In a performance that won universal acclaim, Clint Eastwood stars as Frank Horrigan, a veteran Secret Service agent haunted by his failure to protect John F. Kennedy from assassination. Thirty years later, he gets a chance to redeem himself when a brilliant psychopath threatens to kill the current president and take Horrigan with him. Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release of In the Line of Fire from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


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



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



Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 1993
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 128 minutes
Genre: Drama/Thriller

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

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English DTS-HD MA Stereo, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Rene Russo, John Malkovich, John Mahoney, Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Written by: Jeff Maguire
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: June 15, 2021



In a performance that won universal acclaim, Clint Eastwood stars as Frank Horrigan, a veteran Secret Service agent haunted by his failure to protect John F. Kennedy from assassination. Thirty years later, he gets a chance to redeem himself when a brilliant psychopath threatens to kill the current president and take Horrigan with him. – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

My Take:

I reviewed In the Line of Fire when it released on Blu-ray in 2008 and have included comments from that review here. The rating for the film and bonus features is the same as they are identical to the original release. New ratings for the Ultra HD video and Dolby Atmos mix are contained below.

In the Line of Fire
was one of those films that I had never seen in its entirety prior to reviewing it. I like Clint Eastwood as an actor and Director although I have never considered him to be a great actor. I had a little trouble at times seeing Clint as a charming potential love interest to Rene Russo. The scene where they end up together in her hotel room came across as awkward in my opinion. Clint has been in the game a long time and experience does pays off. He had a very strong moment in the scene where he and Russo are standing in the Presidential Suite and he tells her about the day that Kennedy was assassinated.

Frank Horrigan is a fallible and sympathetic character who needs to save the day. Eastwood nailed that side of him in his portrayal. For me that was a reminder of why I like him as an actor. His grouchy, burnt out, tough guy demeanor was of course perfect. Malkovich is a wonderful actor and Booth/Mitch Leary is right up his alley. The balance between drama and suspense kept things moving along nicely. I liked the buildup of tension in the film’s last act and appreciated the performances by the cast. In The Line of Fire is not a movie that rates as a classic but, it is a quality film with good entertainment value. Fans are sure to appreciate its selection for release on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence and language.

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

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

Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

    • Level of immersion:
    • Soundstage integration:
    • Audio object placement:
    • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
    • Entertainment factor:

In the Line of Fire comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Sony remastered In the Line of Fire from the original 35mm film elements. Its presentation in Ultra HD is derived from that 4K image, and the results are impressive.

It's important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. In the Line of Fire has an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that may not consistently result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of a film shot using digital cameras. This isn't a problem and shouldn't be seen as such.

This film that utilizes a variety of visuals to convey its mood and thematic tone. Looking at the film's opening sequence both outdoors and aboard the boat, the improvement in depth is immediately noticeable. In the Line of Fire is not an overtly bright film, although there are bright elements.

The film’s cinematography benefited from the enhanced resolution and warmer chromatic accents. In many respects, the image is emboldened with a discernible boost to definition, although this can be scene and sometimes frame specific. Color reproduction benefited from the wider color gamut, reproducing red, blues and, Earth tones with aplomb. Grain is preserved, appearing primarily organic with occasional instances where it takes on heavier emphasis.

I found the presentation to be very tame in terms of its use of dynamic highlights, both bright and dark, however much of that is owed to the nature of the photography. I found that daytime exterior sequences such as those around Washington DC, Los Angeles and Phoenix appeared vibrant with excellent depth. The presentation didn't make any visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements but, scenes that took place at night or indoors such as those in the barroom, Booth/Leary’s hotel rooms and Frank’s apartment displayed appreciable delineation and shadow detail.

Hands down, this is the best In the Line of Fire has looked on home video. The difference between it and its 1080p rendering are close to night and day, with the improvement warranting the attention of fans. I am pleased to add it to my video collection.

Dolby Atmos:

The new Dolby Atmos mix uses the entire platform so as to broaden the soundstage. This includes off camera sounds and low-level ambience. The music is mixed over the sound field, adding natural depth to its orchestrated elements while complimenting the film’s thematic details. This is done to very good effect, correlating with the onscreen events quite nicely as the most minute audio cues are fully realized. I appreciated the fact that the sound designers didn't go overboard with the freedom of object versus channel- based mixing. The soundtrack retains much of its original essence with the Atmos mix adding a noticeable increase in scope.

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

Bonus Features:

    • o Audio Commentary with Wolfgang Petersen
      o 5 Deleted Scenes
      o “The Ultimate Sacrifice” Featurette
      o “Catching the Counterfeiters” Featurette
      o “How’d They Do That” Featurette
      o “Behind the Scenes with the Secret Service” Featurette
      o Theatrical Teaser
    • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

In the Line of Fire is a film that is really about a man attempting to redeem himself almost at all costs, based upon an event that was probably beyond his control to begin with. It looks at a painful event in our nation’s history which is always interesting topic for discussion. I enjoyed the performances by the cast and thought the writing and direction were just as good. In the Line of Fire is making its debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray in this Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that features beautifully restored Ultra HD video, a complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and legacy bonus content. If you’re a fan and are equipped to take advantage of the upgrades this release is highly recommended.

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 AV7706 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
Oppo BDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
SVS Ultra Tower Speakers (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Center Channel (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Niles Audio In-Ceiling/In-Wall Series Speakers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems