The Criterion Collection is known for distributing some of the world’s greatest films in the highest quality with special features that enrich the appreciation of cinema. The company started producing the movies in its collection on laserdisc in 1984 before switching with the rest of the world to DVD and Blu-Ray. Now that the company has partnered with Hulu, uploading 150 films to the video-on-demand site’s premium service, there are more great reasons than ever to purchase the upgrade. Such as these 10:
1. The Kid (1921)
Charlie Chaplin’s first full-length film and one of his finest achievements, The Kid tells the story of an abandoned child and the life he builds with The Little Tramp. Chaplin went against heavy studio opposition to create a more serious film in contrast to his earlier work. However, The Kid features just as much slapstick humor as his previous shorts, but placed within a broader, more dramatic context.
2. George Washington (2000)
Hailed by Roger Ebert, along with Time and The New York Times, as one of the best films of the year, George Washington serves as a meditation on adolescence. A group of kids in the rural South are forced face a series of difficult decisions in the wake of a tragedy in director David Gordon Green’s debut film.
3. The Seven Samurai (1954)
One of several Criterion Akira Kurosawa films featured on Hulu, The Seven Samurai is considered to be on of the most influential films of all time and one of a select few Japanese films that have a lasting appreciation in the West. The film tells the story of a village of farmers who enlist the help of seven masterless samurai to protect them from a gang of thieves stealing their crops. The Magnificent Seven (1960) takes the plot of Kurosawa’s film and places it in the Old West
4. La Jetée (1962)
Chris Marker’s radical science-fiction film clocks in at just over 28 minutes, but the concepts it presents are massive. Told through a series of still images, La Jetée focuses on an apocalyptic society trying to rescue its present by sending a prisoner through time. Sound familiar? Terry Gilliam expanded the story into a feature-length film with 12 Monkeys (1995).