‘Dune’ 4K UHD Blu-Ray Review – An Unparalleled Sci-Fi Adventure That Captivates From Beginning To End

“Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

For in-depth thoughts on Dune, please see my colleague Dom Fisher’s review from its original theatrical release here

Video Quality

The 4K UHD Blu-Ray of Dune offers a fetching uptick in quality over the already incredible accompanying Blu-Ray, making it the clear choice between the two home video releases. It should be noted that the home entertainment release of Dune sticks with the standard 2.39:1 framing instead of the shifting aspect ratio of the IMAX presentation. Skin tones appear more natural with healthy doses of crisp detail apparent on faces such as pores. The increased range of the color spectrum is stunning to behold. The HDR enriches the colors from already impressive to truly stunning when it comes to vibrancy. This film features many interesting locales and characters that really show off the capabilities of the format with color contrast and striking lighting schemes providing a dazzling spectacle. The subtle applications of HDR really make the film pop on the screen. 

The highlights in the film are more defined with whites more pure and balanced with no instances of blooming to be found. Elements in the film taking place in the cover of darkness are more vivid and finely delineated. The black levels are especially strong in this presentation, staying deep and inky with great detail. The few instances of compression artifacts and banding present on the Blu-Ray are eliminated with this 4K UHD disc. This 4K UHD presentation really delivers on all fronts including strong gains in clarity and color. There is some really awe-inspiring production design featured in the film which you can really appreciate with this transfer. There are a variety of landscapes presented here with each location providing incredible detail that is exciting to explore. Every location is handled with the precision of a finely authored disc. The Blu-Ray is great, but Warner Bros. has delivered another miraculous transfer on this latest 4K release. 

Audio Quality

This 4K UHD Blu-Ray comes with a stellar Dolby Atmos audio mix that is completely enveloping and ready to get your walls shaking. This is an incredibly active track that provides all manner of otherworldly sound effects and an all-time great score from Hans Zimmer to keep your pulse racing. There is a ton of activity in the low end that flows through you in the most effective of ways. Dialogue is crisp and clear and is never overwhelmed by any competing sounds. You just might have to click your volume down a couple of notches from normal listening levels to avoid it from getting too hot, but this is not a real issue. There is nearly always something going on in the surrounds, but there is never that much difficulty hearing what everyone is saying. The height channels are used to interesting effect in some the way the world is presented with objects flying overhead. All of the sounds are coming from the appropriate directions, and there are absolutely no technical issues with the track. This one is all encompassing in the best ways.

Special Features

  • Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes: Eight brief featurettes which take a look at the process of translating this material to the big screen including looks at early test footage, on-set material, interviews and more. A ton of key figures both on screen and behind the camera offer insights into the look and attire of this world, the memorable characters who populate this story, the special effects and sound work that bring the movie to life, and much more than blends narrative and technical prowess. Fans of the film will have a lot of fun digging into this. 
    • The Royal Houses (8:12)
    • Building The Ancient Future (6:26)
    • My Desert, My Dune (4:50)
    • Constructing The Ornithopters (5:38)
    • Designing The Sandworm (5:40)
    • Beware The Baron (5:00)
    • Wardrobe From Another World (2:52)
    • A New Soundscape (11:12)
  • Filmbooks: A five-part look at the Dune universe which gives viewers a quick overview of the essentials to understanding what is going down in this story. 
    • House Atreides (2:08)
    • House Harkonnen (1:51)
    • The Bene Gesserit (2:23)
    • The Fremen (2:12)
    • The Spice Melange (1:51)
  • Inside Dune: A three-part look at some of the most memorable moments of the film and the preparation that went into pulling off some of these technical achievements from choreography to storyboards and more that are revealed through interviews and on-set footage. 
    • The Training Room (5:07)
    • The Spice Harvester (3:12)
    • The Sardaukar Battle (4:04)


Final Thoughts

Dune is an incredibly audacious feat of visual storytelling which truly moves you on every conceivable level. The care that Denis Villeneuve puts into bringing this world to life in an accessible way is pretty astounding and the audience is rewarded every minute of the runtime. The ensemble of this film is nearly unparalleled, but once again Rebecca Ferguson steals the show in a performance so transfixing you do not want to look away. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released a 4K UHD Blu-Ray featuring a demo-worthy A/V presentation and a fine selection of special features. We will be rewatching this one frequently while we wait for the next part to be released. Highly Recommended 

Dune is currently available to purchase on 4K UHD Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital. 

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the 4K UHD Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.