It is important to note that NOT all of these movies were filmed using 4K resolution cameras. Instead, they might be older movies that were filmed with 2K cameras, but then digitally enhanced to drastically improve the resolution and picture quality. This is called UPSCALING or UPCONVERTING of which both mean the same exact thing.
Producers can actually take any 720 or 1080 HD film and upscale it. They are filling in all additional pixels that a 4K Ultra HD contains. 4K contains FOUR times as many pixels in its resolution than 1080 HD provides. An upscaled film is NOT going to be full 4K resolution. But, it will be much better than what it was originally filmed in (720 or 1080 HD).
It is also important to note that ALL 4K TVs also do this upscaling automatically to any 720 or 1080 High Definition film being played. This is another legit reason why consumers should upgrade to 4K now, rather than wait. Nearly everything you watch on a 4K TV is going to be upscaled to increase the quality of the resolution. The only requirement for a film to be upscaled by your 4K TV is that it be minimum 720 or 1080 HD format.
Back to the producers….we call these films “REAL or FAKE 4K“. Click this link because we have an entire Post and Database related to this. We want our customers to know exactly what they are watching so that there is never any disappointment in your 4K Television. For example, Producers will upscale a 1080 HD-made film and then label it “4K UHD”. These films are referred to as “Fake 4K“. Although they are not really fake.
Compared to a real, native 4K camera-made film, they are inferior. Upscaled films are still better than what they were mastered in (720 or 1080 HD). But, you are just not getting the full benefits of your 4K UHD TV when you watch upscaled movies or TV shows. Our database verifies which films are which (click on Real or Fake 4K).
The best of the best when it comes to 4K content are 4K UHD Blu-Rays discs. You will need to purchase a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player which is different than the original Blu-Ray player. Trust us, it is well worth investing in a 4K Blu-Ray player because the picture image is absolutely stunning and so true-to-life.
Below is a list of the top-best 4K Ultra HD Movies & TV shows:
*NOTE: These are all in the 4K UHD Blu-Ray disc format. However, most of them can be viewed via your TV streaming applications like Netflix or Amazon Video. Therefore, you don’t necessarily need a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player to watch them.
When it was released late last year, Sicario didn’t reach nearly as many moviegoers as some of us expected it would. That’s a shame, because it’s a taut, well-plotted thriller filled with stellar performances.
The thing that has us most excited: Sicario was also shot in 3.4K by the immortal Roger Deakins, so you’re getting some of the master’s finest work in a format that is very near to the original quality. Now we just have to wait and see if Skyfall will get a similarly high-quality home release in the 4K format.
Labyrinth is not the kind of movie that you’d expect to do well with the increase to 4K resolution, as puppets can look exceedingly artificial with newer formats. This Blu-ray transfer is lifted directly from the original 35mm print and mastered in 4K resolution, and the result is apparently magical.
While that’s a win for fans of Jim Henson’s legendary work, it also is a promising sign for fans of older films who have been let-down by the quality of even 1080p home releases. If original 35mm prints can be brought to life with this kind of visual fidelity, our aging film-era productions may live on forever.
Regardless of how you felt about Alejandro Iñárritu’s The Revenant, it’s tough to deny the appeal of watching Leonardo DiCaprio roll around in the mud and wrestle a bear beneath the majesty of all-natural lighting.
Shot in both 3.5K and 6K, Emmanuel Lubezki’s pictures have received a phenomenal transfer resulting in what is probably the first reference-quality 4K UHD Blu-ray out there. It’s not a movie for the squeamish, but if you can stomach it, The Revenant is often a gorgeous sight to behold. While the home release may not quite match up to the sheer scale offered when it was in theaters, there’s no doubt that this film is ideal for the UHD HDR era.
The dark, nearly-monochromatic aesthetic of Creed is anything but “colorful,” but this gritty, hard-hitting installment in the Rocky franchise (which garnered critical praise and an Oscar nomination for Sylvester Stallone) looks marvelous on the 55-inch Samsung KS8000 television in our lab.
If you’re tired of superheroes, aliens, and high concepts, Creed is an uplifting, down-to-earth drama that generates its thrills with good ol’ fashioned storytelling and phenomenal performances (particularly from Michael B. Jordan, who was unfortunately snubbed come Oscar season).
All right, so this movie by the Wachowskis is just downright puzzling, but it’s got more than its fair share of high-budget, high-octane action sequences that work wonders on an ultra-high definition TV, including an aerial dogfight with spaceships and anti-gravity boots over the Chicago skyline. There are also a handful of sweeping, extraterrestrial vistas whose intricate details can only be fully appreciated in glorious 4K resolution.
Is it silly? You bet it is. But it’s also one of the best digital video transfers I’ve ever seen. Even when the Wachowskis miss their mark, there’s almost always something to appreciate in their efforts.
The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann’s polarizing 2013 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal novel is bright, loud, and full of style; the perfect flick to showcase the dizzying contrast and extra-wide color palette of your 4K TV. While some might find it to be a disappointing take on a classic story, there’s no denying the film’s visual appeal.
If you really want to feel the energy of the movie’s modern soundtrack, hook your TV up to a soundbar and crank the volume. We’ve already gone through the trouble of compiling the best soundbars for under $250, so there’s really no reason not to.
Mad Max: Fury Road
There’s a reason Mad Max: Fury Road is our go-to movie whenever it comes time to see what a new 4K TV can do—it’s got a tremendous color palette and tons of detail; the film’s contrasting orange-and-blue colors pop off the screen like nothing else. It’s not a stretch to suggest that Mad Max is one of the best films of 2015, and frankly, it’s almost certainly one of the best looking films of the last five years.
If you haven’t seen it (or if the last time you saw it was in a movie theater), you owe it to yourself to experience all of the frenzied action on a TV capable of high dynamic range. There’s just nothing else like it.
Star Trek & Star Trek: Into Darkness
The first two films from the rebooted Star Trek timeline have made the jump to 4K and HDR and both are already receiving praise for the high level of visual quality as well as their excellent soundtracks.
While J.J. Abrams’ visual style has its share of detractors, both of these are well-lit and tightly shot productions that make the most of both 4K resolution and HDR. And I personally can’t wait to hear Michael Giacchino’s stunning main theme and the haunting London Calling in Dolby Atmos.
The Da Vinci Code
Sometimes all you really want is an entertaining, turn-your-brain-off kind of movie (preferably starring Tom Hanks with goofy-looking long hair). The Da Vinci Code was one of the few movies of its era to be mastered with a 4K digital intermediate, so this is a direct-to-4K transfer that isn’t being upscaled from 2K.
As a result, much of the scenery has been given new life, with the natural film grain giving it a romantic, Hollywood feel. Early reviews of this 4K Blu-ray have been surprisingly positive as a result, thanks in no small part to Sony’s decision to preserve the 4K resolution throughout the film’s lifespan.
The foul-mouthed superhero that crushed box office records this year will shoot and sneer his way into your heart, especially when you see it him in this highly-lauded Blu-ray transfer. Like some other recent flicks, Deadpool was shot right in 4K, so you’re getting a fine direct transfer that shows the gulf in detail between even the best 1080p Blu-rays and movies that were shot natively in 4K. Deadpool also features an incredible Dolby Atmos sound mix, so if you’ve got a healthy home stereo you should be in for a treat.
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