21 best 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays available to buy now

After a slow start, 4K Blu-rays are now being released at a fast and frantic pace. Almost every major studio is now embracing the format and, should you own a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player or Xbox One S or X, you can treat yourself to the very best pictures and audio presentations possible. The only question left is what to actually watch?

We’ve chosen our top 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays you can rush out and buy today. You can’t go far wrong with any of these.

Top recommendation…

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Buy Star Wars: The Last Jedi 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


The first Star Wars movie to get the 4K treatment, The Last Jedi is a great sign of things to come without being too garish or over worked. Its Dolby Vision HDR presentation is actually very subtle, with director Rian Johnson having a major say in how the home video version was adapted.

And the 4K master also shows up the film grain purposely adopted for the cinematic presentation, which suits the series overall. There are plenty of great extras too, including a whole stack of deleted scenes that are well worth a watch for true fans.

Best of the rest…

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Blade Runner 2049


Buy Blade Runner 2049 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


If there was ever a film made to extol the benefits of 4K Blu-ray, Blade Runner 2049 is it. Superbly directed, the HDR visuals are essential for bringing the saturated colours to life.

Each frame is quite simply jaw-dropping. There are also plenty of smoke effects and subtleties in detail, which the Ultra HD presentation picks out superbly. Then, of course, it’s a stunning film to boot.

A worthy successor to the 1982 original and one of our main 4K test discs of choice.

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Blade Runner 4K Special Edition


Buy Blade Runner 4K Special Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray box-set from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


You can buy the Blade Runner Final Cut on 4K Blu-ray separately but this box-set is truly the bees knees. It is a must-have for any movie fan and collector, with the Final Cut version on the 4K disc and theatrical, director’s and workprint feature cuts appearing on 1080p Blu-rays. The transfer, considering this is a 35 year-old movie, is amazing – it looks almost as good and current as the 4K release of its sequel.

There is some grain, sure, but you barely notice. And we’re especially impressed by the booming, haunting Dolby Atmos surround track that accompanies this release. A fine mix indeed considering the original movie release was in stereo.

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Justice League


Buy Justice League 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Although the 4K Blu-ray release of Warner’s biggest superhero movie yet has been upscaled from a 2K source, it still looks stunning.

The Dolby Vision HDR presentation is particularly splendid, with excellent contrast and brightness. The expanded colour field is also a marked improvement over the standard Blu-ray. The Dolby Atmos track is beefy and extravagant for those with a compatible sound system, and while the plot does have some flaws, there are enough great set pieces to ensure it is great weekend blockbuster viewing.

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The Martian


Buy The Martian: Extended Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Available as an Extended Edition, The Martian is easily one of the best looking 4K transfers around.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray version comes with the added bonus of HDR, which you don’t get with Sky Q Cinema, for example, which really adds to the sense of depth in the stark backdrops of Mars. You also get a Dolby Atmos audio mix on this Extended Edition that shines at its best during the sandstorm scenes at the beginning. It’s both a fantastic film, with an extended cut on offer, and a true example of why Ultra HD and HDR exist in the first place.

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Blue Planet II


Buy Blue Planet II 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray box-set from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


As with Planet Earth II before it, the BBC’s Blue Planet II documentary series gets a superlative 4K Blu-ray box-set that’s a must for any collection.

Yes, you could have seen the entire series on BBC iPlayer in 4K and with HDR (HLG) but the bitrates on the disc collection are higher and, therefore, this is the best the shows will ever look. Stunning.

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The Revenant


Buy The Revenant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Oscar-winner The Revenant looks utterly superb in this high-end format. Director Alejandro G Inarritu is no stranger to mind-blowing cinematography, having made Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) previously, but this is in another league.

The 4K transfer and super soundtrack certainly give it justice. One word of warning though, all scenes have greater detail and that might not be exactly what you want at times, if you fancy keeping your lunch down.

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War for the Planet of the Apes


Buy War for the Planet of the Apes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


The last of Matt Reeves’ Planet of the Apes trilogy is one of the most surprising, most sensitive blockbusters of recent times and you would think the CGI effects would be shown up a little by the extra detail of 4K. Far from it.

Caesar and the rest of the apes are rendered incredibly, with sharp detail on their fur and you are hard pressed to see the computer graphics overlaid on footage. It’s not an hugely colourful film, being set mostly in the snow, but the greater contrast afforded by HDR picks up subtleties superbly.

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Deadpool


Buy Deadpool 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Although it was a mixed bag critically, Deadpool is a funny, fresh superhero movie that will live on long in nerd circles. We absolutely love it here in Pocket-lint towers and with the sequel around the corner, you can catch up with the first in anticipation.

It was filmed in 4K so has an excellent video transfer that pops with detail, especially on Deadpool’s suit.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.

2


Buy Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.

2 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Disney’s first 4K Blu-ray does not disappoint, with an excellent transfer matched with great HDR10 control over the vivid colours and splendid contrast throughout the film. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is simply superb, although we were expecting to see Dolby Vision included on the release, rather than just HDR10. After all, we originally saw the film screened at Dolby’s own London offices.

It doesn’t spoil the enjoyment, however.

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Life of Pi


Buy Life of Pi 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Stunningly beautiful, Life of Pi was filmed as a 3D movie so doesn’t usually work quite as well in 2D. The 4K transfer though adds great depth thanks to HDR, so you’re almost getting the 3D effect originally intended. And it’s a fantastic film regardless.

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The Magnificent Seven


Buy The Magnificent Seven 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


The recent remake of The Magnificent Seven – which was, in itself, a remake of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai – works wonderfully on 4K Blu-ray, not least because the HDR wider colour gamut and greater contrast makes the already interesting palette even more stylised.

It is a considerable upgrade on the traditional Blu-ray edition too, with sharper, crisper edges and details. Whether you think the film is as good as the original is open for debate, but it’s a fine addition to any 4K BD collection.

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Star Trek Beyond


Buy Star Trek Beyond 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


The third of the Star Trek reboot movies is a little more like a long TV episode, but we don’t mind one jot. Co-written by comedian and “Scotty”, Simon Pegg, it definitely has some funnier moments than its prequels.

It is also a visual feast on 4K Blu-ray, with sharp, vibrant colours. Its HDR representation comes in handy too, with a lot of very dark scenes that make the most of the tech picking out the detail in the gloom. We also like the previous two films, but this is the best disc and transfer of the three.

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Ghostbusters


Buy Ghostbusters 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


The original Ghostbusters is still one of the best comedy action flicks ever made and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has supplied as good a 4K transfer of an 80s film as possible.

There is plenty of detail and contrast, although colours are a little washed out, understandably. Still the best version of the 1980s Ghostbusters we’re ever likely to see.

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Ghostbusters (2016)


Buy Ghostbusters (2016) 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Those that thought or hoped the new version of Ghostbusters would fail were in for a short sharp shock after it was released. It is a great romp of one of the funniest films of 2016.

The 4K transfer is amazingly vibrant, especially the colour field that’s superbly enhanced by HDR. It was reportedly upscaled from a 2K source, but still looks superb.

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The Angry Birds Movie


Buy The Angry Birds Movie 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


3D animated movies undoubtedly look great on 4K Blu-ray, not least because the studio can render in the correct resolution for the master. The Ultra HD visuals and HDR make the film look quite simply stunning, matching the surprisingly enjoyable romp.

But it’s the Dolby Atmos soundtrack that perhaps deserves most credit. Time to upgrade that speaker system.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service


Buy Kingsman: The Secret Service 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


One of the first movies released on 4K Blu-ray – certainly one of the first announced – Kingsman is based on a Mark Millar comic book and was our favourite film of 2015. The transfer matches the quality of the movie itself, with excellent sequences, such as the pub fight, benefiting greatly from a wider colour gamut and contrast.

The recently released sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, is also an excellent transfer but not as good as the first in film terms.

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Mad Max: Fury Road


Buy Mad Max: Fury Road 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Mad Max: Fury Road was almost made for 4K. George Miller’s triumphant return to the world of Mad Max is a visual feast, with a colour scheme unlike any other and priority for stunts over CGI effects. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, therefore, is stunning.

It is almost cartoon-like at times, in its hues and tones.

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Jason Bourne


Buy Jason Bourne 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Matt Damon’s glorious return to play the other spy with the initials JB was mastered for the cinema in 4K so makes an excellent jump onto Ultra HD Blu-ray. Some of the vistas and locations look amazing, especially during aerial shots. Director Paul Greengrass is a fine craftsman and his use of image grain is purposeful, so don’t be alarmed that there is plenty of it throughout – it’s meant to look that way.

And on 4K Blu-ray, even the grain looks sharp and detailed.

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The Lego Movie


Buy The Lego Movie 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


To be honest, you can’t fault the conventional Blu-ray release of The Lego Movie, so if you have that already it’s hard to find a reason to upgrade. However, the great, funny animated comedy still looks amazing in the higher resolution. It is also a tad more colourful than we remembered.

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The Lego Batman Movie


Buy The Lego Batman Movie 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


Like The Lego Movie, the psuedo-sequel starring Will Arnett’s Batman is a true visual treat.

That’s mainly thanks to the stunning use of HDR and the amazing saturated colours found throughout.

The transfer is impeccable and the Dolby Atmos soundtrack as bombastic as any.

Let’s also not forget that it’s a very funny, self-referential film that the whole family will enjoy.

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