‘Criterion Channel’ introduces audiences to new array of entertainment


The New York Times

The Criterion Channel offers a wide arrange of foreign and timely films that may not be available through other streaming services.

Ryan Clark, Assistant Editor

Tired of the standard Netflix fare? Seeking to broaden your cinematographic horizons? The Criterion Collection’s new streaming service, the Criterion Channel, may be just for you.
Featuring around 1,000 movies (but no television shows) that can be streamed in high-definition on mobile devices, computers and smart televisions, the Criterion Channel offers curated selections of classic, art-house and international films with supplementary interview and documentary footage for $10.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
The Criterion Collection is well known among cinephiles for specializing in distributing classic and artistically important movies. Their collection extends both around the world and far back in time, featuring directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa.
The curatorial care is also apparent, both in the collection as a whole and the smaller categories that appear to users looking on the “Browse” page. These are not the superficial or algorithmically-generated rows found on Netflix or Amazon Prime but much more specialized collections like “Afrofuturism,” “Japanese Noir” and “Art-House America.” The Criterion Channel also incorporates a much more robust search system than its competitors. Users can filter by genre, decade, country and director to look for movies.
And besides its streaming capabilities, users can download Criterion Channel movies and watch them later.
While most of the Criterion Collection’s movies are available for streaming, a small group of movies from the Criterion Collection is not available on the Criterion Channel.
Depending on what type of viewer you are, the Criterion Channel’s unique lineup of films could be either inviting or unappealing. Those that like searching out for older or international films will find lots to see, but users seeking most blockbusters or action movies will be disappointed. The lack of television could also be a deal-breaker for some viewers.
With a price comparable to other major streaming services, the Criterion Channel offers its subscribers a unique and broad movie collection. If you feel dissatisfied with other streaming services’ collections or are interested in classics and the artistic side of cinema, the Criterion Channel is highly recommended.