100 Best Blu-Ray Discs Best Overall
The Bourne Trilogy
This trilogy has changed what we expect from the spy thriller genre. This boxed set defines what we expect for an A-list trilogy on Blu-ray. Universal’s boxed set is everything you could ask for from the format. It features reference-quality picture and sound and the most cutting-edge features that Blu-ray has to offer. This is a set that will please the most die-hard fan and offer insight into the production that few other releases can match.
Harry Potter years 1–6
Although Harry didn’t receive any love in our individual categories, it came awfully close for its outstanding audio and video, interactivity, and extras. Each of the seven films contain PiP production features and loads of supplements. Now Warner has started to release Ultimate Editions (Years 1 and 2) with extended cuts, Digital Copies, and additional swag that includes collectible books and cards. Each film will also include one installment of the eight-part documentary “Creating the World of Harry Potter.”
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek is everything Blu-ray should be. The picture and sound are a high-def demo showcase from beginning to end, and the three-disc set is crammed with meaningful extras. BD-Live provides an RSS feed to NASA news that’s pretty cool. Disc two is loaded with some of the very best making-of material you’ll ever see. Disc three has a Digital Copy and a game preview. Maximum warp!
Watchmen Director’s Cut
Director Zack Snyder has two discs that got a lot of love on this list, and that can’t be a coincidence. He cares. Warner’s 1080p imagery is stunning, the DTS-HD Master Audio track (Warner’s first) is a sensation, and the extras are awesome. The star is the excellent PiP-driven Maximum Movie Mode, and the second disc that’s dedicated to special features is no slouch either. This is everything Blu-ray can be.
Any Pixar Title
What new praise can we bestow upon Pixar? Each of the studio’s Blu-ray Discs has reference-quality audio and video, plus a ton of outstanding extras. To top it off, Pixar makes just plain terrific movies. (Well, maybe not Cars. Everyone is entitled to one dud.) A Pixar Blu-ray gives you everything you’d ever want from the home theater experience. We only wish every disc we watched could live up to that ideal.
Blade Runner 5-Disc Complete Collector’s Edition
Five discs, five cuts of the film, hours of essential extras, and a picture and sound experience that rivals anything on Blu-ray. This edition of Ridley Scott’s immersive 1982 sci-fi masterpiece is an absolute treasure. BR is one of the few special-effects films that looks and sounds better than ever. Standouts among the extras include a three-hour making-of documentary and a 30-minute piece on the film’s multiple incarnations.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
You can’t be surprised to see the grand old man here, given how he showed up in so many other crucial categories. It’s a great movie, the digitally captured image is sensational, the sound is superb, and the extras are as richly portrayed as the picture. It’s hard to imagine a better post-production marriage than David Fincher working with the wizards at Criterion, and this Blu-ray delivers. Benjamin on Blu-ray is the whole muffuletta.
Fight Club 10th Anniversary Edition
(20th Century Fox)
Catalog titles can be a mixed bag, especially with cult favorites. Fight Club breaks the catalog mold and is one of the best and baddest-ass things to hit Blu-ray yet. The image quality is black as hell, but it’s far more detailed than any previous releases. Its sound is among the very best we’ve heard, and the extras and interactivity are best in class. Even better, every bloody drop of material here is as brutally fun and funny as the movie itself.
Pirates of the Caribbean 3-Movie Collection
Disney delivered a treasure chest full of goodies with all three of the Pirates films. Dead Man’s Chest sports reference-quality audio and video and was also the first Blu-ray to deliver a compelling BD-Java game with “Liar’s Dice.” But all three of the films speak to Disney’s commitment to a quality package, the second film’s impeccable presentation and cutting-edge features make it a standout on the format.
The Ultimate Matrix Collection
It’s not hard to include this set in the Best Overall category. The video encodes are exceptional, and each film includes an In-Movie Experience that takes you inside the Matrix universe. The set also includes multiple commentaries—although none by the Wachowski Brothers—and HD treatment of The Animatrix, the prequel to The Matrix that helps set the stage for Reloaded. No one can be told what the Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself in 1080p.