Everything Coming to The Criterion Channel as it Launches This Month

New arthouse film service picks up where FilmStruck left off with spotlight on Columbia Noir

Columbia Noir - The Big Heat
Columbia Pictures

The Criterion Channel launches Monday, replacing that void left in cinephile hearts everywhere after the shuttering of FilmStruck just four months ago.

Subscribers can expect very little difference on the new service that wasn’t previously available on the Criterion Collection’s home at FilmStruck.

The service’s core, permanent library available on launch day is the over 1,000 movies, 350 shorts and 3500 supplemental materials that make up the Janus Film library. These are the classic arthouse films that for decades have been a mainstay in DVD restorations as part of the Criterion Collection.

Criterion President Peter Becker referred to The Criterion Channel as “an art house at your house,” adding that the library is made up of the “last name” filmmakers that any movie buff should know well: (Michelangelo) Antonioni, (Jean-Luc) Godard, (François) Truffaut, (Akira) Kurosawa, (Yasujirō) Ozu, (Federico) Fellini, (Agnès) Varda, (Chantal) Akerman, (Orson)Welles, the Coen Brothers, (Alfred) Hitchcock and many more.

What’s new, however, is that The Criterion Channel will now be licensing films from major studios and other independent sources, including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate, IFC Films, Kino Lorber, Cohen Media, Milestone Film and Video, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild, Strand Releasing, Shout Factory, Film Movement, and Grasshopper Films.

All of these films will be available on the service for a minimum of three months, unless noted otherwise. And Criterion will build curated programming and exclusive, supplemental content like documentaries, video essays and interviews to go along with the films that will live on and be resurfaced after the films in the series expire. And unlike FilmStruck, both these films and the core library will be available under a single pricing tier.

Kicking off the launch on Monday is a spotlight on Columbia Noir, “11 dark gems from the studio that epitomized the hard-boiled essence of film noir.” These include movies like Fritz Lang’s “The Big Heat,” Jacques Tourneur’s “Nightfall” and Don Siegel’s “The Lineup.”

The Criterion Channel is also scheduling programming down to the day and will announce a new curated lineup each month. Many of these follow the same scheduling model found on FilmStruck, including a short and a feature on Tuesdays and a double feature on Fridays.

In addition, they’ll be bringing back original series that debuted on FilmStruck. There’s the guest programming series “Adventures in Moviegoing,” which previously featured filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, Barry Jenkins and Mira Nair. Julie Taymor will be the first to step into the guest programmer seat when it returns on April 14.

The latest installment of “Meet the Filmmakers” focuses on Charles Burnett, the pioneering African American independent filmmaker, who revisits South Central Los Angeles with his friend and fellow director Robert Townsend.

“Observations on Film Art,” the Channel’s 15-minute-a-month film school, returns with its 26th episode, as Professor Jeff Smith digs into the revolutionary subjectivity of Cuban classic “Memories of Underdevelopment.”

Finally, all 10 seasons of John Pierson’s series “Split Screen” are also returning. The series is a time capsule of movie-loving culture at the turn of the millennium.

The Criterion Channel launches Monday in the U.S. and Canada (to start), and it will run on several devices, including Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Roku, Android and iOS.

Subscriptions will cost $10.99 a month after a 30-day free trial, or $99.99 per year if you pay all at once.

See the full lineup of programming announced for the month of April below:


Monday, April 8
Spotlight: Columbia Noir — Eleven dark gems from the studio that epitomized the hard-boiled essence of film noir

  • “My Name Is Julia Ross,” Joseph H. Lewis, 1945
  • “So Dark the Night,” Joseph H. Lewis, 1946
  • “The Big Heat,” Fritz Lang, 1953
  • “Human Desire,” Fritz Lang, 1954
  • “Drive a Crooked Road,” Richard Quine, 1954
  • “Pushover,” Richard Quine, 1954
  • “Nightfall,” Jacques Tourneur, 1957
  • “The Burglar,” Paul Wendkos, 1957
  • “The Lineup,” Don Siegel, 1958
  • “Murder by Contract,” Irving Lerner, 1958
  • “Experiment in Terror,” Blake Edwards, 1962

“Mildred Pierce,” directed by Michael Curtiz, 1945 – Criterion Collection Edition #860

Tuesday, April 9
Short + Feature: “Yearbook” and “Y Tu Mamá También” — A short film by Bernardo Britto paired with Alfonso Cuarón’s beloved road movie

Wednesday, April 10
Screenwriter: Suso Cecchi d’Amico — Seven classics from the Italian screenwriter behind some of the greatest films of all time

  • “Bicycle Thieves,” Vittorio De Sica, 1948
  • “Senso,” Luchino Visconti, 1954
  • “Le Amiche,” Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955
  • “Le Notti Bianche,” Luchino Visconti, 1957
  • “Big Deal on Madonna Street,” Mario Monicelli, 1958
  • “Rocco and His Brothers,” Luchino Visconti, 1960
  • “Salvatore Giuliano,” Francesco Rosi, 1962

