Is Criterion a Good Brand? An in-depth review of the popular film distribution company

When it comes to audio equipment, there are plenty of options to choose from. But one brand that often comes up in conversations about high-quality sound is Criterion. Yes, that’s right, we’re going to talk about whether Criterion is a good brand or not. Many audiophiles swear by this brand for their home theater and music enjoyment needs. But what makes Criterion stand apart from other brands? And is it worth the investment in your audio equipment?

If you’re looking for a brand that’s been around for a while, Criterion has stood the test of time. Since 1946, Criterion has been dedicated to providing top-notch sound quality to customers. For over 70 years, the brand has evolved with new technology and innovations to continue to be a leader in audio equipment. That alone may convince you that Criterion is a good brand to invest in. However, there are many factors to consider when it comes to purchasing audio equipment, from the quality of materials used to the sound quality itself. We’ll be exploring these factors and more throughout this article.

When it comes to the competition, Criterion holds their own. They are a good brand and have won awards, as well as praise from many customers. However, it’s important to do your research and compare Criterion to other brands in the market. After all, audio equipment is not a cheap investment, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best sound quality for your money. So, let’s dive into what makes Criterion stand out and what you should consider when deciding if this brand is right for you.

Criteria for Evaluating Audio/Video Equipment

When it comes to purchasing audio/video equipment, it can be confusing and overwhelming to choose from the numerous brands available in the market. Each brand offers different features and specifications that may or may not fit your needs.

One brand that has been making waves in the industry is Criterion. It is known for its high-quality audio and video products that are not only reliable but also affordable.

  • Audio Quality: The most important criterion for evaluating audio equipment is its sound quality. It should be crisp, clear, and accurate. Look for features such as frequency response, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio. The higher these numbers are, the better the sound quality will be.
  • Video Quality: When it comes to evaluating video equipment, the resolution and picture quality are crucial. Look for a high-resolution display, whether it’s OLED or LED, that displays crisp and clear images. Also, check for color accuracy and contrast ratio to ensure that the colors are vibrant and true to life.
  • Compatibility: It’s important to ensure that the audio/video equipment you buy is compatible with the devices you already own, such as your TV, gaming console, or speakers. Make sure the inputs and outputs match up with your current setup.

Ultimately, the equipment you choose should fit your needs and budget, whether you’re a professional videographer or just someone who wants to watch movies and listen to music at home.

Here is a table that summarizes the essential factors to consider when evaluating audio/video equipment:

Audio QualityCrisp, clear, and accurate sound with high frequency response, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio.
Video QualityHigh-resolution display with color accuracy and contrast ratio for vibrant and lifelike images.
CompatibilityEnsure that the inputs and outputs match up with your current setup for seamless integration.

By considering these criteria, you’ll be able to choose the perfect audio/video equipment for your needs and take your entertainment experience to the next level.

History and founding of the Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection is a distribution company that specializes in digitally remastered classic and contemporary films. It was founded in 1984 by three friends: Robert Stein, Aleen Stein, and Joe Medjuck, who were passionate film enthusiasts and wanted to share their passion with others.

  • Robert Stein, a former programmer at the New York Public Library’s film division, had developed an interest in the pioneering work of Irving Thalberg, an American film producer known for his work at MGM in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Aleen Stein was a former film critic who had worked for New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She had a particular interest in the history and preservation of film as an art form.
  • Joe Medjuck was a Hollywood producer who had worked on films such as “Ghostbusters” and “Twins.” He had a strong interest in classic cinema and was looking for a way to share his love of film history with a wider audience.

The three friends decided to start a company that would focus on releasing classic and contemporary films in high-quality digital formats, with special features and extras that would appeal to film enthusiasts. They called their company The Criterion Collection and set out to create a new kind of home video experience.

As Robert Stein explained in an interview with Filmmaker Magazine:

“It was kind of a wild idea, but it was the right time. Home video had sort of just started. The video store boom had happened and videocassettes were renting like crazy. We came up with the idea of doing these real high-end, definitive versions of important films. We wanted to design them beautifully, package them beautifully, have really great supplements, and get them in the hands of people who cared about movies.”

YearKey Milestones
1984The Criterion Collection is founded in New York City
1985Criterion releases its first Laserdisc: “King Kong”
1998The company launches its first DVD releases
2006Criterion releases its first Blu-Ray: “The Third Man”

Over the years, the Criterion Collection has become known for its high-quality editions of classic and contemporary films, as well as for its commitment to film scholarship and education.

