Widows (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Widows 4K ReviewI’m probably alone in this way of thinking, but I cant help myself. When I first saw the artwork to click on for playing the Widows trailer I instantly thought of another Viola Davis movie she did a few years back with Jennifer Lopez. That movie was called Lila & Eve, but had what I originally thought a similar motive…revenge. While there are very much aspects of a revenge genre film in the making here make no mistakes about it Widows is very much a heist movie. It’s also an incredibly good one if do say so myself. The Steve McQueen directed film was released this past week on your favorite home media formats.  Aaron Neuwirth brought you the Blu-ray review earlier in the week here and now its time to tackle the Widows 4K Ultra HD package.  Follow me down below.


I’m pleased to say ladies and gentlemen the Widows 4K starts off with a bang…literally.  However, before we get all into it we do have some housekeeping real quick to take care of.  I already mentioned up above that Mr. McQueen directed this and Viola Davis obviously stars in it.  So let’s talk about the rest of the cast.  There are some huge names in this one!  Widows features an ensemble cast of Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall and even Mr. Liam “I’ll Get Even” Neeson.  The basic plot follows a small team of women who attempt a heist in order to pay back a crime boss after their criminal husbands are killed on a job gone wrong so to speak.

The film was praised by critics for its direction, screenplay and performances of the leading ladies (Davis, Debicki and Rodriguez) and Get Out’s Kaluuya.  The latter plays an evil henchmen/assassin for his brother who’s trying to win a political seat in Chicago (more about that in a bit).  However, it’s Davis and Debicki that were the highlights for me.  I found myself mesmerized by Debicki’s performance.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on where I’d seen her before, but a quick Google search pulled up titles like The Cloverfield Paradox, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and even the TV miniseries The Night Manager.  Call me a fan of her’s now.

Sadly even with critical acclaim the audiences didn’t exactly pack the theater seats to see this one.  It almost made twice its $42 million dollar budget back, but ultimately it fell short.  What I like about the film that even though it deals with grief and tries to be a serious heist film it still very much delivers popcorn-like thrills.  Think of Heat, but then take a point away.  You then have Widows.  The performances are strong, the grief and odds are stacked against the women, but at the end of the day this is still a film not afraid to deliver the popcorn action and explosions us lay moviegoers want.  However, since I mentioned Heat we didn’t even talk about the “corruption” of it all.

There’a a paragraph in Aaron Neuwirth’s Blu-ray review that I love so much I’m going to borrow some of it in regards to defining the “corruption” within Widows.  It reads as follows.  “Essentially, this film presents the idea of stating that everyone around you is corrupt, and with no options left, taking matters into your own hands is the best option. With a mid-2008 Chicago setting in mind, Widows also finds a way to explore the genre through strong themes as well, such as financial crisis, police brutality and sexism. However, it’s difficult to see if simply bringing up some of those ideas adds to the film, beyond making some character actions even more clear cut.”

This is where we explore within Widows a parallel running story involving Colin Farrell and Brian Tyree Henry’s characters that are running for political power within their same respective Chicago ward with of course a racial twist. Don’t worry though as this all ties into the film and our main women protagonists. However, it’s here where we also meet the evil character that Robert Duvall inhabits as Jack Mulligan’s (Farrell) father. They throw a lot at you here in Widows and unfortunately not everything is neatly wrapped up by the film’s heart pounding conclusion, but it’s enough to do it all justice. It’s a balancing act kind of thing stacking the odds against the women and forcing you to root for them.

And while I was never a fan of the direction Steve McQueen took with 12 Years A Slave (sorry) he redeems himself here in my eyes with the popcorn thrills I loved, the trippy Hans Zimmer score and some odd camera decisions. You want a few minutes of important dialogue conversation inside a car, but while watching the outside of the car cruise down the street? Well, you got it and a whole lot more here in Widows. I do feel the twist was delivered a little too soon and should have been held until a key sequence near the end, but what do I know? That’s why I am wring about movies instead of actually making them, eh? Kaboom!


