The Criterion Channel Review
The Criterion Channel is a movie lover’s paradise, featuring thousands of historically groundbreaking feature films since the dawn of cinema. Thematically programmed and tailored by genre, year, director, or themes, the service is a treasure trove of milestone movies and hidden gems. Here’s where you’ll find classics like Ikiru (1952), The Gold Rush (1925), Eraserhead (1978), Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), and many more.
The Criterion Channel has only a “Standard” ($10.99) plan which you can purchase for one month or one year, but the plan can alternatively be gifted 1-9 months, the price going up ~$10 for each consecutive month. Available on devices in HD with offline download capability, the service is a must have for anyone interested in cinema history, or any film guru worth their salt.
We tested The Criterion Channel and other subscription streaming services for more than 100 hours. The Criterion Channel is compatible with iOS, Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV, Android and Android TV, Samsung, and Xbox.
Besides the programming in the Criterion Collection and Janus Films’ library, The Criterion Channel also holds titles from a wide array of studio and independent licensors, and original content exclusive to the service.
The main angle for The Criterion Channel is its expansive catalogue of cornerstone classic and contemporary films. Among them are landmark features M (1931), The 400 Blows (1959), Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974), The Double Life of Veronique (1991), and The Gold Rush (1925) to name just a few. The service also offers a constantly refreshed selection of Hollywood, international, art-house, and independent films from the Criterion Collection’s archive.
No Parental Controls
Account owners must be at least 16 years of age. Additionally users must have the permission of a parent or guardian to create an account and use the Vimeo OTT Service. Agreeing to use Vimeo OTT implies an understanding that you are responsible for monitoring and supervising your child’s usage. If you believe your child is using your account and does not have your permission, The Criterion Channel encourages you to contact them immediately so they can disable access.
Up to 3 Devices
The Criterion Channel allows you to stream on up to 3 devices simultaneously.
Once you’ve downloaded a movie, you’ll have 30 days to start playback. You then have 48 hours to finish playback once it has started. If you don’t watch it in that length of time, you will need to reconnect to the internet to obtain a new license if the content has DRM.
No International Access
The Criterion Channel is only available in U.S. and Canada.
The Criterion Channel is compatible with these devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast (Google Cast)
- Android TV
- Android Phone/Tablet
- LG Smart TV (AirPlay)
- Samsung Smart TV
- Sony Smart TV
- VIZIO Smart TV (AirPlay/Google Cast)
If your Smart TV is not compatible, you can try casting via Chromecast or Airplay with Apple devices. The Criterion Channel does not, however, support Chromecast devices that select TVs have built-in. Chromecast may work, but their player is not developed to support it and they cannot therefore troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
(Up to 4K UHD)
Most video streams are in 720p HD. Some video streams are available in 4K UHD.
Most video streams in 60 FPS.
Content has stereo audio.