Best 3D Blu-ray Disc Movies To Buy in 2017

These 3D Blu-ray Discs Provide a Great 3D Viewing Experience

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As part of my job, I use 3D Blu-ray discs to test the 3D video performance of Blu-ray disc players, TVs, video projectors, and home theater receivers. However, not all 3D Blu-ray discs offer the best 3D viewing experience. Check out a list of my current favorites for best 3D Blu-ray discs.

Unfortunately, as of 2017, TV makers are no longer making 3D TVs targeted for the U.S. market, with LG and Samsung the last to pull out.

However, the 3D viewing option is still available on many video projectors (which is actually the best way to enjoy the 3D viewing experience, and, of course, there are still millions of 3D-enabled TVs in use throughout the U.S. and the World - in China, 3D is still a big deal!

In addition, there are well over 500 3D Blu-ray Disc movie titles available, and new titles will still be released as long as there is demand.

The quality of your 3D viewing experience (such as cross-talk and motion smoothness) is also determined by your TV, Bu-ray Disc player, and 3D glasses.

The following list features 20 of my current 3D Blu-ray Disc favorites and is updated periodically as new 3D Blu-ray discs are released or come to my attention as good examples of 3D video quality.

Also, if you are interested in some great non-3D Blu-ray disc movies to add your collection, check out my listing of Best Blu-ray Discs For Home Theater Viewing.

If you haven't seen The Walk on 3D Blu-ray and you have a 3D TV/Video projector/Blu-ray Disc player, definitely seek it out as it is one the best examples of 3D as storytelling tool ever released.

The film is based on the true story of tightrope walker Philippe Petit's historic high-wire walk between the two World Trade Center Towers in NYC in 1974. The film is both a tribute to Petit's accomplishment and the twin towers that are no longer a part of the NYC skyline.

Told from Petit's point-of-view (as portrayed by Joseph Gordon Levitt), we are taken on a journey back to his beginnings as high-wire artistic and juggler, through the planning of his dream, to walk between the twin towers.

The film was originally shot in 2D but converted by Legend 3D for both theatrical and Blu-ray Disc presentation. For those that dismiss the capabilities of 2D-to-3D conversion, this film will blow you away with the result.

As a build-up to the extensive final scenes, the 3D effects are realistically applied to low-wire and circus performance settings, but where the 3D really shines in the finale where you actually experience (close-up) Petit's famous walk.

If you are afraid of heights, this finale of this film will have you on squirming in your seat, but in a good way - just keep telling yourself "it is a movie" - that is how I got through it - definitely a testament to how realistic the 3D effects were in this film.

The bottom line - Excellent movie, Excellent 3D!

There is a lot of promotion for moviegoers to see the latest movie in 3D. However, not all movies benefit from the 3D viewing experience, as it doesn't add to the story.

However, if you had the opportunity to see Marvel's Dr. Strange at your local cinema in 3D, or you missed it, the 3D Blu-ray Disc release of this film is your chance see a film where 3D is integral to the story, provided you have a 3D TV/projector and 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player.

After a devastating accident celebrated, but the egotistical medical doctor, Steven Strange, loses the ability to use his hands for performing complex surgeries. Desperate for a cure, he travels to Katmandu, Nepal, looking for an alternative medical cure. However, instead of finding a cure for the physical problem with his hands, he is thrust on a journey of discovery which takes him to unseen dimensions, ultimately facing off against powerful inter-dimensional and dark entities that threaten the universe.

The 3D effects are excellent, becoming the perfect tool to transport the viewer into alternate realities. Some scenes are reminiscent of the effects used in the film Inception, but this Doctor Strange takes it much further. If this film would have been possible in the 1960's - it would have been heralded as the ultimate "acid trip".

One thing to point out is that the aspect ratio of the film does change periodically between 2.39:1 and 1.78:1 to better present the action sequences.

The film was shot in 2D and was post-converted to 3D by Stereo D and Legend 3D, and is one of the best examples of post-production 2D-to-3D conversion done so far - a real testament on how 3D technology has matured - definitely, a must add to a 3D Blu-ray Disc collection.

