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JD Dillard
Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell, Christina Jackson
Writing Credits:
Jake Crane, Jonathan AH Miller

A pair of US Navy fighter pilots risk their lives during the Korean War and become some of the Navy's most celebrated wingmen.

Box Office:
$90 million.
Opening Weekend
$5,902,803 on 3405 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
Dolby Vision
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Description
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime:139 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 2/28/2023

• “The Aviation of a Forgotten War” Featurette
• “The Legacy of Jesse Brown” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Devotion [4K UHD] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 19, 2023)

An event that occurred between World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War has received substantially less attention from filmmakers over the decades. With 2022’s Devotion, we get a rare movie that takes place during that conflict.

“Inspired by” real events, we go to Rhode Island circa March 1950. Navy pilot Lt. Tom Hudner (Glen Powell) arrives as a transfer from Pearl Harbor to join the VF-32 fighter squadron wing.

Hudner gets assigned to partner with Ensign Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors), the lone Black pilot in this group – and the first Black naval aviator period. The pair develop a friendship and go to fight in Korea together.

At the start of Devotion, a title card refers to Korea as “the forgotten war”. That doesn’t seem wholly true, if just because the legacy of M*A*S*H as both a movie and a TV series keeps it in the public consciousness.

But as I noted at the open of this review, filmmakers prefer WWII or Vietnam. This means we don’t find a whole lot of movies related to the Korean War.

To a substantial degree, Devotion doesn’t actually tell a story about that conflict either. The Korean War doesn’t erupt until more than halfway into Devotion, as the film mainly prefers its character side.

Which sounds good on the surface, as I should appreciate an ostensible war film that focuses more on people over mayhem. However, Devotion tends to squander that time with superficial and meandering material.

Devotion never decides if it wants to offer the expected combat movie, a civil rights tale of a man who overcomes bigotry to succeed, or a “band of brothers” story of bonds among the pilots. Devotion attempts all three but spreads too thin to satisfy in any particular manner.

For all the time we spend with Jesse, Tom, Jesse’s wife Daisy (Christina Jackson) and the others, we never gain real insights about them. Jesse and Tom become besties a little too easily, and outside of occasional instances of the racism Jesse faced, we don’t get to learn a lot about his trials.

This makes the movie’s first half drag pretty badly. The narrative meanders and follows the characters via a variety of less than compelling moments.

Honestly, a lot of this feels like filler. For instance, we get a long sequence in which Jesse and colleagues enjoy leave in Cannes and meet Elizabeth Taylor (Serinda Swan).

Loosely based on an actual event, this segment sounds intriguing. In reality, it just acts as an unnecessary digression in a movie full of them.

When the aviators finally go into battle, Devotion picks up a little, but it still feels like it never finds a groove. At its heart, it wants to provide a human tale, and as noted, I respect that.

However, the end result remains too thin and superficial to deliver the jolt it needs. I admire the goals of Devotion but the final product never gels.

Footnote: photos of the movie’s real-life characters show up during the credits. The film ends with a quick nod toward director JD Dillard’s father.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus C-

Devotion appears in an aspect ratio of 2.20:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong Dolby Vision image.

Delineation seemed solid. Some minor softness marred darker interiors, but the majority of the flick felt accurate and concise.

No signs of moiré effects or jaggies occurred. The movie also lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

In terms of palette, Devotion favored a combination of teal and amber, though in a somewhat low-key manner to befit the period setting. Those choices came as no surprise, and the 4K UHD reproduced them in a satisfactory manner. The disc’s HDR brought a little extra impact to the tones as well.

Blacks showed strong depth, and shadows were good, with nice opacity and clarity. The HDR added vivacity to whites and contrast. All of this was enough for a “B+”.

I felt consistently pleased with the excellent DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Devotion. As expected, the soundscape offered frequent room for information to emanate from the various speakers.

The mix used those chances well. The soundtrack delivered a lot of auditory material that spread out across the speakers in a satisfying manner and that blended together nicely.

This meant an active track in which the surrounds worked as frequent partners and kept the mix humming. Plenty of action moments made this a consistently impressive soundfield.

Audio quality also satisfied, as speech was natural and concise, while music sounded peppy and full. Effects turned into the primary factor, and those elements appeared accurate and vivid.

Bass response added real depth and rocked my subwoofer. Expect a top-notch sonic experience here.

Two featurettes appear here and The Aviation of a Forgotten War runs 11 minutes, 17 seconds. It brings notes from aerial pilot/lead camera pilot Kevin LaRosa II, author Adam Makos, screenwriter Jake Crane, director JD Dillard, production designer Wynn Thomas, aerial director of photography Michael Fitzmaurice, and actors Daren Kagasoff, Glen Powell, Jonathan Majors, Joe Jonas, and Christina Jackson.

Here we look at the project’s roots and development, Dillard’s impact on the shoot, design choices and aerial photography, and the actors’ training. “Aviation” mixes fluff and decent insights.

The Legacy of Jesse Brown goes for 12 minutes, three seconds and involves Powell, Jonas, Crane, Majors, Dillard, Smith, and actors Thomas Sadoski, Nick Hargrove and Spencer Neville. We get some notes about the real people behind the movie’s characters in this moderately informative chat.

About the first Black naval aviator, Devotion tells a potentially compelling tale. However, it proceeds at a slow pace and lacks the depth it needs to rise above the level of well-meaning but flat. The 4K UHD comes with strong picture and audio as well as two featurettes. I want to like Devotion more than I do.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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