An embattled NYPD detective is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers, after which, he uncovers a massive and unexpected conspiracy. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of 21 Bridges from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Universal - 2019
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Keith David, J.K. Simmons, Taylor Kitsch
Directed by: Brian Kirk
Music by: Henry Jackman, Alex Belcher
Written by: Adam Mervis, Matthew Michael Carnahan
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: February 18, 2020
"The Ultimate Heist. Everyone is a Suspect"

“An embattled NYPD detective is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers, after which he uncovers a massive and unexpected conspiracy.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

An embattled NYPD detective is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers, after which, he uncovers a massive and unexpected conspiracy. As the night unfolds, he soon becomes unsure of who to pursue -- and who's in pursuit of him. When the search intensifies, authorities decide to take extreme measures by closing all of Manhattan's 21 bridges to prevent the suspects from escaping.

21 Bridges is a paint by the numbers thriller that tells a story of police corruption and one honest and determined detective that won’t stand for it. I don’t know, after seeing the trailer for this film some time ago, I was definitely in the zero-interest camp. It arrived for review so, I opted to give it its due. Strangely enough, I really didn’t mind it and, in fact, enjoyed the first two acts. Don’t get me wrong, the twists, turns, pursuits and final outcome are as clichéd as it comes but, I liked the handling of the action early on and didn’t mind the setup of what would come later.

Unfortunately, the third act just descends into the stereotypical series of eyebrow raising moments, bad dialog/speeches and the outcome you knew was coming. I would have liked to have seen more from the “bad guys/cop killers” played by Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch who were the most interesting characters in the story. Chadwick Boseman is always fun to watch but, his partner, played by Sienna Miller, was just plain annoying.

So, while 21 Bridges definitely won’t win any awards, its certainly watchable and, on occasion, entertaining. When all was said and done, I was okay with that.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence and language throughout.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

21 Bridges comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a solid video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are well saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.

The lossless soundtrack doesn’t consistently engage the entire surround platform however it has moments where it energizes the room and reproduces the source elements with aplomb. Dialog has definitive presence with refined vocal character and excellent room penetration. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. The source elements don’t always call for this as dialogue, atmospheric ambience and musical enhancement is conveyed with little fanfare. However there are several sequences that engage the entire system to briefly produce entertaining and room filling sound that is measurable. This soundtrack isn’t demonstration worthy but it readily delivers a satisfying listening experience that didn’t leave me disappointed.

Bonus Features:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Feature Commentary with Director Brian Kirk
  • Trailers
  • DVD
  • Digital Code
Final Thoughts:

21 Bridges doesn’t bring anything new to the genre table but, it manages to muster enough entertainment value to keep interest from waning, especially during the first two acts. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video and a lackluster supplemental offering. 21 Bridges warrants consider on movie rental night, especially if you enjoy cop thrillers. Otherwise catching it on cable TV should suffice.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems