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Ultra HD : Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: June 20th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 1993

The Firm - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

Starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, Sydney Pollack's The Firm is a masterfully paced legal thriller that terrifically builds towards a suspenseful climax, largely thanks to Pollack's brilliant direction slowly generating tension without ever revealing too much too fast. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Paramount Home Entertainment brings the legal thriller to 4K Ultra HD with a strong, generally satisfying Dolby Vision HDR video but the same Dolby TrueHD track as before, but sadly, it arrives without any bonus material. The single-disc, barebones UHD package is reluctantly Recommended.

Tom Cruise delivers an electrifying performance in the box-office hit stunningly remastered in 4K Ultra HD with HDR-10 and Dolby Vision. Mitch McDeere is a brilliant and ambitious Harvard Law grad driven to bury his working-class past. When he joins a small, prosperous Memphis firm, it’s a dream come true for Mitch and his wife (Jeanne Tripplehorn). But when he’s confronted with evidence of corruption and murder within the firm, he’s caught in a deadly crossfire between the Feds, the Mob, and a force that will stop at nothing to protect its interests. Based on the global bestselling novel by John Grisham, and directed by Oscar winner Sydney Pollack, THE FIRM is a thrilling mystery with tense twists and turns.

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Region Free
Video Resolution/Codec:
HDR10
Length:
154
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.78:1
Audio Formats:
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features:
None
Release Date:
June 20th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Most movies centering around lawyers and the law usually play out more like court dramas, concentrating on one specific court case or some sociopolitical issue. Sydney Pollack's The Firm stands out precisely because it goes against the norm and defies expectations, placing the attention on a character exposing corruption by those meant to uphold it. Based on the novel of the same name by John Grisham, the plot follows the young, green, fresh out of law school Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) very quickly realizing that what initially seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime, lucrative position at a highly-respected boutique law firm is, in fact, a terrifying nightmare. One of my favorite aspects of Pollack's film is his focus on the Harvard Law graduate's disillusionment not only with the company and the government's callousness that Mitch's involvement could ruin his dream career, but it is also the disappointment he has in himself. The intelligent, eager lawyer prides himself on knowing how to read people and speculate with impressive accuracy, but this talent that could potentially make him an extraordinary lawyer failed him to see through people like Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook and Wilford Brimley, putting the people he cares about in danger and nearly ending his marriage to Jeanne Tripplehorn. In a way, Pollack's film is as much of a legal thriller as it is a relatable character study, making for a terrific and memorable piece of entertainment. 

For a more in-depth take on the film, check out our review of the 2012 Blu-ray HERE.

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray

Paramount Home Entertainment brings Sydney Pollack's The Firm to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as a barebones single-disc package. The dual-layered UHD66 disc is housed inside a black case with a glossy slipcover. At startup, the disc goes straight to a static menu screen with the usual options along the bottom while music plays in the background.

Video Review

Ranking:

Reportedly coming from a new remaster, the legal thriller joins the Ultra HD family with a passable and generally satisfying HEVC H.265 encode, offering a marginal step up from its decade-old Blu-ray. Granted, the 4K transfer comes with a welcomed improvement in overall definition and clarity, but the differences are relatively mild and minimal, mainly falling on the softer, blurrier side of things. The more notable gain in this UHD edition is due to the Dolby Vision HDR giving the color palette an appreciable boost with primaries looking fuller and bolder. Facial complexions also appear healthier and more natural. The 1.78:1 image also sports a brighter, more energetic contrast balance with crisper, more radiant specular highlights while brightness levels furnish the thrilling drama with rich, accurately-rendered blacks. 

However, shadow details are surprisingly average without completely obscuring the finer aspects. Also worth noting, the 4K video suspiciously looks like the result of some DNR tinkering, albeit mildly applied. It's nothing too egregious, but there are moments when the picture looks as though lightly scrubbed of grain while at the same time noticeably blurrier during those same scenes. Thankfully, it's not a complete disaster. 

All in all, it's not a significant upgrade, but it's an upgrade nonetheless. (Dolby Vision HDR Video Rating: 78/100)

Audio Review

Ranking:

For all intents and purposes, this appears to be the same Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack from the previous Blu-ray release. However, it is worth noting that when applying the receivers' Dolby Surround or DTS: Neural:X up-mixing functionality, the sound design opens up nicely by effortlessly spreading the few atmospherics and the music into the overheads. 

For a more in-depth take on the audio quality, you can read our review of the standard Blu-ray HERE. (Audio Rating: 74/100)

Special Features

Ranking:

For its 30th Anniversary, Paramount Pictures gives fans a barebones UHD edition of the film. There are unfortunately no extras for this release.

Thirty years later, Sydney Pollack's The Firm is a masterfully paced thriller that terrifically builds towards a suspenseful climax, and this is largely thanks to Pollack's brilliant job at slowly generating tension without ever revealing too much too fast. It also remains an outstanding piece of storytelling because Pollack places the focus on Tom Cruise's young, eager lawyer gradually coming to terms with his disillusionment with the law. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Paramount Home Entertainment brings the legal thriller to 4K Ultra HD with a strong, generally satisfying Dolby Vision HDR presentation that offers a welcomed step up over its Blu-ray counterpart. Featuring the same Dolby TrueHD soundtrack but without any bonus material, the single-disc, barebones UHD package is reluctantly recommended for those who never purchased the BD or wait for when the price eventually drops. 

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about the gear used for this review.