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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Release Date: April 2nd, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1995

Cutthroat Island - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Walmart Exclusive SteelBook

Overview -

Cutthroat Island finally receives the 4K treatment in the form of a glorious Steelbook. This movie may not have done well at the box office, but people have grown to love it, its pirate sense of adventure, and wonderful performances from Matthew Modine and Geena Davis. The new 4K image with Dolby Vision looks outstanding and fixed from its previous release in 2009 and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio track sounds wonderful. The new and vintage bonus features are all worth the time. Highly Recommended! 
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Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p/HEVC / H.265
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 PCM Stereo, French and German 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
French, German, English SDH
Release Date:
April 2nd, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Cutthroat Island was released in 1995 on a $100 million budget. It only made a tenth of that back, making it one of the biggest flops in Hollywood history. That didn't stop anyone from having long careers though. Returning to this movie almost thirty years later brings a sense of nostalgic practical moviemaking where everyone on set is having a blast and not taking too much too seriously. The camp in this type of film is earned and satisfying which paved the way for the Disney blockbusters that were released a few years later. Even though this movie doesn't change the genre, its ability to have fun is infectious, even in modern times. 4/5

Our 2009 Blu-ray Review
'Cutthroat Island' is a film unlike any other. It's gone down in history as one of the biggest box office losses on record. It bankrupted the studio that financed it, and it thrust its two leads into the outer reaches of obscurity. No one involved came out as a winner. Like the plague, people have avoided it in its many incarnations. Yet it still continually pops up on DVD, and daytime TV, and now it has found its way to Blu-ray. Is it worth watching now?

I have to answer "YES!" 'Cutthroat Island' is probably one of the most corny, campy films you'll ever watch, but it glories in its corniness. I don't know how else to describe it. It's just so silly and bizarrely made that it commands people to seek it out.

Captain Morgan (Geena Davis) is charged with taking over her father's crew of pirates after his death. He leaves her a piece of a map that leads to a treasure, supposedly the largest pile of booty any pirate has ever laid eyes on. The only problem is that Morgan's father has two other pirating captain brothers who also have pieces to the map, but the family really hasn't been on speaking terms so to speak.

Morgan sets out to claim the other map pieces, find the treasure, and revel in the spoils of her plunder. Dawg (yes his name is actually spelled that way) played by Frank Langella, is the most fearsome of the brotherhood trio. He doesn't want to share his piece of the map and instead sets out to find the treasure himself all the while trying to kill his niece.

While watching 'Cutthroat Island' I thought to myself, there's nothing here that isn't just as corny as the recent 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films, especially the third one. Johnny Depp really is the only thing separating those films from being just another 'Cutthroat Island.'

Renny Harlin's pirate epic is at times so unintentionally funny that it serves as a great film to gather the buddies around just to riff on. The writing is cheesy, the plot is essentially worthless, and the acting is in danger of sinking far below par. With that said, it's enjoyably dumb, mindless fun. There are some fantastic battle scenes, some great explosions, and a hearty helping of camp.


Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray 

Cutthroat Island pirates its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code via Lionsgate and StudioCanal in an exquisite Steelbook. The two compass Discs are housed inside a Steelbook with a hard, plastic sleeve. The Steelbook itself features new artwork of a skull with swords coming out of its head above the ship sailing the ocean. The backside consists of skeletons hanging. The sleeve features an eyepatch and doo-rag for the skull. There is an insert for a digital code. Again, it would be nice to have some booklets with these great Steelbooks. 

Video Review


Cutthroat Island sails its way to physical media with a 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision and what seems to be a new 1080p HD transfer as well. This film was released in 2009 on Blu-ray when the format was in its infancy. With these new transfers, the movie looks much better than it did 15 years ago. Before the movie starts, a title card pops up and reads that this 4K restoration was made for this release by StudioCanal and that it is a 4K 16-bit scan from the original 35mm negative.

