Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (4K Ultra HD)

Theatrically, I found Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to be a lackluster revitalization of the franchise that saw Johnny Depp just going through the motions of Captain Jack Sparrow in need of another big paycheck. Still, I was impressed with both the action and the inclusion of Javier Bardem’s villain Captain Salazar, all the which play to the benefit of 4K Ultra HD.


Dead Men Tell No Tales is beautiful in 4K Ultra HD. The film itself was shot in 2K so there is some upscaling going on, but there is still a noticeable jump in quality when compared to the standard Blu-ray version. The level of detail that goes into the ghostly underwater appearance for Salazar and his deathly crew is fantastic as every little tassel of cloth and crack in the skin is shown in wonderful definition. Seeing the blacked blood spurt from Bardem’s mouth when is first talks to Brenton Thwaites’ character is just as terrifying as ever. That being said, the de-aged CGI version of Johnny Depp is still just as terrifying as ever as well but for all the wrong reasons. It doesn’t matter how great the picture is when the technology for CGI humans still has a ways to go.


The reason Pirates of the Caribbean looks so good on 4K Ultra HD is mostly because of how much of the film was shot using practical sets and special effects. The Blu-ray includes nearly 48 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage broken into seven featurettes that showcase the making of the film. I was surprised to see just how much of the sets they actually built; take an entire full-size pirate ship for instance. Also included in the special features are your standard deleted scenes, blooper reel, and a collection of photos taken by Jerry Bruckheimer on set.


There’s nothing particularly amazing about the bonus features as they’re what you can expect from any standard Blu-ray release these days. I did find the behind-the-scenes featurettes to be more interesting than the film itself, however, as I’m a sucker for the filmmaking process. If you’re a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, either the 4K Ultra HD or Blu-ray version of Dead Men Tell No Tales is a fine addition to your collection. Both look and sound great, with the 4K Ultra HD version being slightly better.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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