Best 4K movies: the most amazing films to watch on Ultra HD Blu-ray

Timothée Chalamet in Dune
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The very best 4K movies offer a way to enjoy something close to the theatrical experience from the comfort of your own home. With the advent of HDR, Dolby Vision and readily available Dolby Atmos sound systems in recent years, too, watching films from the sofa has never been a more attractive proposition. 

Previously, the best 4K Blu-ray players provided an indisputably superior viewing experience to online streaming services, but nowadays, platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus support most of those aforementioned home cinema features. However, we'd still always recommend watching movies in 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray to get the absolute best experience, and since discs are region-free, anyone with a 4K Blu-ray player can enjoy them. 

With that in mind, we've put together this list of the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies available to purchase today. We've categorized our picks by genre, and included useful AV specs for each entry. If you're still resolute about your preference for streaming, we've also collated the best Netflix movies and best Disney Plus movies on separate pages.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: top titles

The Batman

Zoe Kravitz and Robert Pattinson in The Batman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (54 Mbps)
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

One of the most highly anticipated 4K releases of 2022, The Batman emerged from the shadows with a truly revelatory Ultra HD Blu-ray disc that absolutely lived up to the film's theatrical presentation. 

Like the titular character himself, The Batman is a movie bathed in darkness, where every shadowy corner of Gotham City presents the threat of violence. Thankfully, The Batman's Dolby Vision and HDR10 presentations provide exceptional shadow delineation, with Batman's slow creeping out of the darkness coming across even more dramatic as a result – and without a single hint of the black crush that can sometimes effect the transfers of darker films.

Thanks to The Batman's native 4K digital intermediate, detail is off the charts. The the jagged edges of his suit, the stitching and leatherwork in his cowl – it all adds up to a film with intricacies that were practically made to be appreciated in 4K.

Admittedly, The Batman isn't the film to go to if you're looking to show off your TV's color bonafides. Much of the film is purposefully muted in appearance, with only brief instances of colorful highlights. Neon signs occasionally break out of the darkness, along with the amber lighting that illuminates the highway Batmobile chase sequences, or the bright orange explosion that ends it.

As standout as The Batman's visuals are, its audio presentation arguably steals the show, with a pristine Dolby Atmos primary track that delivers thundering sonics amidst a brilliantly immersive atmosphere – all punctuated by Michael Giacchino's bombastic score that just builds and builds with increased intensity. To bring up the aforementioned highway chase again, it just might be one of the best showcases for Dolby Atmos to ever hit home theaters. Get ready to pull this disc out for repeated demonstrations.

Dune

Timothée Chalamet in Dune

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (64.8 Mbps)
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Denis Villeneuve's Dune arrived on Ultra HD Blu-ray boasting a spectacular video presentation and a reference-quality Dolby Atmos audio track. Shot at 4.5K and finished at a 4K resolution, Dune looks expectedly gorgeous on the format, with immense detail that soars with incredibly clarity. Though Dune was not shot on film, its UHD presentation sports a nice layer of film-like grain throughout, which serves to provide increased texture to its costumes, sets and sandy landscapes.

The inclusion of both HDR10 and Dolby Vision gives Dune excellent brightness, contrast and color vibrancy. Witness, for instance, the shimmering appearance of Arrakis's all-important spice, or the almost white-hot explosion that eventually bursts through House Atreides' force fields during the mid-film invasion scene.

Aside from some very minor banding, the only thing that could be considered disappointing to videophiles about Dune's 4K disc is that its aspect ratio does not shift during IMAX sequences, opting instead to keep a panoramic widescreen presentation for its entire running time. Despite this, Dune remains an epic spectacle to behold.

Just as epic as Dune's visual presentation is its sound, with an outstanding primary Dolby Atmos track that delivers fantastic directional audio, offering plenty of activity in the rear channels, along with a masterful use of Atmos' height channels (you will think Dune's ornithopters are flying right over your head)Dialogue is clear and prominent, while Hans Zimmer's nerve-jangling score offers a powerful backdrop to the events unfolding on-screen.

It goes without saying that fans of Dune should absolutely pick up its 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, but we also recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a home theater enthusiast. This is a demo-worthy disc in every regard.

The Suicide Squad

Idris Elba as Bloodsport and Sylvester Stallone as King Shark in The Suicide Squad movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (63.08 Mbps)
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1.90:1

Given that James Gunn's The Suicide Squad was shot entirely using IMAX cameras and finished at 4K resolution, we always expected its Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation to be standout and demo-worthy, and we were right – The Suicide Squad looks magnificent on the format.

Gunn has been vocal about his support for the quality of physical media over streaming, and he certainly proves his point here, with a hefty bitrate of 63.08 Mbps that eliminates any visible artifacting or compression. Detail is off the charts here, particularly in close-ups of King Shark, which reveal a great deal of texture that appears completely tangible.

We will say one thing, though: we hope your TV can handle dark scenes, because there are stretches of The Suicide Squad that take place in night-time jungle settings which had our Mini LED TV's local dimming feature flicking on and off, making black areas appear washed out and gray. After a few minutes of annoyance, we dug into the TV's picture settings and lowered the dimming feature's intensity, leading the remainder of the film to play out normally.

Meanwhile, highlights and colors are truly astounding here, particularly when it comes to costuming – the Squad's orange prison jumpsuits jump out with incredible vividness, as does Peacemaker's red shirt and Harley's stunning red dress. 

Later in the film, during Harley's escape from capture, a rainbow-like explosion of colorful flowers erupts while she mows down enemy soldiers – believe us when we say that it's one of the best looking showcases of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray we've seen to date, as is the emergence of the vibrant (and giant) villain, Starro the Conqueror.

Props must also be handed to The Suicide Squad's excellent Dolby Atmos audio track, which places dialogue front and center, never losing it amongst all the on-screen chaos that unfolds. Dimensionality is also strong, with great use of overhead sound effects during the film's climax. Highly recommended for fans.

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (55 Mbps)
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

If you're looking for a film that will test your home entertainment system's might, you could do a lot worse than the latest Mortal Kombat film, which arrived on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a sharp transfer and punchy audio track.

While a lot of Mortal Kombat takes place in dark and shadowy environments, the film's 4K presentation delivers impressive contrast, allowing viewers to see right into the darker areas of the screen. Highlights and colors, in particular, look magnificent in this HDR10 presentation, particularly in scenes where the film's characters show off their energy-based skills – especially Raiden's signature lightning strikes, which burn with a white hot intensity. As expected, the film's 4K native resolution allows for extraordinary detail, making it easy to marvel at the craftsmanship of the film's costume and set design departments.

In terms of audio, Mortal Kombat offers a room-shaking Dolby Atmos primary track which emphasizes every punch, kick and fireball attack with an incredible amount of oomph. That said, dialogue sounds a little low by comparison, so you may have to do some tweaking of your sound setup in order to hit that sweet spot. 

Nevertheless, Mortal Kombat looks and sounds great on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, allowing fans to relive every gory fatality in crystal-clear clarity.

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (55 Mbps)
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Zack Snyder's Justice League looks and sounds fantastic on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, with the disc version's immersive Dolby Atmos audio and high video bitrate absolutely demolishing the film's presentation on streaming services such as HBO Max, Sky and Binge.

Split over two discs due to its epic 242-minute runtime, Zack Snyder's Justice League delivers sublime visuals right off the bat(man) – the film's stirring opening titles sequence immediately gives us inky blacks, bright highlights and vivid colors, and it only gets better from there.

Those who have watched Joss Whedon's theatrical version of Justice League will instantly notice that Snyder's version is a drastically different-looking film. Color has been toned way down, with almost monochromatic appearance at times, leading to a film that's far more atmospheric and serious in tone. Of course, that isn't to say that the film is lacking in vibrance – in fact, it makes the film's deliberate uses of color pop with increased vividness. 

Perhaps the most visually-stunning update offered by Zack Snyder's Justice League is in its villain, Steppenwolf (pictured), who has been completely redesigned from the ground up with a far more jagged and menacing appearance. 

The amount of detail in Steppenwolf's armor is absolutely staggering, with the character covered head to toe in countless, razor-sharp metallic shards – each of which produces impressive specular highlights. Look closely and you'll see fine details on the shards themselves, such as scratches and scuffs which make the CGI creation all the more convincing.

Although the disc curiously lacks the Dolby Vision support that's offered on HBO Max, it does provide a rather significant upgrade on the streaming version with the inclusion of a wonderfully immersive Dolby Atmos track. During action scenes, there's an incredible sense of dimensionality to the audio, with terrific use of overhead channels. Though the film can get loud and bombastic, dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

Destined to be one of the format's reference discs, Zack Snyder's Justice League is a must-have for fans of the film.

Tenet

Tenet

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (57.45 Mbps)
Primary audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, 2.20:1

The most mind-bending film from director Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento) to date, Tenet made an absolutely stunning debut on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Like the majority of Nolan's other films, Tenet is presented with expanded IMAX sequences for its physical home release (sorry, digital buyers), meaning its aspect ratio regularly opens up to fill your entire TV's display, offering a significant rise in picture quality and scope.

The results are utterly astonishing. Shot entirely on 65mm film and boasting a native 4K digital intermediate, detail is off the charts here, with a pristine image that still retains its filmic quality. It would not be a stretch to say that 70% of Tenet is presented in this manner, leading to a near-constant bombardment of jaw-dropping moments. From its stunning Tallinn freeway chase, to its climactic 'temporal pincer movement' set piece, Tenet is a sight to behold.

Color and contrast are both exceptional, with impressively natural skin tones, vibrant reds, warm yellows, cool blues and inky shadows throughout, along with terrific highlights during brighter moments.

