The Best New Movies on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Released in March and April 2024

James Cameron, Stephen King and the Ocean’s trilogy all arrive

The Abyss
20th Century

Physical media is here to stay.

And as we move further into 2024, we are impressed by the new releases from big studios and boutique labels, all of whom are dedicated to preserving the lost art of taking a disc out, putting it in a machine and enjoying it.

We’ve got two months’ worth of top choices, on Blu-ray and 4K UHD. Long live the collector.

“Over the Edge”

Over the Edge

This is why we love Shout Studios. Because they’ll rescue a movie like “Over the Edge” from relative obscurity, clean it up, load it with special features, and send it out into the world. This low-key cult classic from Jonathan Kaplan, future director of underrated ‘90s thriller “Unlawful Entry” (also just released from Shout), straddles the line between social drama and something more drive-in, as it follows a bunch of troubled kids as they case mischief. (This was 1979, truly the halcyon days of youth gang movies.) The movie was lovingly shot in Colorado, which gives it a unique look, with better-than-expected performances by a young Matt Dillon and Ellen Geer (among others). This movie comes equipped with commentary tracks, several new making-of featurettes and a feature-length documentary, plus marketing materials.

“Aliens,” “The Abyss,” “True Lies” 4K

20th Century

Unquestionably the most controversial home video releases of the year, three James Cameron classics finally come to high-def home video and the results are decidedly mixed. First, the good: “The Abyss” looks like a million damn dollars and not a penny less. And the array of special features are very much appreciated, including the exemplary doc “Under Pressure,” which runs for about an hour and will really make you appreciate your job on dry land. “Aliens,” which at least has had a Blu-ray release, and “True Lies,” are a little trickier. Both have been digitally de-noised, with some very clear AI-assisted upscaling (one YouTube video looked at the problematic upscaling). Everything is given an uncomfortable, waxy feeling. But here’s the thing: “True Lies” hasn’t been on physical media since a crummy DVD release a million years ago. And even if it looks a little “off,” it’s still a totally adequate way to watch the movie. When things like grain are prioritized again, maybe we’ll get our ideal transfer. Instead, we’ll take what we can get. (Even with the controversy, all three titles are selling out everywhere and very hard to find.) It’s also great having all the special features together. It’s tough to not recommend these discs, even with those reservations. A net win.

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” 4K

Aquaman 2
Warner Bros./DC

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” was unfairly savaged when it was released this past Christmas, and given only a cursory promotion from Warner Bros., which has already moved on to a new DC Universe led by James Gunn. Which is a shame. Because the movie is actually really fun and charming and it makes no sense that the most popular movie in the DCEU would get such a halfhearted release (and pull in less than half of what the original did). This time Jason Momoa has to stop Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who has a magical trident or something. The plot doesn’t really matter, especially when director James Wan is having this much fun. Sure you can tell it was cut to ribbons in the editing room (consider that two separate actors filmed cameos as Batman and neither one made it into the final cut) but what is there is hugely enjoyable. The disc looks and sounds amazing with an expected bounty of special features, including a half-hour-ish long making of doc. What a catch!



One of last year’s best, most underrated movies finally hits physical media. (Sadly, it is only available on Blu-ray. Let us pray that somebody embarks on a 4K at some point.) Directed by Michael Mann and starring Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari, a man driven to succeed but whose streamlined approach to success covers up his messy home life, with a wife who resents him (Penelope Cruz) and a mistress (Shailene Woodley) squirreled away with their secret love child. Of course, this being a Mann film, there’s a lot of time devoted to the “process” of racecar driving and some of the more thrilling race sequences ever. There’s not much in the way of extras on this disc, besides some brief making-of documentaries that feel like extended promotional materials, plus the trailers. One day somebody will pick up this movie and give it the full bodied presentation and supplements it deserves. But this is a pretty solid disc to enjoy while we wait.

