31 Best Movies For Surround Sound

Saving Private Ryan

Starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon at their best, Saving Private Ryan tells the story of a team of soldiers going to retrieve a stranded paratrooper. However, its opening scenes are some of the most viscerally realistic combat scenes ever put to film, and it was one of the first to use Dolby’s Digital Surround Sound technology.

Despite its age, the sound mixing in this film is phenomenal, significantly adding to the movie’s intense combat scenes. It’s no exaggeration to say that this film features some of the best sound work ever, so if you want the best movies for surround sound, this is one to put near the top of your watch list.

Shazam!

Superhero movies are nothing new these days, but Shazam! departs from the traditional formula when child Billy Batson finds himself with the ability to transform into an older superhero. He’s entirely unprepared for what happens next. The excellent sound design here makes every use of his magical powers pop, adding to an already entertaining experience.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming continues Peter Parker’s adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as part of a collaboration with Sony Pictures. Younger than the other heroes he admires, he nevertheless finds himself swept up in events, all backed by an excellent soundtrack that emphasizes Spider-Man’s agility as he bounces around the screen.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Homecoming may be an excellent superhero movie, but Sony’s Into The Spider-Verse is perhaps the ultimate comic book movie, and that’s a vital distinction. Protagonist Miles Morales finds himself dealing with a range of Spider-People from different realities.

The audio design here emphasizes the comic aspects of the movie, driving home some of the most inventive cinematography we’ve seen in many years.

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad (not to be confused with its 2021 sequel, The Suicide Squad) tells the story of a gang of villains conscripted to save the world… at least if they want to save themselves. Although panned for some elements of absurdity, its sound work takes full advantage of the opportunities of filmmaking to bring its actions to life.

The Dark Knight

Another entry from Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight, is part of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and adds Heath Ledger in one of his last iconic roles. The sound work adds to the tense psychological warfare as Ledger’s Joker tries to prove to Batman that the world is just crazy and his actions are meaningless.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit trilogy follows the work of Peter Jackson’s earlier efforts on The Lord of the Rings, expanding the prequel story into an epic worthy of being the inspiration for an entire genre of storytelling. It’s also one of the first movies ever made with Dolby’s Atmos surround sound system, which was good enough to get it an Oscar nomination.

The Social Network

The Social Network is a film detailing the rise of Facebook, including the competing worldviews of several people who claimed to be key founders. Its audio captures subtle elements of the story, ranging from the tight use of bass to incredible accuracy for outdoor ambiance. It’s a nearly-seamless track and worth studying.

Tron: Legacy

Tron: Legacy marks the return of a famous work of sci-fi featuring Sam Flynn as he tries to find his father, who has disappeared into a digital world called the Grid. The irony is that everything within is the result of humanity’s programming efforts, while the spectacular soundtrack helps add a feeling of vastness to the enclosed digital realm.

Wall-E

Wall-E is one of Pixar’s boldest and most creative efforts yet, in part because nearly half the movie features no dialogue whatsoever. Despite the lack of chatter, the film’s excellent visual design and immersive audio help explain the plot and characters in ways practically anyone can understand. It’s a rare and impressive feat in movie design.

Top Movies For Surround Sound, Final Thoughts

The best movies for surround sound are some of the most spectacular movies ever put to film. While most lean towards action, you can find far more introspective films on the list above, and they’re all worth watching with the best sound system you can get. Just make sure to configure the audio correctly before you start watching.

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One Comment

  1. I would add the 2009 BD of AKIRA. AFAIK it’s one of the few BDs with the soundtrack mixed in 24-bit/192khz 5.1 audio. A visual, sonic, and technical marvel all around.

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