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Aspect ratio: 2.38:1, Runtime: 137 minutes

Deadpool

Deadpool

Speaking on the 4K Blu-ray release of his film, Deadpool, director Tim Miller told TechRadar that "the Ultra HD is f***ing amazing in the level of detail." Having thoroughly inspected the disc for ourselves, we absolutely have to agree. Shot at 3K on the Arri Alexa camera and then finished at 4K, Deadpool's Ultra HD Blu-ray closely resembles the film's theatrical presentation, only with the added bonus of HDR – which is exclusive to the film's home release.

Immediately evident from first viewing, Deadpool at 4K offers a much greater level of visual detail than the film's regular Blu-ray. By far the film's most eye-popping element, Deadpool's suit shows more fine detail in its fabric and stitching, and the wider color gamut offered by HDR makes the costume's various shades of red not only stand out more, but also blend together more naturally. As with most CGI and green screen-heavy films, the added resolution gives the film a slightly-heightened vibe, one that seems fully intended by its filmmakers. The film's fully computer-generated character, Colossus, also looks better, with HDR allowing for improved specular lighting on the character's reflective metal body.

Add to this a punchy and immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and Deadpool becomes one of the format's first must-own discs.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 108 minutes

X-Men: Apocalypse

XMen Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse was originally captured at 6K in the Redcode RAW format, which offers filmmakers an increased level of post-production control, making it perfect for HDR post processing. Finished on a 4K digital intermediate, X-Men: Apocalypse comes to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with no loss to visual fidelity whatsoever. A visual effects showcase if ever there was one, the end result, pardon the pun, is x-traordinary.

From its Ancient Egypt opening through to its apocalyptic finale, X-Men: Apocalypse dazzles in Ultra HD. Costumes and makeup benefit greatly from the added resolution afforded by format, opening our eyes to the incredible work that goes into their creation. There's an immediately noticeable increase in detail, as well as an added depth of texture.

As you would expect from a movie in which characters frequently shoot beams of energy from their hands/eyes/sceptres, lighting effects are a particular highlight here. Increased contrast and a wider color gamut mean that light blooming appears much more natural, avoiding the usual blocky-glow that plagues images with a lower color depth. It's also an extremely colorful movie, with numerous blue and purple characters on its roster. Thanks to HDR, and the added color gradations that it offers, characters show much more individual detail on screen. Without question, this Ultra HD Blu-ray is the preferred way to experience X-Men: Apocalypse.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.35:1, Runtime: 144 minutes

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition

Batman v Superman

As director Zack Snyder typically shoots on 35mm film stock, his films can be scanned at 4K without any real loss in visual fidelity. With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Snyder also opted to capture certain sections of the movie with 4K digital cameras, and on 70mm film stock using Panavision 65 cameras. The film was then finished on a 4K digital intermediate, which makes its Ultra HD Blu-ray release pretty close to what most people would've seen at their local multiplex (if not what they might have seen at IMAX and 70mm screenings).

Admittedly, the movie itself is quite grim, dark and muted in its presentation, but that doesn't stop its 4K Blu-ray from being super impressive – the disc's added resolution and color depth mean that Batman v Superman looks as good as it possibly can at home. HDR support allows for tremendous contrast and vivid colors (when they do appear). Fire in particular, looks vibrant and lifelike, achieving a level of brightness that makes it look even more incandescent. Everything else on screen has finer definition, allowing you to really appreciate the detailed texture of Batman's suit, for instance.

If you're a fan of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is a no-brainer – along with its inclusion of the more brutal and violent director's cut, the disc is also a testament to how 4K and HDR can improve the overall viewing experience.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 182 minutes

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider Man 2

Much like Batman v Superman, The Amazing Spider-Man was shot on 35mm film and later scanned and transferred to a 4K digital intermediate. Whatever you may think of the film itself, its Ultra HD presentation here is utterly sublime. Vibrant and colorful throughout, TASM2 especially shines during its effects-heavy set pieces.

Watching Spidey swing through New York on sunny days is a real treat – the film's beautiful blue skies really pop on this transfer, presumably aided by some HDR tinkering. The red and blue of Spider-Man's costume shimmers in the sunlight in a realistic manner, and the added resolution makes the spandex's rippling in the wind much more noticeable.

The real standout though, is the villainous character of Electro. With his translucent blue skin, constantly changing shades and pulsing with electricity, Electro's presence throughout the film is a real show-stopper. The scene in which he reveals his new form in the middle of Times Square, surrounded by the area's huge electronic billboards, is one of the most dynamic scenes I've personally witnessed on a television screen. Thanks to HDR, the scene's many colorful lights emit a more naturalistic light bloom that never shows signs of bleeding into the background.

Best of all, this Ultra HD presentation of the film manages to achieve all of this without losing its filmic appearance. A truly exceptional disc.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 142 minutes

Predator 3-Movie Collection

In an effort to make up for past mistakes, 20th Century Fox has brought the Predator franchise (that's the standalone movies — the less said about Alien vs Predator, the better) to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a long-awaited new transfer for the film that started it all. 

One of the most beloved action sci-fi films of the 1980s, the original Predator has surprisingly been shown very little love in the past when it came to its HD releases. As one of the worst examples of DNR (digital noise reduction) run amok, Predator's previous Blu-ray had all of its film grain scrubbed to the point where Schwarzenegger and his crew looked more alien than the titular creature itself. 

Thankfully, the team behind Predator's Ultra HD has finally given fans a home video release that's faithful to the film's original, grain-heavy look. That isn't to say that Predator now looks like a new movie — given the film's harsh jungle setting and rugged shooting conditions, Predator can appear a little rough around the edges at times. 

Detail, even in close ups, isn't particularly high, which is probably why DNR was employed so heavily the first time around. That said, there's a pleasing, healthy grain present throughout the film's running time, and occasionally, there are some particularly well-lit scenes that look extraordinarily vibrant and crisp on the 4K format. This is definitely the best that Predator is likely to look for the foreseeable future.

Moving on to what is arguably the standout disc in this 3-movie collection, Predator 2  looks fantastic thanks to the added richness of color afforded by HDR. The film's opening, set on the blisteringly hot streets of a crime-ridden Los Angeles, burns with extra intensity on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. You can almost feel the heat of the scene, with every drop of sweat realised with added detail thanks to the resolution uptick. Likewise, there's now extra clarity in the scenes which feature the Predator's thermal vision, with the reds, blues, yellows and greens looking especially vibrant here. 

As the only movie in this collection to be shot digitally (and the only one made in the last decade), Predators looks expectedly good on the Ultra HD format. Upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate, Predators appears clean and sharp at all times, with close-ups revealing plenty of wrinkles and fine details thanks to the boost in resolution. Colors also appear more refined here than in previous releases, with the movie's interesting lighting choices offering a wide range of hues and tones. It's safe to say that you won't be disappointed with the appearance of Predators on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR: HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (Predators upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, Czech  Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.35:1, 1.85:1, 1.84:1, Runtime: 107 / 108 / 107 minutes

Ready Player One

The kind of film that begs to be seen at the highest quality possible, Ready Player One explodes onto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with one of the most impressive discs we've ever reviewed — a surprise, given it comes with a 2K digital master. 

Set in a futuristic world where people's virtual lives have become their primary ones, Ready Player One adopts an otherworldly, heightened visual style which lends itself to the 4K HDR format. 

Characters and environments look incredibly detailed and highly animated, with Spielberg's sweeping camera movements capturing the chaotic in-game world of The Oasis in a way that other filmmakers could only dream of. A visual feast, Ready Player One's heavy use of color figuratively explodes from the screen thanks to the disc's terrific use HDR10 and Dolby Vision grading. 

An early scene, in which the lead characters must compete in the most over-the-top race this side of Speed Racer, is bursting with hidden details and visual grandeur. In fact, it might be the most visually spectacular sequence to hit the format to date.

Outside of The Oasis, real-world sequences look fantastic, too, with perfectly-tuned skin tones and added detail in costumes and sets. 

Add to this a roaring Dolby Atmos track offers incredible three-dimensional sound, and what you have in Ready Player One is a new reference quality disc to demonstrate your home theater with. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1, Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 140 minutes

Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

During the film's opening moments, and depending on your television, you may find yourself taken aback by Star Wars: The Last Jedi's first foray into HDR territory, with its familiar opening crawl taking place on a space background that looks a little more gray than we're used to seeing — especially in contrast to the pitch black bars above and below the film's 2.39:1 frame. 

Don't fret — as soon as the action kicks in, you'll find an exceptional transfer worthy of such a mammoth release. Colors are greatly enhanced by the disc's HDR10 and Dolby Vision tinkering, exhibiting additional vibrance and brightness throughout the entire feature presentation. 

Skin tones appear more natural, costumes appear more vibrant, lightsabers look brighter and hotter than ever… there's no end to the visual improvements that come from the inclusion of high-dynamic-range. 

Perhaps the most standout sequence of the film, at least in terms of visuals, involves a lightsaber battle against a group of Praetorian Guards in Supreme Leader Snoke's red throne room (pictured above). The blood-red backdrop is vivid as can be, without displaying any color leakage or over-saturation. HDR brings a lot to the table here, showing incredible light-to-dark blending without obvious color gradations cropping up and ruining the image. 

As this release is based on the film's 4K master (no upscaling here), the increased detail here is also worth writing home about. We're now able to appreciate the incredible costumes, makeup and visual effects work more than ever before, from the stitching in Finn's jacket, to the strands of fur all over Chewbacca's body. 

Add to this an extraordinary Dolby Atmos audio track which makes great use of spacial audio and the film's bombastic score, and you can chalk up Star Wars: The Last Jedi as yet another reference-quality 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 7.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 152 minutes

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

Perhaps not as immediately mind-blowing as the 4K release of Ridley Scott's masterpiece, Blade Runner (though that probably has to do with the film's steady format progression over the last 35 years), Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 shines on Ultra HD Blu-ray nonetheless. 

Roger Deakins' incredible cinematography takes center stage here, with the film's futuristic locations receiving increased texture thanks to some smoky atmospherics, moody lighting and heavy rain. Flesh tones and costume detail also get a significant uptick here, with the higher resolution offering a significant increase in clarity over the film's 1080p presentation. 

Boasting a true 4K digital intermediate (no upscaling here), Blade Runner 2049 looks almost as great at home as it did in the theater — we say 'almost' because the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray would've benefitted from the inclusion of expanded IMAX sequences (with shifting aspect ratios that show bigger images during key scenes), which many filmgoers witnessed during the film's theatrical run. 

Other 4K releases have blown us away by including IMAX presentations (such as Dunkirk, The Dark Knight and Star Trek Into Darkness) as that added detail and clarity translates magnificently at 2160p resolution. 

Still, we can't argue with what we have here, which is an exceptional HDR-supported disc that makes the best of the film's dark photography and neon-drenched settings. 

We also have to commend Blade Runner 2049 exception Dolby Atmos audio track, with the film's bombastic score setting the mood magnificently. Spacial audio is magnificent here, bringing plenty of dimensionality to the film's sound effects. A truly great audio presentation. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canadian) Dolby Digital 5.1, , Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 164 minutes

War for the Planet of the Apes

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One of the most impressive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray releases to date, War for the Planet of the Apes is ape-solutely spectacular on the format (sorry). We all know how astonishing the film's visual effects are (read more about how they were created in our Weta Digital VFX report), but its photo-realistic apes hold up magnificently under the increased scrutiny of 4K and HDR (despite being upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate). 

Unsurprisingly, fur looks especially good here, looking completely natural at all times, particularly with light shining through it. Facial textures also receive increased detail, with the various wrinkles in the apes faces looking extra defined. 

Though the disc's increased resolution is a boon for video enthusiasts, the real showstopper here is the wider color gamut afforded by its HDR presentation. Much of the film is spent in darkness, yet we now get to see more detail and definition in those dark areas. Small details in costumes and props are now much clearer because of it. 

The overall palette looks richer, too, with the film's forest settings feeling more lush and its white snow looking brighter and more tangible. Skin tones in humans also receive an uptick, looking warmer and more natural than they did in the cinema. 

War for the Planet of the Apes is a must-own for fans of the series, thanks to its exceptional fine detail quality, deep blacks, and terrific use of HDR. Stay tuned for reviews of the other two films in the series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 139 minutes

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Remastered from a 4K scan, Blade Runner: The Final Cut looks absolutely astounding on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. We're not just saying that it looks good for an old film – it looks amazing regardless of when it was filmed. 

The transfer reveals an exceptional level of clarity in what is generally a dark and smoky film. The noirish, rain-slicked, neon-soaked streets of futuristic Los Angeles look more detailed than ever, with the HDR-enhanced visuals giving us our best look at Rick Deckard's world to date. 

