The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel

If you're interested in watching some great films, you've come to the right place, because we're going to recommend the best movies on Criterion Channel. The streaming service is an offshoot of the Criterion Collection, a brand that puts out high-end DVDs and Blu-rays of "important classic and contemporary films." In other words, Criterion is associated with first-rate quality. The company has become so popular that they created this new online channel to further make these motion pictures easily available to the public.

There are well over 1,500 titles available. So how do you choose the most essential Criterion movies to watch? We've selected them based on a variety of factors. Some of the titles on this list are beloved, certified classics, like Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai or Federico Fellini's 8 1/2. The beauty of Criterion, though, is that they recognize greatness in all genres. For that reason, you will also find examples in horror, comedy, documentary, and even animation. The final factor was buzz value. Several of the films included are edgy, challenging movies worth watching and discussing. Every effort was made to give this list a nice balance. 

As for the best Criterion movies, that will be up to you to decide. Vote up the ones you think are the most vital, regardless of genre or when they were released. 

Ranked by
  • The Third Man
    Carol Reed
    • Actors: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard, Alida Valli, Paul Hoerbiger
    • Released: 1949
  • Seven Samurai
    Akira Kurosawa
    • Actors: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Eijirō Tōno, Seiji Miyaguchi, Daisuke Katō
    • Released: 1954
  • Bicycle Thieves
    Vittorio De Sica
    • Actors: Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Lamberto Maggiorani, Fausto Guerzoni, Gino Saltamerenda
    • Released: 1948
  • Three Colors: Red
    Krzysztof Kieślowski
    • Actors: Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Samuel Le Bihan
    • Released: 1994
  • Citizen Kane
    Orson Welles
    • Actors: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Ruth Warrick, Everett Sloane, Agnes Moorehead
    • Released: 1941
  • M
    Fritz Lang
    • Actors: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke, Gustaf Gründgens
    • Released: 1931
  • Rashomon
    Akira Kurosawa
    • Actors: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Machiko Kyō, Daisuke Katō, Minoru Chiaki
    • Released: 1950
  • Cries and Whispers
    Ingmar Bergman
    • Actors: Liv Ullmann, Harriet Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Kari Sylwan, Erland Josephson
    • Released: 1972
  • Wings of Desire
    Wim Wenders
    • Actors: Peter Falk, Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Curt Bois, Otto Sander
    • Released: 1987
  • The Seventh Seal
    Ingmar Bergman
    • Actors: Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Nils Poppe, Erik Strandmark
    • Released: 1957
  • Night of the Living Dead
    George A. Romero
    • Actors: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley
    • Released: 1968
  • Persona
    Ingmar Bergman
    • Actors: Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Margaretha Krook, Jörgen Lindström
    • Released: 1966
  • 8½
    Federico Fellini
    • Actors: Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni, Barbara Steele, Nino Rota, Anouk Aimée
    • Released: 1963
  • Paris, Texas
    Wim Wenders
    • Actors: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Aurore Clément, Hunter Carson
    • Released: 1984
  • In the Mood for Love
    • Actors: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Roy Cheung, Alien Sun, Rebecca Pan
    • Released: 2000
  • The Manchurian Candidate
    John Frankenheimer
    • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva
    • Released: 1962
  • King Kong
    Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
    • Actors: Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy
    • Released: 1933
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
    • Actors: Alec Guinness, Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Miles Malleson
    • Released: 1949
  • To Be or Not to Be
    Ernst Lubitsch
    • Actors: Carol Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill
    • Released: 1942
  • Belle de Jour
    Luis Buñuel
    • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli
    • Released: 1967
  • Amarcord
    Federico Fellini
    • Actors: Ciccio Ingrassia, Magali Noël, Pupella Maggio, Maria Antonietta Beluzzi, Gianfilippo Carcano
    • Released: 1973
  • Carnival of Souls
    • Actors: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Stan Levitt, Art Ellison
    • Released: 1962
  • Babette's Feast
    Gabriel Axel
    • Actors: Bibi Andersson, Stéphane Audran, Jarl Kulle, Ghita Nørby, Bodil Kjer
    • Released: 1987
  • The 400 Blows
    François Truffaut
    • Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Jean Piere Leaud, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jacques Demy, Albert Rémy
    • Released: 1959
  • City Lights
    Charlie Chaplin
    • Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Harry Myers, Hank Mann, Al Ernest Garcia
    • Released: 1931