I can't really say more about Avatar that has not already been said. It was THE film that started the current 3D trend, as it still one of the best, thus, definitely deserves a top spot in your 3D Blu-ray Disc library. From the opening space arrival scene to the final battle, this film has it all in terms of a 3D feast for the eyes. The main things to take note of the 3D aspect of this film is the more natural approach used in the 3D process. There is very little of the "comin'-at-ya" type of 3D effects commonly used in 3D movies that actually ends up pushing the viewer away. Instead, James Cameron has opted for a more textural approach to 3D that actually draws you into the fantastical world of Pandora.

Cameron also takes a similar approach to the soundtrack. The soundtrack isn't the "hit-em-over-the-head" variety, it is a great example of well-blended and properly balanced audio mixing, which makes it the perfect complement for the video presentation. As it currently stands, Avatar is the benchmark for 3D viewing.

If you are looking for a great 3D movie on Blu-ray - you have to check out Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Using 3D, in its current state, to its fullest capabilities, director Tsui Hark takes you back to a restless period of political intrigue in China's history with great sets, expansive outdoor cinematography, and excellently choreographed martial arts action, featuring martial arts stars Jet Li and Xun Zhou<.

The 3D presentation is fantastic. Yes, there are a lot of "comin'-at-ya" effects, but they are not thrown in for no purpose - they are part of the integration of the martial arts action. Also, both interior and exterior shots have an extraordinary amount of realistic depth as Tsui Hark uses an excellent technique of placing characters strategically between both foreground and background objects.

In addition, the colorfully layered period costumes are very detailed. Even the English subtitles are strategically placed just in front of the plane of the characters speaking the lines. However, you find the subtitle reading a little distracting at times - if so, you may want to opt for the English dub.

The Blu-ray Disc transfer is bright, thus translating well to 3D viewing with minimal brightness loss. Aside from the 3D, the Chinese Language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channel soundtrack is also excellent. However, if you prefer viewing the film in English, the English dubbed soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Even if you are not a fan of Asian martial arts films, the 3D Blu-ray disc release of Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is a great film to show off how good 3D can be, if it is done right.

NOTE: A 2D Blu-ray version of the film, with bonus features, is also included in the disc package.

Exotic location, giant monsters, and lots of action - These are the perfect reasons to watch Kong Skull Island. Hold on to your seat as Kong takes his anger on the flying helicopters!

Although originally shot in 2D and converted to 3D in post-production, you can tell that care was taken to get it right. The 3D effect takes advantage of the natural depth in the exotic landscapes, which really draws you into the movie.

Also, the differential size of the humans vs the monsters and the perspective of multiple mountains and trees vs the valleys and rivers is definitely effective.

In addition, a night scene where Kong faces off with Samuel L. Jackson, really shows off how well multiple objects in different planes can be enhanced using 3D. Of course, the great DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack definitely adds to the punch.

When I went to my local cinema with my friend to see The Force Awakens, I forgo-ed the option of seeing 3D as I wanted to experience it in 2D, the way I had with all the previous Star Wars films.

However, when the 3D version was released on Blu-ray Disc, I picked it up, and I was definitely not disappointed.

Starting with an opening crawl, I was drawn in by use of 3D in this film. In addition to the opening crawl, other distinctive scenes include:

  • Storm Troopers lined up inside a Drop Ship.
  • A nighttime raid on a village.
  • The massive interior depth of a wrecked star destroyer.
  • The main character Rey's activities on the planet Jakku.
  • The roundness of the BB8 droid.
  • The inside of a cantina.

3D effects were applied purposely and appropriately throughout the film and worked well in both dark and daylight scenes, and both costume and building textures were displayed realistically.

The 3D collector's edition also comes with a lot of extras, including both standard Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film and several "making of" mini-documentaries.

The only disappointment is that although this release includes a good DTS HD-Master Audio 7.1 channel soundtrack, it really deserved to have an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack that would have blended better with the 3D effects of the film.

From the wide expanse of space to claustrophobic space capsule interiors, Gravity delivers one of the most impressive 3D movie viewing experiences so far on Blu-ray Disc. However, what makes the use of 3D even more noteworthy is that is the result of 2D-to-3D conversion rather than being shot with 3D cameras.

Of course, just because the 3D is great doesn't mean that the movie would necessarily be good, but in this case, Director Alfonso Cauron, successfully weaves the style of a science fiction epic, with intense personal drama, using 3D a part of the storytelling vehicle - the only on-camera cast members are Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

Also, it must be noted that not only is Gravity a great dramatic and visual film, but its 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack definitely adds to the drama and immersive-ness of the film.

In addition to the film, there is also interesting supplementary material including a documentary narrated by Ed Harris on the issue of space junk that is crowding near-Earth space and a short additional scene that shows the other side of a radio communication between Sandra Bullock's character and someone on Earth. Other supplements cover the film's pre-production and production process, as well as some interesting shot breakdowns.

If you have a 3D TV or Video Projector, and a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player, Gravity is a must-have have for your collection.

Just about all superhero films are released in 3D these days, some provide a good 3D viewing experience, while some leave you asking "why bother?". However, Ant-Man is an example of an excellent 3D viewing experience.

Since the film deals with a superhero that can shrink and grow at will, there are abundant opportunities to take advantage of 3D. The contrast of Ant-man is his tiny state in relation to giant-sized ants, rocks, plants, and humans make for a fun viewing experience. Definitely, take note of the bathtub scene!

Of course, 3D isn't the only thing that matters, the film also features a great balance of adventure and humor, as well as the presence of veteran actor Michael Douglas and the smart and sassy Evangeline Lily.

To top it off, the 3D Blu-ray Disc also features an impressive DTS HD-Master Audio 7.1 channel soundtrack.

The Adventures of Tintin is a great example of how 3D can be used effectively to enhance the visual viewing experience and complement story telling. In the hands of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, the celebrated comic-book adventurer, Tintin, is brought to the screen in grand fashion, with great action and adventure, in the vein of Saturday matinee series and Spielberg's own Indiana Jones films. Tintin makes an excellent transition from printed page to film, with distinctive and memorable characters and supplies the perfect balance of thrills and comedy.

The Adventures of Tintin Limited Edition 3D Blu-ray disc comes packaged with both the 3D and 2D version of the film and a third disc containing the DVD version. Also provided are access codes to an Ultraviolet Digital Copy of the film.

I viewed both the 3D and 2D Blu-ray versions, and both provided a great viewing experience, but the 3D version is one of the better 3D transfers I have seen, retaining excellent detail, color, and holds up in fast motion sequences. Whether you prefer 2D or 3D, The Adventures of Tintin definitely belongs in your Blu-ray Disc collection. This film should have gotten an Oscar for Best Animated Film - It is a disappointment that it wasn't even nominated. However, The Adventures of Tintin definitely won't be ignored on this list!

Brave captures the look and romance of old Scotland through the eyes of Disney/Pixar. Princess Merida is growing up and needs to be married off, but she doesn't see it that way. However, in a quest for independence, things don't work out quite as she expects, and so the film is off and running with an exciting adventure suitable for the whole family.

Whether you watch this film in 2D or 3D, you have a great viewing experience, but in 3D, this film will blow you away. The look and texture of the film have excellent color, contrast, and detail. film to be exhibited in a movie theater in 64-channel Dolby Atmos surround sound. Obviously, you won't get quite the same audio experience at home, but the sound mixers have taken great care to the mix-down process required for the home theater environment. As a result, the Blu-ray soundtrack features as much of the immersive intent of the original theatrical mix as possible.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo is not only a great 3D movie - it is a great movie - and Scorsese's first in 3D.

Hugo is one of those movies that takes us to a place and time that is both real and fanciful, grand in scope, yet very personal. Through the lens of Martin Scorsese, this Hugo reveals the magic and importance of film and filmmakers on our hopes and dreams.

