Top Gun: Maverick 4k Blu-ray Review

Top Gun: Maverick 4k Blu-ray Limited Edition SteelBook Order on Amazon

Paramount Home Media Distribution released Top Gun: Maverick in physical media formats on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, one day earlier than typical disc releases that fall on Tuesdays. The revised release date came as a surprise to most of us, as it was changed after pre-orders had already been listed. Top Gun: Maverick is available in standard 4k Blu-ray and Blu-ray editions, as well as a Limited Edition SteelBook and exclusive retailer editions.  

“You’ve got some balls, stick jockey.”

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The Movie

Top Gun: Maverick was last summer’s blockbuster film that earned $717M at the domestic box office and $769M internationally for a grand total of over $1.8B worldwide. The film was ranked in the Top 10 for 20 weeks, competing with about 30 other films. To say ‘Maverick’ was a blockbuster is an understatement. To underestimate how well it will do in home media formats would be a mistake. 

After releasing in digital formats on August 23, Top Gun: Maverick has remained in the Top 10 for purchases from digital services, competing with titles such as Bullet Train, Nope, and Thor: Love and Thunder. Maybe “competing” is the wrong choice of words. Top Gun: Maverick has exceeded all expectations both at the box office and at home, following a wise decision by executives to delay the theatrical premiere (and disregard any “home premiere”) until after the Covid-19 pandemic subsided. According to Tom Cruise, a platform release was “never going to happen.”

Let’s take a look (and a listen) at the 4k Blu-ray release of Top Gun: Maverick which, when compared to popular streaming services such as Apple TV and Prime Video, provides the best viewing experience possible at home. 

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Top Gun: Maverick 4k Blu-ray on 75″ Sony Bravia screen photo


Top Gun: Maverick delivers video in high-quality 4k at 3840 × 2160 lines of resolution. On average, the HEVC codec video played at bitrates between 60 and 72Mbps with momentary peaks surpassing 90Mbps. The High Dynamic Range is delivered using the BT.2020 profile, and will play in Dolby Vision or HDR10 depending on the HDR TV.

Top Gun: Maverick offers a very clean presentation on both the Blu-ray and 4k Blu-ray Discs, with good contrast and color separation. The closeups are vivid and sharp, with smooth gradients and excellent detail in shadow areas. The 4k disc, of course, expands the color range with Dolby Vision/HDR10 providing up to 10-bits of depth. 

The aspect ratios vary between 2.39:1 and 1.90:1. It seems most of the land-based and non-action scenes are presented in the wider 2.39:1 format, while the airborne scenes all come closer to square IMAX format at 1.90:1. The taller format allows a bigger image that makes the scenes more immersive and closer to the action for the viewer. 

The opening scene with Tom Cruise working on his P-51 Mustang shows incredible detail in the photos and stickers on his wall and locker. It’s a great moment when you see photographs from the original film and especially Nick “Goose” Bradshaw with his son Bradley (who is introduced later as “Rooster.”

Top Gun: Maverick sets the bar very high in the initial sequence with Maverick trying to reach Mach 10 speeds. The details in the cockpit of the Darkstar hypersonic jet are as sharp as a needle in 4K. It was certainly a gutsy move to start a movie off with this much drama, action, an incredible video and audio. But that energy is quickly renewed in the training and dogfight exercises led by Maverick, underscored by The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The gorgeous photos of the F/A-18 fighter jets from all aspects are a thing of beauty.

Let’s turn and burn.”

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The soundtrack to Top Gun: Maverick is nothing short of a surround-sound extravaganza. From the radio chatter between air and ground operations to the soundtrack that pushes every scene through multiple speaker channels, the Dolby Atmos track is probably the best on any 4k Blu-ray or Blu-ray we’ve heard. Your subwoofers will make your feet vibrate during some of the flight sequences.

Maverick’s flight to reach Mach 10 has some incredibly immersive sound that hits all speakers, low, mid, and high frequencies. The engines firing at 1:30:35 when the mission launches will burn your heart out if you’re not careful. And, a highlight for anyone with a multi-speaker system are the popcorn-like sounds of the countermeasures fired by the Super Hornets.  

The flashbacks at about 31 minutes during Goose’s performance of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” is an incredible mix of the past and present delivered through an audio experience. You get a great introduction to the mix of music, sound effects, and dialogue from the pilots in multiple F/A-18s at 36 minutes when Maverick takes his student pilots on their first fun while The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” drives the scene.

The audio is immersive and dynamic even with a pair of good headphones and a decent bass threshold. We tested on a pair of Apple AirPods Max, Bose, and Sony studio monitors and all sounded great. Of course, you don’t get that full spatial effect that happens in a controlled area with multiple speakers in surround sound positions. 

The soundtrack (produced by Lorne Balfe) is a joint effort with works by ​​Harold Faltermeyer (from the original Top Gun) with music by Lady Gaga, OneRepublic, and Hans Zimmer. All of the musical contributions add to the dynamic experience of Top Gun: Maverick. 

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Bonus Materials

Bonus features add up to over 110 minutes of content including “A Love Letter to Aviation,” “Cleared For Take Off,” “Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick,” “Forging The Darkstar,” “Masterclass with Tom Cruise – Cannes Film Festival,” and music videos “Hold My Hand” (Lady Gaga)” and “I Ain’t Worried” – (OneRepublic).” The teaser trailer for “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Teaser Trailer” is also included on the Blu-ray. A highlight of the bonus features is “Forging The Darkstar” which delves into creating the futuristic hypersonic that can reach Mach 10. It’s incredible just to think of the amount of resources it took to create this aircraft that opens the movie. 

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Top Gun: Maverick is a highly recommended movie for your home theater, especially on 4k Blu-ray where you can get the highest video and audio quality possible. It’s a reference disc, no doubt, a disc that will test state-of-the-art home theater equipment. It could be the best Atmos experience yet. In terms of the movie, it’s got everything: drama, action, romance, comedy, and a bit of sci-fi thrown in as humans are capable of traveling at Mach 10 speeds (or over, like Maverick did when he wrecked the Darkstar). We’ll certainly be ranking Top Gun: Maverick at the top of list for the year and one of the best 4k Blu-rays of all time.





Bonus Materials

Top Gun- Maverick 4k Blu-ray
Top Gun: Maverick 4k Blu-ray/Digital Edition Buy on Amazon