what to watch in 4K
4K tellies aren't nearly as rare as they once were, and there's a very good chance you've already got one.
But finding things to watch on it in that lovely 4K resolution (you can call it UHD if you prefer) can still be somewhat tricky. There's a fair bit out there if you know where to look, though, and the even better news is that we've done the looking for you.
So with no further ado, here are the 30 very best TV shows and movies that are currently available in 4K. We've even included a direct link to buy or stream each one from Amazon and Netflix. You're welcome!
It might be an homage to all things 80s (think ET meets The Goonies meets The Thing), but other than the scratchy, retro opening title, everything about Stranger Things’ production is cutting edge. It was actually shot in 6K, but even on our backwards 4K TVs the picture is stunning. Gruesomely so at the more horror-tinged points of the series. But whether you’re an AV nerd or not, this demands to be seen – it’s eight episodes of truly stunning, surprising, unique television.
If the first season of Netflix’s flagship show was all about the rise of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, the second promises to capture the true story of his downfall after years on the run. We’re hoping for the same mix of tense action sequences, real news footage and superb moustaches. It’ll be worth watching in 4K for the extra detail on Escobar’s fine selection of sweaters alone.
If you thought your family was messed up, wait ‘til you get a load of the Rayburn’s. From the outside they look like the luckiest buggers in the world, what with their beautiful Floridian home/hotel and the sort of lifestyle that a sloth might describe as being a bit too slow-paced. But beneath that outer sheen lies a web of terrible secrets that begin leaking out to tragic effect over the course of the first season. It’s brilliantly interweaving, back-stabby stuff, and boy does Florida look lovely in 4K.
Better Caul Saul
No one really likes lawyers. They don’t have millions of adoring fans on Instagram, and their spirit animals are sharks – cold, grey killers, with dead, soulless eyes. But they’re not all bad. Take the slick and lovable Saul Goodman, aka Slippin’ Jimmy – a slick, rule-bending practitioner of justice who won our hearts in Breaking Bad, a show with incredible cinematography that has transitioned into this equally spectacular spin-off.
Before the old Amazing Spider-Man reboot and the new Spider-Man: Homecoming, there was Spider-Man, plain and simple. Despite being well over a decade old, Tobey Maguire’s first outing in red and black lycra still stands up as a fine example of how to do a superhero movie. With no cinematic universe to neatly slot into or origin story tropes to abide by, Sam Raime’s blockbuster could have a blast on entirely its own terms.
So Spider-Man treats its viewers to a glut of hilarious web-slinger zingers, a fearsome baddie in Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and a comic book romance you actually cared about. #PeteAndMJ4LYF
It might not show Greg Wallace shovelling food into his mouth every ten minutes, but that doesn't make Chef's Table any less appealing to hardcore foodies. The series follows world-renowned chefs as they take viewers on a very personal journey through their culinary evolution, providing a very intimate and informative glimpse into what gets their creative juices flowing.
Presented in stunning 4K, you'll almost be able to smell the food seeping through the TV and massaging your nostrils, from glistening, perfectly-cooked pieces of meat to mouth-watering steaming pasta dishes, this is food porn of the highest order. Warning: wearing a bib while you watch is highly recommended.
No doubt you already know that Daredevil is one of the best things Marvel has created since its cinematic universe first came to fruition. Brooding, bold and bloody, it sees blind lawyer turned martial arts master Matt Murdock attempt to cleanse the crime-ridden streets of Hell’s Kitchen while battling his own myriad demons.
So how does 4K make this show even better? Well, this visceral spectaculaire is dark in both tone and visuals, so Ultra HD’s added resolution makes for better-defined fight scenes in near pitch black locations. And when the red stuff begins to flow, you’ll really feel it.
House of Cards
Kevin Spacey isn’t necessarily the sort of person you’d want to see in ultra-detailed 4K. He doesn’t have the chiselled good looks of Zac Effron, or the charming smile of The Rock, but at these resolutions you can see every little bit of the ruthless cunning and inner rage portrayed on his face.
The series’ cinematography has always been excellent too, and in 4K everything from the lush luxurious innards of the Oval Office to the grimy subway platforms running beneath Washington DC look absolutely stunning. Watch it for the gripping story, and stay for the soul piercing #SpaceySoliloquies.
Yes, Breaking Bad had some memorable supporting characters – Los Pollos Hermanos kingpin Gus Fring, psychopath Tuco Salamanca and, of course, 'Better Call Saul' Goodman. But one of its more subtle stars is the Albuquerque landscape, shot beautifully on 35mm film and the main reason why the series has the distinctive look of a modern spaghetti western.
The money Breaking Bad saved by shooting in New Mexico (rather than California, as Vince Gilligan had originally planned) was pumped into its cinematic visual production, ensuring that its 4K version bursts from your screen like a Tuco-bothering chemical explosion.
The Netflix/Marvel partnership is fast becoming TV’s equivalent of Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez: reliably brilliant but never in a boringly predictable way.
Jessica Jones is the latest product of said partnership and follows the eponymous character (played by the superb Krysten Ritter) as she attempts to set up her private detective business in NYC, battle with her superhero demons and drink every bar in the Big Apple dry.
Oh, and she also has to face her nemesis, the obsessive, abusive and mind-controlling sadist Zebediah Kilgrave, brilliantly played by David Tennant.
But great though the two leads are, New York City is every bit as integral to JJ’s appeal: it looks simply stunning, with a gritty, stylised feel that is quickly coming to characterise Netflix’s Marvel forays. And of course that’s all the more true in 4K. Stunning stuff.