“Wanda,” directed by Barbara Loden, 1970 — Criterion Collection Edition #965

Thursday, April 11
Directed by David Lynch — Visions of terror and salvation from contemporary cinema’s master of the surreal

  • “Eraserhead,” 1977
  • “The Elephant Man,” 1980
  • “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” 1992
  • “Mulholland Dr.,” 2001


  • “Six Men Getting Sick,” 1967
  • “The Alphabet,” 1968
  • “The Grandmother,”” 1970
  • “The Amputee Version 1,” 1974
  • “The Amputee Version 2,” 1974
  • “Premonitions Following an Evil Deed,” 1995

“Ace in the Hole,” directed by Billy Wilder, 1951 — Criterion Collection Edition #396

Friday, April 12
Double Feature: “Last Hurrah for Chivalry” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” — John Woo finds unlikely inspiration in Jacques Demy’s candy-colored musical.

“Jubal,” directed by Delmer Daves, 1956 — Criterion Collection Edition #656

Saturday, April 13
Saturday Matinee: “Bugsy Malone” –Pint-sized wise guys battle it out in this irresistible all-kid gangster spoof.

Sunday, April 14
Julie Taymor’s Adventures in Moviegoing — Our guest-programmer series returns with the acclaimed stage and screen director.

  • “Baby Face,” Alfred E. Green, 1933
  • “Great Expectations,” David Lean, 1946
  • “Rashomon,” Akira Kurosawa, 1950
  • “Sawdust and Tinsel,” Ingmar Bergman, 1953
  • “Nights of Cabiria,” Federico Fellini, 1957
  • “The Cranes Are Flying,” Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957

Monday, April 15
“Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day,” directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972 –Criterion Collection Edition #946

Tuesday, April 16
Short + Feature: “The Silence” and “Taste of Cherry” — Two soul-searching Iranian films grapple with mortality

Wednesday, April 17
Directed by Susanne Bier — Three intimate and explosive dramas from an auteur specializing in emotional extremes

  • “Brothers,” 2004
  • “After the Wedding,” 2006
  • “In a Better World,” 2010

Thursday, April 18
“Kaili Blues” — Bi Gan introduces his audacious feature debut, along with a related short film The Poet and Singer.

Friday, April 19
Double Feature: “Hamlet” and “To Be or Not to Be” — Laurence Olivier’s Shakespeare adaptation meets Ernst Lubitsch’s wartime farce.

Saturday, April 20
Saturday Matinee: “The Kid” — Charlie Chaplin pairs his lovable Tramp with a child companion in one of his best-loved films.

Sunday, April 21
Meet the Filmmakers: Charles Burnett — The director of “To Sleep with Anger” revisits Watts with filmmaker Robert Townsend in an intimate portrait paired with a selection of his films.

  • “My Brother’s Wedding,” 1983
  • “To Sleep With Anger,” 1990
  • “Hollywood Shuffle,” Robert Townsend, 1987


  • “Several Friends,” 1969
  • “The Horse,” 1973
  • “When It Rains,” 1995
  • “The Final Insult,” 1997
  • “Quiet as Kept,” 2007

Monday, April 22
David Simon on “Paths of Glory” — The creator of “The Wire” introduces Stanley Kubrick’s wrenching antiwar film.

Tuesday, April 23
Short + Feature: “Fauve” and “The Wages of Fear” — An Oscar-nominated short precedes Henri-Georges Clouzot’s masterful suspense film.

“The Hidden Fortress,” directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1958 — Criterion Collection Edition #116

Wednesday, April 24
“The Virgin Suicides,” directed by Sofia Coppola, 1999 — Criterion Collection Edition #920

Thursday, April 25
Killer Couples x 3 — Three couples you definitely don’t want to meet at a party

  • “The Honeymoon Killers,” Leonard Kastle, 1969
  • “Eating Raoul,” Paul Bartel, 1982
  • “Sightseers,” Ben Wheatley, 2012

Friday, April 26
Double Feature: “Murder by Contract” and “Le Aamouraï” — Irving Lerner’s pared-down film noir, followed by Jean-Pierre Melville’s minimalist thriller

Saturday, April 27
Saturday Matinee: “Mon Oncle” — Jacques Tati’s first color film is a slapstick sendup of modern technology.

Sunday, April 28
Spotlight: Simone Signoret — A salute to the French actor who brought unforgettable complexity to every performance

  • “La Ronde,” Max Ophuls, 1950
  • “Casque D’Or,” Jacques Becker, 1952
  • “Diabolique,” Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955
  • “Room at the Top,” Jack Clayton, 1959
  • “Adua and her Friends,” Antonio Pietrangeli, 1960
  • “Army of Shadows,” Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969
  • “The Widow Courdec,” Pierre Granier-Deferre, 1971

Monday, April 29
Observations on Film Art No. 26: “The Revolutionary Subjectivity of Memories of Underdevelopment” — Professor Jeff Smith picks up our monthly film-school series with a course on a Cuban classic.

Tuesday, April 30
Short + Feature: “Surface Tension” and “News From Home” — Hollis Frampton and Chantal Akerman’s experimental portraits of New York City