The Best 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays for Your Home Theater

When 4K initially burst on the home theater scene, there was little 4K content for early adopters to enjoy. Fast-forward a couple of years and not only are 4K TVs the new normal, but High Dynamic Range (HDR) is everywhere, providing stunning contrast and color shading via a rushing river of new content.
To help you build a respectable 4K Ultra HD library, we’re constantly sifting through the Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog to find the best of the bunch. The list continues to grow every month and we’re on the case. So pop some corn, slap a disc in the Blu-ray player, and prepare to be blown away by an ultra-sharp picture, brilliant colors, and surround sound so real you’ll swear you’re inside the movie.
John Wick: Chapter 3
What started out as a surprise sleeper-hit for Keanu Reeves, has now evolved into one of the most popular action franchises in recent memory. We’re of course talking about John Wick: Chapter 3, the third installment in a story that started with a retired hitman (Reeves) seeking revenge for the death of his dog and the theft of his car, and has now become a gut-wrenching odyssey through the secret world of paid assassins and their masters. With fantastic locations and hand-to-hand combat scenes that feel both gritty yet artfully choreographed, the John Wick movies have something for the action fan in all of us, and Chapter 3 is no exception.
Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
4K
Dolby Vision, HDR10
2.39:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Avengers: Endgame
If there was one movie in 2019 that people hit the theaters to see, it was the culminating chapter from Marvel’s Avengers franchise, Avengers: Endgame. With a huge cast, gorgeous special effects, and a storyline that covers huge swaths of both time and space, it’s Marvel movie magic at its finest. If you’re a Marvel fan, suffice it to say, this is a must-own Ultra HD Blu-ray disc. One thing we can’t quite figure out is why Disney-owned Marvel chose not to include Dolby Vision for this release when the upcoming Disney+ streaming service has already committed to releasing a good chunk of its Marvel titles in this dynamic HDR format. Or did we just answer our own question?
Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
4K
HDR10
2.39:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Bohemian Rhapsody
Though this movie has deservedly won numerous awards and big props for Rami Malek’s performance as Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, let’s be clear: The final 20 minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody is what everyone is talking about. The meticulous recreation of the band’s unprecedented Live Aid set is a love letter to both Mercury and every Queen fan. It’s so good, the 4K UHD Blu-ray ships with a special extended version of just that part of the film as its own feature. Mercury’s persona gets a thorough exploration in the script, but it’s his on-stage presence that thrilled concert goers. For those who never saw the band live, this is better than any archival concert footage. We wish this release had Dolby Vision, but the HDR10 still looks great.
Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
4K
HDR10
2.39:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

A Star Is Born
An update of a classic, which was itself an update, Bradley Cooper’s version of A Star Is Born is mesmerizing. Cooper’s on-screen chemistry with co-star Lady Gaga is undeniable, and both actors turn in superb performances as a rock star with hearing loss and a debilitating drug addiction, and an amateur musician with incredible latent talent, respectively. The movie captures the excitement of live music in front of huge audiences, as well as the often painfully intimate moments off-stage, with a deft hand. The extra resolution of 4K makes the live rock ‘n’ roll scenes intensely real, while HDR does what it does best: Lets you forget you’re watching a movie at home on your TV.
Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
upscaled 4K
Dolby Vision, HDR10
2.39:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Overlord
What do you get when you combine the pace of a video game, with classic B-movie monster mayhem, and a Nazi-hunter storyline? Overlord is the correct answer. U.S. paratroopers sent in to destroy a critical radio antenna, inadvertently find themselves in the middle of a Nazi experiment to create super soldiers gone horribly awry. Chaos naturally ensues, including a showdown with the vicious SS officer who is overseeing the entire project. There’s more than enough blood and gore to go around, and a body count that starts within the first few minutes and continues to tally up until the bitter end. If the story doesn’t do it for you, the visuals are worth the price of admission — especially the opening air raid scene, which must be experienced in Dolby Atmos.

Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
4K
Dolby Vision, HDR10
2.39:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Venom
If you prefer your superheroes to have a dark side, it doesn’t get much darker than Venom. Despite getting mediocre reviews from fans and critics alike, Tom Hardy’s turn as a washed-up reporter who is infected with a murderous alien symbiotic parasite is highly entertaining at times. Needless to say, the CG effects needed to bring his Venom alter ego alive on the screen are considerable, and all the more enjoyable when you can see every string of dripping saliva in 4K. Once again, Dolby Atmos adds an appreciated layer of sonic immersion, especially in the final battle scene, which blends the sounds of twisted steel and rocket launches.

Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
4K
Dolby Vision, HDR10
2.40:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

First Man
Ryan Gosling’s performance as Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is an understated one — a perfect match for the real astronaut’s introverted character. The film itself is anything but. With a gritty realism that masterfully blends archival footage with modern moviemaking, First Man is as much an exploration of the Gemini and Apollo astronauts’ psyches as it is about the exploration of space. Both aspects benefit tremendously from being seen in 4K HDR, and the Dolby Atmos soundtrack gives an even greater sense of immersion for those with a compatible sound system.

Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
4K
Dolby Vision, HDR10
2.29:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Tom Cruise’s stunts in this, the sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible film franchise, never seemed more death-defying than they do in 4K. The film sends Cruise’s secret agent Ethan Hunt on yet another dangerous, globe-hopping mission that features some of the most breathtaking scenery and action sequences of any installment of the series so far, and they’re made even more spectacular when viewed with the sort of pull-you-into-the-moment visual detail and immersive audio. This is a Blu-ray that makes every stunt and scenic location a treat for the senses.

Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
4K
Dolby Vision, HDR10
2.39:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Ready Player One was one of the most anticipated films to hit theaters in 2018, and while the interpretation viewers saw broke heavily from the equally loved and loathed book from which it spawned, Steven Spielberg’s rushing rainbow of a film is packed with fantastic moments to show off all your home theater has to offer. Hero Wade Wilson’s online persona, Parzival, and his many CGI friends are etched in striking detail, while the 4K rendering showcases the virtual world in which they exist, known as “OASIS,” in all its glorious hyper-realism. Dolby Atmos adds in immersive sound, pulling you deep into the virtual world. Are you ready?
Codec
Resolution
HDR formats
Aspect Ratio
Original Aspect Ratio
English
HEVC/H.265
Upscaled 4K
Dolby Vision, HDR10
2.39:1
2.39:1
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

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