The best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies

X-Men Series

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

With the exception of the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, it's now possible to separately purchase every entry in the main X-Men series on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (fans will have to keep waiting for spin-offs X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine, however, Logan and both Deadpool films are also available on the format). 

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. 

 Image credit: 20th Century Fox 

 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. 

 Image credit: 20th Century Fox 

 Image credit: 20th Century 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.

XMen Apocalypse

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. 

While each 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. 

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, 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), Audio: English DTS-HD 5.1 (primary), Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (all films)

Aquaman

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Image credit: Warner Bros.

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.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master), HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.78:1, Runtime: 143 minutes

Deadpool 2

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

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. Needless to say, fans of Deadpool 2 will definitely want to pick the film on the format.

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master), HDR: HDR10, Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 7.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, Runtime: 134 minutes

Avengers: Infinity War

Image credit: Marvel Studios

Image credit: Marvel Studios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Avengers

Image credit: Marvel Studios

Image credit: Marvel Studios

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.-

Technical specs: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 2160p (upscaled from a 2K master), HDR: HDR10, Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 7.1, French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, Aspect ratio: 1.85:1, Runtime: 143 minutes

Black Panther

Image credit: Marvel Studios

Image credit: Marvel Studios

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justice League

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Image credit: Warner Bros.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wonder Woman

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Image credit: Warner Bros.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Image credit: Marvel Studios

Image credit: Marvel Studios

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

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

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

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

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

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

Logan

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deadpool

Deadpool

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

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

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

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

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

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition

Batman v Superman

Image credit: Warner Bros.

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

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

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

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

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider Man 2

Image credit: Sony Pictures

Much like Batman v Superman, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was shot on 35mm film and later scanned and transferred to a 4K digital intermediate. Whatever you may think of the film itself, its Ultra HD presentation here is utterly sublime. Vibrant and colorful throughout, TASM2 especially shines during its effects-heavy set pieces.

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

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

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

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