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The Best Short Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Short movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Short movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

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1. The Fall

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
61/100
Released: 2019Rated: PG-13
Animation, Horror

What it's about: A mob's punishment of a lone man proves cruel and unusual in this nightmarish short film.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi), stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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2. Tales of the Night

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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54/100
Released: 2011
Animation, Fantasy

What it's about: Tales of the Night is renowned animation auteur Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar)'s first foray into 3D animation. A hit at the Berlin Film Festival, the film extends the earlier shadow puppet style of Ocelot’s Princes and Princesses, with black silhouetted characters set off against exquisitely detailed Day-Glo backgrounds bursting with color and kaleidoscopic patterns – the subtle use of 3D creating a diorama-like effect. The film weaves together six exotic fables each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, an Aztec kingdom, the African plains, and even the Land of the Dead. In Ocelot’s storytelling, history blends with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to enchanted lands full of dragons, werewolves, captive princesses, sorcerers, and enormous talking bees - and each fable ends with its own ironic twist.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel, Hoopla & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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3. Weekends

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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58/100
Released: 2021Rated: R
Family, Drama

What it's about: Set in 1980s Toronto, a young boy shuffles between the homes of his recently divorced parents.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Prime Video).

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4. Ramona

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
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45/100
Released: 2015
Drama, Horror

What it's about: One girl. One car. One night. No coincidence.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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5. Fauve

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
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58/100
Released: 2018
Animation, Drama

What it's about: Two boys playing in an abandoned surface mine take turns outdoing each other until the stakes are suddenly raised and it's no longer a game.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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6. Coda

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
53/100
Released: 2013
Drama, Animation

What it's about: A lost soul stumbles drunken through the city. In a park, Death finds him and shows him many things.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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7. A Day's Pleasure

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
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54/100
Released: 1919Rated: G
Family, Comedy

What it's about: A father takes his family for an outing, which turns out to be a ridiculous trial.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel).

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8. Hunger

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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49/100
Released: 1974
Comedy, Animation

What it's about: In this animated short, director Peter Foldès depicts one man’s descent into greed and gluttony. Rapidly dissolving and ever-evolving images create a contrast between abundance and want. One of the first films to use computer animation, this satire serves as a cautionary tale against self-indulgence in a world still plagued by hunger and poverty.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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9. Counterfeit Kunkoo

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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44/100
Released: 2018
Animation, Drama

What it's about: In a city overflowing with buildings and slums, Smita must find herself a house to rent. She is hard-working, honest and respectful - the ideal tenant - except for one glaring flaw. She is a middle-class Indian woman without a husband. An intimate perspective on the identity of the 'Ideal Indian Female' in urban India of today.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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10. Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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54/100
Released: 1988
Animation, Documentary

What it's about: A short documentary in which directors Werner Herzog and Errol Morris make a bet which results in Herzog being forced to eat his own shoe.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $0.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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11. The Heart of the World

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
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55/100
Released: 2000
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: Pure fantasia, a race to save the world from a fatal heart attack, juxtaposed against a love rivalry between two brothers - a mortician and an actor playing Christ - for the heart of a scientist studying the earth's core.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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12. Shadow Animals

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
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42/100
Released: 2017
Drama, Mystery

What it's about: A young girl follows her parents to a party where she experiences assorted grown-up rituals. As the evening progresses she finds the adults' behavior increasingly strange. Everyone tries to fit in, but not everyone succeeds.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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13. School for Postmen

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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52/100
Released: 1947
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: Jacques Tati plays a French postman adamant to prove he can be just as fast as American postmen at delivering mail.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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14. Pillars

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
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38/100
Released: 2020
Animation, Drama

What it's about: After seeing a boy she likes before church, Amber sneaks out to the Sunday school bathroom during the service and is given her first kiss.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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15. Six Men Getting Sick

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.6/10
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44/100
Released: 1967
Fantasy, Animation

What it's about: Lynch's first film project consists of a loop of six people vomiting projected on to a special sculptured screen featuring twisted three-dimensional faces.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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16. St. Louis Blues

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
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42/100
Released: 1929
Drama

What it's about: In this all-black cast short, legendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin' with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and dancers.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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17. Rubber Band Pistol

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
Reelgood Logo
35/100
Released: 1962
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: A short film from Jûzô Itami.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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18. The Dead

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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61/100
Released: 1987Rated: PG
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: After a convivial holiday dinner party, things begin to unravel when a husband and wife address some prickly issues concerning their marriage.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi, Plex, Vudu & 1 other), stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel, Hoopla & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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