Entertainment

The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel  

Ranker Film
539 votes 21 voters 102 items

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. 

1
Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Akira Kurosawa
Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. It follows the story of a village of farmers that hire seven ronin to combat bandits ...more
2
8 1/2 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Federico Fellini
8 1⁄2 (Italian title: Otto e mezzo) is a 1963 Italian surrealist comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni), a famous Italian film director who suffers ...more
3
Citizen Kane is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Orson Welles
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film produced by, co-written by, directed by and starring Orson Welles. The picture was Welles's first feature film. The film was nominated for Academy ...more
4
Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
George A. Romero
Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and ...more
5
Certified Copy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Abbas Kiarostami
Certified Copy is a 2010 art film by Iranian writer and director Abbas Kiarostami, starring Juliette Binoche and the British opera singer William Shimell, in his first film role. The film is set ...more
6
Battleship Potemkin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Sergei Eisenstein
Battleship Potemkin, sometimes rendered as Battleship Potyomkin, is a 1925 silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm. It presents a dramatized version of the mutiny that ...more
7
The Third Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Carol Reed
The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. It is considered one of the greatest films of all ...more
8
All About My Mother is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Pedro Almodóvar
All About My Mother is a 1999 Spanish comedy-drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The film deals with complex issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, transsexualism, faith, and ...more
9
City Lights is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Charlie Chaplin
City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The story follows the misadventures of Chaplin's Tramp as he falls in love with a blind ...more
10
Hoop Dreams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Steve James
Hoop Dreams is a 1994 American documentary film directed by Steve James and written by James and Frederick Marx, with Kartemquin Films. It follows the story of two African-American high school ...more
11
Grey Gardens is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde
Grey Gardens is a 1975 American documentary film by Albert and David Maysles. Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer also directed, and Susan Froemke was the associate producer. Although Susan Froemke is ...more
12
Stranger Than Paradise is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Jim Jarmusch
Stranger Than Paradise is a 1984 American absurdist/deadpan comedy film. It was written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and stars jazz musician John Lurie, former Sonic Youth drummer-turned-actor ...more
13
Down by Law is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Jim Jarmusch
Down by Law is a 1986 black-and-white independent film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It stars Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni. The film centers on the arrest, incarceration, ...more
14
Picnic at Hanging Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Peter Weir
Picnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 Australian mystery drama film directed by Peter Weir and starring Anne-Louise Lambert, Helen Morse, Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray and Dominic Guard. The film was ...more
15
The Thin Blue Line is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Errol Morris
The Thin Blue Line is a 1988 American documentary film by Errol Morris, depicting the story of Randall Dale Adams, a man convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a murder he did not commit. ...more
16
The Player is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Robert Altman
The Player is a 1992 American satirical film directed by Robert Altman from a screenplay by Michael Tolkin based on his own 1988 novel of the same name. It is the story of Hollywood studio ...more
17
Amarcord is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Federico Fellini
Amarcord is a 1973 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale about Titta, an adolescent boy growing up among an eccentric cast of ...more
18
The 400 Blows is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
François Truffaut
The 400 Blows is a 1959 French drama film, the debut by director François Truffaut; it stars Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, and Claire Maurier. One of the defining films of ...more
19
The African Queen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
John Huston
The African Queen is a 1951 adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The ...more
20
A Hard Day's Night is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Richard Lester
A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 British black-and-white comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—during the ...more
21
Cries and Whispers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Ingmar Bergman
Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set at a mansion at the ...more
22
Something Wild is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Jonathan Demme
Something Wild is a 1986 American action comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Melanie Griffith, Jeff Daniels and Ray Liotta. It was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes ...more
23
The 39 Steps is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Alfred Hitchcock
The 39 Steps is a 1935 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. Loosely based on the 1915 adventure novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John ...more
24
Chungking Express is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Wong Kar-wai
Chungking Express is a 1994 Hong Kong drama film written and directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film consists of two stories told in sequence, each about a lovesick Hong Kong policeman mulling over ...more
25
Belle de Jour is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel
Luis Buñuel
Belle de Jour is a 1967 French drama film directed by Luis Buñuel. A frigid young housewife (Catherine Deneuve) decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.