Godzilla [2014] – 4K UHD Blu-ray Review

Amazon Commissions Earned

Film Title: Godzilla (2014)
Release Date: 2021
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 123 minutes
Region Coding: Region Free
Studio: Warner
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos
High Dynamic Range: HDR10
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Version Reviewed: 4K UHD Blu-ray
Amazon Commissions Earned
Release Date: 3/23/21
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Aaron Taylor-JohnsonElizabeth OlsenBryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Juliette Binoche, Carson Bolde, CJ Adams

Jump to Sections:
Movie | Video | Audio | Bonus | Closing | Screenshots
Full 4K Tech Specs found at the bottom

click to view a 4K Screenshot

The Movie

“Godzilla” [2014] was a 2014 reboot of the franchise and famous monster“Godzilla” owned and created by TOHO, Co. Ltd. — dating back to the original 1954 film of the same title. This 2014 film was directed by Gareth Edwards. Edwards is best known for directing the films “Monsters” (2010) and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016). The screenplay to the 2014 Godzilla film was based on the original character created by TOHO, Co. Ltd.‘s Ishirô Honda, Takeo Murata, and Shigeru Kayama. The story for this film was written by Dave Callaham, the screenplay was adapted by Max Borenstein, and additional writing was done by Frank Darabont and David S. Goyer (uncredited).

The story here first takes place in 1999 in a world where the existence of monsters like “Godzilla” is something that has been kept top secret by a group known as “MONARCH” led by scientists “Dr. Ishiro Serizawa” (Ken Watanabe) and “Dr. Vivienne Graham” (Sally Hawkins). The two from MONARCH as we first are introduced to them are investigating the remains of a creature similar to Godzilla in the Philippines. Meanwhile, in Japan, at a nuclear power facility, a husband/father named “Joe Brody” (Bryan Cranston) and his wife “Sandra Brody” (Juliette Binoche) are working, after taking their son “Ford Brody” to school. While young Ford is at school, he’ll soon be made aware something happened where his parents were working at the nuclear plant when a catastrophic event happens that he can see from his classroom.

Fast forward to fifteen years after those events and “Ford Brody” (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), now an adult, has grown up to become a U.S. Navy officer. Ford now also has a young son and beautiful wife “Elle Brody” (Elizabeth Olsen). Ford will have to leave his family behind, in San Francisco, and go back to Japan to visit his father Joe, still obsessed with the events that took place back in 1999 and hunting through the radioactive quarantined zone around where the nuclear power plant once stood. This is just the beginning of this story and along the way Ford Brody and Joe Brody will come across some things on their own, as well will the two scientists from MONARCH and the U.S. military.

Long story short, without “spoilers” here, you’ll get to find out that there were nuclear tests done back in 1954 [an important date to Godzilla fans] that actually attempts to try to stop the monster. The Godzilla monster has been known to exist for over half a century at this point and MONARCH considers it to be a threat. However, when another giant creature known as a “M.U.T.O.” appears things suddenly shift to Godzilla being considered an ally to the human race, as it and the M.U.T.O. (“Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism“) will start to fight it out. I must say that I enjoyed this film, and I will further discuss my own personal take on it in the closing part of this review.

Movie Rating: 4.25 (out of 5)

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Video Quality

“Godzilla” [2014] on 4K UHD Blu-ray is presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The movie itself was shot digitally at 2.4K resolution on the Arri Alexa Plus and Phantom Flex cameras using Panavision Primo spherical, Panavision Compact Zoom, and Panavision Frazier lenses. The film then received a 2K DI (digital intermedia) master.

Next, let me get technical, for a bit, in regards to the 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc itself here. This release is using a BD-100 (100 gigabytes) disc, 88.84 gigabytes total, and 80.5 gigabytes for the film itself. The movie is running at an average bitrate of around 70Mbps all throughout and hits 100Mbps very often, during the more intense scenes. Those specs alone are very impressive. Moving on. Let’s take a look at the original 2014 Blu-ray Disc release of the film. That release was using a BD-50 (50 gigabytes) disc, 33.79 gigabytes total, and 27.1 gigabytes for the film itself. The new 4K UHD Blu-ray, for the film, is using almost 81 gigs which is almost literally 3 times as much space. That itself is downright impressive.

Next, I want to do a visual comparison here between the original Blu-ray and the 4K UHD Blu-ray. Instead of just offering you the still screenshots for both the original 2014 Blu-ray Disc and the new 2021 4K UHD Blu-ray releases, I’ll be [back to] giving you some video slideshow screenshots comparison over on the site’s YouTube channel, as seen below. For those who want the still images, click the text above the video.

Blu-ray VS. 4K Screenshots Comparison:

Now, looking back at the original 2014 Blu-ray and this 2021 4K UHD Blu-ray in a comparative nature. The first thing you’ll notice is that the 4K presentation has a much more solid black level, more accurate shading and flesh tones, and just colors that feel more realistic, many thanks to the addition of high dynamic range. There’s not some huge drastic visual change here, aside from the newfound amount of detail that can be found all throughout, and most especially during facial close-up shots. The visual effects (VFX) here don’t show off really any flaws for a film only roughly 7 years in age. If anything, the visual effects are able to show off more here in 4K and you’ll appreciate that good bit of additional detail via this visual presentation.

Now, I know that some will complain that this movie [now in 4K] is still extremely dark during the latter action but I’ll remind you that high dynamic range (via HDR10) is going to only accentuate the darkest of darks with a deep solid black level during night time scenes. Don’t blame that on HDR, because this movie was intended to be dark and takes place for the most part at night. Hell, look back at the 1954 original “Godzilla” film and think about how much of it takes place during the pitch black of night — and then factor in that it was only in Black & White. The overly dark nature of this 2014 film is just part of the visual style. Anyone who will complain and want this to be brightened up, perhaps by overexposure or such, just needs to relax, as you can do all of that type yourself with the video settings on a 4K display. So, yes, this movie is extremely dark and the screenshots will show you that near the end, but this works, and I personally dig it.

All and all, “Godzilla” [2014] on 4K UHD Blu-ray proves to be an impressive improvement to just be a 2K master up-converted to 4K resolution. It’s not entirely perfect, but it manages to be enough of an improvement for me to say it’s a recommended release and upgrade for those who previously owned the film. That being said, this earns itself a respectable 4.5 rating for video quality.

Video Quality Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)

click to view a 4K Screenshot

Audio Quality

“Godzilla” [2014] makes its debut to the 4K UHD Blu-ray format in Dolby Atmos with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless surround sound core for those unable of decoding the Atmos mix. It also comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix (as found on the previous Blu-ray) for the French, German, and Italian languages. Sadly, the original DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix in English is not included. However, if you’re looking for a lossless 7.1 mix in English, as I mentioned this does come with the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core behind the Dolby Atmos.

This Dolby Atmos mix comes as an improvement over the lossless surround found on the original Blu-ray from back in 2014. First off, the height channels bring you so much more, by being used very effectively for primarily sound effects. When there’s an explosion you’ll hear it all around and even from above. When Godzilla roars, it will entirely fill your room and feel as if he’s towering above you thanks to the height channel speakers. It’s a massive and downright intense sound mix here that does this film absolute justice and manages to house a good amount of “demo material” sequences here.

Dialogue is delivered spot-on from the center channel speakers and volume adjustment will not at all be an issue here. The only reason you might adjust the volume here would be to avoid getting a noise complaint from neighbors. There’s one hefty amount of LFE here that you will be feeling via the subwoofer all throughout, and most especially during the big action sequences. This mix has a whole hell of a lot of oomph to it and should be taken seriously. You’ll probably not want to have younger kids exposed to this mix at the volume level that we adults listen to, to avoid hearing loss. Just being honest with you here, as I know a lot of people like to enjoy these sorts of films with their entire families in home theaters that sometimes have some massive speakers. Leave the loud sound settings for the adults with this mix. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this Dolby Atmos mix is a force to be reckoned with, much like Godzilla.

That being said, “Godzilla” [2014] on its debut to 4K UHD Blu-ray earns itself a perfect 5 rating for audio quality. This is one definitely appreciated improvement for the film on home video in terms of sound.

Audio Quality Rating: 5 (out of 5)

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Bonus Materials

  • A Digital Copy of the film is included via a paper insert with redeem code, which is compatible with Movies Anywhere. This means you’ll get the film digitally in 4K on a variety of online video platforms including AppleTV (iTunes), Vudu, FandangoNow, and more. It is worth noting that the iTunes (AppleTV) version on iTunes Extras of this film digitally comes with a featured extra, “Sampler #1 of GODZILLA: AFTERSHOCK from Legendary comics which continues the story of the 2014 film here. This comic sample is viewable full screen and you can navigate through it page by page. Another exclusive iTunes Extras feature is a Photo Gallery (HD) which can be viewed individually or as a slideshow digitally only on iTunes extras. Also, in terms of digital, it is worth noting that the Vudu digital version has what would appear to be most of the bonus materials that are found on the Blu-ray Disc.
  • A Blu-ray Disc of the film is included in this “combo pack” release. This is the original 2014 pressing of the release, featuring a 1080p HD video presentation in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio and DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless surround sound. All of the bonus materials for the release are housed on this disc and include the following.

Blu-ray Disc Extras:

  • “MONARCH: Declassified” (HD) consists of three chapters, listed below:
    • “Operation Lucky Dragon” (2 minutes, 44 seconds – HD) is a leaked top-secret military film with some classified information via documents and old photos and video footage. This is really cool and feels like real top-secret footage. This information was supposed to be classified: EYES ONLY. You’ll learn about the history of “Godzilla,” or code name: “Lucky Dragon.” March 1st, 1954 the first nuclear test took place you’ll find out, when they first tried to attack the monster and decided to keep it under wraps to the public, saying they were only nuclear tests.
    • MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File” (4 minutes, 29 seconds – HD) is yet another leaked top-secret film with a classified bit of footage, photos, and info. Here you’ll learn what the “MONARCH” team knew about the “M.U.T.O.” creatures. Here you will learn that they first became aware of them back in the 1940s. There are a collection here of photos, 3D models, and video footage of the findings of these creatures. Also, along the way via narration, you’ll get a considerable amount of information about the creature as well.
    • “The Godzilla Revelation” (7 minutes, 25 seconds – HD) serves as a fictional dedication to the lives lost in the attacks featured in the film in the cities of Honolulu, Las Vegas, and San Francisco as it initially states. This consists of narrated footage and 3D re-creations of those attacks. This proves to be pretty realistic and really carries the movie on a bit and prepares it for the sequel. That said, you’ll see even more video footage and much of what happened after this film ends.
  • Godzilla: Force of Nature” (19 minutes, 18 seconds – HD) serves as both a “making of” as well as a tribute to the history of the Godzilla character — which at this point was celebrating its 60th anniversary. This features interviews with Gareth Edwards (director), Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody), Thomas Tull (producer), Owen Paterson (production designer), Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ishiro Serizawa), David Strathairn (Admiral Stenz), Jon Jashini (producer), Sally Hawkins (Dr. Vivienne Graham), Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody), Seamus McGarvey (director of photography), Jim Rygiel (visual effects supervisor), Alex Garcia (executive producer), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford Brody).
  • “A Whole New Level of Destruction” (8 minutes, 24 seconds – HD) is a self-explanatory “making of” featurette, as it focuses on the amount of physical destruction that Godzilla and the other creature end up doing in the film. Here you will get some behind-the-scenes and on-set footage, as well as interviews with Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody), Gareth Edwards (director), Jim Rygiel (visual effects supervisor), Alex Garcia (executive producer), Owen Paterson (production designer), Sally Hawkins (Dr. Vivienne Graham), and Jon Jashini (producer).
  • “Into the Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump” (5 minutes – HD) discusses a parachute drop procedure done in the film. This includes behind-the-scenes and on-set footage as well as interviews with Gareth Edwards (director), Jon Jashini (producer), Thomas Tull (producer), Alex Garcia (producer), James D. Dever (technical advisor: military), Jim Rygiel (visual effects supervisor), and Erik Aadahl (sound designer). 
  • “Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s” (6 minutes, 49 seconds – HD) discusses the new creature and why it was created. This includes behind-the-scenes and on-set footage as well as interviews with Gareth Edwards (director), Thomas Tull (producer), Owen Paterson (production designer), Jim Rygiel (visual effects supervisor), Jon Jashini (producer), Erik Aadahl (sound designer), Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody), Sally Hawkins (Dr. Vivienne Graham), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford Brody), and Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody).

The bonus materials here are pretty good, despite only being the original 2014 Blu-ray extras just carried over. You get technically a total of seven featurettes physically on the Blu-ray that total up to just under an hour in length, around 55 minutes total. Then there are some digital exclusive extras on AppleTV (iTunes), which are worth checking out if you enjoyed the film. 

Bonus Materials Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

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Closing Thoughts

“Godzilla” was a 2014 reboot that really was more of a continuation of sorts to the mythos about the Godzilla creature that first appeared back in 1954 in a motion picture, now considered to be a classic. There are certain references to that film as well as other films that followed and/or were inspired by the original. It’s worth noting that this 2014 Gareth Edwards film would be followed by Legendary Pictures continuing the saga with the sequels “Kong: Skull Island” (2017), “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (2019), and the upcoming “Godzilla vs. Kong” (2021).

The 2014 film proved to be a nice new approach to the Godzilla character and did its best to pay homage to the original, while not being a disappointment, in my honest opinion, like the 1998 remake. Why? Because this [2014] film carried on the story and didn’t try to reinvent the character like that [1998] film did, and it actually focused a bit on Japan, where it all started. The performances here, in this film, given by the primary cast members are great, especially by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, and Ken Watanabe.

In terms of video quality, this comes from a 2K master and hasn’t been rescanned or remastered but it still manages to come with an impressive amount of newfound detail in the 4K resolution — even if it is technically an up-conversion. The addition of high dynamic range (via HDR10) here allows for more realistic colors, deeper darks in the nighttime scenes, and a solid black level. I for one found this to be a very nice improvement over the previous 2014 Blu-ray release of the film visually.

In terms of audio quality, the film finally gets a Dolby Atmos sound mix. This Atmos mix is downright ferocious, like Godzilla, and is sure to leave you blown away (so-to-speak). The new Dolby Atmos sound mix found here comes as a definite improvement over the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless surround sound mix that was found on the original Blu-ray. The addition of height channel speakers just allows for so much more of an ability to make the creatures sound exactly like they’re towering over the listener/viewer. It’s just something you’ll have to experience to fully appreciate, but for now, you’ll have to take my word for it that this is a perfect piece of reference material in terms of an audio presentation.

Finally, in terms of bonus materials, you’ll get a total of seven featurettes on the Blu-ray Disc as well as a few digital exclusive extras. You get a digital copy of the film in 4K, via Movies Anywhere, on video services like AppleTV (iTunes) and Vudu where it contains extras. The Blu-ray of the film is included, so that’s an added bonus itself, not just because it is where you’ll find the extras. You get the film both digitally and in 1080p HD via the Blu-ray Disc which makes for some nice added value to this “combo pack” release on the 4K UHD Blu-ray format.

This new 4K UHD Blu-ray release of “Godzilla” [2014] comes as a recommended upgrade to the previous Blu-ray release of the film back in 2014.

In terms of 4K UHD Blu-ray release, this gets:
4.5 (out of 5) for video quality
5 (out of 5) for audio quality
3.5 (out of 5) for bonus materials

Overall Verdict:
A Recommended Upgrade

Available As:

2021 4K UHD Blu-ray Release

2021 4K UHD Blu-ray SteelBook Release

– Amazon Commissions Earned –

4K UHD Blu-ray Screenshots:


4K UHD Blu-ray Technical Specifications:

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Exact Runtime(s): 2:03:06
Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core), Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, French DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (with a DTS 5.1 core), German DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (with a DTS 5.1 core), Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (with a DTS 5.1 core)
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Thai
Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Thai
Disc Size: BD-100
Disc Use: 88.84GB total / 80.5GB for the film