Knives Out 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 249, April/May 2020

WSR Score5
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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Thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references and drug material
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Rian Johnson
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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"Knives Out," a suspenseful, twist-filled whodunnit, centers around the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer). One thing that renowned Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) knows for sure––everyone in the wildly dysfunctional Thrombey family is a suspect. Blanc must sift through a web of lies and red herrings to uncover the truth. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Writer-Director Rian Johnson, Director of Photography Steve Yedlin, and Actor Noah Segan; in-theatre commentary by Johnson; two deleted scenes with optional commentary by Johnson (HD 04:57); the eight-part documentary "Making A Murder" (HD 54:07); the featurette "Rian Johnson: Planning The Perfect Murder" (HD 06:17); a writer-director and cast Q&A (HD 42:09); a marketing gallery, "Meet The Thrombeys" viral ads; upfront previews and a digital code.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa 65, Arri Alexa Mini, and Panavision PSR camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The picture exhibits a terrific production design with intricate and nuanced interior settings. The imagery is filmic in style with a wonderfully saturated and stylized color palette exhibiting warm and rich hues. Exterior colors around the estate are naturally earthy. The wide color gamut is nicely displayed in a range of subtle hues. Fleshtones appear naturally rendered. HDR contrast is terrific and vibrantly natural. Blacks are deep and solid with excellent definition. Shadow delineation is revealing with good depth. White levels are naturally intense, and lighting effects are never exaggerated. Resolution is excellent, especially during closeups of facial features, revealing skin pores, lines, hair, beards, stubble and other fine complexion detail. Object and clothing texture displayed in the Thrombey mansion and worn by the characters, as well as during the scenes in the nearby town, is impressive with the finest detail exhibited throughout. WOW! segments are from 49:51 to 52:37 and 01:42:00 to 01:43:40. This is a spectacularly rich, colorful picture with all manner of exquisite image detail that can be fully appreciated as a 4K Ultra HD presentation. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused throughout with subtle ambience to provide the feel to the Thrombey estate and mansion setting. Surround envelopment is pretty much limited to the outdoor scenes and to the orchestral score, which extends to the surrounds off a wide and deep soundstage. A few sound effects, such as loud thumps, are heard here and there. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with good spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is sporadic and pretty much restricted to spaced-out orchestral segments extended to the height channel. A few sound effects, such as loud thumps emanating from an upstairs study, and thunder, occupy the height channels, as do subtle chatter and rumblings here and there, road sounds and police sirens and a bird or two. Overall, the height channel is only sporadically engaged.

This is generally a well-crafted soundtrack that very much is in tune with the dialogue-focused proceedings. (Gary Reber)