Mighty Chroma Logo
Mighty Chroma Logo

A Clockwork Orange

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 7 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • A Clockwork Orange's 4K release: visually stunning, audio mixed; a must-have for fans.

    A Clockwork Orange 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • A Clockwork Orange's 4K restoration excels in color accuracy, depth, and film-like texture, presenting Kubrick's vision with unprecedented clarity and detail, while retaining its unique cinematic aesthetic.

  • Audio
  • Despite technological advances, the harsh treble and artificial feel of A Clockwork Orange's DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix disappoint, while the original mono offers a natural, balanced alternative.

  • Extra
  • A Clockwork Orange's UHD and Blu-ray release features insightful commentaries by Malcolm McDowell and Nick Redman, alongside detailed documentaries and featurettes exploring the film's making and impact, all housed within captivating packaging.

  • Movie
  • 1971's A Clockwork Orange, by Kubrick, remains a jarring cinema piece, diving into dark societal themes with stunning visuals, evoking shock and deep reflection decades later.

    Video: 93

    A Clockwork Orange, captured on 35mm film and now remastered in 4K, presents a visual feast unparalleled in its cinematic history. Shot using Mitchell BNC, Newman Sinclair Auto Kino, and Arriflex 35 IIC cameras with spherical lenses, this Ultra HD edition brings Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece to life with meticulous attention to detail. The native 4K DI transfer, presented in the director's preferred 1.66:1 aspect ratio, is sourced from a new 4K scan supervised by Kubrick’s former assistant Leon Vitali. Enhanced by HDR10, the film exhibits deep and vivid colors, stronger contrast, and a balance of brightness that breathes new depth into each frame. The color grading leans towards a colder tone, reflecting the film's dystopian setting more naturally, with the HDR enhancement drawing out the gaudy interiors and bleak exteriors in striking clarity.

    Detail in this release is remarkable, betraying a fine layer of grain that remains faithful to the original filmic texture without veering into over-processing. Close-ups reveal intricate textures in costumes and setting, while wide shots uncover previously obscured background details. Blacks are profound and solid, ensuring that shadows and night scenes are rendered with excellent nuance. Whites burst with brightness, offering a crisp contrast that was hitherto unseen in previous releases. The application of HDR not only accentuates the dynamic range but also sharpens the image quality, allowing for an immersive viewing experience that showcases the unique artistry of Kubrick's vision in ways never before appreciated on home video.

    Despite the inherent softness and stylistic choices of the original filming, this 4K UHD presentation maintains superb clarity throughout. Colors are richly saturated, from the iconic red of the droogs' outfits to the more subtle hues of the dystopian landscape. The restoration respects Kubrick's meticulous craftsmanship, ensuring that every frame retains its intended impact without succumbing to unnecessary digital alteration. Moreover, the careful preservation of natural film grain and avoidance of digital noise ensures that A Clockwork Orange remains an enduring legacy in film history, its visual complexity enhanced rather than diminished by the passage to ultra-high definition.

    Audio: 85

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "A Clockwork Orange" offers a divisive auditory experience, primarily through its English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, which, per consensus, often feels overly front-focused and occasionally burdensome due to its heightened treble and somewhat aggressive mixing. The mix's inclination to elevate the front three channels invariably results in a soundstage that may test the auditory endurance of its audience, especially during scenes where the dialogue suffers from an excessive sharpness, thereby diminishing the otherwise engaging score's role in the narrative's procession. Despite this, the orchestrated music and electronic scoring by Wendy Carlos manage to maintain a presence, benefiting slightly from the mix’s wider soundstage, though not without its flaws regarding fidelity and balance.

    Alternatives to the primary audio track present an essential relief, with the inclusion of an original English mono track in Dolby Digital format. Though arguably constrained by its lossy nature and vintage recording limitations, this mono option emerges as a preferable auditory choice for purists seeking a more authentic and less abrasive listening experience. Its more natural levelling creates a balanced concord among dialogue, effects, and score, thereby salvaging the film's intricate audio landscape from the pitfalls of the main 5.1 mix. This juxtaposition highlights a common critique across various assessments—while advancements in soundstage expansion are acknowledged, they often come at the cost of aural harshness and a compressed dynamic range.

    Additionally, secondary audio options further annotate the release's efforts to cater to a diverse audience, including multiple Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in various languages and a comprehensive selection of subtitles aimed at enhancing accessibility. Nevertheless, irrespective of these inclusions, it’s the core audio experience that defines this release’s mixed legacy. While some find merit in the efforts to reinterpret the film’s sonic environment through modern mixing techniques, others yearn for the original's simplicity and directness, culminating in a polarized reception that underscores the challenges of reimagining classic cinema audio for contemporary home theater systems.

