10 Movies That Fans Are Dying to See In The Criterion Collection,

Few movie distribution companies have as many fans as the Criterion Collection. According to their website, they aim to release “a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films on home video,” and have been distributing movies since the 1980s. As such, they’ve gone from LaserDisc releases, to VHS (very briefly), DVDs, Blu-rays, and now 4K Ultra HD releases, and also have a streaming site called the Criterion Channel (only in the US and Canada).

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Given their preference for highlighting older and/or arthouse movies, following the Criterion Channel or their physical releases is a great way to gain insight into world cinema, and discover underrated classics. There are now over 1000 movies in the Criterion Collection, but film fans are still hungry for more. With much discussion around which titles should join the collection next, here are 10 notable films not yet in the Criterion Collection that film fans on Reddit would like to see included.


‘The Lighthouse’ (2019)

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in 'The Lighthouse'

Thanks to its setting, the memorably old-fashioned dialogue, and its use of black-and-white visuals with an almost square aspect ratio, The Lighthouse feels a lot older than most 2019 movies (in a good way). It’s a darkly funny and surreal psychological horror film about two lighthouse keepers on a small island who go mad from the isolation, with career-best performances from Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.

Because of its unique tone and presentation, and the distinctly uneasy feeling it creates (whilst also being entertaining), it’s the sort of offbeat yet (somewhat) accessible movie that would fit nicely into the Criterion Collection. Given the film’s cult popularity, it would also likely be a good business decision on the part of Criterion to get the rights to distribute it…

‘The Holy Mountain’ (1973)

The Holy Mountain - 1973

Alejandro Jodorowsky may not have made many films throughout his decades-long career, but he’s a well-known filmmaker in arthouse and world cinema. The Holy Mountain is likely his most famous work, and rather than telling a specific story, it seems more concerned with exploring themes and ideas relating to spirituality, mysticism, life, and death.

There are characters to follow, and scenes do have a logical progression to them, but summarizing the film as having “a” singular plot is difficult. Still, it’s an undeniably bold film and proves hard to forget, with its striking visuals and ambitious premise making it perfect for the Criterion Collection.

‘The Conformist’ (1970)

The Conformist (1970)

While 1987’s The Last Emperor might be Bernardo Bertolucci’s best-known film, thanks to its Oscar success, it’s arguable that his best is actually The Conformist. It’s a dark and disturbing psychological drama/thriller about a man who’s been corrupted by Fascism, and is sent on a mission to assassinate one of his old teachers, who’s outwardly against Fascist ideologies.

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The visuals are beautiful, and the story is uniquely grim and difficult to shake. It’s another example of a film that doesn’t really feel like anything else out there released either before or since, and if Criterion tends to favor uncompromising and different films, they’d be wise to add The Conformist to the collection.

‘An Elephant Sitting Still’ (2018)

An Elephant Sitting Still

While An Elephant Sitting Still might be one of the most difficult-to-watch movies in recent memory, it’s also one of the most essential. It runs for about four hours and spends time with four individual characters and their intense personal struggles over the course of a single day, with their paths occasionally crossing in interesting ways.

It’s a film that feels slow yet never boring, with numerous breathtaking long shots that work to draw you into the lives of the characters on screen. It’s sadly the only feature film that director Hu Bo ever made, who took his life at just 29, right after the film was completed. He left behind a masterful work of art that more than deserves to find a home in the Criterion Collection one day.

‘Angel’s Egg’ (1985)

Angel's Egg (1985)

There are surprisingly few animated movies in the Criterion Collection, but hopefully, things won’t stay that way. There are so many amazing animated movies throughout history that aren’t just well-known entries in the Disney canon, and many of those unique animated films deserve to find a wider audience through something like the Criterion Collection.

A great candidate would be the Japanese film Angel’s Egg, one of the best anime movies of the 1980s. Its stark visuals and deceptively simple story about a young girl wandering a strange, dark, fantastical landscape is a singular viewing experience, and one animated movie that shows how unique animation as a whole can be.

‘Underground’ (1995)


Underground is a wild movie. It blends war, comedy, history, romance, and tragedy into one explosive 170-minute cocktail, and tells the story of two friends, the woman they both love, and the various conflicts that impacted the (ex) country of Yugoslavia from the mid-point of the 1900s until the century’s end.

Underground won the Palme d’Or in 1995, and stands as arguably one of the best movies of the 1990s. While its out-there premise and lengthy runtime might not make it an ideal movie for all, it would be ideal for the Criterion Collection, with such an inclusion likely helping it to become more well-known outside just Europe.

‘Pink Floyd: The Wall’ (1982)

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1982)

On its own, the 1979 Pink Floyd album The Wall is an interesting and engaging concept album. The music is great, and you may be able to get some story out of it, but it’s far easier to appreciate the narrative behind the songs when watching the 1982 film Pink Floyd: The Wall, which plays the album in full, accompanying it with memorable, striking images.

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It plays out a little like a feature-length music video, and combines live-action with animated segments to great effect. For being such a singular, innovative movie, it feels like a prime candidate for Criterion Collection inclusion, thanks to the way it recontextualizes and enhances one of the best-known rock albums of the 1970s.

‘Perfect Blue’ (1997)

Self Reflection

Even if Perfect Blue is now more than a quarter of a century old, it still feels forward-thinking and entirely relevant to the pop culture landscape today. It’s a tense psychological thriller about a pop singer who believes she’s being stalked by one or more people, and the way her grip on reality loosens as the harassment goes on.

It’s one of the defining anime films of the 1990s, and is a great example of how animated movies shouldn’t always be aimed at kids. Perfect Blue is decidedly not a family film at all, but delivers suspense, thrills, and horror just as well as any live-action movie with a similar premise would. Surprisingly, it’s not in the Criterion Collection yet, but anime fans hold out hope that one day, it will be.

‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’ (1989)

The Cook, The Thief

Everything about The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover is memorable, from the title to the intense storyline to its fantastic music. It’s largely set inside a single restaurant over the course of several nights, following the wife of a brutal gangster as she has an affair with one of the restaurant’s regulars under the nose of her terrible husband.

It combines some gross and in-your-face imagery and sequences with visual beauty and sophisticated-sounding music, making for a viewing experience that’s both jarring and intoxicating. Peter Greenaway has long been an underrated filmmaker loved by film fans but not exactly well-known, so including what’s arguably his greatest film in the Criterion Collection would make said fans very happy.

‘Allegro Non Troppo’ (1976)

Bolero sequence / dinosaur march from Allegro Non Troppo - 1976

Allegro Non Troppo is known for being a parody of Disney’s classic Fantasia. Both films take iconic pieces of classical music and combine them with animated segments that sync up with the music, though some of Allegro Non Troppo’s animated sequences are a little more comedic, unusual, and occasionally racy.

There are also a few quirky live-action scenes in there for good measure, but to label it as “just” a Fantasia parody is doing it a disservice, as its best moments are more serious (like the famous scene where evolving creatures march across a strange landscape in time to Ravel’s Boléro). It’s a great movie, and a work of animation unlike any other, so if Criterion were looking to add a few more animated classics to the collection, Allegro Non Troppo would be an ideal option.

NEXT: ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,’ ‘Bergman Island’ & More Coming to Criterion in January

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