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These are the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to show off your home theater

When 4K initially burst on the home theater scene, there existed little (if any) 4K-capable content for early adopters to enjoy. Considering some of the first 4K televisions ran consumers a couple of pretty pennies, this unfortunate fact was a serious drag for those looking to revel in the crystal-clear resolution. Fast forward a couple of years and not only are 4K-ready TV sets the new normal, but the well of available content is finally flowing. Now, instead of picking and choosing which films are must-sees in theaters, 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays offer movie fanatics the ability to experience the apex of high-definition from the comfort of their own home.

Related: Best Blu-ray discs to show off your Home Theater

To help anyone looking to build a respectable 4K library, we’ve sifted through the first recruits in the nascent Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog to find the best of the bunch. Keep in mind, available content continues to grow every month and we’ll be keeping this list updated with the highest quality Blu-rays as they arrive. So sit back, pop some popcorn, and prepare to be blown away by a crystalline picture, brilliant colors, and surround sound so real you’ll swear your standing right next to Mark Watney.

The Martian

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Ridley Scott’s 2015 rendition of Andy Weir’s science fiction novel The Martian was every bit the definition of a spectacle. Filmed in Jordan’s Wadi Rum valley, Scott deftly created a life-like version of the red planet which allowed viewers to feel almost as stranded as Mark Watney himself. Thrilling, funny, and expertly crafted, The Martian initially seemed like an experience that could only be done correctly by gazing at a 70-foot screen inside a massive theater. That is, until the 4K physical release entered the home theater fray in March 2016. Stunning doesn’t even come close to describing this cinematic masterpiece as each dust storm, Hab explosion, and white-knuckled rocket launch absolutely engulfs the viewer. If your home theater setup is primed for 4K content, The Martian is about as good as it gets, particularly making use of HDR to display incredibly rich contrast. In other words, space flicks have literally never looked this good at home.

Codec Resolution Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC / H.265 4K 2.40:1 2.39:1 DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

Exodus: Gods and Kings

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Yet another Ridley Scott film that shines bright in 4K, the Christian Bale-starring Exodus: Gods and Kings is a big budget take on Moses and Pharaoh Ramses. While Bale shines as Moses, actor Joel Edgerton tackled the seemingly odd role (for him, at least) of Ramses and skillfully pulled off the rendition of an Egyptian king hell-bent on power. Critically, the film was panned upon release, citing an emotionless script that felt a tad uninspired. Visually, however, the film left moviegoers’ jaws on the floor, featuring a bevy of remarkably stunning set pieces. For its 4K release, these wonderfully-paced images fare extremely well, pushing even the highest-quality home theater systems to the brink. Scott may have missed the mark in terms of storytelling but he knocked it out of the park in terms of audio and visual brilliance.

Codec Resolution Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC / H.265 4K 2.40:1 2.39:1 DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

Mad Max: Fury Road

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Roughly 30 years after George Miller directed Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome the veteran director returned to his dystopian roots with Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015. Taking fans on a thrill ride that can only be described as chaos incarnate, it’s hard to believe Miller’s time away from Max Rockatansky includes directorial efforts like Babe 2: Pig in the City and the Happy Feet franchise. Despite his foray into the family sector, Fury Road proves he’s still got the chops to direct a wire-to-wire action flick that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Concerning its 4K release, Fury Road is an absolute tour-de-force, with an excellent transfer that lets you remember why the film nabbed Oscars for sound mixing, film editing, and costume design at the Academy Awards. Though the plot takes place in a drab, dystopian future, the movie’s visuals are anything but, featuring a number of striking scenes that need to be seen to be believed – over and over again. Mad Max: Fury Road on 4K is a win-win in that it’s beautiful to look at and happens to be one damn good flick.

Codec Resolution Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC / H.265 4K 2.40:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos

Available from:

Amazon

X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Filmmaker Bryan Singer takes back the director’s chair for the X-Men franchise’s 2014 hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, and instead of rolling along with what seemed like a rebooted franchise, he re-introduced fans to characters from the original trilogy. While continuing to tell the story presented in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, Singer toyed with the fabric of continuity by bringing Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Halle Berry’s Storm back into the cinematic mix. Somewhat surprisingly, the finished product was nothing short of spectacular. A well-paced story backed by stunning visuals (including one particularly thrilling scene with Evan Peters’ Quicksilver) allowed critics and fans alike to give the film a resounding two thumbs up. Fox released this epic in beautiful 4K this year, allowing fans to faithfully relive their own cinema experience. Boasting crystal clear picture and remarkably clean audio, X-Men: Days of Future Past has what it takes to push your home theater system to its limits (and likely beyond). With the release of X-Men: Apocalypse just around the corner, why not relive one of 2014’s triumphs in breathtaking 4K?

Codec Resolution Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC / H.265 4K 2.40:1 2.39:1 DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

Kingsman: The Secret Service

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When Kingsman: The Secret Service premiered in 2014, many were scratching their heads at the decision to make Colin Firth a badass spy. Thing is, it was Firth who had the last laugh at skeptics as Kingsman remains one of the most action-packed and over-the-top film offerings of the past decade. Director Matthew Vaughn (of X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass fame) brings his signature directorial style front and center for this story of a spy agency’s attempt to recruit a young man into its ranks just as global order begins to fall to pieces. Few movies feature the kind of jaw-dropping set pieces as Kingsman, and Firth is one of the many reasons why the film shines. A well-rendered 4K release is a no-brainer for a film of this level of spectacle. Seeing each perfectly choreographed action scene in bright, vibrant color only accentuates what makes this movie so enjoyable. This is the action genre at its peak and 4K, naturally, makes it even better.

Codec Resolution Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC / H.265 4K 2.39:1 2.39:1 DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

Sicario

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Denis Villeneuve’s tense crime thriller Sicario is a dark and twisted ride through a brutally ugly drug war on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Led by brilliant performances from Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and, in particular, Benicio Del Toro, the film is utterly captivating. From Villeneuve’s vision of the barbaric Mexican drug trade to his depiction of a somewhat dysfunctional partnership between the CIA and FBI, Sicario spares no punches but leaves the viewer incredibly satisfied. Skyfall and No Country For Old Men cinematographer Roger Deakin lends his immense talent to the flick, which can only be described as stunning. His style is especially evident on the film’s excellent 4K release, which gives viewers the chance to see just how tense and gripping the movie was in its theatrical release. Throwing out the term “incredibly deep blacks” perhaps means more to this movie than most, as one scene towards the film’s final act is particularly thrilling. Like all of our picks, the audio is about as good as it gets and only lends itself to this film’s overall excellence.

Codec Resolution Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC / H.265 4K 2.40:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos

Available from:

Amazon