American Ultra

Featured In Issue 203, January 2016

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Strong bloody violence, language throughout, drug use and some sexual content.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Nima Nourizadeh
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DTS:X, DTS HD High Resolution 7.1
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American Ultra follows Mike (Eisenberg) who shares a small-town life with his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart). But Mike’s sleepy world goes wild after he discovers that he’s actually a CIA sleeper agent with lethal fighting skills—and the target of government hitmen. Mike, the ultimate slacker, transforms into an ultra-attacker as he and Phoebe fight to survive. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Nima Nourizadeh, Activating American Ultra documentary (HD 40:22), Assassinating On A Budget featurette (HD 03:25), a gag reel (HD 02:42), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digital with the Arri Alexa XT Plus camera system and exhibits a varied appearance, at times bland and at other times nicely contrasted with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. The convenience-store scenes appear bland due to the harsh glare of overhead fluorescent lights, but much of the imagery takes place at night and in darkened sets. Resolution is particularly excellent during close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and objects, with highlights during the night scenes nicely revealing of detail. The color palette appears generally natural throughout, including fleshtones. The picture is clean and pristine. This is basically a good-looking picture that is packed with shoot outs and explosive firepower. (Gary Reber)

The DTS:X/DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding, with energized .1 LFE bass extension to sub-25 Hz and full surround channel immersion, including effective height during helicopter and drone operations, in particular. The surround envelopment is directionalized and often quite impressive during gunfire and explosions. The drone sequence delivers excellent panning and directionality. Atmospherics and sound effects are convincing and realistic sounding, and at times aggressively positioned throughout the holosonic® soundfield. Dialogue maintains its presence even amidst the mayhem. This is quite an exciting immersive soundtrack that delivers excellent fidelity, tremendous dynamics, and deep and full bass extension, for a reference-quality sonic experience. (Gary Reber)