As Robert Stein explained in an interview with The Verge:

“We want to be a resource for people who are interested in movies, not just a place to buy movies. We want to have a website that’s a treasure trove of information on everything from who the cinematographer was on a certain movie to where you can see the best print of a certain film. We want to be a place where people can learn about and engage with film history.”

Today, the Criterion Collection continues to release new editions of classic and contemporary films on Blu-Ray and DVD, with high-quality transfers, special features, and thoughtful packaging that reflects the artistry of each film. With its commitment to preserving film history and educating film enthusiasts, the Criterion Collection remains a beloved brand among cinephiles around the world.

Reception of recent Criterion releases among film critics and audiences

Criterion Collection is one of the most respected and reputable companies in the home video market, with a focus on presenting classic and important films with high quality transfers and special features. In recent years, Criterion has released many new titles and reissues of classic films, and their reception among both film critics and audiences has been notable.

  • Positive reviews from film critics: Criterion releases have always been well-regarded by film critics, and recent releases are no exception. For example, their release of the 2020 film “Nomadland” received critical acclaim, with a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Other recent releases, such as “Parasite” and “Moonstruck,” have also received positive reviews from critics.
  • High sales numbers: While sales figures are not always indicative of quality, they can give an idea of the demand for a product. In the case of Criterion releases, sales have been strong. For example, according to The Numbers, the 2019 release of Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love” sold over 32,000 copies in the first year. This is a testament to the popularity of Criterion releases among audiences.
  • Inclusion in film festival lineups: Another sign of the respect that Criterion releases receive within the film industry is their inclusion in film festival lineups. For example, the 2021 Sundance Film Festival featured a virtual screening of the Criterion release of “Gladiator.” This not only highlights the quality of the release, but also shows how Criterion is able to bring classic films to new audiences.

Overall, the reception of recent Criterion releases among film critics and audiences has been positive. The quality of the releases, the sales figures, and the inclusion in film festival lineups are all indicators of the continued importance of Criterion Collection in the home video market.

Film TitleCritical Score on Rotten TomatoesCopies Sold (First Year)
Nomadland (2020)95%N/A
Parasite (2019)99%N/A
Moonstruck (1987)93%N/A
In the Mood for Love (2000)90%32,447
Gladiator (2000)76%N/A

Note: Sales figures are for the United States only and are sourced from The Numbers.

Comparison of Criterion to other boutique home video distributors

Criterion Collection is widely recognized as one of the best boutique home video distributors in the market. Let’s take a closer look and compare it to some other popular boutique distributors:

  • Kino Lorber: They are known for releasing classic and contemporary arthouse and independent films. However, their releases lack the special features and attention to detail that Criterion Collection is known for.
  • Shout! Factory: They specialize in cult classics, horror, and science fiction films. While they offer some great special features, their video and audio transfers do not meet the high standards of Criterion Collection.
  • Olive Films: They have a vast collection of classic and independent films but they don’t put in as much effort into restoring and remastering their releases as Criterion Collection does.

What sets Criterion Collection apart from these competitors is their dedication to excellence in every aspect of their film releases. They’re known for their high-quality video transfers, audio remixes, and bonus features. Additionally, they take great care in their presentation with custom cover art and packaging. Criterion Collection is simply the gold standard in home video distribution.

Criterion vs. Other Distributors: A Comparison Table

DistributorSpecialtiesSpecial FeaturesVideo QualityAudio QualityPackaging
Criterion CollectionClassic and contemporary arthouse filmsExtensive bonus featuresExcellent, remastered transfersHigh-quality audio remixesCustom packaging with stunning cover art
Kino LorberClassic and contemporary arthouse and independent filmsLimited special featuresDecent video transfersDecent audio qualityStandard packaging
Shout! FactoryCult classics, horror, and sci-fi filmsGreat bonus featuresMixed video qualityMixed audio qualityCustom packaging with cover art for select releases
Olive FilmsExtensive collection of classic and independent filmsLimited special featuresAverage video transfersAverage audio qualityStandard packaging

In conclusion, while there are other boutique home video distributors in the market, Criterion Collection stands out as the top contender when it comes to high-quality releases with extensive special features and attention to detail in presentation.

Philosophy and Approach of Criterion’s Curatorial Team in Selecting Films

The Criterion Collection is a company that specializes in restoring and distributing a selection of important classic and contemporary films. Their philosophy revolves around rescuing important films that have been forgotten or lost over time, and making them available to a new audience. The curatorial team at Criterion believes in selecting films based on their artistic merit, historical significance, and cultural impact, rather than on their commercial success or popularity.

