Time (2020) | Blu-ray Review

Criterion’s deal with Amazon Studios has meant a few of the movies that would typically be stuck on streaming have made their way onto physical media. One of these titles was Garrett Bradley’s documentary, Time. So let’s dive in and see how this Blu-ray compares to the stream.

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Buy it here!

Or if you decide you just want to watch it, you can stream it here*: Watch it here!

Time 4K Blu-ray cover art

Tech Specs:

Format(s):Blu-ray (BD-50)
Released By:Criterion
Release Date:January 18th, 2022
Video Format / Codec:BR: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Resolution:BR: Full HD, 1080/24p
Digital Intermediate (DI):4K (from digital RAW)
High-Dynamic Range (HDR):n/a
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Audio Format(s):English (4K/BR):
DTS-HD MA 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Subtitles:English SDH
Packaging:Single disc snapcase
Region Coding:BR: Region A (locked)

Video Review:

As a modern, digitally captured film, one would expect a clean image and a lot of fine detail, and this did not disappoint on that front. The documentary’s focus is on the people and as a result we get a good number of closeups from interviews, speeches and b-roll that all reveal a high level of fine detail in skin and hair, clothing and the setting that each person is in. Interspersed into the movie is some very low quality home video footage, which looks as it should which is lacking resolution, showing some tape tracking issue and more, but this is what it should look like, and was intended to look like and so I think it presents well especially in stark contrast to the cleanliness of the modern footage.

There is no film grain in the film due to the capture technique employed and as a result it looks very clean.

The movie is presented in black and white and it overall looks pretty solid. It has a nice level of contrast but it’s certainly not pushing it to the maximum that the 8-bit color depth could handle and I’m not sure that would have been the intent. The lighter details come through clean and bright without a ton of lost detail and blacks remain a very dark gray rather than diving down deep. Given the nature of the film, I think it was appropriate but on the technical front it

So how does it compare the stream? First off, on Amazon Prime you will find this in Ultra HD resolution and HDR and against that this Blu-ray still holds up fairly well. The biggest advantage this has is its consistency. When watching on Amazon Prime, there were a few instances of compression artifacts and some color banding that I just did not find on the Criterion Blu-ray. The disc looked solid and consistent throughout the runtime, although at its best the 4K stream looked superior on close inspection.

Video Score (BR): 4.6 / 5 (Excellent)

Audio Review:

For audio, this disc comes with a 5.1 surround mix and my expectations were set accordingly. The film is very front heavy as the focus is on the words and action on screen. The sides do come in, but mostly to support the musical score and the occasional ambiance building, but if you are expecting a deeply immersive mix, you are not going to find it. But again, this is what one would expect and as a result I think the mix delivers on its intent. Bass is present but mostly serves to fill out the dialog and score and certainly if you are putting this on for an audio demo, I might have to question your logic.

Audio Score (BR): 4.0 / 5 (Good)

Special Features and Packaging:

Extras are one of the areas that streaming loses out to physical media almost every time. In addition to the consistent presentation of the main feature, we also get audio commentary from the director, several interviews and conversations, another short documentary, trailers and a written essay found on the leaflet inside the case.

For packaging, this is very much the standard case and style for Criterion. It has some unique artwork on the front, a still shot of the sky on the interior and a bit of disc art to round it out. It’s in the standard clear Criterion snapcase. I still feel that given the pricing, Criterion should add on a slipcover especially for initial pressings, but my guess is they know they will sell these without it, so why add the cost. Still Criterion’s always have a pleasant look and a premium feel. 

Features Score: 3.8 / 5 (Good)


If you enjoy this style of documentary or have seen it and want to ensure you have it in your collection, then this is a worthwhile pickup. Is it worlds better than the stream? No. So if you just want to see it, or have a casual interest, and don’t care about the extras, my guess is Amazon will have this up to stream for a long while.

Buy Recommendation: Possibly…

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Buy it here!

Or if you decide you just want to watch it, you can stream it here*: Watch it here!

Summary and Overall Scores:

A well presented Criterion Blu-ray with solid, clean imagery and a purposefully clean and focused audio presentation that keeps the attention on the content. Overall, if you enjoyed this Oscar nominated documentary and want to make sure you have it consistently, then it’s a worthwhile investment.

Experience Score**: 4.2 / 5  (Very Good)

** Experience score does not take into account the quality of the film itself, just the technical presentation, packaging and included features.

If a video version of this review is made, it will be posted here. If you are looking for video versions of my other reviews, please check out the Freshly Tapped Media channel on YouTube.

*DISCLOSURE: By using links on this site, there is no added cost to you, and we may receive a small commission which helps to support current and future work.