The film is a delight to watch in either 2D or 3D, but the masterful use of 3D is woven in the film as an effective storytelling tool that draws you into the world of a 1930's Paris train station and its cast of distinguished characters.

3D is used to great effect that adds visual texture and perspective that makes you feel that you are actually in the movie. As the story develops, the viewer, along with Hugo and his friend Isabelle, discover the magic of movies that is inspirational.

For me, this film is why I love movies and home theater. In my opinion, Hugo only deserved its Academy Award nominations and wins, but I wish it would have won Best Picture. Whether you watch in 3D or 2D Blu-ray or DVD, Hugo is a special film that the whole family can enjoy and be inspired by.

In addition, the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel sound mix complements the 3D viewing experience perfectly.

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those films that turned out to be an unexpectedly huge hit. With a great cast, and excellent character and story execution, Marvel/Disney really pulled it off.

The film does an excellent job of introducing us to an unfamiliar group of characters (to most)who start off as outlaws and making them relate-able to the viewing audience. My favorites: Rocket Raccoon and Groot.

The most touted touch of the film was its great retro soundtrack - but what is not heralded so much as was the excellent execution of 3D.

The transfer onto Blu-ray is clean, with exceptional detail. Also, despite being a 2D-to-3D conversion, the 3D execution was consistently good throughout the film with natural depth and appropriate emphasis where you would expect it.

Some of the key 3D scenes include the opening scene/title sequence, a brazen jail-house escape, the elaborate finale.

The only thing that I was hoping for was more spaceship flying at you effects - but for 3D fans, you will still not be disappointed with the overall result.

It is brutal, violent, unrelenting, and definitely deserves its R-rating. However, Dredd provides an excellent 3D viewing experience in which 3D is actually an integral part of the storyline. Rather than resorting to pop-out effects, the film utilizes well-placed slow motion and excellent foreground-background perspective to draw you in.

Based on the well-known cult British comic book, viewers are taken on "day in the life of Judge Dredd" - who is one of an elite corps of individuals who is assigned to be judge, jury, and executioner (if need be) in the fight against crime in the near-future metropolis of Mega City One.

However, his additional assignment on this day is to evaluate a new recruit. The unlikely pair decides to investigate some odd goings-on in the 70,000 population Peachtrees Megablock, where they end up with facing off with both corrupt Judges and murderous drug lord Ma-Ma. If you can handle the intensity of the action, and the gritty film style, this is one great 3D movie.

Underworld: Awakening is the fourth entry in the semi-popular Underworld film series. The overall story arc concerns the conflicts within and between Vampire and Werewolf clans. However, this latest entry centers on the plight of both "species" as they are being targeted for extermination by humans.

The film is not an example of a great script or acting but the 3D video, 7.1 Channel DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound mix, and the extra features, which include some interesting pre-visualization clips, provides an entertaining viewing experience.

The 3D was shot natively using RED cameras (similar to the cameras being used by Peter Jackson for the Hobbit). The 3D effects layering is natural and detailed, despite the fact that the film contains a lot of dark scenes.

Whether or not you are a follower of the Underworld series, if you have both 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray Disc player, this disc is worth the view -

The 3D Blu-ray edition of Drive Angry literally blasts its way into your living room with tires screeching and guns blazing. Although the plot is not all that original, and the execution of the film has similarities and references to films like Bullit, Gone in Sixty Seconds (1974), Vanishing Point (1971)and Death Proof, it certainly justifies the extensive use of "comin'-at-ya'" 3D effects that are actually well staged.

I found the video transfer to be excellent with exceptional detail and color (although there were some instances of overly bright whites). I did not notice any over-processed post-production image enhancement (although the CGI used in the beginning and end of the film wasn't that great). The skin textures, fabric, and the chrome and bodywork on the cars were very detailed in both 2D and 3D. In addition, the Midwest and Southern locations looked great and provided the perfect rural backdrop to the action.

Although there is some minor intermittent ghosting (that is most noticeable in dark scenes), the 3D holds up well. The 3D has a lot of natural depth and does not suffer from "paper doll" effects. In addition, the soundtrack complements the over-the-top action very well.