Witness, for instance, the staggering level of detail found in the film's miniatures – one particularly shot showing the Tyrell building will blow you away with its clarity, revealing all the intricacies of the model in question, including the many glittering lights all over the structure giving you the illusion of thousands of offices within. You won't even mind that the illusion is slightly broken by the obviousness of the miniature work, because you'll be too busy appreciating the spectacular craftsmanship and on display. 

Elsewhere, the whole film gets a visual uptick, with HDR helping significantly when it comes to the smooth gradation of colours and lighting. Clothing, skin textures and hair all look better in this version, and the various extreme close-ups of eyeballs all show extra detail now. 

If you're a fan of Blade Runner, chances are that you already own The Final Cut of the film on Blu-ray. While it's highly likely that both releases come from the same 4K digital intermediate, this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version blows previous Blu-ray and HD DVD releases of the film out of the water. This is the best that Blade Runner has ever looked, period. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 118 minutes

Alien: Covenant

Though it's been upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate (much like the 4K release of director Ridley Scott's previous film, The Martian), Alien: Covenant looks expectedly magnificent on the Ultra HD Blu-ray format. 

As this is a dark film with a muted palette (despite its many outdoor daytime scenes), an emphasis has been placed on HDR's ability to provide deeper, more lifelike contrast, much to the benefit of Alien: Covenant's astounding cinematography. 

Colors appear richer, too, standing out even more against the film's greyish blue tones. The alien itself also looks magnificent, with its inky-hued skin receiving added translucence and detail, benefitting from the disc's improved contrast and wider color gamut. 

Those of you with OLED TVs will get an even better viewing experience, with the technology's infinite contrast taking full advantage of the film's tenebrous atmosphere.

But it's not all about the Xenomorphs – the film's human characters also look terrific thanks to the 4K release's bump in resolution and enhanced colors, with faces revealing extra definition and skin tones looking warmer and more naturalistic than the film's SDR presentation. 

Adding to the film's immense visuals is a beefy Dolby Atmos track that focuses on atmospherics with occasional moments of bombast. Admittedly, we wish the disc offered a DTS Headphone:X track, as that would've made for an appropriately nerve-jangling experience akin to the recent video game release, Alien: Isolation. 

Still, we can't complain, as Alien: Covenant's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release is hard to fault when it comes to the film's video and audio presentation. If you're a fan of the film, consider this a must-have.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 122 minutes

Ghost in the Shell

As you might expect, Ghost in the Shell looks glorious on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, with its neon-drenched cyberpunk setting really popping on the format. Though much of the film takes place in dark areas, the disc impresses throughout, particularly during scenes where vibrant colors are juxtaposed against dark environments. 

We were also blown away by how well the special effects stand up in this increased resolution, given that the film was finished at a 2K resolution. Still, you only have to watch the film's first major action sequence (pun intended), in which Scarlett Johansson's Major character applies active camouflage and blasts through a window to shoot down some haywire robot geishas, to get an idea of how impressive this presentation is. The scene is bursting with color and HDR-enhanced highlights, with reflective glass flying through the scene and slow-motion gunfire at every turn. 

Still some viewers might be taken aback by the film's many dark scenes, though they truly come alive when combined with OLED's capacity for infinite contrast. This is truly a demo-worthy disc in that regard. 

Also, while some film buffs may scoff at a film that isn't presented in the letterbox format, Ghost in the Shell looks fantastic as its 1.78:1 aspect ratio fills the entire frame – particularly impressive during overhead shots of the film's futuristic cityscape.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, Runtime: 116 minutes

Passengers

Shot at a resolution of 6.5K and then finished with with a 4K digital intermediate, Passengers soars on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. An ideal candidate for demonstration purposes, the format allows the viewer to truly absorb the impeccable craftsmanship that went into the film's exception production design and special effects work. Taking place entirely on an enormous spacecraft. Passengers offers ample opportunities for glorious space gazing and futuristic interior design. 

There are times in this 4K presentation when the photographic clarity of the film is so high and lifelike, it almost feels like you're watching a play. Other times, the digital photography is so clean and sharp, that it gives the film an unreal quality, almost like it's partly animated. Of course, this is completely intentional and only serves to make Passengers look even more astounding on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Of course, the film's HDR colors contrast level keep everything in check.

Skin tones are remarkably true to life, and while the film's stars come across a little too beautiful at times (seriously, no one can look that great at all times) Passengers is exactly the kind of film that the 4K Ultra HD format was made for. It's a showcase for gorgeous people hanging out on stunning sets doing remarkable things with the help of magnificent visual effects. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 116 minutes

Lucy

Arriving on Ultra HD Blu-ray with an absolutely stunning transfer sourced from a 4K digital intermediate, Lucy demonstrates the strengths of the format by showcasing immense fine detail, exceptionally-realistic skin tones and textures, and truly-dynamic color reproduction throughout.

From the film's opening scene, which features Lucy the primate in a prehistoric setting, this presentation solidifies its place as one of the format's best reference-quality discs. The detail in the hominid's face and fur is utterly astounding, as are the colors and textures in its surrounding habitat. 

As was mentioned earlier, skin tones and textures are also incredible on Lucy's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, looking supremely lifelike at all times. Seriously, if you can find pores and imperfections on the face of someone as beautiful as Scarlett Johansson, you know you've reached an unparalleled level of clarity. 

Likewise, as the film starts to veer into true science-fiction territory, the disc continues to shine, displaying vibrant HDR-enhanced colors and terrific contrast. Even if you only have a passing admiration for Luc Besson's trippy action film, you owe it to yourself to check out Lucy on 4K Blu-ray.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 89 minutes

Oblivion

As a science-fiction film with a very sleek and minimalistic art design, Oblivion makes an ideal candidate for the added resolution of 4K. Though the transfer was taken from a 2K digital intermediate (common with visual effects-driven films), Oblivion looks sharp and clean, if not immediately mind-blowing. 

With that said, as the film enters its darker scenes, the impressive color gamut and contrast afforded by the film's HDR grading give the film a real sense of depth and vibrancy, particularly in the film's indoor drone shootout sequence. Bloom lighting and sparks from the scene's many explosions burn white-hot, showcasing the brilliant brightness that 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is capable of. Likewise, close-up shots of the drones show a wonderful level of detail.

Though the film has a mostly washed-out grey and blue tone, skin tones appear quite naturalistic and at times appear to be the most vibrant thing on screen. Facial textures also excel, showing fine details like pores and individual hairs in Tom Cruise's five o'clock shadow. Grime, cuts and bruises also look benefit from the format's added clarity.

Giving the film a visual uptick in every category over the standard Blu-ray edition, for fans, this is by far the best way to experience Oblivion.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 125 minutes

Pacific Rim

The reference-quality Blu-ray disc of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim threatens to stomp the rest of your Blu-ray collection and land itself at the top of the pile for visual quality. 

Though the film was finished on a 2K digital intermediate, much like Star Trek Into Darkness, this does not stop Pacific Rim from looking utterly sensational on Ultra HD Blu-ray. Shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, your entire television screen will be used to display the film's many giant robot vs monster set pieces. 

Thanks to some HDR tinkering, the film's colors and contrast now look even better than they did when the film was in theatres. Witness the rainswept battle that opens the film to see how good its vivid colors look against the inky blacks of a night-time sky. The added resolution afforded by 4K Blu-ray makes the rain look more detailed and realistic. Sparks that fly within the Jaeger cockpit are also more clearly defined and burn hotter than ever before.

Though the entire film is a showstopper, anyone that has seen Pacific Rim will know that its mid-film Hong Kong monster battle is the best-looking section of the film, and believe us when we say that it has never looked better than it does on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The city's neon-soaked skyline radiates with beautiful and realistic bloom lighting, making the best of the film's high-dynamic-range upgrade.

Even if you already own Pacific Rim on 3D Blu-ray, you owe it to yourself to see how incredible the film can look on 4K Ultra HD. This is absolutely a reference quality disc. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 1.85:1, Runtime: 131 minutes

Independence Day: Resurgence

Sourced from a true 4K digital intermediate, Independence Day: Resurgence roars onto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray without losing any detail whatsoever – in fact, the film's presentation is improved by the inclusion of HDR (that said, the ultimate way to watch a film of this magnitude will always be on the biggest cinema screen possible). 

A much darker and gloomier picture than its predecessor, Independence Day: Resurgence features many scenes surrounded by inky blacks that would look exceptional on an OLED display. Unfortunately, we didn't have access to one for testing purposes, so we can only say that the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray's increased contrast and vivid colors make Independence Day: Resurgence look fantastic on any HDR-compatible TV.

Its various scenes of computer-assisted citywide destruction unfurl on screen with an extreme level of visual clarity and detail, acting as a showcase of what the 4K format is capable of. Many times, the film's turquoise alien tech takes centre stage, glowing with a naturalistic light bloom that never shows obvious signs of color gradation (see the film's opening scene to see how well light fades into darkness). 

If you're a fan of the film, there's no better way to watch Independence Day: Resurgence than on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 120 minutes

Chappie

Chappie

Director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) is known for his knack for seamlessly blending science fiction elements into everyday scenarios, offering a uniquely down-to-earth view of a world filled with robots and aliens. His film Chappie is no exception. Set mostly around the slums of Johannesburg, Chappie's mostly daytime action allows this 4K HDR presentation to really pop.

Shot by Redcode RAW (5K) cameras and finished on a 4K digital intermediate, Chappie's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray practically mirrors what was shown in theatres, only with HDR providing improved contrast and more naturalistic colors. The detail in the titular robot character is astonishing, with the steely greys and blues of his frame making the orange highlights of his arm and antenna stand out even more. You can also see details in Chappie's dirty, scratched body that just weren't visible on the film's regular Blu-ray. Best of all, the expressive LED lights on Chappie's face now show much finer detail, making the character seem even more like a real world object, and not just a marvel of computer-generated wizardry.

Though the film can be quite grimy at times, it's got a lively, vibrant undercurrent to it, employing a Day-Go style thanks to Chappie's co-stars, the rap-rave group Die Antwoord. The group brings its signature art style to the film's costumes and set design, all of which looks fantastic when aided by HDR's wider color gamut. Now, bring on District 9 and Elysium in 4K!

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 120 minutes

Star Trek

Star Trek

Though it's been 'upconverted' from a 2K digital intermediate (which is what you likely saw in theatres upon release), J.J. Abrams' first Star Trek movie looks absolutely wonderful on 4K Blu-ray – the release actually lends some weight to argument that Ultra HD discs don't need to come from a true 4K source in order to impress.

Director J.J. Abrams' may be guilty of relying a little heavily on his 'lens flare' technique on both of his Star Trek films, but the effect looks better than ever here thanks to HDR's increased color gamut and contrast levels. Light blooms looks completely natural, avoiding harsh shade transitions entirely. Elsewhere, the Ultra HD Blu-ray offers amazing detail when it comes to facial textures on the film's many creatures and alien races – Eric Bana's Romulan character Nero looks especially good, with the disc's increased resolution showing just how great the film's Oscar-winning make-up and facial prosthetics are.

While Star Trek's Ultra HD Blu-ray disc may be outclassed by its sequel's truly (inter)stellar 4K release (listed below), this is by far the best way to experience J.J.'s first voyage on the USS Enterprise at home.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, 1.78:1, Runtime: 132 minutes

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness

When it comes to the visual quality, the Ultra HD Blu-ray for Star Trek Into Darkness is absolutely mind-blowing – we’d even go as far as calling it the most impressive 4K release on this list. With over 30 minutes of the film shot in the IMAX format, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness cuts back and forth between a traditional 2.40:1 letterbox presentation for its non-showy scenes, and the more vision-encompassing 1.78:1 aspect ratio for the film’s spectacle-driven moments (this presentation is exclusive to the film’s Ultra HD release). Though the film looks great throughout (despite being sourced from the film’s 2K digital intermediate), the level of detail displayed in these IMAX scenes is absolutely astonishing.

From its very first scene (pictured above), in which Kirk and Bones are chased through a vibrant red forest by the primitive Nibiru tribe, Star Trek Into Darkness will make an instant believer of any 4K/HDR naysayer. Witness, for instance, the cracked, flaking skin on the faces of the Nibiru tribes people, shown up close and in great detail. Marvel at the naturalistic skin tones, visible pores and wrinkles shown on actors Chris Pine and Karl Urban’s faces, offering a level of immersion that 3D just cannot compete with.

Another scene, in which Spock drops down into a volcano, is also a showstopper – with its swirling specks of fire and ember, and contrast enhanced greatly by HDR, the scene becomes a showcase for the emerging 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. Until more IMAX-enhanced films start to be released, consider Star Trek Into Darkness your go-to 4K reference disc.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, 1.78:1, Runtime: 132 minutes

Trolls

Looking like a cotton candy machine exploded in a glitter factory, Trolls is one of the most vibrant and colorful films currently available on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. And, as you'd expect, there are huge HDR-related benefits to owning the film in 4K over the still admirable regular Blu-ray version. 

