The 20 Best Surround Sound Movies (2024)

There are a lot of movie choices for the perfect surround sound experience. Whether it’s the crack of gunfire or the rumble of a spaceship, surround sound brings the action to life and allows viewers to feel as if they are part of the story.

But which movies make the best use of surround sound? Here are my top 20 picks.

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was one of the first films to be released in Dolby Atmos, a cutting-edge surround sound system that creates an immersive audio experience. The film’s sound design was Oscar-nominated, and it’s easy to see why when you experience the film in Atmos. 

2. Resident Evil: Apocalypse

The movie’s pulsing score and explosive action sequences are perfectly complemented by a powerful surround sound setup, making for an immersive and unforgettable viewing experience. If you’re looking to take your home theater to the next level, this is the perfect movie to start.

3. Suicide Squad

From the opening scene, where the camera pans around a chaotic cityscape, to the heart-pounding finale, Suicide Squad makes full use of its sound capabilities. Every explosion, every gunshot, and everything else sounds incredible.

4. Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse

Some of the best things about Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse are the sound effects and of course, the soundtrack. From the pulse-pounding action scenes to the more reflective moments, this movie features some of the best sound designs that I’ve ever heard in a film.

5.  American Sniper

The story follows the life of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who becomes one of the most lethal snipers in American history. One of the things that make the film so captivating is the way it uses sound to heighten the tension and create a sense of suspense. Watching it with surround sound speakers will take your movie experience to a greater level.

6. Bohemian Rhapsody

The 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of the British rock band Queen and its lead singer Freddie Mercury. The film chronicles the band’s rise to fame, as well as Mercury’s struggle with his demons. It was a massive success at the box office and received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and music.

7. Real Steel

The film is set shortly where intelligent robots have taken over the sport of boxing. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised the film’s visual and sound effects and its nostalgic depiction of the sport of boxing.

8. The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight is one of the most popular movies of all time, and for good reason. The story is thrilling, the acting is top-notch, and the special effects are truly groundbreaking.

Whether you’re watching it at home or in a theater, this movie is an unforgettable experience that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack really matches the tone of the movie as well as builds the suspense and intensity of each moment.

9. Birdbox

The movie Birdbox drew in a lot of viewers when it was released in 2018. One of the key elements that made the movie so suspenseful was the sound design.

Throughout the film, there are moments of complete silence, punctuated by loud, disturbing noises. The filmmakers were able to create a truly harrowing experience for the viewers.

10. Avengers: Endgame

From the sound of Captain America’s shield bouncing off Thanos’ armor to the deafening blast of the Hulk’s gamma-powered punches, the sound design of this film is truly impressive, making it a great movie to watch with surround sound. This 3-hour experience with action-packed scenes as well as clear sounds will truly provide an enjoyable viewing and listening experience.

11. Gravity

The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of space travel, and its use of 3D helped to create an immersive experience for audiences. One of the most memorable scenes in the film takes place during a spacewalk, as the astronauts float weightlessly in the vacuum of space.

The sound depth of nothingness really makes you feel like you’re out of breath. It is a film that truly benefits from being seen in surround sound.

12. Mad Max: Fury Road

If you’re a fan of action movies, then you’ll want to experience Mad Max: Fury Road in surround sound. The movie is filled with non-stop action and you’ll hear every explosion, every gunshot, and every car chase in crystal-clear detail. You’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action, and you won’t want to miss a single minute. A chaotic yet satisfying movie experience.

14. Interstellar

Interstellar is a science fiction movie set in the future where astronauts are trying to find a new planet for humans to live on as Earth is no longer habitable. The movie has some amazing effects, particularly the sound effects.

You can really feel like you are in space when you watch this movie. From the depth and detail of endless nothingness to the roaring tidal wave approaching, it is very detailed and impressive.

15. Inception

This movie is renowned for its innovative and mind-bending plot. But the film’s sound design is just as important in creating the dreamlike atmosphere of the movie.

From the disorienting whoosh of the spinning top to the eerie thrumming of the train wheels, the sound effects in Inception are key to conveying the film’s themes of reality, dreaming, and memory. This 2 and a half hour experience will certainly benefit from surround sound.

16. Shazam!

This is a superhero film based on the DC Comics character.  One of the most iconic aspects of Shazam! is its sound effects. When Billy Batson says the word “Shazam!”, a blast of magical energy is unleashed, and the sound design helps to create a powerful and enjoyable movie experience. From the thundering pouches to whooshing flight sounds, this is a feature-packed surround sound experience.

17. Avatar

The Avatar movie was released in 2009 and it took the box office by storm. The sound designers did an excellent job of creating a believable and immersive world.

One of the most memorable sound effects is the Banshee scream. There are many other great sound effects in Avatar that help to create a truly unique movie experience.

18. Avengers: Infinity War

From the first moments of “Avengers: Infinity War“, the soundtrack and sound effects help to set the tone and mood of the film. As the movie progresses, the music becomes more action-packed and intense, matching the pace of the plot.

Throughout the film, there are also well-placed sound effects that punctuate the action and heighten the suspense. This will truly give you a movie experience like no other.

19. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

For movie lovers, there’s nothing quite like the experience of watching a film like Star Wars, with surround sound. Every explosion, every footstep, and every word of dialog comes alive, immersing the viewer in the world of the film. As a result, viewers can enjoy the movie as it was meant to be experienced: with all of the sounds and excitement of a big-budget Hollywood production.

20. Adrift

This movie is a gripping tale of survival, based on true events. When a young couple’s sailing trip turns into a disaster, they find themselves stranded in the middle of the ocean with no hope of rescue.

The film makes extensive use of ambient sound to create a sense of isolation and claustrophobia. The couple’s breaths and heartbeats are amplified, and the creaking of the boat’s hull is constantly present in the background. The result is a truly remarkable movie experience.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, film soundtracks can play a vital role in enhancing the viewing experience. It helps to create the perfect atmosphere and adds an extra layer of enjoyment, especially when watching with surround sound.