11 of the best 4K Blu-rays to test your system


If you really want to see what your brand new 4K HDR telly and AV system is capable of, you will need the best tool for the job - in this case, a 4K Blu-ray disc.

We have selected a variety of films, from nature documentaries to sci-fi films with blockbusting soundtracks, to put your home cinema set-up through its paces.

Whether you want to entertain the family during movie night or simply marvel at the cutting-edge picture quality, slide one of these discs into your 4K player, turn on the amplifier and let the film do all the work.

MORE: 12 best 4K films and TVs to watch on your new OLED TV

Planet Earth II

Possibly the best visual experience available on 4K HDR, Planet Earth II is a staggering achievement - it travels to the far corners of the planet to uncover the delights of the natural world.

Each episode covers a particular setting (islands, mountains, jungles, deserts, grasslands and cities), and the 4K Blu-ray delivers all this imagery in crisp detail, and with a wonderfully vibrant and realistic palette.

In fact, why are you still reading this? Go out and get this disc pronto.

Read the full Planet Earth II 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is a braver, more divisive and diverse film than the crowd-pleasing The Force Awakens, getting more interesting with successive watches as you dig deeper into the themes played out in the film.

There are emotional highs - the return of a worn Luke Skywalker brings out a visceral and empathic performance from Mark Hamill, while no one can ignore that this was Carrie Fisher's last performance - which is equally matched with some incredible set pieces. Snoke's throne room is a thing of dark, surreal beauty and there's a scene towards the end played out in total silence that will take your breath away.

The 4K HDR picture is stunning as the action hops around different planets (the Battle of Crait, with the red soil streaking through the white salt layer, looks gorgeous) and the soundtrack - well, it's done by John Williams again so of course it's epic and rousing.

The Last Jedi really warrants a 4K TV/projector with a surround package to get the best home theatre experience. The bigger the better.

Read the full Star Wars: The Last Jedi 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Wonder Woman

The quality of DC's film output has been variable, but Wonder Woman serves as a relief from the series' grimdark tone.

Gal Gadot is wonderful as Diana Prince, and this 4K disc is just as good. It delivers a bold, colourful and detailed image that brings out the film's period decor and tailoring.

The Atmos track can rumble with the best of them, offering plenty of heft and power.

It's a fine origin story, aided by a great 4K presentation.

Read the full Wonder Woman 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is one of those films that simply must be seen on as big a screen as possible.

The disc is a fantastic representation of the film: sharper and more expressive, with colours that are not just brighter but more intense. The hellish landscape of Los Angeles 2019 looks stunningly good.

The Atmos soundtrack offers depth and dynamism, with Vangelis's synth score setting an ominous and spiritual tone for the film.

If the goal of 4K is to get closer to the director's intent, then this disc is a fabulous achievement.

Read the full Blade Runner: The Final Cut 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Paddington 2

Keep your Marvel, Star Wars or John Wick universes - Paddington is easily our favourite film franchise.

The sequel retains the endearing optimism, warmth and gentle humour of the first film, adds in witty and slapstick performances (Hugh Grant is at a career high here) and packs some unexpected emotional punch at a crucial moments.

There are some beautifully designed scenes in Paddington 2, from the animated storylines bursting from the book to the whole prison scene that mimics the colours in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel - it's a gorgeous film, full of optimism, and we dare you not to be charmed by every second of it.

Read the full Paddington 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review


The Oscar-nominated comic-book film gets a cracking 4K release as Hugh Jackman's Wolverine/Logan bows out in style.

It's shot digitally, but Logan has a film-like quality that remains sharp and clear. Despite the serious subject matter, it's a colourful film - scenes have a lovely sense of warmth, texture, and richness.

The Atmos mix has plenty of bass and detail, making for an atmospheric, energetic and at times moody track.

Read the full Logan Blu-ray review

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Sony and Marvel teamed up to reboot Spider-Man again, and the results are very entertaining.

Despite reverting back to Peter Parker's teenage years, it's a fresh and engaging take in which the school scenes are better than the action sequences.

It comes with HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR to aid the colour palette, and there's a noticeable uptick in detail and sharpness. The Atmos soundtrack is a blast, offering a bassy and immersive soundstage.

A charming, funny film and an appealing take on the character, the energy of this movie will really grab your attention.

Read the full Spider-Man: Homecoming review

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

A fantastic piece of sci-fi, which often gets omitted in the discussion of great Spielberg films. This 4K disc should bring it back to prominence.

It's a great transfer from Sony, retaining the film's grainy look, with fantastic detail and an appreciable HDR colour boost. There's no Atmos or DTS:X, but the 5.1 soundtrack is a strong, detailed effort.

If you missed the film during its brief cinema release, or haven't seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind before, you need to watch this.

War for the Planet of the Apes

This trilogy capper is arguably the best of the bunch, as Andy Serkis' Caesar attempts to lead his apes to salvation while trying to curb his need for revenge against Woody Harrelson's Colonel.

Despite being another upscaled-to-4K effort, there's arguably more detail and a greater range of tones on offer. The soundtrack is a precise and subtle affair that opens up the soundstage - especially in Atmos - in a welcoming way.

War may not be packed with action, but it serves as a great conclusion to the series, and to Caesar's story from young ape to inspirational leader.

Read the full War for the Planet of the Apes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Baby Driver

Director Edgar Wright returns with another kinetic and idiosyncratic film in the music-obsessed Baby Driver.

The real draw is the integration of music into the narrative, with the Atmos track an accurate and spacious effort that allows the music to soar. The image is solid, retaining the film's sense of colour and detail.

To some it may be gimmicky, but Baby is a stylistic, flavourful film and an impressive feat of movie magic.

Read the full Baby Driver review

Blue Planet II

If Planet Earth II left you hungry for more wildlife in 4K, then you'll love David Attenborough's stunning deep-sea documentary series.

Blue Planet II is full of vivid coral reefs, bright and colourful fish, wondrous creatures that change colour, alien-like beasts that look creepy and fascinating at the same time – they all look fantastic in sharp, clear and vibrantly realised 4K HDR.

This a must-watch for any TV fan.

Read our First look: Blue Planet II in 4K and HDR on iPlayer