El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie – Steelbook Edition (Blu-ray Review)

About one year ago we were getting to revisit the world of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad in the more present tense or “post-Breaking Bad” once more with El Camino. We’ve currently been living in the pre-Breaking Bad world with the phenomenal Better Call Saul the last five years or so, but now its time to check up on where things were left off. El Camino was a Netflix exclusive film, but as per usual, one year later, you can own it on physical media to go with your Breaking Bad Blu-ray collection. Sony is putting the film out first in a Steelbook Edition. There are plenty of bonus features to go with this beautiful looking package as well, including two commentaries. This was released on October 13th, so its currently available now. Sure, you could always stop in on and watch it on Netflix, but will you always be able to stop in and watch it on Netflix? Make sure that’s not a worry and order yourself a copy from the paid Amazon Associates link at the bottom that follows the review.


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman. In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future. This riveting thriller was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad.

Vince Gilligan plays it safe in the best way possible with El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Which, in a way, is true to the way the show’s finale played out when it took its bow years ago. The film doesn’t try and go big and flashy. Nor does it sit and wax nostalgic the whole time. In terms of the narrative, the needle barely moves from start to finish for series. But, overall, its a really engaging, suspenseful and welcome return to his New Mexico that wound up being one of the greatest television programs in history.

Jesse Pinkman’s story is pretty much the coda to the series finally as he’s pretty much what’s left of maybe the only thread left hanging (for those that need these kind of things spelled out for them). He’s on his quest to clean up and ditch town while the police and others are searching for him. Its a very stealth journey that really delves into his fractured mental state and recovery to have just enough mind to go start anew somewhere.

The characters that made the series all make returns in welcome, and relevant ways to the story. While they are there to give us a nod and a little jolt, they all serve more a purpose in flash back than “Hey! Look! It’s so and so!”. Creepy Todd gets the lengthiest of returns, with more to just build on what a monster he was. Gilligan even gives him a fantastically disturbing needle drop in the driving sequence set to Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show’s “Sharing the Night Together”. And its sadly wonderful to see Robert Forster’s return, as he passed away literally just before the film premiered.

Through Better Call Saul and now El Camino, its quite apparent that Vince Gilligan really has his pulse on this set of characters and the world they inhabit. When he feels the need, he returns and makes something quite special. There’s a trust now to just go with whatever he’s going to add to the Breaking Bad lore from here on out. While El Camino isn’t something to set the world on fire, its still high quality and a welcome addition and (for now) epilogue to the Walter White story.


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail:  El Camino debuts on Blu-ray with a very pretty, very sharp and crisp, polished looking image. For standard Blu-ray this is the best you could ask for and its really impressive overall. Details are strong with textures looking pretty well down to the touch. Surely, a 4K Ultra-HD picture would make some improvements, but with as nice as this looks, I’m not sure they wouldn’t be any more than incremental.

Depth:  Some very good depth of field here. If anything a 4K Ultra-HD could do, is maybe improve here just by the natural jump with that format. Movements are natural and smooth with zero issues regarding blur or jitter from rapid action sequences.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and natural, very close in relation to the dark matte lines. There are excellent displays of shadow and nighttime here and details, patterns and textures hold strong and visible no matter the situation. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors have a more regular, normal focus in the palette with lots of browns, grays and coming of natural. All of them very well rounded, saturated and bold. There are some good pops when the contrast is there with lights or ambers or sparks from the welding factory.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are maybe the most impressive in the image. Scars, stubble, make-up brushing, freckles and all sorts of information is highly visible from any distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Audio Descriptive Service, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Tradition, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Korean, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai

Dynamics:  While a mere 5.1 track, El Camino‘s audio does some very heavy lifting and does enough to make you not worry about something more upgraded being provided. This is a well balanced and spacious music, with very natural environments well realized into the mix. Its loud and engaging and will make you jump in appropriate moments. This is a really fun spin on the film and adds to the overall top notch presentation when paired with the video transfer.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer has a very nice purr to it in this mix as it adds to engines rumbling, gunshots, punches, crashes, music and more.

Surround Sound Presentation:  There are some terrific environmental building moments with ambiance here as well as added influence with music and unique sounds to give a 360 degree feel to things at times. 

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clear and crisp with good attention to the actor diction and mouth sounds.


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie comes with the DVD edition of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul
  • Super-Commentary!

Making El Camino (HD, 28:28) – A pretty nice detailed run through of the genesis of the film, behind the scenes and creating it. Plenty of on-set footage and lot of participants in interviews (That look like they were done while shooting).

Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 16:39) – 6 scenes

Gag Reel (HD, 6:18) 

Storyboard Breakdowns (HD, 22:48) – “Scene Study 1”, “Scene Study 107”, “Scene Study 109”

Promotional Materials (HD, 11:16) 

Rodeo FX (HD, 2:49) – “VFX Breakdown”, “Kandy Welding CGI”


El Camino works quite well in all the facets we once enjoy the heck out of Breaking Bad for and also as its own little measure in suspense.  Sony gives it a worthy debut on Blu-ray too. Beyond the realy sweet, collectible steelbook packaging, the film presents itself with a pretty pristine, gorgeous and polished image and audio. There are also a nice swath of quality extras on the disc to enjoy as well. It fits right at home with the rest of your Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul Blu-rays and is a really nice collector’s item to boot.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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