The Contractor (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Contractor asks a few age-old cinema questions. How does one provide for their family when their livelihood is cut down? How do you do a job you’re not so sure of without first thinking of the consequences of your actions in said job? What will your family think knowing what you do is “less than legal?” Does Chris Pine find those answers in his latest action thriller? Will you, the viewer, be on the edge of your seat or on the edge of pushing the “stop” button? Find these answers and more in our coverage of The Contractor below. Hitting home media on June 7th, The Contractor may be up your alley! Be sure to click the paid Amazon link at the end to grab a copy for yourself!


Chris Pine stars in the action-packed thriller as Special Forces Sergeant James Harper, who is involuntarily discharged from the Army and cut-off from his pension. In debt, out of options and desperate to provide for his family, Harper contracts with a private underground military force. When the very first assignment goes awry, the elite soldier finds himself hunted and on the run, caught in a dangerous conspiracy and fighting to stay alive long enough to get home and uncover the true motives of those who betrayed him.

Directed by Tarik Saleh, The Contractor plays out just like the synopsis above says.  That’s it.  Plain and simple.  There is a too-good-to-be-true job offer, and Chris Pine’s Harper springs into the role as an elite underground soldier.  With the help of a friend, Mike (Ben Foster), Harper is able to provide for his family after losing his military status for taking steroids after a horrific knee injury. Working under Rusty (Kiefer Sutherland), a shadowy man who gives hope in his description of easy work for big money.  Of course, not all is as it seems, but this wouldn’t be the ultra-predictable “thriller” it is without that idea running around somewhere in the film.

I wanted to give a little more credit to this film than I can.  I was excited to see Chris Pine take on an action role and even more excited to see Ben Foster, who deserves far more credit for his work as an actor than he receives.  His mere presence here adds just a little more to the movie overall for me.  Kiefer Sutherland appears at the beginning of the story and then shows up later as the plot has been split wide open. He does the typical Sutherland mug and gets the job done, but one wishes there were more of him too.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is as awful as say, Infinite (my review for that is available in my archive…. I hated it…), but it’s far from good at the same time.  There is a generic feeling to the whole production.  The nondescript locations in Europe give way to those films we’ve seen lately with many producers, a higher than usual budget and not much of a story to tell. That’s the biggest issue of course. Where is the story at? Man takes steroids. Man loses job. Man becomes soldier for hire. Man gets double crossed. Man figures it out. Man seeks vengeance.  Been there – seen it done far better.

The actors even have some trouble here. Chris Pine seems bored, lost and even seems to know the movie is ridiculous and not so great. Ben Foster does fine with what he’s got to do, but unfortunately for him and for the audience, that isn’t much.  Even character actor du jour Eddie Marsan shows up in a small non-descript role late in the runtime.  From my research, The Contractor was made in 2019 with a budget of about $50 million.  I struggle to figure out where the money was spent besides paying actors.  When finally released in April 2022, the film debuted and peaked at No. 12 at the box office, made just over $2 million, and was out of theaters quickly. It’s a sure destiny to me after viewing the film for myself.


  • Encoding: HEVC/H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • HDR: HDR10
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Layers: BD-66
  • Clarity/Detail: The Contractor is a film that is primarily a night-time one. There are few daytime scenes and much of the movie takes place in shadowy locales (including a very frustrating fight scene in a sewer tunnel). Detail is definitely there, but in a brightly lit room, you will be squinting to try and see anything. I was thankful for blackout curtains and my HDR setting feature on my 4K Blu-ray Player. I was happiest in scenes that were indoors and lit, taking in details from the military garb worn by Pine and others, and the purposely drab set pieces throughout.
  • Depth: Another not-so-showcase point of The Contractor, depth is best scene in daytime scenes. There are no drop-offs in quality, however, there just aren’t many moments that feel noteworthy for this.  The interiors you can see benefit from depth of field, and overall is better looking than the HD counterpart being released on the same day.
  • Black Levels: The obvious standout for this disc are the black levels. All the shadows and all the nighttime scenes are wonderfully represented throughout.  There is no loss of detail due to excellent black levels.
  • Color Reproduction:Military green, cool blues, and shadowy blacks all look great here. Thanks to a nice HDR color grade, things are always accurate and pleasing to the eye.
  • Flesh Tones:Excellent flesh tones here, even in darkness.  No silly putty people or loss of detail from any enhancements.
  • Noise/Artifacts:None


  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 7.1
  • Subtitles:English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: The packaging for The Contractor lists the audio as 5.1, and without checking out the bitrates on the disc, I wouldn’t have known the track was actually a 7.1 mix. Things sound fine, but as of late, any 7.1 mix (or 5.1 for that matter) that comes with a modern film is typically more dynamic than this. I had this movie cranked, and it still was underwhelming to my ears.
  • Low Frequency Extension:Bass is serviceable, with a decent amount of low end accompanying all action sequences. Not the deepest bass I’ve heard lately, but it’ll do.
  • Surround Sound Presentation:The standout surround moment for me was at Rusty’s farm, early in the film. Nature surrounds you with a low radio playing under the ambience and dialogue. The action sequences have their moments as well, and overall, the surrounds play well throughout.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:The dialogue in the film sounds excellent here.  There is no competition for what you hear best, and dialogue stands up to gunfire and music all the time.


The Contractor has no extras, but comes with a slipcover and digital code.


If generic action is your thing, then you just might find something to love about The Contractor. I have been on a mission since the pandemic began of wanting to immerse myself in better quality films. I want to go beyond the superhero, or dystopia, or the assembly line action thriller. Don’t get me wrong, I like all those genre ideas, but they’re all we see now in the movies. The Contractor absolutely feels like it fell right off an assembly line and doesn’t really work at the end of the day.  Technical merits on this disc are serviceable, and the price will most certainly be right for a quick pick up, but I wouldn’t recommend more than maybe a rental for this one.

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