“Quigley Down Under”

Quigley Down Under

This is really one of the best surprises of the year. “Quigley Down Under” is a fun, slightly old-fashioned adventure from 1990 that stars Tom Selleck as an American cowboy who travels to Australia. There he runs afoul of a businessman (Alan Rickman) who wants him to deal with the local aboriginals in ways that he simply cannot abide. There’s fighting and shooting and all sorts of fish-out-of-water comedy, most of which still plays innocuously. But it’s a handsomely crafted lark, from Simon Wincer, who had just worked on “Lonesome Dove.” And Selleck, then a less problematic figure, gives it his all. And honestly it’s a miracle Shout! Studios took on the job of polishing up “Quigley Down Under,” which now looks and sounds better than it ever has on home video before (and maybe better than when it appeared in theaters more than 30 years ago. There are special features devoted to the movie’s armorer and an interview with actress Laura San Giacomo. But all of this is icing on the cake. It’s just good to have Quigley in 4K.

“The Shining”

The Shining
Warner Bros. Television

It’s hard to relay just how important the Stephen King miniseries were in the 1990s – it started with “It” but included things like “The Tommyknockers,” “The Langoliers” and “The Stand.” But perhaps the biggest (and definitely the ballsiest) was “The Shining,” a new take on his beloved novel, this time directed by Mick Garris and starring Steven Weber in the Jack Nicholson role and Rebecca de Mornay in the Shelley Duvall role. King had famously disliked the Stanley Kubrick movie and this was his chance to rewrite history. Literally. He wrote the script. And it really is a fascinating adaptation of his novel, retaining much of the particulars of the story without the mood and atmosphere of Kubrick’s movie. If you’ve wanted to revisit, this disc from Shout! Studios is so, so wonderful. It looks and sounds really terrific (you’ll instantly be transported back to your family couch, sweeps week, 1997) and comes with a host of extras, including commentary tracks (featuring Garris, King and Weber), deleted scenes and marketing materials. Time to embrace “The Shining” and appreciate everything it brings to the table. All work and no play, well, you know the rest.

“Pi” 4K


For its 25th anniversary, A24 has released Darren Aronofsky’s debut feature, the twitchy, conspiratorial “Pi,” in dazzling 4K. (You can also buy a Blu-ray version.) If you’ve never seen “Pi,” it’s a black-and-white fever dream about a mathematician who starts to unravel the hidden code of everyday life. It’s great. And it totally established Aronofsky as one of the most exciting filmmakers of his generation. Working with skilled artisans who would go on to become regular collaborators (folks like cinematographer Matthew Libatique and composer Clint Mansell), “Pi” sucks you into its elaborate, lo-fi world and doesn’t let you go. Included on the disc are a pair of commentary tracks from 1998, some behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, and the 1998 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award acceptance speech that Aronofsky gave. Plus a music video. Because everything had a music video back then. If you’re a fan of Aronofsky and have never seen “Pi,” do yourself a favor and pick this baby up.

“The Ring” Collection 4K

The Ring

This “Ring” box set contains “The Ring,” “The Ring Two” and “Rings,” a more recent attempt to rejuvenate the franchise. But we know what you really want. And yes, it’s worth spending $80 on the box set just to get it. The release of the set was actually delayed so that Gore Verbinski could personally approve the new native 4K restoration. And the new scan, sourced from the original camera negative, is really incredible. It also sounds wonderful. And, what’s more, there’s a new, feature-length documentary called “Ghost Girl Gone Global,” that explores the world of “The Ring” and how it became an international sensation. There are some other special features, including interviews and marketing materials, from earlier versions. And a definitive, warts-and-all director’s cut remains damnably elusive. (There was an entire subplot where Chris Cooper played a child murderer that was just lost, among other things.) The other discs have stuff too – “The Ring Two” has an director’s cut and a new audio commentary, among other things – but “The Ring” really is the centerpiece of this box set and rightly so. It took an already classic Japanese horror movie and gave it a western spin without losing any of the elemental terror that made the original so essential.