Admittedly, it's disappointing to note that Nolan continues to resist the allure of Dolby Atmos audio. That said, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track included here still delivers a surprising amount of bombast and directionality. If you're looking for a demo disc to show off your home entertainment system, Tenet is the one.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: heroes and villains

Joker

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in the Joker movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Despite its filmic appearance, Joker was shot digitally and processed at a resolution of 6.5K, eventually finishing up with a 4K master. This means Joker's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc is a totally faithful representation of the finished film as it was shown in theaters, making it hard to imagine how it could possibly look any better.

Thanks to the inclusion of support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, Joker's 4K disc offers fantastic color reproduction, emboldening the film's yellows, teals and reds with added exuberance. Shadow definition is also exceptional, with inky blacks contrasting wonderfully against bright highlights.

As you might expect, Joker's 4K presentation delivers fantastic detail, particularly in the film's many close-ups of Arthur's face – fine lines and pores are easily identifiable (especially in scenes where the character is wearing his clown makeup). Likewise, threads and fibers in clothing are more apparent to the point where one can readily distinguish between the different types of fabrics in Joker's eye-popping costume. 

Perfectly complementing Joker's superb visual presentation is an equally impressive Dolby Atmos primary track that truly brings the film to life. While some 4K discs are guilty of favoring loud, bombastic sound effects and music over dialogue, Joker manages to find a perfect balance across the board. 

Those who've seen Joker know that Hildur Guðnadóttir's haunting score drives the film and provides its soul, but it never crosses the line on this disc by overpowering the film's vocals, which are always clear and consistent. That said, the three-dimensional soundscape achieved by this excellent Atmos track does allow the score to feel even more enveloping to the listener. Speaking of the film's sound design, the track also offers a real sense of atmosphere during crowd scenes.

A disc that perfectly recreates the film's theatrical presentation, fans simply owe it to themselves to pick up this extraordinary 4K release of Joker.

The X-Men series

The cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Resolution: 2160p (X-Men / X-Men 2 / X-Men: Apocalypse: native 4K masters, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past: upscaled from 2K masters)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English DTS-HD 5.1
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (all films)

It's now possible to separately purchase every entry in the main X-Men series on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Fans will be x-static (sorry) to hear that each film in the series holds up incredibly well in Ultra HD, with the first two films in the saga, X-Men and X2: X-Men United (a.k.a. X-Men 2), receiving brand new 4K scans which achieve terrific results. 

Keen-eyed viewers will notice bolder colors across the board thanks to an impressive HDR-related upgrade. Blues and reds, in particular, appear more vibrant – witness, for instance, the glowing red beams that shoot from Cyclops' eyes, or the steely blue interiors of Professor X's Cerebro room. We also get richer yellows and greens, such as the lining in Wolverine's costume and Toad's sickly skin. 

In X-Men 2, the uptick in resolution offers some incredible clarity, particularly in close-ups of Nightcrawler's face, which show additional detail in the swirling scars etched in the character's skin. Of course, the blues in his and Mystique's skin also appear more clearly defined, with their particular shades appearing slightly more individual. 

Beast X-Men

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

With the addition of Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand, HDR gets another workout with yet another eye-popping shade of blue skin, along with the added bonus of bright blue hair to accompany it. 

As you might expect, detail is astonishing, with The Last Stand's upscaled 2160p transfer offering increased sharpness, allowing viewers to spot the individual strands of hair that have been meticulously applied to the character by the film's makeup department.

Thanks to a boost in contrast, we also get deeper blacks and improved shadow detail, which significantly helps to enhance the mood of the films. As the earlier entries in the saga were shot on 35mm film, a fine layer of grain is present which helps ground the fantastical films with a modicum of realism while also providing a richer filmic appearance.

Also upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate is X-Men: First Class, which arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with some noticeable improvements over the standard Blu-ray edition, but perhaps isn't quite the standout that X-Men and X-Men 2 are. 

X-Men: First Class Magneto

(Image credit: Fox)

Thanks to some HDR tinkering, we get bright colors that pop with added vibrancy, particularly when it comes time for the characters to don their blue and yellow '60s-era costumes. Skin tones appear healthy and lifelike, with some spectacular highlights in the form of Emma Frost's diamond-encrusted epidermis proving especially striking.

The film's big climax, which sees the mutants intervening with the Cuban Missile Crisis by lifting a submarine out of the ocean, is expectedly a visual standout, looking even better in Ultra HD than it did on previous releases. 

With X-Men: Days of Future Past, the main series finally moves into the digital era, with the time-traveling sequel captured at 2.8K resolution and finished with a 2K digital intermediate. While Days of Future Past is an upscaled release, it looks quite good on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, with the benefits of HDR shining through to provide additional color vibrancy and increased black levels.

The film's dark opening sequence, which shows a grim Terminator-esque future where the world has been ravaged by machines, dazzles with its deep blacks and vibrant neon highlights. Later, during the film's daytime finale, we get a significant boost in clarity, particularly when the more colorful X-Men like Mystique and Beast are on screen.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

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 the 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. 

Poster for X-Men: Dark Phoenix

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The latest entry in the X-Men series (and likely the last), X-Men: Dark Phoenix arrived on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray boasting some noticeable improvements over the 1080p version of the film. 