First off, the colors are astonishing. This is visual eye candy to the max, and while you might expect the vibrancy to be dialled up significantly on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release, the disc's HDR allows for more naturalistic blending and shading. Combined with improved brightness and color, the overall presentation achieves a richer, more nuanced color palette that avoids looking sickly sweet and garish, and manages to do so without losing its vividness. 

Then comes the disc's fine detail, which receives a tremendous uptick at the 4K resolution. Each of the trolls in the film has a furry, felt-like texture that comes across even stronger when you can see fine hairs swaying on their arms and faces. Of course, their big colorful troll hair looks even more realistic than ever before. An impressive release that demonstrates the subtleties of HDR's wider color gamut, Trolls is the most impressive animated 4K release to date. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.35:1, Runtime: 92 minutes

Labyrinth

Starting with an outdoor scene shot in natural light, Jim Henson's classic family film Labyrinth does not immediately impress on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Looking soft and full of grain, you'd be forgiven for thinking that not a lot of work has gone into this transfer. 

However, once these initial minutes pass, and as the film moves into studio sets with professional lighting and controlled environments, the real Ultra HD magic begins. It's at this point that Labyrinth's brand new 4K scan (sourced from the original 35mm negative) becomes truly mind-blowing.

Taking advantage of the format's added resolution, Labyrinth shows extraordinary detail in the film's many puppets. Fur looks sublime, with individual strands of hair becoming clearly visible. Quite frankly, they look so good, it's almost as if you could reach out and touch them. The film's fantastic makeup work and matte paintings also hold up magnificently under the increased scrutiny of 4K. 

Though Labyrinth's 4K Blu-ray provides an incredible visual upgrade in all areas, perhaps the most important thing about this release is that it manages to keep the film's original filmic texture, with no digital noise reduction to speak of. Though we're watching a digital scan, the presentation always feels film-like. 

Labyrinth has never looked better than it does here, and while this presentation can't top the likes of Star Trek Into Darkness in terms of spectacular visual clarity, for a 30-year-old film populated mostly by puppets, this release is a triumph.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 101 minutes

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Ninja Turtles

Boasting incredible detail and rich, vibrant colors, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a noticeable step up from its already impressive regular Blu-ray release. Look closely and you'll notice that each of the turtles has realistic, scaly skin textures that make you understand just how much work has gone into bringing these characters to life – heck, you can even see the enamel on their teeth!

Other digital characters also look fantastic. Notice the individual textures given to Bebop and Rocksteady, giving each creation its own unique look and texture. Splinter also impresses, with the added resolution on display allowing you to see individual hairs and whiskers that weren't as noticeable in regular HD.

Though most impressive during its daytime scenes (which include the film's spectacular, effects-heavy finale), TMNT: Out of the Shadows also impresses in the darker subterranean moments set within the turtles' sewer lair. The color palette and contrast on display are exceptional, adding a real depth to the image. Fans should consider this 4K Blu-ray release as the definitive way to watch the turtles' latest big screen adventure.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 112 minutes

The LEGO Movie

The Lego Movie

One of the things that immediately strikes you about The LEGO Movie's Ultra HD presentation is that the film has received a significantly brighter and more vivid color palette. Not only that, contrast has also increased by leaps and bounds, making the film's characters look even more like real, stop-motion minifigs – even fingerprints are visible, despite everything on screen being computer generated. Touches like this are what makes 4K and HDR so important to our overall immersion in the film.

Notice the deep blacks in any scene featuring Batman, or the beautiful, naturalistic bloom lighting found in the Old West portion of the film, or how about the gorgeous orange light emitting from film's spaceship (SPACESHIP!!) finale?

Though this release has been upscaled from a 2K master (the film was captured at 2.8K), The LEGO Movie looks incredible in Ultra HD. Vibrant colors and wonderful contrast levels make this 4K release an essential purchase for fans of the movie.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Dutch Dolby Digital 5.1, Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1, Flemish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 101 minutes

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

While not the kind of film that immediately screams to be owned in 4K, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a good example of how the benefits of Ultra HD Blu-ray can make the viewing of a great movie more enjoyable. 

Thanks to some subtle HDR color tuning, Three Billboards feels warmer and more true to life in its appearance than it does on the film's standard Blu-ray release. Skin textures display a more lifelike hue, with the additional detail found in fine lines and wrinkles bringing the characters' weariness right to the forefront. 

Environments also receive a boost in color and detail, which is particularly noticeable in the green grass and trees surrounding the film's titular billboards (which themselves appear less saturated than they did in theaters).

Contrast is another area in which the film has improved on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray — a night time scene in which one of the characters attacks the town's police station with molotov cocktails truly comes alive thanks to some exceptional shadow delineation, making the scene's red hot flames look more vibrant in the process. 

Sure, it's not as visually splendid as something like The Shape of Water, but Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri absolutely looks better on the format, making it the definitive way to watch the film at home for the foreseeable future. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (Upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English DTS 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1,Spanish DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese DTS 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 115 minutes

Murder on the Orient Express

What a surprise this turned out to be! Shot on Panavision's large 65mm format (captured at 6.5K and finished at 4K), Murder on the Orient Express looks unexpectedly sublime on Ultra HD Blu-ray. 

Detail is, quite frankly, amazing in Murder on the Orient Express. From the exquisite fabrics of the cast's period-accurate costumes, to the lines in their faces and the whiskers in their (absolutely huge) moustaches, the bump in resolution brought by this 4K disc is exploited for every pixel it's worth here — and we're super happy about it. 

Colors are also more vivid and natural-looking here, with the disc's HDR10 tuning working wonders on the film's rich palette. Skin tones are true to life, and the film's expert lighting from cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos (who worked with director Kenneth Branagh on the first Thor) comes across beautifully on this transfer.

If you have an OLED television, you'll likely marvel at the film's night scenes, in which the dark corridors of the Orient Express' carriages disappear into inky darkness, showing you additional detail if and when the film chooses to do so. 

Topping it all off is a wonderful Dolby Atmos audio track that creates a convincing soundscape as the train chugs along, and a subtle score that adds to the film without succumbing to overpowering bombastic music. Highly recommended for fans of the film and Poirot stories. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English DTS 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1,Spanish DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 114 minutes

It

The latest adaptation of Stephen King's terrifying novel It arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with an exceptional transfer (despite being upscaled from a 2K master) that is improved by the inclusion of HDR10 and Dolby Vision. 