The color palette has a more natural aesthetic this time around whereas the older version had pinker or slightly orange-like hues, especially on skin tones and in broad daylight. In this 4K presentation with Dolby Vision, the upgrade allows for more natural skin tones with yellow hues replacing the orange and pink fatigued look. The Dolby Vision also allows the blue ocean and skies to have various shades of dark and light blues that are easily distinguishable. The green leaves, grass, and wide forest shots look bolder and richer. The brown, tan, and khaki-like colors in the costumes, ships, and interior cabins all are nuanced with the perfect array of colors. Reds pop against the brown and stand out nicely. Black levels are much inkier and bolder with no murky shadows during the low-light sequences.

The detail is sharper with the help of the Dolby Vision which allows for vivid closeups that reveal the wavy and curly hair of Modine and Davis. The textures in the wood and costumes are amazing and the dirt, scars, facial pores, and individual hairs on the actor's faces look incredible. The tree bark, plant life, and metallic swords look wonderful in the wider shots. Lionsgate spread the love to this new video presentation that needed some TLC, resulting in a great-looking image with Dolby Vision. This is the best the film has looked since it was released. 4.5/5

Audio Review


This new release comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio track, along with a 2.0 option. Oddly, the previous 2009 release had a 7.1 mix, but sadly, no Atmos or DTS-HD MA 7.1 track is found here. It's not entirely clear as to why this change took place, however, the movie could have benefitted from an adventurous Atmos track.

The 5.1 option sounds good though. The sound effects are loud and can be nuanced at times with the fight scenes or forest ambiance. Blasts, sword clanks, and other natural noises pack a good punch and flow smoothly from one surround speaker to the next. The added channels could have allowed for height speakers of weather or debris, and other landscape audible moments to drive this soundtrack home into the immersive category. The score is memorable and always adds to the suspense of the film while the dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow along with English subtitles. The big thing to take away from this 5.1 audio mix is that when the action scenes are in full effect, the low end of the bass kicks into high gear where the track sounds its best. Other than that, it's straightforward on the front channels. 4/5

Special Features


There is a whopping 128 minutes of NEW bonus material on this release along with 51 minutes of previously released material and a great commentary to boot. That's 179 minutes of extra to go through with the commentary track and the interview with the composer being the best out of the bunch.

  • Commentary - The 2009 commentary track from Director Renny Harlin is here, and it's a joy to listen to someone who just loves his films and has fond memories of working with the cast and crew.
  • The Adventure of a Lifetime (HD, 34 Mins.) - A new look back at the movie with film buff C. Courtney Joyner dives into the lore, production, and memories of the film with tons of interviews with the cast and crew sans Geena Davis.
  • Charting The Course (HD, 24 Mins.) - Producer James Gorman who came up with the story for the film comes back to talk about making the movie, which covers a lot of the same material as the extra above.
  • Across The Bow (HD, 17 Mins.) - Editor Danny Retz discusses editing the movie.
  • Summon Your Courage (HD, 31 Mins.) - Composer John Debney talks about having a blast making the score for the film, how it was done, and working with the director.
  • Ecce Pirate (HD, 22 Mins.) - Matthew Modine made a short film, which is on display here that relates to this movie. It has optional commentary by him and a producer.
  • Making Of (SD, 6 Mins.) - A vintage EPK making of the film.
  • Behind the Scenes (SD, 9 Mins.) - Another vintage behind-the-scenes look at the movie.
  • Interviews (SD, 32 Mins.) - Cast and crew interviews from the '90s in standard definition.
  • Storyboards (SD, 2 Mins.) - A few storyboards from the big action pieces.
  • Original Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.

Final Thoughts

Cutthroat Island may have lost $100 million at the box office but its sense of adventure, fun, and thrills hold true a couple of decades later. Plus, the start of Geena Davis and Renny Harlin as a creative team knocks it out of the park. The new 4K image with Dolby Vision and its DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix are both excellent and the wealth of extras are all worth watching. The new Steelbook packaging looks great as well with both a Blu-ray and 4K Disc, plus a Digital Copy. Highly Recommended! 

Order Your Copy of Cutthroat Island on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook