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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (UHD Blu-ray) review

Studio: Paramount
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Rating: R
Film: 5/5

When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right. Follow the elite ex-military operators who fought back against overwhelming odds to save American lives.

My Thoughts
The film begins with the words, “This is a true story,” not based on one, with the screenplay by Chuck Hogan (based on the book from Michael Zuckoff), and steers mostly clear of the politics surrounding the attack and tells the story from the perspective of the people that were on the ground on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi. Regardless of the politics, four Americans lost their lives that night; Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs who were civilian contractors working out of a secret CIA Annex near the U.S. diplomatic compound.

The first act does a commendable job of setting up the main characters and the situation on the ground in Libya, but it’s when all hell breaks loose that the film really gains its footing. I’m not a big fan of Michael Bay films and find them mindless adventures, but he actually delivers a compelling drama along with his well-orchestrated stunts and action sequences that complement the story instead of burying it. A balanced approach that’s atypical of his signature movies.

Like the 1080p encode on the Blu-ray, this upconverted 4K presentation is excellent and features an uptick in detail, deeper shadows and black levels, and a color palette that’s intentionally oversatured to give the film a hyper-realistic look. This is apparent in the orangish fleshtones that helps blues and greens pop off the screen. The added color gamut of UHD definitely helps the look of this film.

The Dolby Atmos track is simply amazing from beginning to end giving such a lifelike experience you’ll find yourself ducking behind the couch to avoid falling mortars during the frenetic third act. Gunfire shoots throughout the room from every angle, explosions rock the foundation, and the resulting debris gives the illusion of your ceiling falling to pieces all around you. Furthermore, the score doesn’t get drowned out with the mayhem and the dialog is always intelligible.

Video 9.75/10

Audio 9.5/10 (Dolby Atmos)

Special Features:

• For the Record: Finding the Truth Amid the Noise
• Uncovering Benghazi’s Secret Soldiers
• Preparing for Battle: Behind the Scenes of 13 Hours
• Operation: 13 Hours Premiere
• In Memoriam
• Blu-ray + Digital Copy

Considering how many times I’ve watched this film over the past couple of years, this may be my favorite film of this century. I think I’m up to 6 or 7 times now and I can’t seem to get enough of it. The men who gave their lives to save others on this fateful day are true American heroes and this film brings their heroics into your home. Definitely upgrade to the 4K—it’s an astounding presentation and the movie is fantastic. Highly recommended. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine


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Re: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 11:39:40 AM »
Love this film, and have it pre-ordered. Can't wait for it to arrive. 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2019, 06:26:26 PM »
Good movie - will pick it up at some point.  

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