Though a lot of the film takes place in dark and dank environments, visibility is always high in It, with some perfectly-judged HDR and Dolby Vision tinkering letting you see all the detail in the shadows without sacrificing all that creepy darkness. 

Detail also receives a huge boost thanks to the added resolution of this 4K presentation, most evident in the crackling clown makeup on Pennywise's forehead, and the exquisite detailing of his freaky costume. Admittedly, some CGI elements become more obvious in 4K, but the trade-off is totally worth it when it comes to the disc's high dynamic range presentation and the increased detail seen here. 

It also packs one of the most bombastic and effective audio tracks of any 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray released to date, with perfectly balanced Dolby Atmos and DTS tracks that will scare the pants off of you. You'll hear every creak, every noise, and every scream with the utmost clarity, depth and dimensionality.

One of the best 4K discs released to date, It is a must-have for horror fans, especially those with access to TV that supports HDR10 or Dolby Vision.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (Upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English DTS 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 135 minutes

Dunkirk

The best film of 2017? It's got to be up there. Christopher Nolan's take on the harrowing evacuation of Dunkirk at the height of the second World War is a masterclass in tension, practical effects and historical storytelling.

Playing with time and the sequence of events over the nail-biting rescue, Nolan takes full advantage of the IMAX format to bring an epic scale to the horrors of war, with a soundtrack that melds scraping atonal notes with the sounds of the death-dealing machinery bearing down on the troops. You'll be on the edge of your seat from the moment the very first shot is fired until the credits roll. 

It's not to be missed then, and it's a particularly impressive disc to have in your 4K UHD Blu-ray collection. With the majority of the film shot in 70mm for IMAX screens, your full screen will often be taken over by the lapping waves and grim beaches of Dunkirk, presented with a fine sharpness that brings out the incredible detail in the recreated period piece. HDR visuals also make the action sequences really pop, bringing an added depth to what may have appeared as a muted, almost watercolor-like presentation in digitally projected cinemas.

That soundtrack isn't undersold either (it really has to be heard to be believed, at as loud a volume as the neighbours can stand), but note that Dolby Atmos is not supported here.

If you're a fan of Christopher Nolan, all his other movies (barring Memento) are now available in 4K HDR too. As many are older titles, you need to be ready for a slightly softer upscaled presentation, but the HDR benefits remain clear to see. You'll find The Prestige, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar and Inception in stores alongside Dunkirk.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (4K master), Audio: English DTS:HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital, Aspect ratio (variable): 2.2:1 & 1.78:1, Runtime: 106 minutes

Patriots Day

Here's a film that doesn't need a blockbuster scope or enormous amounts of CGI to dazzle on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Patriots Day recounts the devastating events surrounding 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in a very naturalistic and matter-of-fact kind of way. 

The film aims to put you right there during not only the explosions that changed everything, but the eventual chase to capture the assailants responsible. In this regard, the film's cinematography succeeds magnificently in capturing a sense of realism, thanks to some incredibly sharp digital photography (captured in 3.4K with a 2K digital intermediate) and exceptionally lifelike HDR color grading. 

Skintones are as close to reality as I've seen from any film on the 4K Ultra HD format. Lines and pores are clearly visible, and make it even easier to read the emotions displayed on the characters' faces.

Later in the film, during an extended night-time firefight in suburbia, the disc jumps to another level of clarity entirely. Shadow detail gets a huge boost, making it easier to follow the action in what would normally be an underlit setting. 

In fact, we'd go as far as to say that Patriots Day acts as a showcase for what HDR can bring to a films lighting and color palette, with fire taking on an especially important role. Surprising as it may be, this is a demo-worthy disc. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (Upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English DTS:X, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English DTS Headphone:X, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 133 minutes

Hacksaw Ridge

Though sourced from a 2K digital intermediate, Hacksaw Ridge arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a gloriously-detailed transfer that's bolstered by a terrific HDR color gamut. 

In its first half, the film radiates with natural-looking light and the kind of clear cinematography that only digital cameras can achieve. Though the disc's increased resolution makes it easy to spot green screen work on a couple of occasions, the added clarity that's made possible by the Ultra HD format far outweighs these minor infractions.

Later, the added detail provided by the format's higher resolution, as well as the wider color gamut it offers, brings a shocking level of detail and an added feeling of authenticity to the film's many gruesome war scenes. If you find intense scenes involving bloody viscera and shredded appendages hard to stomach, you're going to have an even harder time experiencing them on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Elsewhere, high-dynamic-range allows the film's cinematography to really shine, showing very realistic color and light reproduction, especially in dark scenes. At times, Hacksaw Ridge's war scenes forego realistic color palettes in favour of a stylised, almost monochromatic look. Here, HDR allows you to really notice the different shades at work, rather than simply looking dull and grey. These scenes are also punctuated by a barrage of explosions, juxtaposing bright bursts of color over a bleak battlefield.

Top this off with a dynamic and concussive Dolby Atmos audio track, and what you have in Hacksaw Ridge is one of the best releases on the format.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (Upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1, Runtime: 131 minutes

The Neon Demon

One of the few 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles that doesn't come with HDR enhancements, Nicolas Winding Refn's horror thriller The Neon Demon looks utterly glorious on the format nonetheless. If you want to get your hands on the film in razor-sharp 2160p, you'll have to import this English-friendly German release, which includes all the special features found on the regular Blu-ray in the US and UK – don't you just love how all 4K UHD discs are region free?

With regards to the disc's lack of HDR, you may be surprised to learn that the famously-visual director is actually quite color blind. An inability to see midtones has led Refn to favour high contrast and extreme colors throughout his career, as evidenced by the films Drive and Only God Forgives. Because of this, it's probably safe to assume that he wouldn't get much out of the high-dynamic-range experience.

Sourced from a 4K master (but shot at 3.4K), The Neon Demon looks incredible on Ultra HD Blu-ray, with its high resolution offering a noticeable uptick in detail over the 1080p version included in this package. 

Aside from its 4K resolution, deep blacks and scorchingly vibrant colors are the big selling point here – though we were unable to test the film on an OLED television, the promise of individually-lit pixels beaming and pulsing out of the pitch black darkness of certain scenes has us giddy at the possibilities on hand. 

Essentially a feature-length exercise in immense style and cinematography, it would be hard to imagine a film more suited to the 4K Ultra HD format. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1, German DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1, Runtime: 118 minutes

Deepwater Horizon

Based on the devastating true story of an enormous oil rig disaster that occurred in 2010, often cited as one of the largest man-made disasters in history, it is perhaps in bad taste to describe Deepwater Horizon as a tremendously visceral and visually spectacular film, given the lives that were lost on that fateful day. Regardless, we must still call 'em like we see 'em, and Deepwater Horizon looks incredible on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. 

