Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray debut of Roland Emmerich’s sweeping Revolutionary War epic that follows a peaceful farmer driven to lead the Colonial Militia when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

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

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


Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2000
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 165 minutes
Genre: War Drama

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, English uncompressed PCM 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Issacs, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Cooper, Tcheky Karyo, Joely Richardson, Rene Auberjonois, Lisa Brenner, Leon Rippy
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Music by: John Williams
Written by: Robert Rodat
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: May 22, 2018
"Some Things are Worth Fighting For"
My Take:

In 1776 South Carolina, widower and legendary war hero Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) finds himself thrust into the midst of the American Revolutionary War as he helplessly watches his family torn apart by the savage forces of the British Redcoats. Unable to remain silent, he recruits a band of reluctant volunteers, including his idealistic patriot son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), to take up arms against the British. Fighting to protect his family's freedom and his country's independence, Martin discovers the pain of betrayal, the redemption of revenge and the passion of love.

Mel Gibson has had his share of ups and downs but, there is no denying that he has made some entertaining films over the years. The Patriot is among them and is a sweeping war epic set during the American Revolution. Alongside Gibson is an all-star cast that deliver strong performances in conveying the story’s melodramatic overplay, and visceral scenes of battle. The Patriotis far from a well-rounded film, tonally speaking, but, I don’t really care. I enjoy it and have since the first time I saw it. I like its innate familial allegory, engaging action and themes of good triumphing over bad. I am thrilled that it had made its way to Ultra HD Blu-ray, WITH a 4K restoration AND Dolby Atmos sound. Read on to see how it shapes up…

Note: The Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the theatrical cut of the film, whereas the Blu-ray, which is the previously released version, includes the Extended Cut.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong war violence.

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

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
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  • Entertainment factor: 

The Patriot comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

According to the press documentation Sony digitally restored The Patriot from the original 35mm film elements, and Its presentation in Ultra HD is derived from the 4K Digital Intermediate.

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. A film like The Patriot has an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that won't 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 is a solid Ultra HD presentation that looks great on my large screen. What struck me from the onset is the lifelike reproduction of the textures captured by the camera's lens. Whether it be the finest minutia in physical features or rough textures on the surfaces of the stone buildings, streets, and the interiors of dwellings, or the majestic vistas of the shooting locations, the imagery is gorgeous. The benefits of high dynamic range and wide color gamut are on display as earth toned colors have an added dimension that enlivens shots where they would normally have blended in, being seen as a less provocative background element that would generally go unnoticed. The film’s color base and variants of sepia are beautifully rendered, offering eye catching depth, that compliments the thematic tone.

Whites are emboldened, detailed and bright, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast abounds, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually rewarding level. Shot on film, this rendering makes the most of its original elements, which are excellent. Sony has consistently yielded strong Ultra HD presentations from their catalog releases and The Patriot is no exception. This Ultra HD rendering stands well above any previous version on home video and is a must have for discerning fans.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The extended battle sequence features a host of swirling effects that travel around the soundstage moving overheard, passing by and coming directly at the listening position.

The film features a series of set pieces that show off the immersive effect as the blend of music, falling debris, weapon fire and smaller object sounds rain down from above and, revolve around the soundstage at ear level, placing you in the heart of the action. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and integration of discrete object placement.

Like the restored video presentation, the new Dolby Atmos surround mix elevates the experience of watching this film, allowing the viewer to rediscover it all over again from top to bottom as it betters the previous 5.1 channel uncompressed PCM track found on the Blu-ray by a wide margin. Well Done!

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:
  • Disc 1: The Patriot Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: The Patriot Blu-ray
    • Special Features on 4K Ultra HD Disc Include:
    o Theatrical Version of the Film (165 minutes)
    o Director & Producer Commentary
    o 7 Deleted Scenes with Commentary
    o Three Featurettes:
     “The Art of War”
     “The True Patriots”
     “Visual Effects Interactive”
    o Conceptual Art to Film Comparisons
    o Photo Galleries
    o Theatrical Trailer
    • Special Features on Blu-ray Disc Include:
    o Extended Version of the Film (175 minutes)
    o Two Featurettes:
     “The Art of War”
     “The True Patriots”
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Written by Robert Rodat and directed by Roland Emmerich The Patriot’s epic scope isn’t wholly supported by its flawed script but, that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. It makes its debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring beautifully restored Ultra HD video, an entertaining and complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and legacy bonus supplements. If you’re a fan and are equipped to take advantage of the Ultra HD/Dolby Atmos upgrades, this Ultra HD release is highly recommended.
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
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc 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