“Carrie” 4K


The story of the new “Carrie” is infamous – the movie was made with the epistolary structure of the original Stephen King novel, Carrie White’s reign of terror documented by several narrators. During the edit, this was all stripped away, leaving a bafflingly straightforward and by-the-books remake of Brian De Palma’s immortal classic. This wasn’t director Kimberly Pierce’s fault, of course. But it is still maddening. Sadly, this 4K release of the 2013 movie doesn’t get us the director’s cut we are all craving (and deserve). But it does look better than it has in the theaters, with a 2K digital intermediary that has been upconverted. (The sound is still a 5.1 mix that accompanied earlier releases.) There are also some new special features, including a 22-minute interview with production designer (and frequent David Cronenberg collaborator) Carol Spier and an interview with the author of a book called “Adapting Stephen King,” about this take on the material. There are also archival features, including alternate and deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes docs, along with marketing materials. They’re all going to laugh at you … if you don’t go through every special feature.


Lynch Oz

The connections between David Lynch’s filmography and “The Wizard of Oz” are discussed, thoroughly, in this 2022 documentary. It’s broken up into segments, with different voices talking about how Lynch has processed and reimagined the classic film, with folks like critic Amy Nicholson, filmmaker John Waters and documentarian Rodney Ascher all chiming in. If you weren’t a Lynch-head before watching this documentary, you might be afterwards. This was released as part of Criterion’s new Janus Contemporaries series, which means that it comes in at a lower price point and with fewer special features. But the disc is just as essential as any of the Lynch discs that Criterion has put out already (with a new 4K edition of “Blue Velvet” on the way!) Along with a lonely documentary is a “Meet the Filmmakers” documentary where director Alexandre O. Philippe talks about why he made “Lynch/Oz.” Click your heels together three times and then pick up his superb disc.

“The Runner”

The Runner

Madjid Niroumand plays a young orphaned boy living in an Iranian city attempting to make it in the big city – collecting bottles, trying to secure odd jobs, finding joy in the little things – who eventually gets roped into a race (hence the title). One of the first – if not the first – post-revolution Iranian films to gain the attention of the international film community, “The Runner” deftly mixes a child’s point-of-view with the harsh realities of the real world. Nothing about it feels phony or cloying. But you can’t help but marvel in the small triumphs of the main character. The fact that Criterion is putting out a new special edition of the film is another kind of triumph. There is a new conversation between “The Runner” director Amir Naderi and filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, an audtio interview from 2022 with Niroumand, a short film by Naderi and promotional materials, plus an essay by critic Ehsan Khoshbakht.

“To Die For” 4K

To Die For

This is a disc to die for. Gus Van Sant’s “To Die For,” arguably his very best movie, features what might be the finest performance ever from Nicole Kidman, which is really saying something. If you’ve never seen the movie, she plays a woman who conspires with her young lover (Joaquin Phoenix) and his dim bulb friends (among them: Casey Affleck) to murder her husband (Matt Dillon). (Incredibly, it’s based on the true story of Pamela Smart.) The script, by the legendary Buck Henry, is note perfect, oscillating seamlessly between satire and unease, and Van Sant pumps up the atmosphere with one of Danny Elfman’s great scores and a wintery New Hampshire setting. Criterion’s exclusive new 4K is ravishing and a 5.1 track is much appreciated (the previous release only had stereo). There’s also a brand new commentary track, recorded last year, featuring Van Sant, director of photography Eric Alan Edwards and editor Curtiss Clayton, plus a trailer, deleted scenes and a new essay by Jessica Kiang. Wonderful.

“Cutthroat Island” 4K

Cutthroat Island

Considerably less controversial than the James Cameron transfers, there seems to be new color timing applied to “Cutthroat Island,” with the 4K transformation produced last year and overseen by StudioCanal. It’s a different experience. But the transfer is solid (just hold onto your old Blu-ray, in case you don’t feel the same). “Cutthroat Island” was, of course, a notorious bomb when it was released, continuing the curse of the pirate movie (until Johnny Depp broke the curse a few years later) that saw Geena Davis playing opposite Matthew Modine, who was a last minute replacement for Michael Douglas. Frank Langella plays a sneering villain. Is the whole thing a little silly? Sure. But looking back on it, the scale of the production (which was enough to bankrupt an entire production company) is really staggering and the amount of stuff they did for real truly commendable. This 4K disc, an exclusive to Walmart, features a commentary from sorely underrated director Renny Harlin, along with documentaries about the production and writing of the movie, plus smaller docs on the editing and scoring of the movie. There is also a Matthew Modine short film and some EPK stuff from when the movie was originally released. “Cutthroat Island,” despite its reputation, is very much worth your time. And this is the best its looked since theaters, festooned with special features that glitter like mighty doubloons.

“Werckmeister Harmonies” 4K

Werckmeister Harmonies

Almost indescribable, this towering achievement from Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, is a “mesmeric parable of societal collapse is an enigma of transcendent visual, philosophical, and mystical resonance” (according to Criterion’s official write-up). Based on a 1989 novel by László Krasznahorkai and comprised of 39 shots, achieved by a small army of cinematographers, the film is an examination of Hungary’s communist era, while also looking at the reaction a visiting circus has on the townspeople. So, yeah, it’s sort of a combination of “Russian Ark” and Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (and its underrated Disney adaptation). The movie looks absolutely jaw-dropping in 4K, with a new uncompressed monaural soundtrack. In terms of bonus features, you get an entire extra movie in “Family Nest” from 1979, Tarr’s first feature. Plus a new interview with Tarr by critic Scott Foundas. For those ready to take the leap, “Werckmeister Harmonies” will make a splash.

“The Departed” 4K

Warner Bros.

Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Boston-set crime movie, a canny update of Hong Kong thriller “Infernal Affairs,” is finally in 4K. We don’t need to tell you what it’s about. You’ve memorized every line and have dressed up like Jack Nicholson’s character for Halloween, complete with a severed hand in a Ziploc bag. You want to know how the presentation of the movie, which stars Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio as double-crossing crooks and cops, compares to earlier home video releases. We can report that it looks amazing, with a new 4K master that was overseen by Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Some other Scorsese upgrades have been controversial (we’re looking at you, “Mean Streets”) but it’d be hard to find fault in this transfer. The audio on this release, a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix isn’t all that different from earlier releases but still sounds good to us. And there’s even a new documentary called “Guilt and Betrayal: Looking Into the Departed,” to augment earlier extras like a pair of half-hour documentaries and some deleted scenes. Just order it. You know you want to.  

“Rolling Thunder” 4K

Rolling Thunder

To quote the great Wayne and Garth: we are not worthy! John Flynn’s appropriately skuzzy revenge thriller, starring William Devane and a young Tommy Lee Jones, gets a glorious 4K edition, with a new transfer (sourced from an original camera negative) and a DTS-HD Master Audio Dual Mono mix. There are also, incredibly, new special features, including two commentary tracks (one with co-writer Heywood Gould), and new special features devoted to the early films of John Flynn, an interview with the movie’s composer Barry De Vorzon and tons of material from earlier releases, including documentaries and promotional stuff. In “Rolling Thunder” Devane plays a former prisoner of war and Vietnam vet, whose return to suburban life is marred by memories of his experiences overseas. When some thugs break into his house, murder his family and leave him with a hook for a hand, he goes on what can only be described as a roaring rampage of revenge. (Jones is his old war buddy, all to happy to join in the bloodthirsty quest for vengeance.) It’s one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movies, as you can probably understand, and was an early script by Paul Schrader, who, early in the process, imagined a scene where Devane would meet another Schrader character – Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver.” Truly the crossover we need.

“I Am Cuba” 4K

I Am Cuba

One of international cinema’s most influential features and one of the hardest to come by, “I Am Cuba” has now been lovingly restored and re-released by the Criterion Collection, in 4K no less. A co-production between the Soviet Union and Cuba, “I Am Cuba” is an anthology film of sorts, made up of four separate episodes that lovingly capture Cuba on the precipice of extraordinary change. When the film was first released, neither Cuban or Soviet audiences shrugged it off. But it was an unparalleled artistic and technical achievement (some of the shots in the black-and-white film were shot with infrared cameras borrowed from the Russian military). In the early 1990s Martin Scorsese fought to have the film restored, which was then screened at various film festivals, while the true weight and influence of the film was taking hold, not only in Scorseses’s work but in things like “Boogie Nights” (the shot descending into the pool is a direct reference) and scores of other filmmakers. And now Mikhail Kalatozov’s masterpiece is back, looking incredible and festooned with extras like a 2004 documentary on the making of the film, a 2003 interview with Scorsese, a new appreciation of the film by cinematographer Bradford Young, the trailer, an alternate Russian-dubbed soundtrack and a new English subtitle translation. Viva “I Am Cuba.”

“Andor” Complete First Season 4K


Arguably one of the very best “Star Wars” stories ever, “Andor” is ostensibly a prequel to “Rogue One,” itself a prequel to the original “Star Wars.” But it’s also so much more. In tracing the journey of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna, never better), who goes from scrappy smuggler to radicalized leader of the Rebellion, it encompasses all of “Star Wars” lore, particularly the fight between fascistic forces and those who struggle to oppose them, while also offering those touchstones from a new perspective – the “ground floor” of a rebellion built not from strategists and military might but by everyday people yearning for freedom. Under the watchful eye of Tony Gilroy, it goes beyond mere entertainment to touch something profound and true. Just spellbinding stuff. This 4K set looks outstanding and the Dolby Atmos track packs a punch. There are also documentaries devoted to the development of the project and specific aspects, including the heist episode, the prison section of the first season and the show’s complicated visual effects. At the very least this will eat up some time as we wait for season 2.

“Ocean’s” Trilogy 4K

Ocean's Eleven
Warner Bros.

Steven Soderbergh’s beloved “Ocean’s” trilogy arrives on 4K. You can buy the movies individually – “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen” – or together in a more affordable three-pack. (We recommend the three-pack. Are you really going to leave any of these movies out?) These movies were obviously commercial smashes but they are also artistic triumphs – the jazzy, chronologically untethered first movie, which took a so-so Rat Pack movie and enlivened it, like “Die Hard” mixed with Soderbergh’s “The Limey;” the sequel, which repurposed an existing script that Warner Bros. owned and used it as an excuse for Soderbergh to pay homage to weird 1960s European movies; and the third film, which luxuriated in its vibrant colors, fake casino setting and Al Pacino hamming it up as a delicious new villain. While there are no new special features on these three discs, all of the movies sport new 2160p/HDR10 transfers and new DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mixes. And that’s worth the price of the box set alone. This set hits the jackpot.


Warner Bros.

One of the more quietly influential films of the 1990s, “Dogfight” stars River Phoenix as a Marine about to ship out, who gets invited to a “dogfight” – a party where he and his Marine buddies compete to bring the most unattractive woman to the party. (Cruel, we know.) He meets Lily Taylor, a waitress and aspiring folk singer, who he invites to the party. But what could have just been a cruel joke turns into something more tender. While some at the time claimed that the movie was overly sentimental, it is actually sweet without ever turning saccharine, thanks largely to director Nancy Savoca’s gentle touch and Phoenix and Taylor’s fully realized performances. Plus the soundtrack, full of folk heroes like Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, add a real sense of time and place. (The movie begins the day before the JFK assassination.) Criterion’s wonderful disc features a new restoration supervised by Savoca, an audtion commentary with Savoca and producer Richard Guay, new interviews with Savoca and Taylor conducted by Mary Harron, plus new interviews with most of the technical team behind the film (including cinematographer Bobby Bukowski and editor Tim Squyres). This is a must-own disc. Even if you haven’t seen it before, you’ll fall in love.


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