25 Best Criterion Channel Alternatives Right Now

There is a lot to love about the Criterion Channel. Its collection of niche and underrated titles gives viewers a break from repetitive Hollywood blockbusters, and its quality curation has honed film buffs and filmmakers alike since it includes only the best of the best among its lineup. 

But despite its wide array of feature-length films, documentaries, commentary tracks, interviews, and even personal picks from celebrity cinephiles, the Criterion Chanel is not without its problems. For one, the streaming service is only available in the US and Canada, and for another, it is quite pricey compared to other similar platforms. 

If these issues affect you, you might want to check our list of the best Criterion Channel alternatives below. Some lean more on genre, others on classics, and even others on indie, but you can rest easy knowing that they're more accessible. It's up to you to decide which best fits your needs.

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Hulu is an on-demand service that is currently only available on US territories. You can get access to Hulu's on-demand content library for $5.99 a month with commercials, and $11.99 without. There's also an option to pay for an annual subscription starting at $71.88.

Price: $5.99/month

Free Trial: 30 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, LG TV, Nintendo Switch, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung TV, Xbox

HBO Max is a subscription-based on-demand platform that is only available in the US. New subscribers pay $15 a month, with an annual subscription option also available.

When you subscribe, you'll get HBO’s world-class exclusives, such as The Wire and Game of Thrones but HBO MAX also functions as a bundle: you'll get content from DC, Criterion Collection, Looney Tunes, Studio Ghibli, Turner Classic Movies, and Crunchyroll.

Most mobile devices that can stream video support HBO Max, although there is yet no app for Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.

Price: $14.99/month

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox

Paramount plus is mostly a Netflix-style streaming service, offering movies and TV shows on-demand like The Good Fight or Yellowstone. 

The premium plan of Paramount Plus gives you access to Live TV from CBS: CBS local channels, CBS News (CBSN), CBS Sports, ET live, and some live sporting events like NFL on CBS Live. It also offers on-demand access to programming from Comedy Central, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Paramount Pictures and Smithsonian Channel.

Price: $9.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, LG TV, PlayStation 4, Portal TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Vizio, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Xfinity Flex

Channel lineup: CBS local channels, CBS Sports HQ, CBSN, ET Live

Mubi is a movie-streaming service featuring a curated selection of 30 movies on a daily rotation, as well as a large library of movies from previous rotations. The subscription costs $10.99 per month or $95.88 for an annual subscription. If you just want to browse the database before paying up front, you can sign up for a free account for access. Mubi has a Now Showing section, with the newest entries to the library on a given day (the library is updated daily), and a Library section featuring a back-catalog of other highlights and previously “showing” movies. You may see a section called 'Live' for live broadcasts once in a while. Aside from the options to stream via web browser, Mubi also has mobile apps for Android and iOS, media streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), and you can subscribe to Mubi as a Prime Video channel. While Mubi is not available on the Xbox One, you can access the service on a PlayStation 4 console.

Price: $10.99/month

Free Trial: 30 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, LG TV, Roku, Samsung TV

Magnolia Selects can be accessed via an array of iOS and Android phones and tablets as well as desktops and Roku devices. It is also available as a channel through Sling TV and Amazon Prime Video.

Subscriptions with unlimited access to Magnolia Selects cost $4.99 per month or a discounted $49.99 per year. 

Another plan is available for “sub-genre subscriptions” that gives access to specific genres (action, comedy, horror, documentary) for only $2.99 per month. 

Price: $4.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Android, iOS, Roku

Epix On Demand is a streaming platform from the Epix television network that offers on-demand content from the channel. It’s offered to subscribers of the Epix television channel at no extra cost. 

Otherwise, the cost varies depending on your TV provider, though it averages at about $5.99/mo. whether you subscribe directly through Epix or via a third partner.

You can subscribe to Epix via supported providers including Comcast xfinity, Cox, DISH, DIRECTV, Spectrum, Verizon FIOS. It can also be used an add-on with Amazon Prime Video Apple TV, AT&T TV NOW, Sling TV, YouTube TV and EPIX NOW.

Price: $5.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Roku, Roku TV

Dubbed "The Free Netflix," Tubi is one of the best options for streaming quality movies and TV shows online. The completely free, ad-supported service has one of the most extensive title lineups, plus it's compatible with most devices, making it an extremely popular option for cord-cutters. Though it has been noted to have a less than stellar resolution, most viewers don't mind due to its easy interface, constantly updated library, and of course free titles. Parents will also be glad to know that the service has parental control features.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Sony, TiVo, Vizio, Website, Xbox One

True Story is an online streaming service that focuses on documentaries from all over the globe. The nature of the films seem to focus on relationships amongst real-life people in specific and unique contexts. If you enjoy exploring the complexities of interpersonal relationships while also learning surprising things about the world in an interesting and moving way, then this streamer is for you. The subscription is $8.49/month. True Story was launched in 2020.

Price: $8.49/month

Device availability: Chromecast, Website

Topic is an online streaming service operating in the US and Canada. 

In the US, a monthly subscription currently runs at $5.99 per month or $56.99 per year.

Topic can be accessed via Apple iOS, and AppleTV, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku, in addition to Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, Roku Premium Channels, and Bell Fibe.

Price: $5.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, iOS, Roku

The Film Detective is a streaming service dedicated to showing classics of all kinds, from beloved films and silent pictures to B-movies and epic musicals. It offers most of its 3,000+ hours of titles for free, but it also has a premium tier that starts at  $3.99/month. With this subscription, users can access original content as well as stream titles on multi-platforms. The Film Detective refreshes its library every month, and it has all sorts of lists curated and updated by a dedicated staff of movie buffs.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, iOS, Roku, Website

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The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.