Hell or High Water is presented on 4K UHD courtesy of Lionsgate Films with a 2160p transfer in 2.40:1. This is now the second Lionsgate release with Dolby Vision that I've been able to review since upgrading my equipment, and I have to say I'm really enjoying some of the newly burnished tones that are offered as a result of this technology. The buttery tones of many of the sequences involving the brothers have a somewhat more amber appearance now, but are generally more lush looking. A couple of the blue gradings, including the scene that introduces Bridges, have a slightly more green tint now to my eyes. But there are some interesting new intensities added to various discrete pops of color, like the bright green car that pulls into a gas station. As with many other digitally captured films finished at a 2K DI, this 4K UHD presentation offers noticeable if often pretty subtle upticks in detail levels. Some of these are very subtle, but caught my eye nonetheless, as with the patterns on the seat covers in the brothers' car, or, later, the kind of crosshatched looking wallpaper in the restaurant where Bridges' Hamilton does some questioning. There are a couple of odd, somewhat noisy, moments that intrude, including the field burning scene that begins at circa 24:00, where some blocky blacks and grays intrude, and where increased resolution makes it appear that perhaps some digital smoke was added to the proceedings. Another subtle occurrence happens at around 46:00 on the peach colored hotel exterior, and then a fairly noticeable moment occurs at around 1:26:00, with the brothers in a darkened kitchen, where noise is clearly evident on the cabinet doors. All of these are more noticeable now than on the 1080p Blu-ray version, no doubt at least in part to the increased resolution. While transitory and intermittent, these issues may make some feel like this deserves at least a somewhat lesser score on the 4K side of things than I'm giving this release, but I personally didn't find them overly distracting, perhaps because they never last all that long. One other kind of funny if also curious thing caught my eye in this upgrade, namely the repeated use of either real or digitally managed lens flare. For some reason the prevalence of this technique didn't really rise to such noticeable levels when I first watched the film in 1080p, but it's extremely noticeable now.
Despite being advertised as featuring a Dolby Atmos upgrade, the one potential disappointment for consumers here is that this release contains the same admittedly excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that I assessed in our Hell or High Water Blu-ray review.
4K Bluray details
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (74.23Mbps)
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.40:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
English, English SDH, Spanish
4K Ultra HD
Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)
4K Blu-ray: Region free
2K Blu-ray: Region A (locked)