Since 1984, film buffs have associated the Criterion Collection with luxurious physical editions (on VHS, DVD, and, yes, even laser disc) of the world’s most prestigious movies.
More than 1,000 feature films and 350 shorts have worn the Criterion banner. Among the masterworks: Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura, and Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless.
And with a new app called The Criterion Channel, this entire collection is yours to stream across iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
The famous “Criterion treatment” ensures that a movie’s remastered audio and visuals closely match the filmmaker’s original vision—whether the picture is a recent cult classic (like Christopher Nolan’s 1998 debut Following) or an iconic landmark (like Charles Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, released in 1940).
You’ll also find original trailers, behind-the-scenes documentaries, commentary tracks, video essays, interviews, and rare archival footage.
In the app, watch Moonlight director Barry Jenkins testify to the influence that Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar-wai has had on his career, or learn about the movies that have shaped the career of Julie Taymor, known for directing films like Frida and Broadway’s adaptation of The Lion King.
To make it easy to discover all that Criterion has to offer, the app will offer newly curated recommendations each day of the week on its Explore tab. For example, Tuesdays will pair a particular short film with a feature, explaining the link between them. Wednesdays will be dedicated to female filmmakers. Fridays are for double features. And Saturdays will always serve up a family-friendly selection.
“Hopefully we’ll answer that question ‘What am I going to watch?’ so well that you’re willing to watch movies you’ve never heard of before, from all over the world, and different decades too,” says Criterion president Peter Becker.
“If you’re not already a movie lover, we want to make you one. And if you are, we want to make you a happier one.”