The Rhythm Section Blu-ray Review

A troubled young woman assumes three different identities in her quest to find the people who were responsible for the plane crash that killed her entire family three years ago. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of The Rhythm Section from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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



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



Studio and Year: Paramount – 2019
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Thriller

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

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7. Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Blake Lively, Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown
Directed by: Reed Morano
Music by: Steve Mazzaro
Written by:Mark Burnell based on his novel
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 28, 2020

“Witness the Birth of an Assassin”


“A young woman (Lively) assumes three different identities in her quest to find the people who were responsible for the plane crash that killed her entire family three years ago.” – Paramount Home Entertainment

My Take:

Stephanie Patrick veers down a path of self-destruction after a tragic plane crash kills her family. When Stephanie discovers it wasn’t an accident, she turns to a former CIA operative who can help her find the culprits. But her quest to uncover the truth soon turns into a full-blown quest for revenge as Patrick decides to punish those responsible.

I hadn’t really seen anything on The Rhythm Section prior to it arriving at my front door for review but, I like its genre and three main stars so, I figured I would give it its due. Based on the 2000 novel of the same name by author and screenwriter Mark Burnell it’s an espionage/revenge thriller that is a bit of a mess. The character/focal point of the plot is poorly drawn which negatively impacts her effectiveness as the dangerous operative she is intended to inevitably become.

At times it all feels very chaotic which may be attributable to poor editing. At one point there is a scene between Stephanie and Serra that doesn’t seem to coincide/fit with anything that occurred between them to that point. I noticed these types of “gaps” on a few other occasions as well. The action is a mixed bag as Stephanie runs around blundering her various “missions” which frankly, never would have been entrusted to her.

Blake Lively had zero trouble handling what was on the page and had she been given something better to work with, this could have been a much better and credible effort. Jude Law and his character were sorely underused in the script which, again, is a testament to a poorly crafted narrative. By the time the credits rolled I was glad to see things come to an end. The Rhythm Section certainly had potential but, instead, wound up being a complete misfire.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, sexual content, language throughout, and some drug use.

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: 90
(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: 

The Rhythm Section comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of high-level detail, enriching contrast, natural colors and dimensionality. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are pleasing and perfectly suited for the source material while exhibiting no signs of video related artifacts.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack presents the film’s source elements with aplomb. The quality of the dialog is unwavering as vocal reproduction is clear and tonally balanced. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. A large portion of the film has little need for this as dialogue, atmospheric ambience and musical enhancement is readily conveyed by the front channels. There are several sequences that enlist the rear channels to create a bit of audible immersion. Overall, this soundtrack provides a gratifying listening experience that complimented the video presentation quite nicely.

Bonus Features:

  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Stephanie’s Journey – Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Fight or Flight – Production Featurette
  • Never Leave Second Gear – Production Featurette
  • One Shot Explosion – Featurette
  • Designing The Rhythm Section – Featurette
  • DVD
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel of the same name by author and screenwriter Mark Burnell, The Rhythm Section is an uneven, poorly crafted thriller that misses the mark and fails to capitalize on its potential. It comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring excellent overall high definition audio/video and a fair assortment of bonus material. The Rhythm Section is unfortunately best left for late night cable TV viewing but, if you’re curious, a rental on Blu-ray should more than 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” 16×9 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
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

Ralph C. Potts