For starters, we have increased fine detail on costumes, sets, hair and makeup effects, which is impressive given the movie was finished on a 2K digital intermediate and then upscaled. As far as resolution goes, this release is likely the best the film will ever look at home. 

However, the 4K Ultra HD release's biggest advantage over the standard Blu-ray is surely the inclusion of HDR10, which offers Dark Phoenix increased color vibrancy and brightness, something that makes a huge difference when half the film's cast is blue. Unfortunately, this release lacks Dolby Vision, even though Dark Phoenix was presented that way theatrically, according to the Dolby website.

That said, X-Men: Dark Phoenix at least boasts a truly excellent Dolby Atmos audio track, which is a real show-stopper during the film's big finale on the train – the sound of Magneto crushing a group of baddies in a train carriage and then throwing it away is immensely satisfying.

Dark Phoenix aside, each X-Men release surprisingly lacks Dolby Atmos audio in favour of DTS-HD 5.1 tracks, the discs are a no-brainer for those who don't already own the films. In our estimation, X-Men, X-Men 2 and X-Men: Apocalypse provide enough of an upgrade over their Blu-ray equivalents to warrant a double dip for devoted fans, while the rest still offer the definitive version of each film to watch at home. 

Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers prepares to fight in Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel movie

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p/24
Codec: HEVC
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

One of the top-grossing movies of 2019, Captain Marvel was the first female-led Marvel movie, which already makes it a must-watch in our books. Luckily it's a truly fantastic movie too – and might be one of our favorite across the whole MCU.

Set in the 90s, this fantasy superhero movie really lends itself to the best 4K HDR tech. All of the strong primary and secondary colors are rich, they look like they 'pop' from the screen, and the whites are vibrant. Some of the CGI, fantasy elements look the most impressive, like when Vers visits the Supreme Being. 

It's also worth mentioning that there are quite a few close-up shots throughout the movie, and this version renders the detail well. You can see the finest details in sets, the characters' physical features and the costumes. 

Aquaman

Aquaman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.78:1

With the arrival of DC's Aquaman on 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray, the format has received another reference-quality disc that will surely be used to show off brand new televisions for years to come. 

Despite being upscaled from a 2K master (which proved more than suitable in cinemas, we might add), Aquaman offers a pristine transfer that's stuffed to the gills (we went there) with onscreen activity – all of which is presented with incredible detail. It's no secret that 4K releases presented in the full IMAX aspect ratio are utterly spectacular to watch on a high-end television set (you hearing this, Disney?), and Aquaman may very well be the best example of this yet. 

According to director James Wan, approximately 90% of the movie is shown this way, and while that might be a slight exaggeration, almost all of the film's major sequences do take advantage of your entire display, exhibiting immense clarity and color. Speaking of color, Aquaman is a true showcase for high-dynamic-range (both HDR10 and Dolby Vision are available), with its vibrant underwater world offering enough eye candy to put you in a visual sugar coma. 

We have glowing purples, oranges and greens piercing through the deep blue sea – Aquaman's first trip to Atlantis is a show-stopping sight to behold – with realistic specular highlights reflected in armor and tridents. Rays of light also shine through the ocean surface with impressively subtle color gradation.

Later in the film, a scene shows Arthur and Mera being attacked by The Trench while travelling via tugboat, and if ever there was an argument for the importance of increased resolution and contrast, this is it. The set piece unfolds at night during heavy rainfall while hundreds of snarling CGI creatures attack our heroes, and it is positively bursting at the seams with visual information. 

Thankfully, Aquaman's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray handles the complex scene with ease, and looks especially good on TVs capable of deep, inky blacks. A must-have release for fans of superhero films.

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

As one of the first major titles to hit 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, the original Deadpool impressed with a pristine transfer based on a true 4K digital intermediate. While its sequel, Deadpool 2, was finished at 2K and then upscaled for this 4K release, the disc still looks great, with a noticeable upgrade in detail and color over the regular Blu-ray.

Sporting a steely-blue look and feel for most of the film, Deadpool 2 isn't quite as vibrant as its predecessor. That said, there are several moments here where colors really pop, including the film's violent opening montage, Cable's explosive prison attack and the film's big chase scene. Like the first entry's 4K disc, Deadpool 2 has received HDR10 color grading, though Dolby Vision is absent. 

Once again, specular highlights benefit greatly from the high-dynamic-range tinkering that the film has received, particularly in the light reflecting from Colossus' shiny metal body. Thanks to the resolution uptick provided by the format, object definition looks wonderful here — the stitching and texture of Deadpool's costume is the standout on this disc, along with the incredibly-detailed visual effects work that has gone into creating Cable's cybernetic arm and chest. 

As an added bonus, Deadpool 2's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray includes two versions of the film, with the Theatrical Cut and Super Duper $@%!#& Cut each housed on their own 4K disc. 

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War

(Image credit: Marvel)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

The kind of cinematic event that 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray was made for, Avengers: Infinity War exploded 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. 

The Avengers

A screenshot of The Avengers looking up into the sky in their first MCU movie

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Due to its bright, clean cinematography and TV-friendly 1.85:1 aspect ratio, The Avengers makes for an ideal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray candidate. Everything that was great about the film's regular blu-ray is magnified here, with vibrant HDR10-tuned colors, improved contrast, brighter highlights and greater detail across the board. 

If you have a high-end television that's capable of intense color and brightness, you're going to want to pick this disc up — The Avengers dazzles in this regard, with the red, white and blue of Captain America's costume, along with the Hulk's green skin, looking especially vivid here. 

Night-time scenes, such as the forest battle between Iron Man and Thor, look especially good here — Thor's lightning bolts burn with white hot intensity against inky black backgrounds, and there's no sign of any crushing to within the darkness.

Like Avengers: Infinity War, The Avengers was mastered at 2K, though you'd never know it based on its Ultra HD Blu-ray transfer — fine detail is extraordinary here, particularly in costumes and character close-ups. 

Along with its excellent Dolby Atmos track, which delivers impressive bass and directional sound effects, The Avengers has made a fantastic debut on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. If you're a fan of the film (and really, who isn't?), you won't be disappointed by this stellar release.

Black Panther

T'Challa walks towards Killmonger and his men after downing an enemy ship in 2018's Black Panther film

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Captured at 3.4K resolution and then finished at 4K, Marvel's Black Panther arrived 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. 

Justice League

A group shot of the main members of the Justice League for the similarly named Warner Bros' DCEU movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1:78.1

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.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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.

Wonder Woman

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Image credit: Warner Bros.

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Image credit: Marvel Studios

Image credit: Marvel Studios

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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 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.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: sci-fi

Alita: Battle Angel

Alita: Battle Angel

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Alita: Battle Angel soars on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray thanks to some incredible HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support, and a transfer that's sharper than Alita's Damascus blade.

Despite being upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate, Alita: Battle Angel looks expectedly astonishing in this 4K release. For starters, contrast and color depth is off the charts here, with inky-blacks and incredible color vibrance lending the film an eye-popping level of spectacle.

As the format does with most VFX-heavy science fiction films, the disc's higher resolution allows viewers to truly experience and appreciate the incredible design work and craftsmanship that goes into creating such a convincing futuristic word. 

It helps that Alita: Battle Angel is a film that's bursting at the seams with detail, from the largely computer-generated world of Iron City, to the many cyborg characters who inhabit it. Witness, for instance, the character of Zapan (pictured, right), whose entire robotic body is comprised of intricate metal parts, and whose only human feature is his face – you'd be hard-pressed to find a more detailed and visually-arresting cyborg design in any other sci-fi film that's come before. 

And then there's Alita herself, with her oversized and extremely expressive eyes providing the character with an (intentionally) uncanny appearance. Simply put, Alita is a visual marvel, and while you'll never forget that she's entirely CGI, your eyes will be glued to her at all times.

When you factor in that the film's 4K release is one of the few titles to arrive on the format that actually includes the 3D Blu-ray in the package, it's easy to recommend Alita: Battle Angel for home AV enthusiasts looking for demo-worthy discs – even those who don't particularly like the film. But for those who are fans (this writer included), Alita: Battle Angel is one of the best releases the format has seen to date. 

Bumblebee

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Exploding out of the gate with the most visually spectacular scene of any Transformers movie, Bumblebee is a sight to behold on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, making it easy to forget Michael Bay's last few films in the franchise. 

Taking up the entire screen thanks to the film's 1.78:1 presentation, Bumblee delivers a clear uptick in detail quality despite being upscaled from a 2K master. Making good use of both Dolby Vision and HDR10, the film exhibits fantastic contrast and shadow detail during dark scenes, such as the opening battle on Cybertron, while also sporting fantastic highlights and colors in sparks, laser blasts and explosions. 

Once the film's action transitions over to Earth, Bumblebee's 4K presentation continues to shine in settings that are far more brightly lit. Though the film is a visual effects showcase, the vast majority of its running time is spent in real-world locations  while our titular character interacts with humans. Once again, the disc's resolution boost and high-dynamic-range capabilities lead Bumblebee straight into showcase territory, with skin tones that feel true to life and landscapes that appear extra beautiful. Highly recommended.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Image credit: Lionsgate Films

Image credit: Lionsgate Films

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Luc Besson knows a thing or two about crafting incredible science fiction visuals (or any visuals for that matter), having directed the classic film The Fifth Element. With Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the French auteur kicks things up a notch, creating off-world visuals so arresting, they alone warrant this disc a place in the collection of any serious Ultra HD enthusiast. 

Similar to James Cameron's Avatar, the film exhibits an overwhelming amount of crystal clear CGI, and while that may give the film an artificial look, there's no denying the level or detail and artistry evident in every frame. 

Witness, for instance, the scenes that take place on the pearl planet (pictured above), which are rendered entirely in a computer. There's an outstanding level of beauty on display here, with the scenes deep blues and bright highlights making great use of the format's HDR/Dolby Vision capabilities. Clarity is off the charts, with an impressively sharp transfer – you'd never guess Valerian was finished on a 2K digital intermediate. 

