Still enjoying 3D Blu-ray? These recent titles promise to add another dimension to your home cinema



Warner Bros.' waterlogged superhero movie is an epic in every sense of the word, and this excellent conversion adds layers of detail to the CG-saturated production design. The aquatic nature of the film lends itself to stereoscopy, with particles floating in your face to help sell the soggy visuals, and with scenes clearly framed for the added dimensionality, Aquaman becomes a reference 3D presentation. An explosive chase across Sicilian rooftops sends debris flying past your head, and Arthur and Mera's descent into the Trench is a visual feast. The amount of depth on offer is often staggering, whether it's the land-locked vistas or the vast underwater kingdoms.

However, a big disappointment is that the 3D image is presented in a constant 2.40:1 aspect ratio, whereas the 1080p Blu-ray and 4K discs open out to 1.78:1 for the IMAX sequences (actually a majority of the film's running time). Furthermore, audio here is DTS-HD MA 5.1, rather than the Atmos mix found on the 2D/4K releases. This will become a recurring theme…

Ant-Man & The Wasp


This fun sequel was overshadowed by Avengers: Infinity War on its initial release, but its miniaturised antics look excellent in 3D thanks to a state-of-the-art conversion from Marvel. Just about every scene benefits from the added dimensionality, whether it's the interiors of Scott's house, the clever design touches in Hank's lab, or the film's changing perspectives (the titular heroes shrinking down to microscopic size or Ant-Man going big). The running sight gag relating to Scott's faulty regulator is also funnier in 3D, while Hank's journey through that all-important Quantum Realm boasts the freakiest visuals since Doctor Strange. It's a flawless 3D presentation and a must-have for fans of the format. While Atmos sonics are reserved for the 4K platter, the 3D Blu-ray keeps the aspect ratio switching for IMAX sequences, such as the chase through the streets of San Francisco.

The Meg


Jason Statham battles a prehistoric shark that could eat Jaws' beast for breakfast. Sadly this 3D Blu-ray washes up on shore with a conversion that, while perfectly watchable, fails to deliver the kind of gimmicky shots a film like this deserves. The submarine interiors probably benefit the most, with the boosted dimensionality creating a greater sense of claustrophobia. Scenes on the surface of the water also make use of the increased perspective, and those in the research station's curved transparent corridors have a nice spatial quality. However, underwater shots lack the scale and depth of Aquaman's epic landscapes, and while the Meg itself has a visible sense of scale in sequences like the beach attack, at other moments the quick editing doesn't give your brain time to register the size of the shark before cutting to the next shot. The 2D/4K Atmos track has sunk without trace too.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald


This latest entry in Warner's Wizarding World cash-grab fails to deliver a decent plot or even a second act, but it does look magical in 3D. As the title credits sweep past your head, the film plunges you into a beautifully recreated 1920s New York. Cinematography tends towards the dark and monochromatic, but the conversion is expertly applied to give the production design added depth. Newt's underground menagerie is a standout sequence, and the flame-filled climax looks spectacular. The 3D experience is often used in a creative way by deliberately pushing the effect, such as when a character's POV is influenced by a love charm. The filmmakers aren't averse to poking you in the eye with the occasional wand either, and while that might be considered bad form, it's also what makes 3D fun. Once again Warner fails to conjure up the Atmos mix of the 2D and 4K discs, resorting to DTS-HD MA 5.1 instead.

Solo: A Star Wars Story


Production troubles and a ballooning budget helped turn Solo into the first Star Wars flop. You'd think a $300 million movie could afford some lights, but apparently not. This has some of the darkest and blandest cinematography ever seen in a big-budget film, so despite a solid conversion it becomes almost unwatchable as soon as you don a pair of 3D spex. There are some standout sequences, such as travelling through hyperspace and the Kessel Run, while the train heist and climax benefit from being shot outdoors, in daylight. But for large stretches of the film you literally can't see what's happening (the sabaac game is particularly challenging) – a shame because when you can there's some excellent dimensionality in the image. The niggles don't stop with the picture, as the disc features a DTS-HD MA 7.1 track rather than the 4K platter's more immersive Atmos mix.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World


DreamWorks' popular CG-animated saga about dragon-loving Vikings has been a fixture of the 3D Blu-ray landscape ever since the original film was exclusively bundled with Samsung's 3D hardware back in 2010. Sadly, this third and final film in the series is unlikely to cause quite as much of a stir among home cinema fans as that initial release. Not only is the movie itself the weakest of the bunch, but the 3D encode is a frustrating affair. It's not without its share of impressive stereoscopic moments (the flight into the 'Hidden World' is eye-poppingly gorgeous, and the filmmakers make several uses of an oddly effective trick that has characters enter the foreground of the frame from 'behind the camera'), but there are far too many scenes that employ low-light levels which only serve to flatten out the imagery. Backing up the 3D encode is a (slightly restrained) Dolby Atmos mix.

The Incredibles 2


This belated sequel is an animated love-letter to superheroes in general and the Fantastic Four in particular that also makes for a first-class 3D presentation. Depth and perspective form an integral part of the film's computer-generated design, and the dimensionality is often used in imaginative and entertaining ways. Interiors all have a sense of carefully conceived space, while characters are solid in their presentation. The opening battle with the Underminer is a great example of how added depth can enhance a scene, while a high-speed train chase uses perspective to highlight Elastigirl's unique abilities. A fine reminder of how effectively a 3D presentation can immerse you in the action – even without Atmos audio.

Black Panther


This smash-hit Marvel movie is presented in 2.40:1 but opens to 1.90:1 for the IMAX scenes, while the 3D soundtrack is DTS-HD MA 7.1 rather than the UHD Blu-ray's Dolby Atmos iteration. The 3D conversion is successful – the film boasts multiple scenes that lap up the added depth, such as a ship flying through the barrier that protects Wakanda from the outside world, or two rivals fighting to the death on the edge of a vertiginous waterfall. In a similar vein, a punch-up on a subterranean train line uses perspective to give the visuals a remarkable sense of space. The filmmakers also delight in chucking the odd spear out of the screen during the climactic battle. Overall, it's pretty Marvel-lous.

Mortal Engines


This madcap fantasy proves a film can be designed from the ground up to look amazing in 3D. Be it the interior of a giant London on tracks, or the huge scars those tracks leave behind in the ground, the added dimensionality here gives everything more depth and solidity. The colourful cinematography is well-lit and scenes are clearly composed for 3D, with the conversion bringing out all the details in the complex mechanical creations. Airborne sequences are carefully layered with billowing clouds that create an aeronautical sweep, while landscapes frequently reveal details in the far distance. And even small things look better: Hester's scar has greater definition and Shrike's eyes are more terrifying. Audio is DTS-HD MA 7.1.



This high-concept film is essentially Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno, but sadly isn't as fun as that sounds. The 3D presentation falls short too, taking subject matter that offers plenty of opportunities for acrophobic action, and then failing to fully capitalise. There are impressive aerial shots of the Hong Kong skyline when we first see The Pearl skyscraper of the title, and an early scene at the top of the structure will have you weak at the knees, but with much of the film confined to rooms or at street level, it's left to a number of key action sequences to do the heavy 3D lifting. The Rock's attempt to enter the skyscraper via a crane definitely benefits, as does his Spider-Man routine using duct tape on his hands and feet. It's a fun but far from essential 3D conversion, with Atmos audio (as found on the UHD release) replaced by DTS-HD MA 7.1.

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch


The third bigscreen adaptation of Theodore 'Dr. Seuss' Geisel's How the Grinch Stole Christmas can't top Chuck Jones's legendary 1966 cartoon, but still proves to be an enjoyable enough update of the story – and one given a superb stereoscopic Blu-ray presentation. Colour, clarity and sharpness are especially striking, ensuring that every frame of the platter's 2.40:1-framed encode conjures up a tangible volumetric space. An early sequence where the Grinch is pursued through the streets of Whoville by a festive choir may leave the green meanie in a foul mood, but 3D fans will be beaming with delight at the accomplished sense of depth present in the image, and the seamless way in which characters move through it. Better yet, unlike so many of the other titles in this roundup, …The Grinch's stunning stereoscopic visuals are partnered by equally immersive and involving Dolby Atmos-powered 3D sonics.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle


This clever and charming sequel takes the original's boardgame concept and gives it a videogame makeover, using the genre's tropes to entertaining effect. Its 3D conversion is potent – and that doesn't just apply to the Rock's contoured muscles. The jungle setting has excellent depth and detail, while the dimensionality brings out touches you might otherwise miss, such as the character's reflections in the displays that show their respective strengths and weaknesses. There are some fun popping-out-of-the-screen moments (especially one involving a snake…), and a helicopter chase is a 3D thrill-ride, with canyon walls encroaching on either side. The only flaw to this conversion is that it can be a bit too dark at times, especially when the action takes place under the jungle canopy. This release uses the Blu-ray's DTS-HD MA 5.1 track rather than the 4K disc's barnstorming Atmos heroics.