  • Artistic Merit: Criterion believes in showcasing films that are masterpieces of the art form. They look for films that are visually stunning, feature brilliant performances, and showcase innovative storytelling techniques.
  • Historical Significance: Criterion also focuses on films that have played a pivotal role in the history of cinema. These films have either been groundbreaking in their use of new technology or have influenced the development of film in significant ways.
  • Cultural Impact: Criterion also selects films that have had a significant cultural impact, either in their country of origin or around the world. These films may have addressed important social issues, have been a reflection of a specific historical period, or have inspired countless imitations and homages.

Criterion’s approach to selecting films is based on the idea that great films should be preserved and made accessible to audiences for generations to come. They strive to create a collection that is both diverse and representative of the best in international cinema, with a focus on showcasing films that have been critically acclaimed but may not have received widespread commercial success.

The curatorial team at Criterion engages in extensive research to uncover films that meet their criteria for selection. They work closely with film archives around the world to obtain high-quality prints, and they employ cutting-edge restoration techniques to ensure that each film is presented in the best possible condition. The team also collaborates with filmmakers and film scholars to create bonus features and special supplements that provide context and enhance the viewing experience of each film.

Overall, Criterion’s philosophy and approach to curating their collection is rooted in a deep love and respect for the art of cinema. They believe that cinema is a powerful medium that can both entertain and educate, and their goal is to preserve and celebrate the very best that the art form has to offer.

Artistic MeritHistorical SignificanceCultural Impact
Visually stunningGroundbreaking use of new technologyAddress important social issues
Feature brilliant performancesInfluenced the development of filmReflect a specific historical period
Innovative storytelling techniquesInspired countless imitations and homages

Criterion’s curatorial team is committed to preserving and showcasing the very best in cinema, with a focus on artistic merit, historical significance, and cultural impact. Through their meticulous restoration process, extensive research, and collaboration with scholars and filmmakers, they have created a collection of films that is both diverse and representative of the very best in international cinema.

Marketing tactics used by Criterion to appeal to cinephiles

Criterion Collection is a renowned home video distribution company that focuses on licensing and releasing classic and important movies from different countries. Targeting cinephiles, a passionate group of film enthusiasts, Criterion has adopted unique marketing tactics to attract and retain customers. Here are some of the tactics they have used:

  • Curation of titles: Criterion carefully selects and curates titles from different genres, styles, and countries. They release titles in different box sets and themes, such as “Essential Art House,” “Wim Wenders: The Road Trilogy,” and the “Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project.” By doing so, Criterion appeals to different interests and preferences of its customers.
  • Exclusive bonus features: Criterion provides exclusive bonus materials with its releases. These materials include various interviews, documentaries, essays, restored footage, and commentaries from renowned scholars, critics, and filmmakers. These extras provide in-depth insights into the making, history, and impact of the films, which cinephiles value greatly.
  • High-quality packaging: Criterion pays high attention to packaging, which is evident in its carefully designed covers, booklets, and labels. They use original artwork or commission new artwork for their releases. Moreover, they provide high-quality, restored transfers of the films on DVD and Blu-ray formats, which is an additional highlight.

In addition to these marketing tactics, Criterion also engages with cinephiles through its website, social media platforms, and online forums. They regularly update their website with news and releases, and engage with their customers through Q&A sessions, polls, and surveys. Criterion’s social media pages feature behind-the-scenes photos, news, and discussions related to their releases, which attracts cinephiles to interact and engage with the brand. Moreover, their online forums provide a platform for cinephiles to discuss, debate, and recommend different films among themselves.

Overall, Criterion’s marketing tactics have been successful in reaching its target audience – cinephiles. By providing high-quality releases and exclusive bonus features, Criterion has differentiated itself from other home video distribution companies. Moreover, by engaging with cinephiles through its website, social media platforms, and online forums, Criterion has created a community of passionate film enthusiasts.

Features and Supplements Included in Criterion Releases

The Criterion Collection is known for being a premium collection of movies and television shows that go beyond just the content of the film itself. One of the things that sets Criterion apart from other distributors is the extensive features and supplements included with their releases. Here are some of the standout features that Criterion provides:

  • Audio commentaries featuring filmmakers, scholars, and critics that provide insights on the film’s production, history, and cultural significance.
  • Documentaries and featurettes that delve deeper into the making of the film, including interviews with cast and crew members, behind-the-scenes footage, and discussions of its themes and influences.
  • Essays and booklets that offer contextual and critical analysis of the film, providing historical and cultural background, and exploring its artistic achievements and innovations.

In addition to these standard features, Criterion often provides exclusive supplements that allow fans to go even deeper into the films they love. Some of these supplements include:

  • Deleted scenes and alternative cuts that offer a glimpse into the film’s editing process and how it evolved from its original conception.
  • Short films and experimental works from the filmmakers that provide insight into their artistic vision and creative process.
  • Archival materials, including newsreels, trailers, and vintage interviews with the cast and crew members, that offer a fascinating window into the historical context of the film’s production and reception.

Criterion also provides meticulous restorations and remasters of classic films, ensuring that they look and sound their best in high-definition formats. They often collaborate with cinematographers and sound designers to create new and improved versions of the film that match the director’s original intent.

Overall, Criterion’s commitment to providing an immersive and comprehensive viewing experience is what sets them apart from the competition. By including features and supplements that offer context, insights, and a deeper understanding of the film’s significance, they create an experience that goes beyond just watching the movie.

Audio CommentariesInsights on the film’s production, history, and cultural significance from filmmakers, scholars, and critics.
Documentaries and FeaturettesDetailed looks into the making of the film, including interviews with cast and crew members, behind-the-scenes footage, and discussions of themes and influences.
Essays and BookletsContextual and critical analysis of the film, offering historical and cultural background, and exploring its artistic achievements and innovations.
Deleted Scenes and Alternative CutsGlimpses into the editing process and how the film evolved from its original conception.
Short Films and Experimental WorksInsight into the filmmakers’ artistic vision and creative process.
Archival MaterialsNewsreels, trailers, and vintage interviews that offer a window into the historical context of the film’s production and reception.

Table: List of features and supplements included in Criterion releases

Sales and revenue of the Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection has established itself as a leading distributor of cult, classic and contemporary films on DVD and Blu-ray. With their commitment to digital restoration and bonus features, they have created a devoted following amongst film enthusiasts. But just how successful is the Criterion Collection in terms of sales and revenue?

  • Criterion Collection sales figures have not been publicly released, so it is difficult to determine their exact revenue.
  • However, the company has stated that they have sold over 18 million discs since their inception in 1984.
  • Additionally, the popularity of streaming services has allowed the Criterion Collection to expand their reach and revenue through partnerships with platforms such as FilmStruck (now defunct) and The Criterion Channel.

While these numbers may not provide a complete picture of the financial health of the Criterion Collection, they do indicate a significant level of commercial success. Furthermore, the company’s dedication to high-quality releases has garnered a loyal customer base, which bodes well for their future prospects.

Below is a table outlining some of the Criterion Collection’s top-selling releases:

ReleaseFormatUnits Sold
The Seven SamuraiDVD1.3 million
The Royal TenenbaumsBlu-ray500,000
The Silence of the LambsBlu-ray150,000

It is worth noting that the sales figures for these releases may be somewhat dated, and there are likely many other successful Criterion Collection releases that are not included in this table.

Importance of Criterion in preserving and promoting classic and foreign cinema

Criterion Collection is a brand that has gained recognition and respect among movie enthusiasts and cinephiles. One of the primary reasons why Criterion is a good brand is its strong commitment to preserving classic and foreign cinema. Here are the reasons why:

  • Criterion’s approach to film restoration is meticulous and exacting. They use high-quality film elements to make sure that a movie’s original quality is retained. Criterion also employs a team of experts who are skilled in digital restoration techniques, resulting in a cleaner and more vibrant image.
  • Their dedication to finding the best available version of a film is unparalleled. Criterion is known for scouring the globe to locate the best elements of a classic or foreign movie, sometimes even finding unfinished cuts or outtakes. This rigorous process ensures that each Criterion release presents a movie as close as possible to the director’s intent.
  • Criterion’s releases are often packed with special features that provide valuable context and insight into classic and foreign movies. These supplements include interviews, documentaries, commentaries, and essays that help viewers appreciate and understand a film’s cultural and historical significance.

Criterion’s approach to film restoration and preservation has contributed significantly to the cinematic world. They have played a vital role in keeping classic and foreign movies alive and making them accessible to a new generation of moviegoers. Here are some other ways that Criterion has promoted and preserved classic and foreign cinema:

Curation: Criterion has a keen eye for movies that deserve to be preserved and promoted. They select films that are historically significant, visually stunning, and thematically relevant. For example, Criterion has released iconic movies such as Citizen Kane, Seven Samurai, and The 400 Blows, to name a few.

Marketing and Distribution: Criterion’s releases are highly anticipated in the movie world, thanks to their excellent marketing strategy. Each release is beautifully designed and packaged, making them attractive to movie collectors. Furthermore, Criterion’s releases are available on different platforms, including Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming services.

Criterion’s ApproachOther Brands’ Approach
Focus on preserving classic and foreign cinemaFocus on releasing the latest blockbuster movies
Meticulous and exacting restoration processUse available elements, resulting in a compromised quality
Scouring the globe for the best available versionReleasing a movie without much regard for the source version’s quality
Packing releases with special features that provide valuable context and insightsLimited special features, if any at all

Criterion Collection’s unique approach to preserving and promoting classic and foreign cinema has made them an essential brand in the cinematic world. They have earned a reputation for treating movies with care, respect, and reverence, ensuring that even the hidden gems of the past shine brightly in the present.

Future plans and direction for the Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection is a renowned brand that provides its customers with top-quality DVD and Blu-ray versions of classic and contemporary movies. Over the years, the brand has built a loyal following of cinephiles worldwide. Its future plans and direction are focused on expanding its reach and delivering unique and authentic films in their best possible presentation.

  • Expanding the Catalog: Criterion Collection puts its efforts into expanding the collection of titles available to its consumers. They aim to add more recent and classic movies from all over the world to diversify and broaden the collection. Expanding the catalog gives the viewers more options to choose the content they want to watch.
  • Digital and Streaming: Criterion Collection is working to create a stronger presence in the digital market by expanding streaming options for its dedicated fans. They want to provide a platform where subscribers can stream classic and modern movies in high definition quality. The brand has collaborated with Criterion Channel, which allows subscribers to stream their favorite movies anytime and anywhere.
  • Collaborative Work: The Criterion Collection is also focused on partnering with different film institutions around the world. By collaborating with other companies, they will be able to bring more foreign movies to the US market. It will give viewers the opportunity to explore different cultures and gain a better understanding of the world.

The future of Criterion Collection seems bright with its continued commitment to expanding its collection, creating quality digital content and streaming services and partnering with other production companies. The company’s mission is to share the finest films from around the world with its fans, and they are determined to keep that promise.

Below is a table that depicts the future plans of Criterion Collection:

Future PlansDescription
Expanding the CatalogAdd more recent and classic movies from all over the world to broaden the collection for the viewers
Digital and StreamingCreate a strong digital presence by expanding streaming options for the consumers to stream classic and modern movies in high definition quality and collaborate with Criterion Channel
Collaborative WorkPartner with different film institutions around the world to bring movies to the US market and explore different cultures

Criterion Collection’s future plans are aimed towards providing the best experience to its viewers. It is a brand that has always put its customers above all else and continues to do so. Hence, we can confidently say that the Criterion Collection is a brand that is committed to delivering authentic and unique films in their best possible presentation to the fans.

Is Criterion a Good Brand?

Q: What is Criterion?
A: Criterion is a brand that specializes in producing high-quality DVDs and Blu-rays of classic and contemporary films.

Q: Is Criterion a reputable brand?
A: Yes, Criterion is widely regarded as one of the most reputable brands in the home video industry.

Q: What makes Criterion a good brand?
A: Criterion is known for its meticulous attention to detail and high-quality transfers of films, as well as its informative and entertaining supplementary materials.

Q: Are Criterion releases expensive?
A: Criterion releases can be more expensive than standard DVDs and Blu-rays, but the price is generally justified by the high-quality transfers and supplementary materials.

Q: Does Criterion only release classic films?
A: No, while Criterion is known for its extensive collection of classic films, it also releases contemporary films and international cinema.

Q: Can I trust the reviews on Criterion releases?
A: Yes, Criterion employs knowledgeable film scholars and critics to write the essays that accompany each release, making the reviews highly trustworthy.

Q: Is Criterion worth the investment?
A: If you are a serious film lover or collector, then Criterion can be well worth the investment due to the high-quality and informative nature of their releases.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read about Criterion and their reputation as a premier home video brand. If you’re interested in purchasing Criterion releases, be sure to check out their website for their extensive collection. Happy viewing!