    Extra: 79

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "A Clockwork Orange" presents an enticing package for cinephiles and fans alike, pairing the film's ultra-high-definition presentation with a collection of compelling extras that delve deeply into its production, impact, and legacy. Noteworthy is the inclusion of an audio commentary by Malcolm McDowell and historian Nick Redman, offering fascinating insights that will undoubtedly enrich the viewing experience. Further enhancing the package are documentaries and featurettes available on the accompanying Blu-ray disc, including the in-depth "Still Tickin’: The Return of Clockwork Orange" and "Great Bolshy Yarblockos! Making A Clockwork Orange," alongside "Turning Like Clockwork" and "Malcolm McDowell Looks Back," providing a comprehensive exploration of the film's creation and its enduring influence. The set's packaging also deserves mention, featuring hypnotic cover artwork that encapsulates the film’s essence. This release ensures that both newcomers to Kubrick’s masterpiece and long-time fans have plenty to discover and enjoy.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: With Malcolm McDowell and Nick Redman
    • Still Tickin’: The Return of A Clockwork Orange: Channel 4 documentary
    • Great Bolshy Yarblockos! Making A Clockwork Orange: Featurette
    • Turning Like Clockwork: Covers the violence and media response
    • Malcolm McDowell Looks Back: The actor reflects on his iconic role
    • Theatrical Trailer

    Movie: 91

    Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, a cinematic adaptation of Anthony Burgess's novel, remains as shockingly relevant and unforgivingly visceral as it was upon its release in 1971. The film's portrayal of violence and social engineering dives deep into the dark crevices of human nature and the dichotomy of free will versus societal control. Depicted through the eyes and nefarious deeds of Alex DeLarge, portrayed with unnerving conviction by Malcolm McDowell, the film challenges viewers with its graphic violence and moral ambiguity. The use of "Nadsat," a fictional slang developed by Burgess, alongside the removed final chapter from the US novel edition, serves to both distance and draw the audience into Alex’s twisted psyche, making for a complicated viewing experience.

    Kubrick, known for his meticulous attention to cinematic detail, leverages lighting, framing, and naturalistic settings to paint a dystopian England fraught with gang violence, reflecting societal fears of the time. This grungy, urban backdrop starkly contrasts the polished aesthetics of Kubrick's previous work, 2001: A Space Odyssey, demonstrating his ability to masterfully shift thematic and visual tones. Amidst this chaos, Alex's journey from perpetrator to victim, subjected to controversial aversion therapy, explores complex themes of accountability, redemption, and the ethical limits of governmental intervention in curbing individual behavior. The film navigates these themes with a blend of irony, satire, and discomforting insight, refusing to provide easy answers.

    A Clockwork Orange's presentation on 4K UHD Blu-Ray further enhances Kubrick’s deliberate stylistic choices, offering a restored visual quality that intensifies the film's immersive experience. The meticulous transfer honors the original film's gritty textures and vibrant contrasts, ensuring that Kubrick’s vision is conveyed with the clarity and depth it necessitates. Surrounded by controversy, banned in several countries for its explicit content, the film stands as a polarizing yet undeniably influential piece of cinema that continues to provoke debate concerning societal violence and the nature of human conditioning. Whether viewed as sensationalist trash or a profound satirical masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange endures as a testament to Kubrick's fearless filmmaking prowess and his enduring impact on the landscape of cinematic storytelling.

    Total: 88

    Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" continues to draw attention and debate, half a century after its original release. With Warner Bros.' latest venture into the 4K UHD realm, this masterpiece receives an Ultra HD makeover that magnifies its visual and thematic potency. The native 4K image leaps off the screen, replete with vivid colors, deep blacks, and pristine whites, all the while preserving the quintessential 'Kubrick' feel through its inherent softness and grain. This edition, released as both a standalone and part of the Warner Bros. 100th Anniversary Studio Collection, ensures Kubrick's dystopian vision is more accessible and stunningly detailed than ever, though it retains previously seen extras without adding new material.

    However, the audio aspect of the release presents a rather mixed bag. The original mono track offers an authentic auditory experience, in contrast to the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, which some may find excessively harsh due to its amplified frontal channels. This discrepancy in audio fidelity can detract from the otherwise immersive viewing experience, although enthusiasts with a preference for the mono soundtrack may still find it satisfactory. The preservation of all legacy extras, despite their familiarity, adds a layer of appreciation for long-time fans, offering a semblance of continuity across releases.

    In conclusion, "A Clockwork Orange" in 4K UHD by Warner Bros. marks a significant upgrade that befits Kubrick's controversial yet undeniably influential classic. While it excels in delivering an outstanding visual restoration that showcases the film's vivid imagery and stylistic nuances like never before, the audio experience leaves room for improvement. Nonetheless, for devotees of Kubrick's work and cinephiles eager to experience this seminal film in the highest quality possible, this release represents a worthy addition to any collection. The balance between maintaining the film's original aesthetic integrity and utilizing modern home entertainment technology makes this 4K UHD edition highly recommended, despite some reservations regarding audio treatment.