Posted Mon Dec 31, 2018 at 08:34 AM PST by Matthew Hartman
While 4K Blu-ray and streaming get most of the big headlines these days, 2018 was a great year for the Blu-ray format too. From new releases to definitive special editions, from dramas to classic to kid films and horror, there were too many incredible releases to list them all – but this gets pretty darn close!
Here are our favorite 2018 releases available only on 1080p Blu-ray!
Who would ‘a thought that a movie about the Olympics most notorious ice skater of the 90s would get a biopic movie that is not only incredibly entertaining, it’s actually an incredible character study featuring a string of impressive performances from Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, and Sebastian Stan. We never thought we’d want to relive that period of history - but this movie makes it worth it with a stunning picture and a great audio mix giving that infamous THWACK!-Heard-Round-The-World a nice kick!
Call Me By Your Name was an unexpected tour de force. It’s an incredible film about the heartbreak of young romance between two people split by societal conventions. It just happens to be a romance between Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Both actors delivered intense and committed performances – so much so a follow-up film is now in the works and we can’t wait to see it. The film is a beautiful travelogue and the picture-perfect transfer captures every vivid frame.
Director Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit is not an easy film to watch. Our reviewer called it one of the best movies he never wants to watch again. We can see why – racism isn’t an easy issue to discuss and it’s especially difficult when it’s steeped in historical events and the Detroit riots left their scars on the Motor City for decades. This film ain't easy, but with the incredible performances from John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, and Anthony Mackie – it’s essential viewing. The pitch-perfect video transfer and audio mix make for a stellar release on Blu-ray and one worth having in your collection.
Night of the Living Dead Criterion Collection
George Romero’s seminal zombie horror classic at long last is given the due appreciation it deserves. Featuring a fresh new restoration and stuffed to the gills with new bonus features, this is a Must Own disc not only for horror aficionados but Criterion devotees. This film has never looked or sounded better – and they’re coming to get you!
The Silence of the Lambs Criterion Collection
A mainstay of The Criterion Collection dating back to the days of LaserDisc finally at long last gets a proper restoration effort with a tremendous Blu-ray release. Not only does this film get a new 4K restoration but the original 2.0 stereo mix is finally presented in its full glory. Not only do you get to enjoy every ghastly sight, but you can revel in the impactful sound design. Packed with a tremendous array of bonus features, this is an essential piece of everyone's Criterion Collection.
Midnight Cowboy Criterion Collection
John Schlesinger's groundbreaking classic Midnight Cowboy starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight as the unlikeliest of friends is finally given a worthy Blu-ray release thanks to the Criterion Collection. With a fresh new 4K video restoration and the newly restored LPCM 1.0 mono track, the film has never looked or sounded this good on home video and this Blu-ray is packed with an impressive assortment of new and archival bonus features with hours of extra material to dive through. This film is an essential part of any collection and it's more than worthy of the Criterion treatment.
Terrance Malick's catalog of films is no stranger to the Criterion Collection so it shouldn't be any surprise that his masterpiece Tree of Life would be given their fullest attention. Complete with a new extended cut of the film as well as the theatrical presentation, this Blu-ray boasts a picture-perfect transfer with a lively and effective audio mix not to mention a robust assortment of worthwhile bonus features. It's a singular experience and this release from Criterion makes replacing the original Blu-ray from 2011 a very easy thing to do. Another truly must-own release from a company that knows how to treat films with respect.
The Passion of Joan of Arc Criterion Collection
The Virgin Suicides Criterion Collection
Female Trouble Criterion Collection
Some Like It Hot Criterion Collection
The Young Mr. Lincoln Criterion Collection
Lady and the Tramp: Signature Collection
While this disc may sport the same video transfer and audio presentation as the previous Diamond Edition disc, it's extremely difficult for us not to include this one on the list. It's a beautifully animated film and a true Disney classic. Coupled with a fine assortment of bonus features, it's a nice movie to have on for kids of all ages.
One could certainly argue that Wes Anderson's latest animated effort isn't exactly a kids movie, but that doesn't mean kids won't love it. Like The Fantastic Mr. Fox, this film has a subtle sense of humor with terrific stop-motion animation that is simply beautiful to look at - while being absolutely hilarious to watch. With a terrific A/V presentation, this was an instant favorite and one we considered Highly Recommended.
The Sandlot: 25th Anniversary Edition
If you've ever played a pickup game of backyard baseball, this classic kids favorite hits the heartstrings hard. A kids movie at heart, it's great for adults who don't mind waxing nostalgic about their childhood summers. The bonus feature selection may be slim, but this disc offers a solid A/V presentation making it a great addition to anyone's collection. Soon your entire family will be shouting "You're killing me, Smalls!"
Peter Pan: Signature Collection
Nothing quite stirs your imagination and sense of thrilling adventure quite like this Disney Classic. It's a truly timeless piece of entertainment that has endured for generations. Like Lady and the Tramp, the previous disc's transfer was recycled, but that's okay because it's gorgeous. With some great new bonus features, it's a worthy addition to the family-friendly shelf of your Blu-ray collection.
Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series
This one certainly wasn't for everyone - but then again no David Lynch production ever is. This continuation of the seminal television series was sprawling, often confusing, but unendingly engrossing and entertaining. Will there be more? Only David Lynch knows if "What year is this?" will be the last words Agent Dale Cooper speaks in the chilling finale. While we hope there's more to come - this Blu-ray is still an absolute must-have for fans of the series.
The Shield: The Complete Series
You only need to say the name "Vic Mackey" to get fans of The Shield salivating. At long last, this groundbreaking television series has made its way to Blu-ray. With brand new A/V restorations of each episode along with dozens of hours of bonus features, this is a stacked package of criminally thrilling entertainment. All 88 episodes in one convenient package with the best possible picture and audio presentations - you know you want it. Treat. Yo. Self. You've earned it this year!
Batman: The Complete Animated Series
This iconic animated television series is finally given the high-definition treatment that it's long deserved. After all these years, this show is still the most faithful adaptation of the Caped Crusader we've seen in movie theaters or on T.V. It set a high benchmark and it continues to influence the character all these years later. Complete with beautiful A/V presentations for each episode with a bunch of great bonus features as well as the two feature-length films, this is truly the Complete package for animated Dark Knight fans.
Black Sails: The Complete Series
Who would have thought that Treasure Island would inspire one of the most lively and entertaining fantasy television series - that sadly very select audience watched. If you missed it during its broadcast run, now you can make room in your television diet to give the entire series a go. Believe us, once you start, you're not going to want to stop. Steeped in a mix of historically accurate real-life characters and fantasy, it's an adventure worth plundering all the way through. It's a favorite around these parts and we're sure you'll get a kick out of it.
Better Call Saul: Season Three
Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Four
Gravity Falls: The Complete Series
Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series
Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection
Long before Marvel and Disney had grand designs for a shared universe of films, Universal pictures concocted its own marvelous monstrous universe featuring the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera, and the Creature! While each film in the series may not be better than the last, they're all entertaining and each given terrific A/V presentations. It's truly a complete collection and not one to miss!
In The Mouth of Madness: Collector's Edition
One of John Carpenter's scariest, creepiest, and easily the best of his later career entries, Scream Factory finally gives fans the true Collectors Edition for In The Mouth of Madness. 25 years later this film is just as chilling and unsettling as ever and this disc is blessed with a hell of an A/V presentation as well as a host of bonus features worth picking through - especially if your favorite color is Blu.
Zombie: 3-Disc Limited Edition
Fan favorite Lucio Fulci's pseudo-prequel/sequel of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead is at long last given a grand and complete home video release. Complete with fresh new 4K restoration, a stunning stereo audio mix, some new bonus features, and the film's iconic score on CD, Blue Underground unearthed one hell of a celebration of the living dead! With three different lenticular covers to choose from, it's an exciting release to see get such quality treatment.
An all-time classic entry in Horror-Comedy, Re-Animator comes back to live in a beautiful special edition Blu-ray release thanks to Arrow Video. Offering a massive improvement in image and audio quality over the previous release, this disc also contains some magnificently horrifyingly delightful bonus features - complete in some dramatic and beautiful packaging. Arrow keeps killing it with their Special Editions and this is one you're going to want to free up shelf space for.
This one may divide fans as to how frightening it actually is - but one that can't be denied is the incredible quality of this new Blu-ray release. Sourced from a brand new 4K restoration, this iconically colorful and symphonic film has never looked this good or sounded this beautiful. If you're a fan of the psychedelic visuals and Goblin's chilling score - you need to have this release in your collection.
Ever since Universal started porting over their early HD-DVDs to Blu-ray, this has been a film in desperate need of a little TLC. Thankfully Arrow Video hear the fans' calls for help and delivered. Coupled with an incredible assortment of informative and worthwhile bonus features, this disc also includes a splendid newly restored A/V presentation. This Special Edition release finally does Terry Gilliam's science fiction masterpiece the just presentation it deserves on Blu-ray. Don't miss it!
No, this is not the greatest movie ever made, nor will it ever be considered that - but it's a huge fan favorite namely because it's where the aquatically-obsessed James Cameron first cut his teeth as a director for this cheesy schlockfest. Not only is this one of the goofiest movies you can watch, this disc gives the film the 1080p justice it deserves. How else are you going to enjoy those rubber flying fish? It's for diehard fans of the film - but we loved it just the same.
Trick 'R Treat: Collector's Edition
As 2018 inches to a close, we have a massive catalog of films that came out this year to look back on and appreciate. With 4K UHD giving physical media fans something exciting to see for new releases and some classic older titles, it's great to see the studios and niche distributors and publishers step up to the plate and ensure that some great films aren't forgotten by giving them impressive 1080p Blur-ay releases. No list like this is ever complete. It was extremely difficult limiting this list to these precious few.
What do you think? What's on YOUR list of Best 2018 Blu-rays? Let us know in the comments!
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