The 5 Best Dolby Atmos Movies to Watch at Home

One of the very finest ways to enjoy surround sound, both at home and in movie theaters, is with Dolby Atmos. Furthermore, there are plenty of immersive sound codecs available for the former. Numerous top-notch films include immersive Atmos sound and are encoded with it. The only things you’ll need to start the party are the appropriate Atmos-compatible A/V equipment (TV, speakers, Blu-ray player, A/V receiver), as well as the appropriate, mind-blowing films.

If you enjoy surrounding sound, you probably already understand Dolby Atmos’ potential. When a movie makes use of this technology, the sound editors can put background noise at various speaker locations, completely engrossing you in the picture. Try out your surround sound system with one of the fantastic Dolby Atmos-compatible movies below if you’ve just set it up.

1. The Batman (2022)

Dolby Atmos

The Batman presents us with a gritty, grounded, and more expressionistic Gotham than we’re used to, with a cinematic style that seems to take more inspiration from 2019’s Joker (via ’70s noir) than the Dark Knight’s 12 prior live-action appearances. If you have a Dolby Atmos system, it may also be the most immersive because the excellent sound design allows viewers to switch between the views of the characters, heightening the dramatic suspense and exciting action while keeping them riveted for the entire three hours.

However, we are given access to more than just Bruce Wayne’s perspective. In one of two nightclub scenes that sound uncannily genuine, Zoe Kravitz’s proto-Cat Woman stalks through the Iceberg Lounge while Batman issues orders remotely, sounding like the voice of God to her. We see her sonic outlook as she goes by clubgoers and leering men.

Another time, as Batman tries to rescue a note from a caged Chiroptera, we are even offered a look from a bat’s perspective. We are then firmly enclosed within the cage while agitated noises spiral out above and around us in a very unnerving whirlwind.

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In order to give the dense soundscape some breathing room and let the thick, liturgical score (often moved off the screen to the sides), a rich tapestry of effects, and hushed voices coexist without competing, Dolby Atmos is widely used in the film.

The automobile chase where Batman is chasing the Penguin is the best example of this. The viewer is inundated with passing trucks, crashing crates, and sheeting rain as the Batmobile smashes through the soundscape in the middle of it.

Even with the relentlessly increasing music, gruff gunshots, and amazing sub-bass, the story of the scene is thrillingly evident. It appears as though the potential of every conceivable plane is being wrung out of the speakers to exciting effect when the camera switches from the automobile inside to the bumper to mid-air vehicle flip.

2. The Power Of The Dog (2021)

Dolby Atmos

The Power Of The Dog is a gripping slow-burning psychological historical drama that takes place mostly on a secluded ranch in rural Montana. Dolby Atmos is employed extensively to discreetly raise the emotional stakes in this oppressive environment. The film boasts a very harsh and minimalist sound design to reflect the isolating influence of the terrain.

In a soundtrack that regularly flits with audibility limitations and presents a true dynamic challenge for your speakers, the macro of the expansive landscapes and the micro of the tense familial ties are portrayed throughout the movie.

There is a magnificent variety of winds to experience, with close breezes in the grass employed to both highlight and play against the vastness of the terrain, while the gusts that rattle through the family home’s frail walls imply the lack of privacy.

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The Power Of The Dog’s characters are all in some manner repressed, therefore their emotions are represented by distinctive noises that serve virtually as leitmotifs. The bully Phil who rules the ranch in the first scene of the movie is audibly dominant and strong as he strides around the property with his heavy boots and ringing spurs.

The boots take on the role of an unconscious tool to demonstrate to the audience his capacity to torment others. During a two-minute, wordless scenario in which Rose is practicing the piano to impress her new husband’s dinner guests, Phil starts playing along on his banjo with the intention of offending her.

Even in stereo, it’s a really intense sequence to watch, but with a Dolby Atmos system, Rose’s point of view is available, allowing us to experience as well as observe how cruel Phil can be.

Atmos is utilized to find the banjo in the back corner of the roof and Rose downstairs. The music tracks his movements as he moves about, gradually filling the ceiling to give the sense that Rose’s taunting has taken over all of her thoughts. Then, abruptly, Rose is startled by the sound of his boots, which brings the drama to a head.

3. No Time To Die (2021)

Dolby Atmos

No Time To Die breaks from tradition by starting with a much more understated and spooky flashback to Madeleine’s early years in Norway. Typically, Bond movies open with a major set piece. Every sound is given acres of space, mirroring the desolation of the surroundings and increasing intensity without drowning the listener in layers of sound. Due to the film’s slow-burn beginning, the ambush at Vesper’s mausoleum in Matera has a bigger effect as a result.

One of the film’s most memorable sound design moments occurs after the explosion scene in the cemetery when Bond temporarily loses his hearing and the audience hears the world from his perspective. Instead of depending on a tinnitus ring, the designers have the viewer become disoriented by filtering out the majority of the sound and leaving only the low, vibrating parts of Bond’s gasps and movements.

Even the music is given similar treatment, and for the first time, Bond’s frailty is hinted at before the bullet cracks over the soundstage and takes us back to more traditional 007 territories.

