Devotion’s script revolves morality speeches. Some concern race – star Johnathan Majors stares directly into the camera as he remembers and uses bigoted statements as fuel to fight in Devotion’s best example. Others lack the authenticity, like those concerning the common brotherhood that happens during wartime. It’s canned, forced, and too exacting.

That storytelling method diminishes Devotion, more so considering the runtime is primarily dictated by on-the-ground, between-mission dialog. Devotion isn’t a war movie in its heart, but something that will deliver on its title. Paired with co-star Glen Powell, Majors forms a bond that goes beyond piloting and invites Powell to learn about the torturous regimen the Navy created to keep Majors’ Jesse Brown out of the service.

In its few flight scenes, Devotion shows tremendous filmmaking craftsmanship

This is a true story, oftentimes tragic, and at the end, crushingly brutal. Jesse Brown deserves his history be told to a wide audience, because as one of the commanding officers says, no one remembers wars, and even fewer remember the names attached to them. That’s one of those inauthentic conversations, albeit one with a truthful force behind it.

Behind the inherent racial component, depressingly inevitable when telling of the first black Navy aviator, Devotion finds organic drama too. Pilots feel both lucky and disappointed to have missed World War II, entering conflict during the red scare before being placed in Korea to fight. Then, a change in plane models challenges the pilot’s knowledge and skills.

In its few flight scenes, Devotion shows tremendous filmmaking craftsmanship, credited to Kevin LaRosa II, the same mind behind Top Gun: Maverick. While his imagery – and oftentimes real world, not CG, planes – is at times equal to 2022’s other flight spectacle, the rest feels as if a glorified direct-to-video drama. For a heftily budgeted studio film, Devotion isn’t given much gloss or visual enthusiasm.

Devotion 4K UHD screen shot


Shot digitally but with added artificial grain in post, Devotion appears somewhat gritty. Paramount’s encode isn’t among the best from the studio, never convincing as film (real or simulated), and noisy. That softens things, dimming the overall fidelity. Devotion’s native sharpness (pre-grain) does make its presence known, with enough texture to go around, even if it’s not top-end.

Dimmed via plenty of sepia to suggest the vintage time period, color stays reserved. It’s dull by intent, primaries reduced and marginalized from digital grading. Expect dry flesh tones and a limited palette. Come night, obviously digital blues layer the screen totally to near monochrome.

Dolby Vision helps in the sky as sunlight reflects blindingly from the cockpit. Superlative black levels shine too in their own way, delivering on the shadow-y intensity needed to provide Devotion with depth galore.


Baffling in the decision making, Paramount only includes DTS-HD 5.1 track. Credit where it’s due – this is a stellar DTS-HD mix, but Devotion begs for an Atmos soundstage. There’s enough bass from the plane engines alone, throbbing and shaking the room whenever engaged. Whenever they pass by the frame, the thrust is satisfying and convincing. Flak cannons provide boom in the air around the pilots. Bombing runs pop from the explosions; this is high-end stuff.

Surrounds perform equally great, aircraft panning, swooping, and passing from every available speaker. While the loss of additional rears and heights is noticeable for those accustomed, Devotion can still surprise when at its best, and that’s any action scene.


Paramount doesn’t include a Blu-ray, so the bonuses sit on the 4K disc itself, and include two fluff EPK featurettes.

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


Devotion focuses primarily on the ground drama than flight action, but to the benefit of its characterization.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 44 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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