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Fox’s Widows.  To see how this measures up against the 1080p Blu-ray please check out our review here.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • HDR: Yes (HDR10+)
  • Dolby Vision: No
  • Clarity/Detail: I’m going to paraphrase Aaron Neuwirth’s initial Blu-ray comments a bit because I can. Thanks to the film’s wonderful use of Chicago and its settings, there is plenty to enjoy in how the look of this film has come together. There is so much to absorb in all of the locations we see, including the high life featuring houses and skyscrapers, along with the grittier, urban settings, full of rich, rich detail. We can clearly see the usuals in skin like pores and wrinkles, but I think its the textures that excel here the most. Examples of such include wood, concrete and rusted iron.
  • Depth: Depth of field is captured well here thanks to three-dimensional pop of the foreground characters. Examples though where depth of field were exemplary obviously include Chicago settings and alleys, but also the bars visited, the banquet hall and if we’re being honest, even a basketball court.
  • Black Levels: I think Aaron says it best in his Blu-ray review as follows. “Shadow and black levels are terrific throughout. Many nighttime and dimly lit interiors are presented with no issue. The detail here is very strong, allowing audiences to properly see a level of clarity necessary for a film shot with so much deliberate energy.” I’ll just add that on the 4K disc presentation the black levels were deep and rich.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors throughout the 4K presentation are clean and very natural looking in appearance rendering a lifelike, gritty real world look to it all.
  • Flesh Tones: Like the colors up above all the skin tones have a very natural overall look to their appearance.
  • Noise/Artifacts: One word Clean comes to mind, but that also under a very gorgeous, but think layer of cinematic grain sprinkled throughout. In other words this one looked organic and beautiful.


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Fox’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Widows.  I do want you to know that while the 4K UHD Disc comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track the 1080p Blu-ray one only houses a DTS-HD MA one.  To learn how this measures up against the 1080p Blu-ray please check out our review here.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: Even though there’s a lot of drama throughout on this Widows 4K disc there’s still plenty of room for this film to impress and thrill  you with its dynamic audio. At times the film has so much activity going on, and it’s all rendered impressively in the soundscape design of it all.  Any Chicago environment you throw at the viewer comes alive with the utmost of authenticity and realism, with a good amount of depth to round out the experience.  For a slow-burn heist thriller, you get plenty to enjoy with how the action brings life to this film.  Best of all absolutely nothing gets lost in the shuffle.  Everything has a sense of direction and priority to it all.  You can’t ask for anything more than that with a flick like this where audio and atmosphere are paramount to keeping the suspension of disbelief.
  • Height:  Examples of Atmos moments star from the very explosive beginning and continue with music, church podium volume, ambiance and so much more.
  • Low-Frequency Extension: Whether we’re trading gunfire or ramming cars off the road the LFE does a fine job of bringing gravity and sense of peril to each death defying situation here.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: There’s actually a great level of immersion taking place throughout here. The film is front and center-focused, but the rear channels do a fine job of keeping ambient sounds present as well.  Chicago comes to life in this film, and it sounds great thanks to proper balance, directionality and prioritization of everything.  The rear channels are buzzing with action, voices, car chases and crashes and most importantly the brilliant and thumping score of Hans Zimmer.  Oh how I love how he never ceases to amaze me by bringing life to everything on screen with his score.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone’s dialogue is heard loud, clear and intelligible.  No complaints from me here!


The Widows 4K extra section as follows is lifted from Aaron Neuwirth’s original review of them on the Blu-ray Disc, which coincidentally are all where these are found. “It’s a shame not to have more to work with here. While the 3-part behind-the-scenes featurette does a good job going over some of the more critical aspects of making this film, it would have been great to learn more about the ideas on display, rather than short interview snippets.”

  • Widows Unmasked: A Chicago Story (HD)A 3-part look at the making of the film, featuring interviews with the cast and crew.
    • Plotting The Heist: The Story (HD, 10:03) – Goes over the screenplay and the concept of the film.
    • Assembling The Crew: Production (HD, 27:37) – Offers many behind the scenes looks at the making of the film.
    • The Scene of the Crime: Locations (HD, 14:37) – Goes over the use of Chicago in the film.
  • Gallery (HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)
  • 1080P Version of the Film (on the Blu-ray Disc)
  • Digital HD Copy of the Film (redeemable in 4K via Movies Anywhere)


As usual Aaron Neuwirth says it best in his exit within his Blu-ray review coverage of Widows. So I am going to rehash some of what he captured so eloquently. It’s a real shame that Widows was not the box office success that it should have been. Here’s a terrific cast full of actors people like talking about on the internet, but couldn’t muster the strength to support their film (though will continue to complain about a lack of more original fare such as this). It doesn’t hurt that the movie is excellent, with a stellar 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation to help sell the viewer on the quality of this production. We are both sure that those that finally check this film out will be sure to enjoy it, as it delivers on a variety of levels with exceptional performances, twists, popcorn action and multiple kabooms. Enjoy!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  The above screenshots are not taken from the actual 4K product.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.



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4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

February 5th




Widows 4K


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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