Director Peter Berg (The Kingdom, Lone Survivor) brings his tough and gritty film to the format with exceptional results. Though the film was finished on a 2K digital intermediate, Deepwater Horizon delivers strong detail and impressive dynamics, with its HDR enhanced presentation offering great depth and color reproduction. 

Witness, for instance, the fantastic textures in the many scenes featuring actors smeared in oil and covered in dust and debris. Likewise, the film's many explosions burst with astonishing clarity thanks to the format's higher dynamic range. Fire is so bright that you can almost feel the heat emanating from your screen.  

Visuals aside, Deepwater Horizon's audio presentation also receives top marks, with a Dolby Atmos presentation that will shake your living room once those aforementioned explosions start. The film's audio dynamics will bounce around your room, placing you right in the action. Helicopters flying overhead are particularly impressive here, making Deepwater Horizon a reference quality disc in both video and audio categories. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 107 minutes

The Shallows

Providing even more proof that you don't need a 4K master to get exceptional 4K UHD Blu-ray results, the entertaining shark attack movie The Shallows has emerged on the format with an absolutely sublime audio and video presentation.

Upscaled from a 2K master, The Shallows looks astonishingly crisp, with the film's digital photography lending immense clarity to the film's many surfing scenes. Witness, for instance, star Blake Lively's resting 'beachface', which reveals detailed pores, fine lines and even the salty texture of someone who's spent all day swimming in the ocean and soaking in sun rays. Unsurprisingly, the waves look spectacular, too.

Also complementing The Shallows' incredible visual presentation is an amazing Dolby Atmos track which faithfully reproduces the film's clever sound design. It's a muscular track that really puts you in the action, handling all of the film's audio dynamics with ease. Scenes where Lively is submerged make your living room feel like it's underwater, and one particular moment where an underwater GoPro shot breaks through the surface makes your ears pop like the real thing. 

Occasionally, the added resolution of the disc makes some of the film's shark attack scenes look a little fake, but overall The Shallows is one of the best looking and sounding releases that the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format has produced. Highly recommended.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1, Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 86 minutes

The Revenant

The Revenant

As close to a flawless 4K presentation as the format has so far produced, The Revenant looks utterly fantastic on Ultra HD Blu-ray. Shot digitally at resolutions of up to 6.5K (and finished on a 4K digital intermediate) using only natural light sources, The Revenant offers a very natural-looking presentation, giving the audience a more authentic idea of what it must feel like to be in the freezing wilderness alongside Leo and Co.

Compare the The Revenant’s 4K disc to the regular Blu-ray packaged with it, and you’ll notice that the discs provide quite different presentations of the film. This is because director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki re-graded the entire film in HDR exclusively for this UHD release. By comparison, the regular 1080p Blu-ray looks much cooler, with more dominant blues and greys taking centre stage. Meanwhile, the 4K disc offers more naturalistic skin tones and a warmer overall palette, making the film’s many icy landscapes appear whiter and more true to life.

Speaking of landscapes, the added resolution and contrast of The Revenant’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray makes them appear more grand and breathtaking, offering more fine detail and depth. Improved bloom lighting also lets the sun shine without bleeding into obvious and distracting shade transitions. A reference disc if ever there was one, The Revenant belongs in everyone’s 4K collection.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 156 minutes

The Shape of Water

A release that expectedly leans into the green, teal, aqua and blue portion of the color spectrum, The Shape of Water looks beautiful on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, managing to totally convince in regards to its immaculate costuming, set decoration and makeup effects work, despite its increased resolution and tweaked HDR colors. 

Those aforementioned greens, teals, blues and aquas? They actually take on a more naturalistic appearance on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, with the disc's high-dynamic-range tinkering giving the film's colors a more true-to-life quality than it displayed in theaters. This is particularly noticeable during The Shape of Water's underwater sequences, which now look richer and show no signs of obvious color gradation or banding. 

While the film is visually sublime in every respect, its warm cinematography displaying a masterful use of light and darkness, the real highlight is the creature that captures our lead heroine's heart. The uptick in fine detail afforded by the disc's increased resolution allows us to marvel at the creature's stunning makeup, despite the fact that the film has been upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate.  

For fans of The Shape of Water, this truly is a must-have release. While it would've been nice to have a Dolby Atmos track (imagine how great the flooded apartment scene would sound with three-dimensional audio), it's hard to fault this reference quality disc. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR: HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese: DTS 5.1, Aspect ratio: 1.85:1, Runtime: 123 minutes

Atomic Blonde

One of the most stylish films of the year, Atomic Blonde screams onto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with an incredibly vibrant and neon-soaked transfer that burns with intense reds and is cooled again by striking blues. 

As you've probably come to expect from the format, color reproduction is extraordinary here, with HDR making the '80s-inspired cinematography a real boost in the vividness department. 

Clothing, hair, skin tones all look realistic here, despite the muted color palette of some scenes in this Cold War spy movie. Oh yeah, and the various cuts, bruises and scrapes acquired by lead star Charlize Theron as she kicks butt across Berlin also look appropriately gnarly, too. 

Though it lacks a Dolby Atmos track, the DTS:X Master Audio one featured here does a terrific job of pummelling your ears with various explosions, gunshots and an expertly-crafted playlist of thumping '80s tunes. If you loved John Wick, this is definitely one for your collection. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (Upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English DTS:X, English DTS 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish DTS 5.1, French DTS 5.1 French (Canada) DTS 5.1, Portuguese DTS 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 135 minutes

The Fate of the Furious

The eighth film in the blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise sings the praises of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray thanks to incredible HDR-enhanced brightness, driving home just what the format is capable of (see what we did there?)

Flesh tones look astonishing on this disc, as do the HDR-enhanced explosions that litter the film. Colors also impress – witness the opening race in sunny Cuba to see how much of a difference HDR makes to this kind of film.

Another show-stopping scene involves a prison riot, with vibrant orange prison uniforms standing out even more than on the film's regular blu-ray. 

The disc also presents the film in Dolby Vision as well as HDR10, which should be exciting for people who own TVs that can support the format and the added color depth that it brings. For everyone else, the disc defaults to standard HDR, which is still very impressive.