The rest of the film, which is packed with high-octane spaceship chases and interplanetary action scenes, also looks outstanding, with the uptick in resolution revealing an astonishing level of detail throughout.

They Live (4K Collector Edition)

Image credit: Universal

Image credit: Universal

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (from original camera negative scanned at 4K /16bit)
Primary audio: English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

CONSUME! CONFORM! OBEY! Ever felt like the world around you is subliminally pushing secret messages to you? That perhaps your work colleagues and those in power aren't quite what they seem? Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not after you...

That's the crux of the brilliant premise behind John Carpenter's superb satirical sci-fi film They Live, in which pro wrestler 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper discovers that the world is slowly being taken over by alien invaders, which can only be seen by wearing special sunglasses.

The eminently-quotable 1988 cult classic has been lovingly restored for this very special collectors edition 4K release, which saw the original camera negative scanned at 4K resolution before being newly color graded by renowned cinematographer, Gary B. Kibbe.

It results in the best-looking edition of the film to date, and that's before you start looking at all the extras thrown in here – you're looking at the UHD disc alongside a HD Blu-ray presentation and HD special features disc, a CD soundtrack, a superb poster, five art-cards and a 48 page book that fans of Carpenter and the movie alike will lap up. 

It's a dream package for fans of the film, while hardcore John Carpenter fans will also want to pick up the new 4K restorations of his other classics The Fog, Escape From New York and Prince of Darkness – each given a similarly-exquisite boxset release.

2001: A Space Odyssey

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Aspect ratio: 2.20:1

What's there to be said about 2001: A Space Odyssey that hasn't already been said? Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Stanley Kubrick's visionary exploration of space, the future and the nature of life in this universe is as powerful today as on its day of release.

Often heralded for its groundbreaking visual effects work, it's incredible just how well the film holds up under the added scrutiny of this stunning 4K remaster. With this year seeing a release of a newly restored 70mm print (using elements made from the original camera negative) this re-release piggybacks off that work, with the 4K UHD HDR image mastered itself from the 65mm original camera negative. The Warner Bros team have gone as close to the source as possible here, giving an all-new UHD sheen to a marvellous film.

From the opening sun-rising glare to the decent into another dimension towards the film's end, the UHD presentation brings vibrant life to the dramatic range in the color palette. HDR visuals add depth to the dark expanses of space, punctuated by amazing miniature model work, with Dolby Vision support particularly well executed here. What's sadly missing is a Dolby Atmos soundtrack – what better way than to hear 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' in space than both above and around you? Alas, we'll have to wait longer. Still, the soundtrack has also been given a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 revamp, as well as there being the option to listen to the original 6-track theatrical audio mix, now formatted for DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

As a gift package it's lovely, too – there's an excellent array of special features included on the disc, as well as great booklet and art cards within the sleeve. Whether a long time fan of the film or coming to it for the first time, it's a wonderful way to experience it.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Image credit: Disney

Image credit: Disney

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

The second Star Wars film to arrive on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Solo: A Star Wars Story faithfully represents the film's beautiful theatrical presentation, even if its image is slightly flatter than we're used to seeing on the format.

Like The Last Jedi before it, Solo boasts a true 4K digital intermediate, meaning that no upscaling has gone into the making of this release. As you'd expect, detail is exceptional here, though you won't find a lot of depth in the cinematography of Solo. 

While some 4K releases carry a clean, almost three-dimensional appearance, Solo's tendency towards darkness, haze and muddy environments mostly prevents this outside of a few bright outdoor scenes (Solo's confrontation with Enfys Nest is a particular highlight in this regard).

That said, color comes up especially well here thanks to some fine HDR10 tinkering (Dolby Vision is unfortunately absent from this release), allowing for scenes that pop with a surprising amount of vibrance out of the film's dark environments. Witness, for instance, the Kessel Run sequence, in which the Millennium Falcon must travel through a space storm filled with whirling colors and spectacular highlights. Elsewhere, the disc displays some standout color in Lando Calrissian's stylish yellow shirt. 

It's worth noting that your enjoyment of Solo's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray may be affected by the television you use to watch it — on OLED or QLED displays with local dimming, there's a more noticeable depth evident in the film's darker scenes. 

Though it's unlikely to be considered a reference quality disc by Ultra HD enthusiasts, Solo looks as good as can be on the format thanks to its faithful presentation and HDR color tuning. 

Predator 3-Movie Collection

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (Predator's upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1, 1.85:1, 1.84:1

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.

Ready Player One

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Image credit: Warner Bros.

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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. 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

Image credit: Disney

Image credit: Disney

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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 spatial 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. 

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

Image credit: Warner Bros.

HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

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. 

War for the Planet of the Apes

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

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.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Image credit: Warner Bros.

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

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. 

Alien: Covenant

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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.

Ghost in the Shell

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

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. 

Passengers

Image credit: Sony Pictures

Image credit: Sony Pictures

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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. 

