The Criterion Channel subscription review

Paushali Banerjee | Streaming Expert

I rate the Criterion channel a 6.5 on 10. On top of more prevalent genres, the Criterion Channel distinguishes itself from other providers by offering an entire library of criterion channel movies in genres such as avant-garde, film noir, and silent films. It provides a much-needed respite for individuals bored with the regular assortment of movies available from other streaming services. 


It takes a novel approach to content organization, allowing users to browse the director or find female-directed films. With additional decade- and country-based filtering tools, you can find your favorite movies even faster.


Although the Criterion Channel app is the go-to service for cinephiles and film students, some of the content may not appeal to everyone, so it's not the most excellent choice if you have one streaming service.

Get Started With The Criterion Channel Now!

What is the Criterion Channel?   In November 2018, the Criterion Channel debuted as a stand-alone channel. When HBO Max opened in May 2020, it will broadcast live movies and be available on WarnerMedia's new on-demand video streaming platform.   The Criterion Channel's programming catalog includes historic and modern films from major studios and niche distributors, including various Hollywood films and art-house, independent, and international films. In addition to a diverse range of programming, the channel maintains a special features library that it says gives "context that no other service can match."

The Criterion Channel Subscription

  • It costs $10.99 per month or $99.99 per year to subscribe to the Criterion Channel.
  • That's more expensive than most on-demand video streaming services but far from the most costly. 
  • You might want to avail of the 14-day free trial, but you must give payment information to do so. 
  • The Criterion channel cost is quite similar to that of other similar streaming services.
  • The Criterion Channel app is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones and streaming media platforms like Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, and Xbox One.
  • A stream on the PlayStation 4 for the Criterion Channel is currently not available.
  • When streaming video on Chromebooks, Xbox Ones, and Linux devices, Criterion warns that DRM measures may cause compatibility concerns.


User Interface:

  • The web presence of Criterion Channel is simple and elegant, with a mix of black, white, and grey components. 
  • Performance is generally good, although specific sites (such as the All Films page) took a while to load and refresh after adding new filters. 
  • Home, Now Playing, Search, All Files, and Criterion.com are all accessible via a menu at the top of the screen. 
  • The users have the option to edit profile settings by clicking an icon in the upper-right corner. The options for the profile are standard. 
  • You can change your account's email address and password, unsubscribe from email notifications and alter your subscription billing information.

Content catalog:

  • The Criterion Channel app's programming inventory pales in contrast to services like Hulu and Netflix, with fewer than 2,000 titles to pick from. 
  • It makes up for its lack of numbers with exclusivity. No other service offers a broader range of cult classics, foreign films, and Hollywood classics.
  • The Criterion Channel's extensive library of supplementary content, including commentary tracks, documentaries, interviews, and video essays, is particularly appealing to prospective filmmakers. 
  • Choose from 3,500 additional features and 350 shorts in The Criterion Channel's content collection when you feel like ditching movies and series.

Unique sorting:

  • With a sorting algorithm unlike any other streaming service, the Criterion Channel app layout facilitates the discovery of new content. 
  • You can choose from categories including 1970s sci-fi, Criterion editions, crucial art house, and female filmmakers and receive alerts about new additions to the library. 
  • This organized interface highlights The Criterion Channel's impressive content selection and makes it simple to navigate.

What does it lack?

Parental controls:

  • There are no parental restrictions or a kid's profile options on the web or the criterion channel app.
  • The majority of the subscribers on the platform are adults.

DVR Storage:

  • It does not have any DVR storage. Additionally, you cannot download content for offline viewing later. 


The Criterion Channel is a powerful service designed specifically for classic and art-house movie aficionados. It offers ad-free streaming of Criterion Collection movies, with the majority of them in full HD. Unfortunately, the service's major flaw is that not every film from the Criterion Collection is streamable. 

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