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 Ultra HD 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 High Dynamic Range (HDR) has entered the picture for stunning contrast and color shading, all available in a rushing river of new content. 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 incredible picture and sound quality from the comfort of their own home.

To help anyone looking to build a respectable 4K Ultra HD library, we’ve sifted through the 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 updating this list with the highest quality Blu-rays as they arrive.

So sit back, 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.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

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After the highly successful debut of Marvel’s cosmic hero team, hopes for the sequel were equally high. Thankfully, director James Gunn delivered an excellent follow-up with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The sequel expands the Marvel cinematic universe into new realms, introducing audiences to Ego, The Living Planet — one of the strangest entities within the greater Marvel canon — who just so happens to also be the father of one Peter Quill (aka, Star Lord).

Like the first film, Vol.2 is full of bright, colorful imagery. Whether it’s the meticulously detailed practical effects like Drax’s scarred skin and the numerous ornate costumes of the film’s many alien creatures, or the verdant CGI vistas of the planet Ego, there will be something to show off your TV’s 4K and HDR capabilities in every scene. In fact, Blu-ray.com’s reviewer regards the Atmos track as a perfect reference choice.

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

Available from:

Amazon

‘The Revenant’

Alejandro Iñárritu’s engrossing film is loosely based on the true story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a frontiersman who in 1822 was left for dead by his fur trapping company in the wilderness of the American Midwest. The film follows Glass in his struggle for survival, and his quest for vengeance against his betrayers. For his role as Glass, DiCaprio won his first Oscar for Best Actor after decades of nominations, but the film also earned awards for Best Direction and Best Cinematography. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s iconic natural lighting and long, single-take shots add tension to each scene, while also giving an uninterrupted view of breathtaking landscapes. The Revenant is a great pick for those looking for a film that will satisfy and itch for a gripping story, good acting, and of course, a way to show off just the sort of brilliance a 4K HDR TV can offer.

Codec Resolution HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10 2.39:1 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 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. 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 isn’t just beautiful to look at, it also happens to be one damn good flick.

Codec Resolution HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10 2.40:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos

Available from:

Amazon

‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

best 4k ultra hd movies to show off your home theater last knight

Despite the reputation of Michael Bay’s Transformers film series, the latest entry in the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, is visually superb, and its UHD release is among one of the best around. The film opens in a world where human organizations are now hunting down Transformers, following the cataclysmic destruction wrote by the Autobot-versus-Decepticon conflict of the previous films, and expands the entire franchise’s history into Arthurian legends. What follows is a cosmic-scale quest to save both Earth and the Transformer home world of Cybertron. While an interesting premise, The Last Knight isn’t going to win any Oscars.

Of course, the point here is giant robots battling each other, and blowing everything up. In this way, The Last Knight hits the mark, and then some. Flashy effects such as the intricate transformations from vehicle to robot or bombastic explosions all benefit from the enhancement of High Dynamic Range (HDR), while the overall picture quality itself is crisp and striking. Some of the biggest and most complex battle scenes of the series take place in The Last Knight, making for a great showcase for your home theater setup.

Codec Resolution HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10, Dolby Vision 1.90:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos; Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Dolby Digital 5.1 (446kbps); Dolby Digital 2.0

Available from:

Amazon

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

best 4k ultra hd movies to show off your home theater fantastic beasts

The world of Harry Potter is one rife with opportunities for other magical tales beyond just the saga of Harry and his friends. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes audiences away from the halls of Hogwarts and across the Atlantic Ocean to glimpse the magical side of the world as it existed in 1920s America. The story, which serves as a prequel to the original Harry Potter series, follows the young “Magizoologist” Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who has just arrived in New York from Britain. An accidental briefcase swap lands him in trouble with the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), but more importantly results in a number of magical creatures escaping from Scamander’s suitcase and into the city, setting off a chain of events that eventually uncovers a conspiracy within the magical community.

It serves as a fun introduction to the greater world of Harry Potter, but the reason Fantastic Beasts is on this list is because it looks excellent. As one can imagine, the colorful effects of magic spells being cast from wands, or the numerous fantastical creatures that populate the world all look great in Ultra HD resolution, and also benefit greatly from HDR. The sound is also a highlight here; the whimsical score and sparkling effects shine in Dolby Atmos.

Codec Resolution HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10 2.40:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’

best 4k ultra hd movies to show off your home theater john wick 2

John Wick: Chapter 2 builds upon the impeccably executed John Wick, taking us deeper into the underground world of hitmen. The movie wastes no time in getting right inot the action — even quicker than the original. From there, it’s a near non-stop roller coaster of stylishly choreographed gun-fu, with enough heart to make for an emotionally satisfying plot. If you were a fan of the original, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy John Wick: Chapter 2, but it also provides the perfect way to show off your 4K UHD TV’s crisp display. The colors are especially brilliant, with bright neon lights burning against the dark blacks of the numerous night scenes.

The action also gets an appreciable upgrade when listening in Dolby Atmos. The positioning in the sound stage of gun shots, bullet ricochets, and the impact of punches create a believable and immersive sense of space, making John Wick: Chapter 2 just about the best possible movie to get the most out of your Atmos speakers.

Codec Resolution HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10 2.40:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Dolby Digital 2.0

Available from:

Amazon

‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Mel Gibson’s inspiring film is based on the true story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who joined the military during World War II to act as a medic on the front lines. Andrew Garfield takes on the roll of Doss, portraying the events in his life that led him to joining the U.S. Marines and culminating in the harrowing events at the battle of Okinawa. For his actions in battle protecting and saving his comrades, Doss won the Medal of Honor. In 4K, Hacksaw Ridge’s almost cliche “war movie filter” look becomes more colorful and much more textured. The battle sequences, which are already tense in the 1080p Blu-ray, take on another dimension in 4K (note: this means the wounds and gore become even more affecting). On the audio side, the Dolby Atmos presentation makes every explosion, bullet impact, or rousing moment in the soundtrack much more palpable. This will be a powerful choice — both emotionally, and in terms of presentation.

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)

Available from:

Amazon

‘Kong: Skull Island’

best 4k ultra hd movies to show off your home theater kong skull island

There have been many King Kong adaptations, but Kong: Skull Island increases the fantastical aspects of the King Kong mythos. Not only is this action-packed journey into the world of Kong and his prehistoric kingdom visually stunning, it also is full of fun characters and moments of levity that set it apart from other King Kong films, and monster movies in general. The varied and accomplished cast includes Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Riley. It’s also one of the first films in Warner Bro’s new “MonsterVerse” cinematic universe alongside 2014’s Godzilla.

The film has a striking color palate that will benefit from your TV’s HDR support. There are also several memorable action scenes that will look excellent in 4K. Skull Island also makes excellent use of Atmos channels if you happen to also have an Atmos speaker setup.

Codec Resolution HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10 2.40:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos, Dolby TueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1

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 distinctive spy films of the past decade. Director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First ClassKick-Ass) 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 many reasons the film shines. A well-rendered 4K release is a no-brainer for a film with this level of spectacle. Seeing each perfectly choreographed action scene in bright, vibrant resolution only accentuates what makes this movie so enjoyable. This is the action genre at its peak, and 4K Ultra HD naturally makes it even better.

Codec Resolution HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10 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 brutal drug war on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Led by brilliant performances from Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and 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 pulls 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, for shots which can only be described as stunning. His style is especially evident in the film’s excellent 4K release, which gives viewers the chance to see just how tense and gripping the movie was in theaters. 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 HDR formats Aspect Ratio Original Aspect Ratio English
HEVC/H.265 4K HDR10 2.40:1 2.39:1 Dolby Atmos

Available from:

Amazon