How to watch The Criterion Channel anywhere



Argentinian Carolina has an extensive movie background in the cinematic universe. She is our resident TV analyst and a seasoned expert in global streaming platforms. She showcases her comprehensive knowledge through her love for Netflix 'Originals', Frozen, The Good Place, and The Dragon Prince.

The Criterion Channel is a streaming platform focusing on classic cinema and contemporary independent films.

If you’re looking for something different in the streaming world, and you have already grown tired of what Netflix and similar platforms offered to you, then The Criterion Channel could be your cup of tea.

But can you access The Criterion Channel anywhere in the world? Keep reading this article to find the answer!

What is The Criterion Channel?

The Criterion Channel is similar to Mubi by offering classic films, a curated library with prominent directors from all over the world, and independent films you can’t find anywhere else.

This streaming platform belongs to Criterion, an American home video company focusing on licensing, restoring and distributing classic and independent films. Their catalogue serves as a source for film and media scholars, cinephiles and public and academic libraries.

The Criterion Collection is famous for bringing classic movies from all over the world to VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray in special editions with audio commentaries, letterboxing, and booklets with essays and information regarding the film and the creators.

Now, The Criterion Collection is available on The Criterion Channel for its subscribers.

Criterion began its ventures into the streaming world in a partnership with Mubi in 2008, then they went to Hulu Plus, Filmstruck, Kanopy, and even HBO Max. In 2018 they launched The Criterion Channel as a standalone service.

Where is The Criterion Channel available?

The Criterion Channel is only available in the US and Canada. If you live in any other country, you’ll need some help to access it.

What do I need to access The Criterion Channel where I am?

If you live outside the US and Canada, you will need to use an app called a VPN to access The Criterion Channel from your location.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a handy tool known as a ‘virtual private network’. The main goal of a VPN is to protect your online activity from spies, tracking, and malware.

To fulfil its objective, a VPN connects you to the internet through a server located in another country to hide your real location and replace it with one that you choose.

By doing this, for example, if you choose to connect to a server in the US or Canada, you can make The Criterion Channel believe you are in one of these countries while you’re not.

Although it can sound complicated, it is effortless! The app does all of the hard work for you.

Where can I get one?

Getting a good VPN is more complicated than configuring it. There are a lot of options on the market, but not all of them are really worth your time and money.

Don’t worry, I already did the homework for you, and I tested the most popular VPN to choose the best ones.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN service you can get. ExpressVPN has the fastest connection speeds, it also has a very easy-to-use app for every device, and it’s currently offering a big discount on its subscription plans.

If you aren’t convinced by what ExpressVPN has for you, there are other two options you may want to check: NordVPN and Surfshark. Both services are great and offer similar features to ExpressVPN.

Which you choose is entirely up to you.

These three services come with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you aren’t satisfied with them, so you can try them without risk.

30-day money back guarantee

How to access The Criterion Channel in my country

Configuring a VPN is a piece of cake. Most VPNs have similar settings, so even when I’m using ExpressVPN in my examples, you can use these steps with any other service you end up choosing.

Step 1

Go to the ExpressVPN and sign up for an account, choose a plan fitting your budget but keep in mind that the long subscription comes with 49% off and three additional months for free.

Step 2

Get the ExpressVPN app from the website or your regular app store, and log in with the user and password you already created when you subscribed.

Step 3

Tap the Selected Location button and then find the United States. Click on it and then tap Connect.

ExpressVPN desktop app showing United States

Watch where you are with ExpressVPN.

Step 4

Go to The Criterion Channel website, log in to your account or create an account if you don’t have one yet and start enjoying all the classic and indie movies!

30-day money back guarantee

How do I subscribe to The Criterion Channel?

Once you’re connected to your VPN, subscribing to The Criterion Channel is easy. You can choose between two subscription plans: monthly (10.99 USD per month) or annual (99.99 per year).

Whichever plan you choose, you have a 14-day free trial. After that time, if you don’t cancel your subscription will begin and you’ll be charged the correct amount.

You can pay your subscription with any international credit card, so you don’t need to provide a US or Canadian address.

You can cancel anytime from your account settings.

What can I find on The Criterion Channel?

Just like happens with almost every streaming platform, The Criterion Channel catalogue is changing all the time.

Some movies are out, while others are added daily. But, if you feel lost at the beginning, you can try looking for famous directors from around the world.

You can find films from these creators and more: François Truffaut, Satyajit Ray, Vittorio de Sica, Luis Buñuel, Lars von Trier, Jean-Luc Godard, David Lean, Abbas Kiarostami, Orson Welles and Agnès Varda.

There’s also more content from Olivier Assayas, Jean Cocteau, Guillermo del Toro, Krzysztof Kieslowski, David Lynch, John Cassavetes, Andrea Arnold, Charles Chaplin, Akira Kurosawa, Wong Kar-wai, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Robert Altman, Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, among many others.


The Criterion Channel is a streaming platform owned by Criterion, where you can find all of The Criterion Collection online.

If you’re a cinephile, you know what I’m talking about but you don’t need to be one to enjoy this excellent service where you get access to many classic films from all over the world, along with contemporary indie cinema.

The thing is, you’ll need a VPN like ExpressVPN if you don’t live in the US or Canada because The Criterion Channel is only available in these two countries.

Get your ExpressVPN subscription and unblock a vault full of great films you can’t find anywhere else!


Quick to set up

Money back guarantee

30-day money back guarantee

ExpressVPN interface with offer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts