The Untouchables – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

The Untouchables

From The Godfather trilogy to Scorsese’s mob flicks, audiences have always been intrigued with the mafia. Our fascination with the mafia and their unquenchable thirst for power is what makes a mob movie… Well, a mob movie. That’s what makes The Untouchables so brilliant. It doesn’t focus on painting mob guys as anti-heroes but on the good guys trying to bring them to justice.

Based only on the name and some characters from the 1959 television series, Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables is easily one of the best cop/gangster crime films of the 20th-century. While David Mamet’s script doesn’t quite go historically accurate, he does set the stage perfectly for this battle between good and evil. He infuses his script with drama, laughs, and action while giving his characters so much personality. 

Chief among them is the legendary Sean Connery. Connery is so much fun to watch, and he undoubtedly deserves the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. Meanwhile, Kevin Costner is solid as Eliot Ness, and Andy Garcia is cool, calm, and collected as George Stone. With Robert De Niro, De Palma keeps his screentime limited, but then again, that’s all he needs. As per usual, De Niro is charismatic and can quickly turn from a friendly, likable guy to a murderous brute.

Overall, The Untouchables is a captivating mob flick anchored by the performances from the cast, De Palma’s direction, and Ennio Morricone’s superb score. The film might not focus on glorifying the bad guys, but that’s the best part about the film. As Gangster Squad proved, telling a mob flick from the perspective of the good guys isn’t as easy as one might think. However, The Untouchables makes it look so easy and, to this day, has reached an untouchable level that no other film has been able to reach yet.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms

The Untouchables - Charles Martin Smith, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and Andy Garcia

Video

The Untouchables hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 transfer and a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The blacks are natural and look inkier than in the 2007 Blu-ray release of the film. Of course, you can see it in the nighttime scenes, as the picture’s strong contrast accentuates the film noir look. You’ll also find loads of shadow details in the textures and patterns. As for the colors, they’re excellent as both primary and secondary hues are vivid with a natural-looking saturation. So, colors like the extravagant colors of Capone’s home are bold and appear more lifelike. There’s an uptick in sharpness and clarity where finer details are discernible throughout—especially within the wide-angle shots.

Unfortunately, the original 2007 Blu-ray had an excessive amount of digital noise reduction and edge enhancement. Thankfully, the 2022 Ultra HD release delivers the film’s elements faithfully. This time around, you’ll see substantial film grain filling up the entire frame. Overall, the picture won’t showcase the prowess of your 4K TV, but it will faithfully represent the film as de Palma wanted.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

The Untouchables - Robert De Niro

Audio

The Untouchables hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect The Untouchables‘ Dolby Atmos track. The Dolby Atmos mix is a very balanced track—complete with good depth and layering. It doesn’t go overboard, but it does add some excellent touches to make the viewing experience even better. It weaves across the whole room, sounds natural, and engages viewers. At the same time, sound effects travel across the room with accuracy and emphasis.

There’s also an incredible amount of atmospheric effects in this Atmos mix. From the full-sounding city noise of Chicago to the subtle noise of Malone’s apartment, they fill the room by reflecting what’s on the screen. Not to mention, Ennio Morricone’s incredible score adds natural depth to the orchestrated segments and complements the rest of the audio elements. The vocals are clear and crisp. Overall, the Atmos mix is a stellar upgrade over the previous 5.1 audio track and well worth the Ultra HD upgrade alone.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

The Untouchables - Kevin Costner and Sean Connery

Special Features

The Untouchables‘ Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • The Script, The Cast
  • Production Stories
  • Re-inventing the Genre
  • The Classic
  • Original Featurette: “The Men”
  • Theatrical Trailer
Features Assessment

Unfortunately, you won’t find any new bonus features accompanying the 35th-anniversary release of the film. The Ultra HD Blu-ray brings over all of the bonus features from the previous Blu-ray release. Essentially, every featurette in this release mixes on-set photography, behind-the-scenes on-set footage, and interviews with the cast and crew. Despite the dated look and feel of the bonus features, you’ll hear heaps of engaging stories and tidbits about the production.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms


Overall, The Untouchables is not only one of De Palma’s best films, but it’s also one of the best cop/gangster movies ever. The video and audio presentations are superb, but it’s disappointing to see that we didn’t get any new bonus features in this 35th-anniversary release.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

The Untouchables is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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