Cinephiles across North America are rejoicing because movie streaming just got nerdy. The world finally has more to offer them than just Netflix. Not that there’s anything wrong with Netflix — but its scope is broad and there are only so many times you can rewatch the Avengers.
The Criterion Collection’s new streaming service is much more niche than your usual channel, offering access to a curated list of movies that will make even the most diehard film fanatics curious. It’s being heralded as a replacement for an older streaming service called FilmStruck that shut down in 2018.
The Criterion Collection itself isn’t a new phenomenon, just their streaming service. The film community has turned to Criterion for years, and it is considered a guide for film fanatics. It’s the go-to resource for those who feel like they’re aware of most good movies or have already seen them.
There are numerous lists on Letterboxd detailing the movies they feature. We recommend delving into the “completely complete criterion collection,“ for a snapshot of what this streaming service will allow you to access from the comfort of your home theater.
What will the Criterion Channel streaming service subscription include?
The service will grant access to the Criterion Collection and Janus Film’s celebrated library of more than 1,000 classic and contemporary films. In addition, there will be movies constantly added from a wide range of major studios and independent licensors.
What the Criterion Collection does best has always been to give you more than just the film. From remastered classics to find out more about directors you know and love, it has always been a reliable point of reference for cinephiles. The only difference is that now it will be easier to access.
Here’s a snapshot released by the Criterion Collection giving a preview of the type of film content you can expect.
The Criterion Channel movies we can’t wait to stream in our home theaters!
1. Seventh Samurai
Regarded by many as the one-film Film school, this is a classic war epic that doesn’t shy away from comedy. A masterclass in film-making, the story is told as much in the film’s silences as in its action sequences. And you get to admire Toshiro Mifune — one of the greatest movie stars of all time — in one of his most acclaimed roles.
What’s not to love? Gorey, action-packed and clever. One of Paul Verhoeven’s classic sci-fi that managed to sneak social critique into a major Hollywood blockbuster. Sure, it’s been remade, but nothing will ever live up to the original!
From the late master Nicholas Roeg, an impressionistic masterpiece set in the Australian outback. Part of a creative vision that included some of the more original films of the 1970s, Walkabout – like the other Australian films Picnic at Hanging Rock and Wakes in Fright – treats the Outback as an almost cosmic primal mystery.
4. Time Bandits
Classic work from the Monty Python alum who has had the most checkered career and yet one of the most unique voices in international cinema. Starring Sean Connery, and John Cleese, this is sure to garner a few laughs.
5. Chunking Express
A sensual masterpiece from Hong Kong’s greatest director. Shot in a whirlwind two months the film somehow captures what Wong Kar-wai has otherwise spent years trying to achieve.
6. Children of Paradise
A verbose comedy actor finds his style of acting falling out of fashion when a mime artist takes to the stage and silently breaks the hearts of his audience. Made during the Nazi occupation of France, this film is as interesting behind the scenes as it is inside them.
7. Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers
Part of the rich documentarian tapestry of America built by the great director Les Blank, Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers takes you deep into the heart of the American South and into the kitchens of those who have one passion that outshines all others; garlic.
8. A Woman Under the Influence
John Cassavetes’ work is some of the most influential of all time, and yet there is nothing else in the history of cinema that captures what he managed to, with his small troupe of actors and improvisatory acting style, all lovers of cinema will find something to admire here.
9. The Last Days of Disco
A modern-day master of the “talkie,” Whit Stillman’s works are based all around the upper classes and their dramas. With its era-setting soundtrack and wonderful performances from the likes of Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, this movie is considered one of the underrated gems of ‘90s cinema.
10. Harlan County the USA
A documentary that gives a glimpse into the suppressed history of social struggle in the USA. As coal miners strike against their greedy bosses, a documentary crew penetrates the private struggle between workers and employers.
Answers to your questions about the Criterion Channel streaming service
How much will a Criterion Channel subscription cost?
The Criterion Collection streaming subscription is priced at $10.99 per month or $99.99 USD per year. You can find out more about subscribing here.
What major studios and independent licensors will The Criterion Channel include?
The major studios and independent licensors that the Criterion Collection streaming service will include (but certainly not be limited to) are Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate, IFC Films, Kino Lorber, Cohen Media, Milestone Film and Video, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild, Strand Releasing, Shout Factory, Grasshopper Films, and the Film Movement.
What devices will the Criterion Channel streaming service be available on?
There will be multiple ways to access the service, including desktop, IOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku.
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