Dolby Atmos is one of the absolute best ways to experience surround sound, both at home and in movie theaters. And when it comes to the former, the immersive sound codec isn’t in limited supply. There are hundreds of excellent movies that are encoded with Atmos’ immersive sound. The only thing you’ll need to get the party started is the right Atmos compatible A/V gear (TV, speakers, Blu-ray player, A/V receiver), and the right movies to knock your socks off.
Nowadays, you can find Dolby Atmos in a wider range of places than ever, including with select movies and shows across a number of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Disney+. And, of course, one of the best ways to experience Dolby Atmos is through the thousands of Blu-ray DVDs available.
Without further ado, here’s our roundup of the best Dolby Atmos movies you can own at home. We also dive a little on the Atmos format itself here, with a few important things to consider when readying your living room and subscription plans for Atmos sound.
When it comes to delivering the maximum surround sound experience, action movies are a go-to for many audiophiles, and for good reason. And thanks to John Wick (he’s on this list, too) and all of our Marvel superhero friends, the genre is experiencing a redefined, pulse-pounding era of expressivity, especially when it comes to sound mixing. Which brings us to Nobody: A Bob Odenkirk action-vehicle that pits the everyman with a secret military past against hordes of vicious baddies. Nobody‘s fight scenes are explosive, with fists, feet, billets, and all manner of found objects flying past your from all directions. The audio is rich, loud, and detailed to the max, with it all landing perfectly. Dialogue and music receive plenty of attention and articulation in the mix-space, too.
Director Edgar Wright is known for straying off the cinematic beaten path — like in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and the hilarious Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy — and Baby Driver is no exception. The film follows Baby (Ansel Elgort), an ace driver who finds himself simultaneously courting a beautiful waitress (Lily James) and trying to extricate himself from a dangerous gang of criminals led by Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Doc (Kevin Spacey). Wright creatively blends the film’s sound effects into Baby’s music choices — he’s always got his earbuds going, thanks to some nasty tinnitus — turning a slick heist setup into something entirely different. The opening car chase scene is one of the best on film, and you’ll want to hear it on Dolby Atmos.
La La Land is a unique throwback and a stylish ode to classic Hollywood cinema. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play a pair of young Los Angelenos — a struggling jazz pianist and an aspiring actress, naturally — who come together following a series of coincidental meetings. In classic fashion, the film establishes musical themes with regular reprises, as scenes suddenly become massive musical numbers and then morph back into regular, everyday life. La La Land proves that Atmos surround sound doesn’t always have to be about big action and whizzing bullets, but can just as easily transport viewers to any place and time with music and atmosphere, in this case, fantastical LA. Critics gushed over Damien Chazelle’s use of contemporary tech to produce an old-school story, and there’s nothing quite like hearing chorus voices from every direction.
Dolby Atmos has come a long way in terms of its availability beyond DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and is more widely available on many of the major streaming services.
If you’re already paying for a Netflix subscription, you can get Dolby Atmos on Netflilx. Netflix does have a fair number of Atmos movies and TV show titles to stream, but you’ll need a plan that supports Ultra HD (4K) streaming. Set your streaming quality to High or Auto, then look for titles with the Atmos logo next to the description. Netflix’s support for Dolby Atmos varies from device to device, and that list changes regularly.
If you want to show off your home theater setup, Disney+ also offers Dolby Atmos sound mixes on selected content, including the Marvel movies and every single Star Wars flick, including the original trilogy. Even better, you won’t need to pay extra. Atmos, 4K, and Dolby Vision HDR are included in Disney+’s standard $8/month subscription fee.
Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Vudu, and HBO Max are some of the other services to offer Atmos support. As with Netflix, you’ll want to browse those services’ libraries (see all of) and look for the Dolby Atmos logo.
In some cases, you’ll need to buy (or rent) a physical Blu-ray copy to get the full Dolby Atmos experience. While a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray isn’t necessary to get Atmos sound, it’s often not included with the 1080p Blu-ray version. Most on-demand streaming services — some of which also act as hosts for purchased digital copies — do not support Dolby Atmos. That includes the Google Play Store. Although iTunes supports Atmos on select titles, you’ll need an Apple TV 4K to get that level of quality.
With the upgraded Movies Anywhere program, most any digital film you own there — assuming it’s not ineligible — should automatically transfer into your Vudu library as well. Vudu’s selection of Atmos-supported content is still limited, but it’s better than nothing. Now that Ultraviolet is no more, this is one of the few ways to maintain your digital copy library.
We’ve got a more thorough breakdown in our Dolby Atmos explainer, but for specific lists of supported devices, head here and scroll down until you see an array of colored boxes with the header Enjoy Dolby Atmos on These Products. Atmos is supported on a wide range of devices, including TVs, smartphones, streaming boxes, and Blu-ray players, but keep in mind that you’ll need an Atmos-capable sound system to hear the results. Not sure if you’ve got the right gear? Here’s how to know if you’ve got great Dolby Atmos sound.
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