Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – 4K UHD Review

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a 2014 American action spy thriller film that was directed by Kenneth Branagh, Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Branagh, and Kiera Knightley star in leading roles. The film features the fictional character Jack Ryan as created by author Tom Clancy. It is the fifth installment in the Jack Ryan film series; but it is presented as a reboot that departs from the previous installments. Unlike its predecessors, it is not an adaptation of a particular Clancy novel, but rather an original story. Pine stars in the title role, becoming the fourth actor to play Ryan, following Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck.

The original screenplay was written by Adam Cozand and David Koepp. The film was produced by Mace Neufeld, Lrenzo di Bonaventura, David Barron, and Mark Vahradian, with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Paul Schwake, and Tommy Harper as executive producers.

The film score was composed by Patrick Doyle. The film was released on January 17, 2014, and has grossed over $130 million in revenue at the box office. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was met with mixed critical reviews. The film is dedicated to Clancy, who unfortunately passed away on October 1, 2013.

The Film Itself (3/5):

While it doesn’t necessarily reinvent the action-thriller wheel, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit gives its viewers a nicely done, and, for the most part, reasonably different experience with it being a reboot for the franchise. Being “okay” for the most part, the movie is packed with your standard amount of thrills for a film of its nature; and it doesn’t really offer anything new in comparison to its previously released films within the franchise. Giving its viewers more of a look into the background of Jack Reacher, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” was considerably average.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Despite being an upscale or “fake 4K” release, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit really shines with its visual presentation. Offering a cleaner image, there are significant boosts in terms of textural precision, and much more fine-tuning with the picture when compared to the previously released Blu-ray copies of the film. With an increased sharpness and depth to the film, this movie is one that absolutely can be the feature piece in anyone’s 4K setup as they will want to feature a more refined image when showing it off to friends.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Packaged with the same DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix as the previous release, the 4K UHD copy of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit gives its viewers an absolutely powerful, lossless experience that absolutely roars through home theater systems as it offers an absolutely all out immersive and powerful experience for its viewers. The track packaged with this release is clean. The recognition of the viewers in relation to the screen was noticeable as the transitions from channel to channel were clean, and the dialogue was clean and clear, allowing for everything to be heard without having to adjust the volume levels as the movie progressed.

The Packaging (4/5):

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit comes packaged in the Jack Ryan: 5-Film Collection.  This collection is packaged in a ten-disc, extra thick amaray case that contains the 4K UHD discs of all of the films within, as well as the standard Blu-ray copies of all of the films advertised within.  While there are no DVD copies of the films included with this bundle, there is a digital copy redemption pamphlet that contains the necessary codes to add the five movies to collections for the various streaming platforms.  There’s also a slipcover that’s been provided that has the same artwork that’s also been provided on the case art.


Special Features (3/5):

Unfortunately, the 4K UHD release of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit doesn’t include any new additional features when compared to the previously released Blu-ray counterpart. The nice thing is that the 4K UHD disc does include an audio commentary hidden within the menu’s, and that commentary track has been also made available on the Blu-ray copy. Included with this release is:

  • Disk 1
    • Feature Audio Commentary By Kenneth Branagh and Lorenzo di Bonaventura
  • Disk 2
    • Feature Audio Commentary By Kenneth Branagh and Lorenzo di Bonaventura
    • Jack Ryan: The Smartest Guy In The Room
    • Sir Kenneth Branagh: The Tsar Of Shadow Recruit
    • Deleted & Extended Scenes (with optional audio commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Lorenzo di Bonaventura)

Technical Specs:


Codec: HEVC / H2.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, 2.35:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1


English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

German: Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

French: Dolby Digital 5.1

French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1

Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1

Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1


English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish


Original Film: 105 Minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I was happy to sit down and revisit Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit as it has been quite some time since I’d last seen this movie.  The 4K UHD version offers a significantly better visual presentation over its previously released counterpart.  The audio track is the same exact one that’s been previously provided, which is a shame that they didn’t really take the time to put any kind of additional attention into.  The special features are pretty sparse, but the ones that have been provided were certainly appreciated.  If you’re considering this release for your collection, I’d definitely recommend grabbing it if you don’t already have the previously released Blu-ray copy of the collection.  The Jack Ryan 5-Film Collection is available on 4K UHD today.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.