Perhaps the film's most standout sequence though, involves a huge frozen lake and a submarine. The white ice that surrounds this setting really allows the film's HDR/Dolby Vision presentation to flex some real muscle, with bright highlights getting a good workout. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (Upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English DTS:X, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English DTS Headphone:X, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 136 minutes

John Wick: Chapter 2

Immediately exhibiting the benefits of increased resolution and the wider color gamut afforded by the inclusion of HDR in its presentation, John Wick: Chapter 2 comes out of the gate firing on all cylinders with a visually-sensational night-time chase through Manhattan (actually Montreal). 

Surrounded by lights and colorful billboards, the disc's HDR-enhanced contrast allows viewers to peer into the darkness and clearly see objects and details that they'd normally normally miss in regular high definition. Witness, for instance, the film's show-stopping shootout inside the catacombs in Rome – the characters are enveloped in darkness and yet we can clearly see everything that's going on thanks to some terrific lighting and high-dynamic-range magic. 

Immediately prior to that scene, a night-time concerto amongst the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome demonstrates incredible highlights, with red and blue LED lights surrounding the stage as spotlights swirl around in all directions. 

The incredible visuals just keep on coming with this release. We have a shootout in a museum where vibrant red blood splatters over a number of statues, a neon-enhanced 'hall of mirrors' battle inspired by Enter the Dragon, fight scenes taking place in a dark and vivid underground metro, and the list goes on and on. One of the most dynamic releases on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, this is absolutely the best way to experience John Wick: Chapter 2.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (Upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 122 minutes

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release brings with it some enormous expectations, as the film is one of the more visually dazzling action blockbusters in recent memory. Thankfully, Fury Road absolutely delivers, despite having been upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate. This might seem like a bummer, but that's how the film was presented in theatres, and it looked pretty freakin' good there, didn't it?

With its colors undergoing a re-grading process in HDR, Fury Road looks more sensational than ever in Ultra HD. The film's many explosions now burn with added intensity, and improved contrast and increased resolution give the film a more painterly appearance, especially in the film's huge storm sequence.

Some might argue that this makes Mad Max: Fury Road's CGI stand out more, I believe it only adds to the film's artistic quality. Elsewhere, you'll find more realistic skin tones and textures, brilliant lighting, richer landscapes and shinier chrome. Mad Max: Fury Road's Ultra HD release is definitely worth the upgrade for fans, though we'd love to see what the added resolution of 4K and HDR could do with the film's new Black and Chrome version.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Runtime: 120 minutes

Warcraft: The Beginning

Warcraft

Though you'd expect HDR to make films more vibrant and colorful, Warcraft's presentation has taken a more subtle approach to the film's coloring. Less garish than its regular Blu-ray counterpart, Warcraft's Ultra HD presentation offers more naturalistic colors, especially when it comes to orc skin tones. That's not to say that this presentation is muted in any way – Fel magic looks spectacularly vivid and bright, giving the film a suitably other-worldly and fantastical appearance.

As expected, the real show-stoppers here are the orcs, lovingly realised through terrific motion-capture performances and CGI wizardry (as opposed to the other kind of wizardry seen in the film itself). Lead orc Durotan's facial expressions are more detailed and realistic, thanks to the disc's bumped-up resolution. Getting to actually see fine lines, wrinkles and textures in these characters' faces make them much more believable (though the illusion is still broken whenever they're standing next to the film's human characters). Other CGI creations, like the Gryphon Lothar rides during the film's climax, or the kingdom of Azeroth itself, exhibit an exceptionally high level of detail.

While it is another example of an upscaled film sourced from a 2K digital intermediate, Warcraft's 4K presentation nonetheless offers enhanced clarity, improved contrast and naturalistic tones. This Ultra HD release is definitely the best way to watch Warcraft: The Beginning in 2D.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 123 minutes

Sausage Party

The idea behind Sausage Party was for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to create a hilariously filthy R-rated animate comedy with Pixar-level animation. While it doesn't quite reach those lofty heights, the film looks fantastic on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray nonetheless. 

Finished at 2K and then upscaled to 4K, Sausage Party still manages to eek out a whole lot of extra detail over its regular Blu-ray counterpart. This is largely thanks to some HDR tinkering, which gives the film's colors and lighting a more detailed and pleasing look overall. 

Certain foods gain extra details in their textures, with the sausages themselves looking like real objects that you can touch. In fact, the move to high-dynamic-range makes everything look more realistic (while still keeping that stylised animated look). 

Sure, there are better-looking CGI animated films available on this blossoming format (just look at our Trolls entry in the family movies section), but Sausage Party still looks good enough to eat. For fans of the film, this is as good as it's ever going to look. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 1.85:1, Runtime: 89 minutes

Planet Earth II

BBC

Okay, so we're cheating a little bit here, as BBC's Planet Earth II is a documentary series, not a movie. However, much like how the first Planet Earth series was a showcase for the Blu-ray format, Planet Earth II proves to be an astounding demo disc that easily highlights the 4K Ultra HD format's greatest strengths.

With numerous locales spread over six episodes, Planet Earth II gives the viewer a whole lot of variety in the eye candy department. In the first episode alone, the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean are juxtaposed against the volcanic majesty of the Galapagos islands, offering lifelike HDR visuals at both ends of the color spectrum. 

Creature close-ups are astonishing in their sharpness, exhibiting high detail in faces and fur. Just as impressive are the series' signature drone shots, which give you a bird's-eye view of various landscapes, including mountains, jungles and even cities in the final episode. 

A major selling point of Planet Earth II is that it was all captured in Native 4K and is presented here exactly as intended by its creators. Add to this the otherworldly feel attributed by the use of slow motion photography, and what you have is the definitive 4K Ultra HD disc to make people's jaws drop. A must-have addition to any serious 4K collection.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1  (48kHz, 16-bit) Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, Runtime: 300 minutes

Blue Planet II

Although we're still waiting for the BBC to show any signs of actually broadcasting 4K content (occasional iPlayer experiments notwithstanding), the veteran broadcaster has made some first steps into the format by shooting a couple of its prestige nature documentaries in Ultra HD. 

Blue Planet II is the second such documentary (after Planet Earth II, above), and focuses on the wildlife that can be found in our planet's oceans. 

The whole documentary is stunningly presented, with the sheer richness of the ocean's colors a sight to behold. The HDR10's wide color gamut is put to fantastic use with the rich hues present throughout each episode, and we were particularly fond of the HDR highlights found on the show's florescent deep-sea creatures. 

Other discs might offer technically superior visuals with mastering of up to 4,000 nits, but for us nothing will compare to the raw beauty of nature captured in uncompromised 4K. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, Runtime: 360 minutes 



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