The Plot: 1892, New Mexico legendary Army captain Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) undertakes one final mission before retirement; escort Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) a dying Cheyenne war chief - and his family back to sacred tribal lands. After 20 years of violent struggles, this gesture of peace is as unthinkable as it is harrowing. Together they battle against a punishing landscape and the brutality of men alike, coming to the rescue of a young widow (Rosamund Pike) amidst the carnage of her murdered family. Two great warriors, once rivals across the battlefield, must learn to trust each other and find peace in an unforgiving land.
A heroic odyssey of survival, HOSTILES becomes a story not about the miles travelled nor the battles fought, but the journey towards respect, reconciliation and forgiveness (Disc sleeve).
The video: Presented in its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p transfer of Hostiles looks absolutely beautiful from start to finish. Shot on film by noted cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi (The Grey, Out of the Furnace), its New Mexican locales are wonderfully captured and, more often than not, look impressive enough to just randomly pause and admire. Colors are extremely natural with accurate, even skin tones and a strong palette that varies between almost sepia-toned indoor moments to bold, sun-baked outdoor landscapes. Image detail and textures are quite noticeable at times, with excellent contrast and deep blacks that rarely get lost in shadow (5) (dvdtalk).
The audio: Details abound in the well-balanced, crisply rendered DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. From crackling flames, babbling brooks, jangling chains, and footsteps crunching in the sand to chirping crickets, gentle breezes, piecing gunfire, and horse hooves galloping across the wild terrain, the audio always sounds lifelike and helps to fully immerse us in the rugged atmosphere. Palpable surround activity and distinct front-channel stereo separation produce a wide, enveloping soundscape, while strong bass frequencies supply welcome weight and booming accents. An expansive dynamic scale fully embraces Max Richterís music score, which benefits from superior fidelity and tonal depth, and no distortion or surface noise mar the mix. Some of the dialogue is so soft-spoken it can be difficult to comprehend, but thatís the only hiccup on this impressive, beautifully modulated track (4.5) (High-Def Digest).