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Release Date: October 11th, 2016 Movie Release Year: 2006

The Da Vinci Code: 10th Anniversary Edition - Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

The murder of a curator at the Louvre reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected since the days of Christ. Only the victim's granddaughter and Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a famed symbologist, can untangle the clues he left behind. The two become both suspects and detectives searching for not only the murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect.

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray/Digital Copy
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
2.0 Turkish Dolby Digital
English, English SDH, Arabic, Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Classic), Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Swedish, Thai, and Turkish
Special Features:
Theatrical Trailer
Release Date:
October 11th, 2016

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Like many of you, I am a big fan of Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' novel, which became an international bestseller back in the early 2000s. I was a late-comer to the novel, however, not reading the book until a few months before Ron Howard's theatrical adaptation was released in 2006. At the time, I really liked the movie, believing it did a good job of adapting Brown's novel. However, it's been a number of years since I sat down and watched 'The Da Vinci Code'. Did I still enjoy the movie? Well, yes...and no. While the film is technically well made, I must confess to seeing a lot more problems in it with my latest viewing than I did originally.

As a quick recap for those familiar and as an introduction for newbies, the plot of 'The Da Vinci Code' is basically as follows. Symbologist and Harvard Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is giving a speech in Paris promoting his latest book when he's asked by the local police to come to the Louvre museum. There, lies the dead body of one of the museum's curators, who has left mysterious clues behind, including a pentagram on his chest and messages scrawled on the floor. Also called to the scene is Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a police cryptologist, whom viewers will soon learn was also the curator's granddaughter. Langdon thinks he's been asked to help investigate the cryptic messages left behind, but what he doesn't know is that a message saying "find Robert Langdon" was also scrawled by the victim and removed before Langdon got there – and the police's chief investigator, Captain Bezu Fache (Jean Reno) actually thinks Langdon may be involved in the murder.

At this point in the film, viewers already know the curator was killed by a monk named Silas (Paul Bettany), whose white albino appearance adds an extra layer of spookiness to his character – in addition to the fact that he continuously flogs himself and wears a metal device around his leg that digs into his skin, constantly causing him pain. Silas is working for another, but that secret won't be revealed until later in the movie. What is known is that he's looking for a keystone that will lead to one of the most covered-up truths in church history. Meanwhile, Robert and Sophie's quest to uncover the same mystery leads them to the home of Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) and eventually the three make their way to London, where the truth about who is behind the mystery...as well as the truth of the mystery itself...is finally revealed.

I've been kind of vague about the religious quest in 'The Da Vinci Code' just for the benefit of those who have never read the book, seen the movie, or heard about the plot (as small as that audience may actually be at this point). Because 'The Da Vinci Code' is a movie that focuses primarily on unlocking clues and putting pieces together, it doesn't work nearly as well the second (or third) time around, and I don't want to spoil that experience for anyone. However, it's upon multiple viewings that one begins to see the problems with the presentation.

Has there ever been another film that has relied so heavily on exposition to propel its plotline? Robert Langdon doesn't seem so much a living, breathing, human being as he does an encyclopedia of historical knowledge. I'm guessing about 80 percent of his dialogue in the movie is simply the character muttering about this ancient religious story or that one. That's something that works in a book, but doesn't work up on the big screen...where "showing" something is always much more effective than talking about it. To make matters worse, when Ian McKellen's character arrives in the film, he basically does the same thing that Hanks's character does – lines and lines of exposition. All of it necessary, of course, but you wish Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman would have diverted from their loyalty to Dan Brown's novel a little bit more in order to avoid so many scenes that just have characters standing in a room talking about a part of history or a bit of religious theory.

Thankfully, the final half hour of the movie redeems a lot of what comes before by giving us an ending that – instead of going for a lavish action sequence – has our two main characters learning the truth about their quest and addressing their own personal beliefs about God and faith. That truly is a rarity for a mainstream movie, and Ron Howard and his actors are able to hit all the right emotional buttons so viewers come away from this film probably feeling that they've seen a better movie than they actually have.

Still, despite its problems, 'The Da Vinci Code' is a well-made film and certainly part of a genre we don't see a lot of at theaters these days – an adventure where the lead character primarily uses his mind and not his muscle to take on the bad guys. So while the movie is not as good as you probably remember, it's still good enough that I'm giving it a solid recommendation.

The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats

'The Da Vinci Code' reveals its secrets in this special 10th Anniversary Ultra HD/Blu-ray/Digital HD combo pack. The three discs are housed inside an oversized (slightly thicker than normal) black keepcase, with the two 50GB Blu-rays placed on the left and right inside cover and the 4K disc held on a plastic attached hub. There are two inserts inside – one containing a code for an UltraViolet copy of the movie, and the other a folded advertisement for 4K Ultra HD from Sony. A slipcover matching the artwork of the keepcase's slick slides overtop.

There are no front-loaded trailers on the 4K disc, whose main menu design is similar to other Sony releases, allowing the user to navigate through menu options, including 'Moments', 'Languages', 'Scenes', 'Cast & Crew', as well as the main 'Feature' screen. The Blu-ray's main menu (on the feature disc, labeled as "Disc 3" in this set) is a still image of stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, with menu selections across the bottom of the screen. Disc 2's (a Blu-ray that holds the majority of bonus features) menu consists of a montage of footage from the movie, with menu selections across the bottom of the screen. There are no front-loaded trailers on either of the Blu-rays.

The Blu-rays in this release are region-free, and of course, the 4K Ultra HD disc is not region coded.

Video Review


'The Da Vinci Code' was shot on 35mm film, using a combination of Arricam LT, Arricam ST, Arriflex235, and Cine SL 35 equipment (according to IMDB.com). The film is presented on home video in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. For its 10th anniversary, Sony created a 4K digital intermediate taken from the original 35mm film elements, meaning that this is one of a handful of Ultra HD releases of a catalog title that presents the movie in true 4K, rather than an upconvert of a 2K digital intermediate, which many of the current "catalog" releases are.

As far as the 4K presentation goes, this is really a tale of two cities. The scenes shot in Paris (and also a stop in Zurich) almost exclusively take place at night and/or in dimly lit rooms. So while the black levels in these scenes are solid (although perhaps not as inky deep as one would expect in a 4K presentation), a lot of details get lost in the murkiness, and only a few shots provide the 4K "oomph" that one would expect to see. On the other hand, once the characters in the film make their way to London, there's a whole lot more outdoor scenes and a whole lot more that takes place in the daylight. Here, viewers can really appreciate the benefits of both 4K and the HDR (high dynamic range) of the disc. Just take a look at the police cars in the city, which have some wonderfully deep reds and yellows on them. Furthermore, some establishing shots of the city and its various locales are shown off with tremendous detail.

Fans of the movie will be happy to hear that grain has not been scrubbed away with this new 4K transfer. It's present in every shot, and arguably a little more intrusive than it needs to be in some of the movie's darker moments. However, it's important to note for those not familiar with 'The Da Vinci Code' or who are seeing it for the first time here, that there are flashbacks to historical events in the movie where grain is intentionally boosted. This is not an glitch in the transfer, nor are these scenes overly "noisy" – this is the way the film is supposed to look.

The bottom line here is that while watching the first-half of 'The Da Vinci Code' on Ultra HD, viewers may not feel that it's a whole lot more impressive than the accompanying Blu-ray (also sourced from the new 4K digital intermediate). However, those feelings will change once they get to the later parts of the movie. Whether that warrants paying a more premium price for this set over the Blu-ray release will be up to you, but if you're a fan of this film and have a 4K home theater, I think this version is worth it.

Audio Review


The featured track here is an English Dolby Atmos one, which is Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible for those without an Atmos set-up. For a movie whose sound wasn't really designed for Atmos, this release does a pretty good job in providing a fun aural experience. While I can't say the track is ever aggressive (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), what is noticeable almost immediately is the range and distinctiveness of the audio. A simple thing like Langdon pouring water into a glass before giving a speech has a very life-like quality to it that I appreciated. And while this reviewer doesn't have an Atmos set-up in his home theater, I've read that this track does provide good use of the overhead capabilities.

It's also worth noting what a great job this track does with Hans Zimmer's score, which is nicely mixed with the rest of the movie and also has a distinct sound/feeling to it, allowing listeners to be able to appreciate it even more. The spoken word, as expected, is equally clear and crisp, and the mix overall is well-done, with no instances where sounds are unrealistically louder than they should be.

In addition to the Atmos audio, the 4K disc also includes an English Audio Descriptive Service, 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks in French (Parisian), German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish (Castilian), and Spanish (Latin American), as well as 2.0 Dolby Surround tracks in Czech, French (Quebec), Hungarian, Polish (Voice Over), Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish. Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, Arabic, Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Classic), Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.

Special Features


Note: The 4K disc contains no bonus materials. All the bonus materials are contained on either Disc 2 or Disc 3 as detailed below.

Blu-Ray Disc 2

Note: Disc 2 of this set is the exact same disc that was part of the Extended Cut release, which contains materials taken from the earlier DVD release as well as materials that were new for that Blu-ray release. In other words, there's nothing new on Disc 2 of this release.

  • First Day on the Set with Ron Howard (HD, 2 min.) – A look at the very first day of shooting on 'The Da Vinci Code' with the cast and crew at the Louvre in Paris.
  • A Discussion with Dan Brown (HD, 5 min.) – The author of the novel upon which the movie is based talks about his writing career, the origins of this story, and a preview of his next novel (which, at the time, was 'The Lost Symbol', which was skipped as a movie project, most likely because of the plot's similarities to National Treasure 2).
  • A Portrait of Langdon (HD, 7 min.) – A look at the main character of the story, including comments from Dan Brown, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer.
  • Who is Sophie Neveu? (HD, 7 min.) – A look at the character Audrey Tautou plays in the movie with comments from Audrey, as well as Dan Brown, Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman, Brian Grazer, and Tom Hanks.
  • Unusual Suspects (HD, 18 min.) – This featurette focuses on the supporting cast of 'The Da Vinci Code' and the attempt to make an "international movie" by hiring actors who were the nationality of their characters as described in Dan Brown's novel.
  • Magical Places (HD, 16 min.) – A look at the various real-life shooting locations for 'The Da Vinci Code' in both Paris and London.
  • Close-Up on Mona Lisa (HD, 6 ½ min.) – Ron Howard, Dan Brown, Tom Hanks, and other members of the cast and crew talk about Leonardo da Vinci's most famous painting.
  • The Filmmaker's Journey: Part One (HD, 24 ½ min.) – This is the first part of an extensive look at the making of 'The Da Vinci Code'.
  • The Filmmaker's Journey: Part Two (HD, 12 min.) – The second part of a detailed behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie.
  • The Codes of 'The Da Vinci Code' (HD, 5 ½ min.) – This short featurette covers some of the various 'Easter Eggs' that Ron Howard visually put into the movie that each have their own meaning when it comes to certain characters or plot points. I must confess that other than the "single rose" that appears during the film, I didn't pick up on or understand the meaning behind most of these until I watched this bonus feature...it adds a new level of appreciation to Howard's movie.
  • The Music of 'The Da Vinci Code' (HD, 3 min.) – A look at composer Hans Zimmer's wonderful score for the movie, which I confess to enjoying quite a bit. This short featurette includes comments from Zimmer, as well as Ron Howard.
  • Book to Screen (HD, 11 min.) – A look at how 'The Da Vinci Code' went from a best-selling novel to the big screen, with comments from Dan Brown, Ron Howard, and others.
  • The Da Vinci Props (HD, 10 min.) – A featurette about the various props that were hand-built for the movie, including the cryptex seen in the film.
  • The Da Vinci Sets (HD, 9 min.) – A featurette about the various sets built for the film, many of which needed to mirror their real-life counterparts.
  • Re-creating Works of Art (HD, 6 min.) – Much of the artwork seen in the movie is actually elaborate re-creations of the real thing. This segment takes a look at how it was done.v
  • The Visual Effects World of 'The Da Vinci Code' (HD, 15 min.) – A rundown of all the special effects, CGI, and green-screen work involved in the making of the movie.
  • Scoring 'The Da Vinci Code' (HD, 10 min.) – A second featurette (this one a big longer) devoted to Hans Zimmer's music, this time focusing on the actual recording of the score with an orchestra.