Lucy

Image credit: Universal

Image credit: Universal

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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.

Oblivion

Image credit: Universal

Image credit: Universal

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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.

Pacific Rim

Image credit: Universal

Image credit: Universal

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

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. 

Independence Day: Resurgence

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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.

Chappie

Chappie

Image credit: Sony Pictures

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 4K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

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!

Star Trek

Star Trek

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

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.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

HDR: HDR10
Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master)
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

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 to call 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.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: family

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Sonic the Hedgehog speeds onto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a gorgeous and exceptionally vibrant transfer made possible by the inclusion of HDR10 and Dolby Vision support.

While Sonic himself is an entirely CGI creation with a cartoonish visual appearance that never tries to look photo-realistic, he remains remarkably well-realised nevertheless and a constant joy to watch. From the ultra-fine blue furs and spines all over his body, to his big expressive eyes, Sonic is the kind of character that 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray was made for. 

Sure, we expect visual FX to look great in UHD, but you may be surprised to find out that the film's human characters look just as impressive, with incredibly life-like skin tones and increased detail and clarity. Shot at 3.4K resolution and finished at 4K, Sonic the Hedgehog is exceptional clean and sharp looking throughout its entire presentation. 

As we alluded to earlier, the film is wonderfully vivid and vibrant thanks to some excellent HDR10 ans Dolby Vision color grading. Effects such as explosions, lightning and lasers appear heightened, but in a way that's visually arresting rather than distracting.

As top-notch as Sonic the Hedgehog's visual presentation is, its primary Dolby Atmos audio track is every bit its equal. Boasting plenty of dimensionality, it's not uncommon to feel like Sonic is constantly zipping around your living at high-speed. 

Later in the film, during Sonic's climactic showdown with Dr. Robotnik, your living room's surround speakers and sub woofer will likely get quite a workout, with rockets exploding from every angle and Eggman's ship providing plenty of low-end bass as it flies around town.

As great a presentation as anyone could've possibly hoped for, Sonic the Hedgehog's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray faithfully recreates the cinematic audio-visual experience in your very own home.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

The Lion King (2019)

Disney's The Lion King

(Image credit: Disney)

If you're looking for a truly astonishing demo-disc that will immediately sell your friends and family on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, look no further than Disney's 2019 version of The Lion King. 

Though the transfer is taken from a 2K digital intermediate, The Lion King makes every pixel on your 4K television count with incredibly high detail and clarity. From its show-stopping opening number, in which we're brought into the Pride Lands to witness the arrival of Simba, we're treated to a gloriously HDR-enhanced scene that sets the stage for the rest of the film. 

Numerous textures are shown off in quick succession, from desert plains and wet mud banks to lush grass and jungle. The sun-kissed scenery is enough to take your breath away – and then the CG-animated animals show up, revealing photorealistic skin and fur. 

When the lion Mufasa eventually appears on screen in all his majesty, we're able to soak in the immense artistry and attention to detail that went into this computer-generated creation. Individual hairs and whiskers are easily spotted, with stunning sunlight highlighting his fur and making it look especially realistic. 

Later in the film, close-ups of the meerkat Timon and his warthog sidekick Pumba are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Simply put, from a visual perspective, this is a reference-quality release of the highest order. 

Add to this a terrific Dolby Atmos audio track that expertly balances atmosphere, vocals, sound effects and music, and what you have is a must-own disc for fans of the film.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from 2K master), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Trolls

Image credit: DreamWorks

Image credit: DreamWorks

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), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Labyrinth

Image credit: Sony Pictures

Image credit: Sony Pictures

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), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Ninja Turtles

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

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), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

The LEGO Movie

The Lego Movie

Image credit: Warner Bros.

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), Primary audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray: drama

1917

1917

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It's pretty much a given that any film lensed by the great cinematographer Roger Deakins is going to look absolutely astonishing on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (see Blade Runner 2049), and that has indeed proven to be the case with the gripping WW1 drama, 1917.

Employing a series of long, unbroken takes, Director Sam Mendes allows the viewer to truly soak in the film's richly detailed environments, from the muddy trenches of No Man's Land, to the green farmland of Northern France. 

Thanks to the disc's native 2160p presentation, all that detail comes through which incredible sharpness. Likewise, skin tones appear life-like, and the soldiers' uniforms and weapons appear on screen with utmost clarity, appearing almost tangible thanks to the uptick in resolution.

Later in the film, a night-time sequence exhibits fantastic black levels and contrast, with fine shadow delineation making it easy to make out objects in the darkness. Boasting both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, 1917's 4K disc offers exceptional color (even if it is intentionally muted at times) and fantastic highlights (witness the burning building from the aforementioned night-time sequence).

In terms of audio, 1917 is a show-stopper. As you might expect, the disc's Dolby Atmos audio provides fantastic object-based audio, with bullets and explosions coming through realistically from all directions.

If you're a fan of the film (or war films in general), 1917's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray makes for a fantastic addition to any movie library, acting as exceptional demo disc in the process.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

As the first Quentin Tarantino film to hit 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood shines with the filmic majesty of cinema's glory days. Shot entirely on film (35mm for the most part, with some small segments captured on 16mm and 8mm celluloid), Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood boasts a native 4K transfer that faithfully recreates the look of Tarantino's opus – that means you'll occasionally see some softness and film grain, just as the director intended. 

When compared to the package's accompanying Blu-ray disc, the film's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation shows significant improvements in sharpness and clarity, with the increased resolution offering magnificent depth and detail in Robert Richardson's spectacular photography. 

Hollywood's 4K disc also has a leg up in the form of color vibrance thanks to some terrific HDR10 and Dolby Vision color tuning. In particular, we noticed increased warmth on the film's 4K disc, with more emphasis on yellow tones that accurately represent the film's sunny Los Angeles setting. Meanwhile, the bright neon that peers out of the darkness in the film's night-time scenes shines with exceptional vividness. 

While Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood's 4K disc lacks a Dolby Atmos audio track, it really doesn't need it – the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is more than capable of handling the film's heavy dialogue scenes and terrific late '60s soundtrack. 

Short of watching the film on Tarantino's personal 35mm projector, this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release is the ideal way to watch Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood in a home environment. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Primary audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

Apocalypse Now: FInal Cut

(Image credit: Universal Sony Pictures)

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the landmark war film Apocalypse Now, director Francis Ford Coppola has revisited his masterpiece for the second time, creating a brand new cut that's longer than his original theatrical cut but shorter than the slightly bloated 'Redux' edition from 2001. Now, Coppola has delivered his preferred version of the film, complete with a brand new 4K remaster with tweaked color timing and sound design for maximum impact. The results are spectacular. 

Available in a new 6-disc Collector's Edition that also includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray copies of the film's theatrical cut and Redux version (reportedly based on the same remaster), Apocalypse Now: Final Cut is a must own for fans of the film. 

From the haunting opening shot (which sees a large portion of jungle bombarded with napalm, producing enormous orange fireballs that burn with incredibly intensity), the benefits of Ultra HD Blu-ray become immediately apparent. Simply put, the inclusion of HDR10 and Dolby Vision breathe new life into the film. 

While the transfer's overall presentation exhibits a slightly greener tinge than previous releases of the film, it's the contrasting colors that truly stand out – witness, for instance, the increased vibrancy of the pink smoke grenade scene, or the blues of the jungle at night.

Of course, it's worth noting the inky darkness found in numerous scenes throughout the film, particularly towards the end – owners of OLED screens will truly appreciate the appearance of pitch black shadows throughout the movie.

Along with a general uptick in resolution that still manages to retain a healthy amount of filmic grain, a powerful new Dolby Atmos track manages to create a more intense, suffocating atmosphere (new tweaks like delayed explosion noises are a very nice touch, too). If you love this film, we imagine this will be the definitive release for the foreseeable future.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Black Hawk Down

Image credit: Sony Pictures

Image credit: Sony Pictures

Arriving on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a brand new transfer (based on a true 4K master), this release of Black Hawk Down's utterly destroys its dated regular Blu-ray. 

Dialling up the contrast on the film significantly, the new transfer boasts an incredibly striking image with some of the deepest black levels and shadows we've seen on the format. We're talking Army Rangers appearing as silhouettes against the blinding Mogadishu (actually Morocco) sunlight.  

That it manages to achieve such strong highlights while also reaching pitch black levels of darkness, all without a hint of crushing, is just a testament to the quality of the film's new scan and the power of high-dynamic-range.

Purists will be pleased to hear that Black Hawk Down's intensely gritty appearance has been maintained on this UHD release, with the healthy presence of film grain lending the film an increased sense of frantic authenticity. Detail is astonishing, particularly in close-ups where faces reveal individual pores and grains of dirt. Explosions and flying debris also look spectacular thanks to the uptick in resolution.

Easily one of the best catalogue releases we've seen on the format to date, Black Hawk Down's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is a must-buy for fans of the film and well worth double-dipping if you already own a previous version.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.38:1

Widows

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Shot on 35mm film and then finished on a true 4K digital intermediate, Widows arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray looking as great as it could possibly look. 

Without sacrificing its filmic presentation, Widows receives a terrific transfer that embraces healthy grain while offering improvements over the standard Blu-ray across the board.

Exhibiting deeper contrast and excellent shadow detail, the film looks especially good during its numerous nighttime scenes. Witness, for instance, a heist scene that takes place late in the film – despite being set late at night in an indoor environment without a whole lot of lighting, it's very easy to follow the action and know exactly what's going on at all times. 

Although the film is relatively muted and steely from a color standpoint, the colors that are there manage to punch through the darkness with added vibrancy thanks to the disc's HDR10+ color tuning. If you're a fan of adult thrillers, you should definitely consider adding Widows to your 4K collection. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, HDR10+, Resolution: 2160p (from 4K master), Primary audio: English Dolby Atmos, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Bad Times at the El Royale