Ready Player One


The 3D Blu-ray is undoubtedly the best way to experience this highly entertaining virtual reality thriller. Not only is it an '80s nostalgia-fest, it's also a calling card for the third dimension. The scenes in the real world have a degree of depth, but it's a more subtle conversion and the colours are muted. However, as soon as we enter the Oasis, the multicoloured virtual world rushes past and the results are often stunning. Freed from the strictures of actual reality, Steven Spielberg's camera weaves through this virtual playground with abandon. The opening race is a masterclass in added dimensionality, with Parzival below the race track, looking up through it to the action above. It has incredible depth, and there are plenty of other examples after that, from the weightless dance floor to the rivers of blood in the Overlook Hotel. Objects loom out of the screen, or extend into it. It's another Warner Bros. release, so don't look for the 2D/4K Dolby Atmos track.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi


This might be the most divisive Star Wars entry of all time, but at least the Force is strong with The Last Jedi when it comes to 3D (but not Dolby Atmos…). From the opening text crawl there's excellent use of depth, and as the camera glides past escaping ships and down to the planet's surface, you know you're in for a three-dimensional treat. A First Order dreadnought arrives, its nose thrust out of the screen, making for an impressive 3D entrance. Space battles are pure eye-candy, with craft flying over multi-layered surfaces and through well-defined three-dimensional spaces, and the various interiors benefit from impressive spatial composition. And unlike Solo…, this is a beautifully shot film where the 3D presentation often delivers a clear upgrade over the regular Blu-ray. The climactic battle on Crait gleams with bright white salt, creating vistas that extend to the horizon…

Avengers: Infinity War


Marvel's superhero mashup benefits from an action-packed and streamlined plot that hurtles towards its heartbreaking cliffhanger. The studio has been producing superb 2D-to-3D conversions for years, and this is one of the best. It constantly uses the added depth to make its sets more visually appealing, with spaceship interiors benefitting the most. Thanos seems all the more mighty in three dimensions, and the sight of him bringing an entire moon down on Iron Man's head is a particular highlight. The added perspective gives the climax an epic quality, with the Wakandan battlefield receding into the distance. But even the simplest shots come alive in 3D, revealing small details you might have missed when watching the film flat. Unlike many other Marvel 3D releases …Infinity War doesn't open out to 1.90:1 for the IMAX scenes, using a constant 2.40:1 aspect ratio instead. But like all Marvel 3D releases, you get DTS-HD MA 7.1 sonics rather than the Atmos track included on the 4K disc.

And some 3D Blu-ray golden oldies you must own:

It's a shame Martin Scorsese only shot one movie in 3D, because Hugo's vital and immersive visuals pack a wow-factor and show the veteran filmmaker has a keen understanding of how to use the technology to bolster a story.

Ridley Scott's Alien prequel divided audiences, but the same surely cannot be said of the quality of the film's 3D Blu-ray encode. This reference-grade imagery adds another dimension of thrills to Prometheus' sci-fi-horror action.

Dial M for Murder
Alfred Hitchcock's decision to load so many shots in his 1955 thriller with various foreground objects suddenly made a lot more sense once we were able to view Dial M for Murder in its native 3D courtesy of Warner Bros.' nicely restored 2013 Blu-ray.

Creature from the Black Lagoon
From underwater worlds packed with layers of foliage capable of hiding unseen terrors, to more gimmicky out-of-the-screen scares, director Jack Arnold's classic 1955 creature-feature was simply made to be enjoyed in 3D.

What should have been the standard bearer for the 3D Blu-ray format was waylaid for the best part of two years by an exclusivity deal with Panasonic. Even so, Fox's 2012 disc features some of the finest 3D visuals you'll ever see. Roll on the sequels!

House of Wax
The first colour 3D film from a major Hollywood studio, this 1953 shocker was directed by a man who was blind in one eye, but is still jam-packed with stereoscopic tricks and tomfoolery. Our fave is the chap with the paddle-board outside the museum who keeps launching his ball at the viewer.

Disney's 2010 take on Rapunzel isn't just one of its freshest and funniest 'toons of the past decade, it's also a stereoscopic tour de force, with the lantern scene still ranking as one of the toughest torture tests around for 3D displays.

It Came from Outer Space
Produced with the assistance of the talented team at The 3-D Film Archive, this Blu-ray presentation of Jack Arnold's eye-popping 1953 sci-fi smash demonstrates superb depth and sharpness.

Shot using a mix of Red and Phantom 3D cameras, plus kit developed especially for the film, Dredd delivers an unforgettable, eye-searing stereoscopic experience like nothing else around. If you've only seen it 'flat' then you haven't really seen it at all.

Spread across two Blu-ray discs, Fox's stereoscopic conversion of James Cameron's disaster epic is all the proof you need of how good 3D retcons of 2D films can be when those responsible put in enough care and attention.