4K/Blu-Ray Review: David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam”

“ A lot of this actually happened,” claims the prologue to David O. Russell’s Amsterdam, now available on home video from 20th Century Studios. The eagerly awaited film from the Oscar-nominated visionary behind Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle boasts an all-star cast with undeniable gravitational pull. Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, Mike Meyers, and Taylor Swift all share the screen in this artsy mystery.

(20th Century Studios)

(20th Century Studios)

Set primarily in 1933, Dr. Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale) and attorney Harold Woodman, Esq. (John David Washington) are best friends who met during The Great War. When they are called upon to look into the suspicious death of the General who first introduced them, the buddies find themselves in the midst of an international conspiracy to set progress back. As dark as things get, they also find themselves reunited with the third member of their wartime trio, Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie). Together, they become an integral part of a secret resistance group to stop shadow power players from the rise of an unspeakable evil.

A commercial and critical failure, Amsterdam doesn’t live up to the clout surrounding David O. Russell’s name. Still, its talented cast deliver incredible performances, with Christian Bale pulling out yet another unforgettable character and displaying quirks we haven’t seen from him yet. If you missed the chance to see it in theaters, now is the time to bring it home with the best picture and sound quality possible on 4K Ultra-HD.

Bonus Features

  • Welcome To Amsterdam (15:30) – Learn how this original, witty crime epic was made. Hear from the writer/director about his process, the actors who transformed into their characters, and discover how the production created the period look of this visually spectacular film.


Amsterdam looks great in 4K, recreating the 2.39:1 aspect ratio for your home theater. As a period film, the cinematography has a halcyon quality to it, but details are clear while faithfully recapturing the theatrical experience.


The standard audio on the 4K disc is a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 mix, which fills the room without being overbearing. Additional audio options include a 2.0 descriptive audio mix, plus Spanish 7.1 and French 5.1. The included Blu-Ray disc has the same audio options, with the exception of the main mix swapped for a 7.1 DTS-HDMA mix and the Spanish track is in 5.1 instead of 7.1.

Packaging & Design

The Ultimate Collector’s Edition of Amsterdam comes in a standard black Blu-Ray case with disc holders on both sides of the interior. The 4K disc has artwork, while the Blu-Ray disc is Disney’s typical blue with white text. The only insert included is a digital copy code, redeemable through Movies Anywhere. The initial pressing includes a flat slipcover. There are no trailers and the menu on both discs features the star logo, sans actors, set to score.

Final Thoughts

Even the biggest David O. Russell fan is unlikely to want to watch Amsterdam enough times to warrant a purchase. For those that do, the 4K release offers the best picture and sound quality. While the single bonus feature is comprehensive, its brevity is a shock and the set surprisingly lacks a commentary track, which could’ve given audiences a chance to better understand what the filmmaker’s intentions were.

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