It seems like just about every few years, a new version of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" hits either the local cinema or TV screens. We all know the main character, and we all know how the story ends. However, that is not the point. It is the way the story is told that really brings it home. In this case, Disney, who usually takes great liberties when translating literary works to the screen, doesn't veer off the details of the story that much. Also, instead of a live action performance, Disney has used the medium of 3D motion capture animation to bring this classic to the screen.

I actually passed on this version of the story when it was in theaters. However, needing a disc to test 3D, I decided to pick it up and I am glad I did. Yes, there are some sequences that emphasize an exaggerated 3D effect we endure with just about every 3D movie, however, director Robert Zemeckis also uses 3D to tell the story. One of most impressive is the sequence where Scrooge has to pay the coffin maker for the casket of his previous boss. The excellent use of 3D with the interplay of color and shadow is extraordinary, not to mention the 3D texture of the Scrooge's facial features. This is definitely a 3D Blu-ray disc that is a must-have demo disc - even if it is not Christmas.

Tangled is the 50th animated film release from Disney, and, supposedly, marks the studio's last in a long tradition of making animated films based on fairy tales. Here Disney takes the story of Rapunzel and executes it as both a light-hearted adventure, punctuated by a happy-ending love story. This film definitely appeals to kids, but there is more than enough for adults to enjoy.

The 3D presentation is excellent. Here the accent is not so much on "coming-at-you" effects, but using the 3D to bring out the already excellent colors and textures of the film that so that the whole thing draws you into a fantastic fairy tale world. This film is a great example of how 3D can be used to enhance the storytelling experience.
 

When I first saw the trailers for Despicable Me, I wasn't very impressed. It seemed like a rip-off of "Spy vs Spy" with cute yellow creatures and cheesy 3D effects. However, I was wrong! Obtaining this film to use on my 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray Disc reviews, I discovered a film that delved into the nature of loneliness, the need for acceptance, and redemption as much as fun and games.

Here the 3D effects are mostly played for laughs, but with great effect (the trailer didn't do the 3D justice). The strange world of the title character Gru (the World's preeminent super-villain) and his lemming-like Minions, although impressive in the 2D version, really come alive in the 3D version that makes this movie a great fun piece of entertainment, with just the right dab of seriousness, for the whole family. Definitely a great 3D demo disc.
 

Before the current 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray push, IMAX has been presenting documentaries and nature films in 3D theatrically for quite a while. Now, these wonderful films are being released on 3D Blu-ray Discs. Although these films are short (usually about 40 minutes or so in length), they are great additions to a home 3D movie library.

One of the best of these films is Under The Sea. I will say upfront that in my opinion, the narration provided by Jim Carrey isn't all that impressive to me, but what you see on the screen is just amazing. You are taken down into an undersea world where we get the chance to see creatures that very few humans get to see in their natural environment, if at all.

Also, the added bonus of 3D gives the feeling that that undersea is alive in your viewing room. Watch for that shark and don't let the sea lions jump out of the screen. You even get to enter the world of the Leafy Sea Dragon, a creature that is camouflaged so well, you would almost certainly miss it, even at close range. This film demonstrates what 3D does best, bringing aspects of our world to us that we may never be able to go to ourselves.
 

Last on this list, but not least, is House of Wax. This film is not only classic Vincent Price but is classic 3D. Released in 1953 (please don't confuse this film with the inferior 2005 remake), this film represents the beginning of the brief 1950's 3D craze and, fortunately, has been preserved in that format for release and enjoyment on 3D Blu-ray for modern audiences.

House of Wax has all the spookiness of a good 1950's horror film, and the 3D effects definitely help. The only odd thing in the film is an obvious (but short) demonstration of comin'-at-ya 3D effects that really don't need to be there (you will know it when you see it), but does provide some levity from the drama.

Also, the film quality is a little softer than want you might experience these days, but keep in mind that this was before CGI and other modern production/post-production techniques were available.

If you are both a film and 3D buff, this film is definitely worth putting in your collection, before it goes back into the Warner vault.

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