Blu-Ray Disc 3

  • Commentary with Ron Howard – Although the movie presented isn't the extended cut that appeared on the prior Blu-ray release, this is the same abbreviated commentary track by the director, who is around to comment on roughly 40 minutes of the movie's almost 2 ½ hour runtime. Howard doesn't even start talking until about the 6 ½ minute mark, so be patient if you start the commentary and wonder if you selected the right track. Howard's comments aren't always screen specific, but they're located at points in the movie that best apply to what he's talking about.
  • Launching a Legacy with a First Look at 'Inferno' (HD, 4 ½ min.) – Of course, one of the main reasons we're getting this new release of 'The Da Vinci Code' is so that Sony can promote the third movie (and fourth book) in the Robert Langdon series, 'Inferno'. Here, Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Brian Grazer, and Dan Brown tell us all about the new movie.
  • Extended Cut Scenes (HD, 35 ½ min.) – While neither the 4K disc or this Blu-ray disc contain the extended cut of the movie seen on the earlier Blu-ray release, all the additional scenes are here, and can be watched together or individually. They consist of: 'How Well Did You Know the Curator' (½ min.), 'Containment' (½ min.), 'In the Air' (1 ½ min.), 'The Pentacle' (1 min.), 'In the Bathroom' (4 min.), 'They Didn't Send Her' (½ min.), 'He Reached Out to You' (1 min.), 'The Sacred Feminine' (½ min.), 'I Will Destroy the Painting' (1 ½ min.), 'The Getaway' (½ min.), 'Silas Flashback' (1 ½ min.), 'You Let Them Get Away' (½ min.), 'Patrol' (½ min.), 'Money' (½ min.), 'Prayer' (½ min.), 'Welcome Bishop' (1 ½ min.), 'Petty Cash' (1 min.), 'The Teacher' (½ min.), 'Quite a Performance' (1 min.), 'Silas Sins Flashback' (½ min.), 'I Chastise My Body' (½ min.), 'You Don't Believe in God' (½ min.), 'Sophie Was Trained' (1 ½ min.), 'At the Hospital' (½ min.), 'Hot Tamale' (½ min.), 'Looking Through the File' (½ min.), 'He's Fantastic with Sauces' (½ min.), 'The Holy Grail' (½ min.), 'Mortal Man' (1 min.), 'Opus Dei' (½ min.), 'They Never Wanted You' (2 ½ min.), 'Tell Me Next Time' (½ min.), 'To London' (½ min.), 'Temple Church' (½ min.), 'Glove Box' (½ min.), 'Holy Land' (½ min.), 'Listening Post' (1 ½ min.), 'He Forgot Everything' (3 min.), 'Da Vinci' (2 min.), 'She Was Here' (½ min.), 'His Last Breath' (½ min.), and 'Through the Streets (2 min.).
  • Teaser Trailer (HD, 2 min.) – The original theatrical teaser trailer for 'The Da Vinci Code', which doesn't feature any footage from the film.
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 ½ min.) – The original theatrical trailer for 'The Da Vinci Code'.

Final Thoughts

Ten years later, 'The Da Vinci Code' probably isn't as good as you remember it, but still holds up as a solid, well-made adventure. This 4K version of the film suffers a bit due to the poorly lit and darker sequences that take place in the first half of the movie, but really shines during the London sequences that occur toward the end of the presentation. A solid Atmos track only adds to the quality. The movie still has some problems, but not enough to prevent me from putting this release firmly in "Recommended" territory.