A grieving snowplow driver seeks out revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. Based on the 2014 Norwegian film 'In Order of Disappearance'. Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Cold Pursuit from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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

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


Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2019
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 119 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Laura Dern, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi, Julia Jones
Directed by: Hans Peter Moland
Music by: George Fenton
Written by: Frank Baldwin based on the movie “Kraftidioten” by Kim Fupz Aakeson
Region Code: A

Release Date: May 14, 2019
"Revenge is Best Served Cold"

“Featuring a wildly entertaining mix of dynamic action and dark humor, Cold Pursuit stars Liam Neeson as Nels Coxman, a snowplow driver whose quiet family life is upended after his son’s murder.” – Lionsgate Home Entertainment

My Take:

Nels Coxman's quiet life as a snowplow driver comes crashing down when his beloved son dies under mysterious circumstances. His search for the truth soon becomes a quest for revenge against a psychotic drug lord named Viking and his sleazy henchmen. Transformed from upstanding citizen to coldblooded vigilante, Coxman unwittingly sets off a chain of events that includes a kidnapping, a series of deadly misunderstandings and a turf war between Viking and a rival boss.

I have to admit that my reaction to seeing the trailer for Cold Pursuit was to roll my eyes and wonder aloud, really? Another Liam Neeson revenge thriller? I went into viewing the film with admittedly low expectations. Cold Pursuit is based on the Norwegian movie “Kraftidioten” (In Order of Disappearance) by Kim Fupz Aakeson. I haven’t seen the original but, this film not particularly suspenseful or thoroughly engaging, especially for seasoned genre fans. The setup is brief and lays down the foundation upon which the plot is built.

The plot isn’t very well conceived and is then followed by several inane plot points that impact credibility, within the context of the storyline. Truth be told it has moments that are overtly silly, while a cache of cardboard cutouts for characters and implausible events, designed to create the illusion of an antihero, serve to bog down an already overlong screenplay.

What I enjoyed about Cold Pursuit was watching Liam Neeson. I liked his character, a flawed, burned out shell of a man, left with lots of regrets. I like Laura Dern, John Doman and Emmy Rossum, but their characters didn’t carry any weight, although with a better script, they should have. The “action” is a mix of gunplay and brief physical confrontations which had little to no impact. The cinematography and production design are fair. Cold Pursuit[i/] doesn’t reach the bar set by the better films in its class, but gives star Liam Neeson yet another opportunity to prove he still has the chops to keep us coming back to see him. I hope his next project comes along with a better script.

Replay Value: 2.0 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong violence, drug material, and some language, including sexual references.

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.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
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UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
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  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
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Cold Pursuit comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/True HD 7.1 sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Cold Pursuit was derived from a 3.4K source and finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate.

I began with my review of the Blu-ray version of Cold Pursuit before moving onto the Ultra HD version. First and foremost, this isn’t a bright or colorful film, predominantly adhering to relatively cooler, teal splashed, chromatic schemes, which doesn't make for especially eye-catching levels of color. This is intentional, in trying to keep with the stylistic aesthetic of the director’s vision. Fleshtones looked about the same, which is to say, a bit pallid, but not overtly unnatural.

Shot digitally, resolution is generally strong, although I wouldn’t say there was a noteworthy uptick in sharpness and detail compared to the Blu-ray. Upon closer inspection, I could make out finer details in facial features, clothing, and the various interiors of the dwellings featured in the story. On occasion, discernible improvements in depth could be seen in wide angle shots, but in most respects, I saw only incremental differences in apparent resolution when comparing select scenes from the UHD and Blu-ray.

I also found the presentation to be very tame in terms of its use of dynamic highlights, both bright and dark. I found only a few occasions where the presentation made visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements.

Predominantly speaking, the presentation’s HDR emboldened streaming/natural lighting schemes, which looked fine, but not appreciably vibrant, which again, fell within the film’s thematic subject matter. There was some murkiness to shadows, but in general the low-level images appeared quite dimensional. I am sure that my quibbles with the video quality is owed to the original source and stylistic choice. The result is a solid UHD presentation that failed to leave an indelible impression on me.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Cold Pursuit I similarly found the HDR renderings to be very close. As I alluded to earlier, this film’s elements aren’t consistently lent to use of overtly bright color, but I did take a close look at the rendering of contrast, chromatic depth and delineation during scenes containing dark and bright highlights. When I switched back and forth between the DV and HDR-10 renderings, I felt that the DV presentation revealed better definition in the darkest portions of the image. These differences aren’t especially noteworthy, but in the grand scheme, made for a more pleasing image.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the less aggressive variety but, considering the source material I suppose that’s not a complete surprise. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics, discrete effects and occasional panning fills. This is done well when implemented. The music score is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. While this mix doesn’t make constant use of room traversing audio objects its application predominantly serves the film’s thematic subject well enough to get the job done. Those looking for an active immersive listening experience will be disappointed.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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

Audio: 92
(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

Cold Pursuit comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This is an excellent high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective. Colors range from warm and vivid to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. The various wide-angle shots of the snow- covered landscapes look great. Framed at 2.39:1, images onscreen have excellent depth. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. Cold Pursuit looks great on Blu-ray.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (Atmos core) sound has excellent dynamic range and detail. Dialog is articulately reproduced through the center channel and maintains a position of prominence within the front soundstage. This isn’t an aggressive surround mix but when applied the surround channels generate plenty of atmosphere and discrete sounds. Front and rear channel imaging is spot on as details and spatial cues, such as those used for near field effect, mate perfectly with the events transpiring onscreen. Low frequency effects are meaty and provide palpable richness to the music score and impactful sounds. I found this to be a complimentary audio presentation.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Cold Pursuit Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Cold Pursuit Blu-ray
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Interview with Actor Liam Neeson
    • Interview with Director Hans Petter Moland
    • “Welcome to Kehoe: Behind the Scenes on Cold Pursuit” Featurette
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Based on the Norwegian Movie “Kraftidioten” (In Order of Disappearance) by Kim Fupz Aakeson, Cold Pursuit is a middling genre entry that is sure to leave discerning fans disappointed. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, featuring a solid Ultra HD video rendering (including Dolby Vision HDR), excellent high definition video, involving lossless surround sound, including a complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and a lackluster supplemental package. Unless you’re already a fan, Cold Pursuitdoesn’t warrant a purchase but, could qualify as a rental on Blu-ray when there is little else available.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
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/iRule Pro HD 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