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Ditch streaming – here are 6 great 4K Blu-rays to watch this Christmas

Looking to view some festive flicks on your 4K TV and Blu-ray player this Christmas? Then check out our selection of must-watch movies to keep you entertained over the holiday season.

Yes, streaming is all fine and convenient, but you won’t always have access to the films you’d like to watch and streaming quality can vary. If you want the best 4K experience, you’re better off sticking with physical discs.

But what 4K Blu-rays should you watch? We’ve collated some of the best you can get on the format – and in the spirit of Christmas, we’ve chosen titles with a Yuletide flavour to get you feeling all warm and fuzzy in the approach to Christmas.

A picture of a scene from a movie called Batman ReturnsA picture of a scene from a movie called It's a Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life 4K Blu-ray

It’s A Wonderful Life isn’t a movie that all in the Trusted offices have seen. If you find yourself in a similar situation, then this 4K release might just excuse you need to see it.

The 1946 classic, directed by Frank Capra, sees James Stewart’s frustrated businessman lose all hope in life – until an angel from heaven shows him what life would be like if he weren’t there.

It’s A Wonderful Life turns out to be a life-affirming movie, and this 4K release sees the film restored from the original negative print and in Dolby Vision HDR. It’s truer to the original look of the flick, so those unfamiliar with film grain will need to get used to that. Nevertheless, it’s a great-looking transfer of a black-and-white classic.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Iron Man 3 4K Blu-ray

Films directed by Shane Black tend to be set watching at Christmas, and Iron Man 3 is no different.

Recovering from his near-death experience in the battle of New York, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is suffering from panic attacks. He gets his biggest test yet when a terrorist known as The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) turns his world upside down.

Shot digitally, Iron Man 3 is the best-looking 4K title in the Iron Man series, with visuals as sleek as the Iron Man armour itself. Available in HDR10 and upscaled to 4K, it displays punchy colours and a good amount of detail. The one issue we have is with the Dolby Atmos soundtrack, which is lacking in the low-end – a trait common among Disney’s 4K releases.

Die Hard 4K Blu-ray

Is Die Hard a Christmas film or not ? In our minds it’s definitely a Crimbo special, as Bruce Willis’ Detective McClane goes hunting for terrorists after guests at a Christmas party have been taken hostage.

Die Hard received a brand-new 4K scan for this 30th Anniversary edition, and it’s never looked better. The image is a bit softer but also much brighter, with the HDR and WCG implementation producing more expressive colours.

There’s no Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks, with the film making do with a new 5.1 track. An immersive soundtrack would have been nice, but it’s an enjoyable performance nonetheless.

A picture of a scene from a movie called Batman Returns

Batman Returns 4K Blu-ray

The sequel to Tim Burton’s seminal Batman film, Returns sees the ante upped with three villains entering the frame to make Michael Keaton’s life as Bruce Wayne/Batman hell.

With a native 4K transfer Batman Returns has never looked better, displaying supremely impressive black levels. If you have an OLED or a Samsung QLED TV, this film will look spectacular.

Colours, too, are vivid and intense, and the Dolby Atmos soundtrack soars and excites in equal measure.

A picture of a scene from a movie called Gremlins

Gremlins 4K Blu-ray

Children of the 1980s will remember Gremlins with a certain fondness. It follows a teenager who receives a strange new pet called Mogwai – which, weirdly, is able to give birth to other, more destructive monsters.

The native 4K picture may divide some with its colour tweaks, but what we can’t argue over is that Gremlins has never looked this good. The number of dark scenes means it doesn’t shine as much as other 4K discs, but there are plenty of beautiful colours on display and a good level of detail to the presentation.

A picture of a scene from a movie called Frozen

Frozen 4K Blu-ray

We end our roundup with Disney’s Frozen, a movie that all those with young child will have undoubtedly seen – or at least had “Let It Go” sung to them at least a million times.

It tells the story of two sisters, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). The former possesses magical ice powers that hurt her younger sister. She’s healed, but over time the two grow distant. When an incident later reveals Elsa’s powers to the public, she casts an icy spell on the town of Arrendelle that Anna has to break.

While the plot is on the clunky side, the 4K disc delivers an icy look that’s true to the film, with an image that pushes more to darker colours and deeper shadows. The colours on the 4K are also more accurate, making this the best way to watch the animated film.

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