There are many beautiful details to be found in the ensuing dramatic chase through Matera, especially if you have the chance to listen on a Dolby Atmos system. It’s a point near the finish of this scene, after swinging off a bridge and flying into the air on a motorcycle, that we believe delivers the soundest benefits.

It is masterfully presented in 360 degrees from both an external and a cocooned interior perspective, intermingled with the dizzying sound of the village’s ceaseless churchbells, as bullets rain down on the Aston Martin and Bond, believing he has been betrayed, belligerently sits inside with Madeleine.

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Each crisp crack and crunch changes as the shots are fired, keeping the unrelenting onslaught dramatic until the sound of crystals breaking gives the audience a sign that the automobile, like Bond, is not infallible.

No Time To Die’s audio complements the film’s colossal graphics and hits all the necessary beats for a knowledgeable audience while also being brimming with unique, storytelling sounds.

4. Belfast (2021)

Dolby Atmos

Belfast is a film based on the memories of director Kenneth Branagh’s boyhood in Northern Ireland that is recounted in an uncynical manner from the perspective of 10-year-old Buddy. It’s Buddy’s own tale that is front and center, despite the fact that it occurs against a backdrop of civil instability and sectarian bloodshed that would cause the largest forced mass movement of people since the Second World War. The narrative, as well as the sound design, are peripheral to The Troubles.

The sound team’s use of soundscape isn’t always literal; instead, they subtly imply to the audience that what we are hearing is being perceived via a child’s ears. When using sound effects, like the Western-style American freight train in the opening scene, authority figures’ voices are occasionally lowered in pitch to make them seem menacing. Other times, implausible sound effects are employed that Buddy would have only heard in movies.

Belfast lacks a traditional score, which frees up the directors to be more creative with dialogue and sound effects that are used to create a rich, hyper-real tapestry that floats about Buddy. Through his hearing, Buddy constantly has the impression that something is happening just out of view.

As helicopters swarm the sky above, voices are regularly moving off-center, creating a soundscape that is both grandiose and confined, just like the plot. Because music isn’t used very often, when it is, it has the impression of a huge, heavy drop and contributes to many of the film’s most happy scenes.

The movie opens in fantastic audio fashion with a busy summer afternoon of neighbors and kids running around the street. This is especially true if you have the chance to listen on a Dolby Atmos system. This scene, which features intricate, moving conversations that should all be audible, will truly show off how well your system is linked.

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Buddy hears what seems to be a familiar sound as he drives home: a train. As the camera circles a perplexed Buddy and the train’s noise progressively changes, we quickly realize that something is wrong. Before anarchic violence erupts from all directions, raining rocks overhead, the swirling, slow-motion noises of the rioters begin to blend with a broad undulating bass tone and fade down into Buddy’s breath. The trash can lid Buddy was using to play knight in shining armor seamlessly transforms into a genuine shield that his mother uses to guard him against his neighbors.

The careful editing of this scene, as well as the entire movie, maintains the mayhem cohesive and makes it easier for viewers to understand the story and Buddy’s uncertainty without needing any additional explanation.

5. Dune (2021)

Dolby Atmos

The rarest of movies, Dune is a subversive post-apocalyptic blockbuster firmly rooted in reality. The sound design is employed to create a credible universe consisting of desert vistas and enormous sandworms that the audience feels immediately a part of and protected by in order to help ground its eccentric plot and weird images.

Only four of the 3200 bespoke sound effects made for the movie were fully synthesized. This indicates that Dune has a tactile familiarity rather than the chilly futurism that is so common in science fiction.

The kingdom of Arrakis has been meticulously crafted as a musical universe by the sound team, rooted in authenticity and sensitively enveloping the listener to provide a sense of intimacy as well as scale. Paul and his father fly in an Ornithopter (an airplane that resembles a dragonfly) to survey the spice harvest in the scene that takes place approximately an hour into the movie and is where we first see a big sandworm.

To create the sound of a purring “aircraft” soaring high over the desert, the sound team mixed natural bug and feline sounds. Dolby Atmos is skillfully utilized to produce the spectacular sense of the craft dive-bombing deeply into the sand storm as things start to go wrong with the worm’s arrival.

What comes next is an amazing, all-encompassing auditory concoction of groaning desert winds, tinkling granular dust, enormous creatures, and glitching ethereal voices that flow in succession across an astounding dynamic range. Although there isn’t much speech, the narration is engaging and brilliantly finished by a quiet moment as the rattling plane and its struggling crew return to base.

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In order to add even more levels of texture and emotional impact, Hans Zimmer’s wonderful genre-defying soundtrack is employed, and it is moved about the room in a way that integrates, rather than dominates, the rest of the audio. The music and FX are switched between continuously and seamlessly, which unifies the soundscape and heightens the tension without distracting the audience.

Although it’s commonly believed that movies with the most sound win prizes over those with the best, we believe Dune’s 2022 Oscar for Achievement in Sound demonstrates that it’s feasible to have both.

HBO Max offers a Dolby Atmos home streaming option for Dune. On Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung TVs, VIZIO 4K Smart TVs, Xbox consoles, and Xfinity devices, the HBO Max app does not support Dolby Atmos.

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