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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.

VIEW: best
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1. Night and Fog

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.6/10
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 1956
Documentary, Independent

What it's about: Filmmaker Alain Resnais documents the atrocities behind the walls of Hitler's concentration camps.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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2. A Dog's Life

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
61/100
Released: 1918
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: The Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

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

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3. Neighbours

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Reelgood Logo
60/100
Released: 1952
Animation, Comedy

What it's about: This film, shot in pixilation (a kind of stop-motion animation with actors), is about two neighbours who come to barbaric blows over a flower that straddles the property line.

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

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4. The Immigrant

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
59/100
Released: 1917
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: An European immigrant endures a challenging voyage only to get into trouble as soon as he arrives in New York.

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

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5. Next Floor

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
58/100
Released: 2008Rated: PG
Comedy

What it's about: During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with hordes of servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this absurd and grotesque universe, an unexpected sequence of events destabilizes the endless symphony of abundance.

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

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6. Doodlebug

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
57/100
Released: 1997
Fantasy, Mystery

What it's about: A man is trying to catch some sort of bug running around his room. He takes his shoes off and intends to crush it under the heel of his loafer. However, as he slowly begins to track the bug down and trap it things change dramatically, but the man continues his course of action.

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

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7. Black Panthers

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
54/100
Released: 1968
Documentary

What it's about: This riveting documentary, “Black Panthers - Huey!”, directed by French filmmaker Agnès Varda transports you to the pivotal Free Huey rally held on February 17th, 1968, at Oakland Auditorium in Alameda, California. Newton, the charismatic young college student who, along with Bobby Seale, created the Black Panther Party, had been jailed for allegedly killing a police officer. His arrest–widely believed at the time to be a setup–galvanized Party support throughout the nation and led to a boom in Party membership, bringing a new level of public attention to the Panthers’ cause.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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8. Weekends

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
52/100
Released: 2017Rated: R
Animation, 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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9. Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
51/100
Released: 1980
Documentary

What it's about: Having lost a bet with documentarian Errol Morris, Werner Herzog eats his 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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10. Daybreak Express

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
48/100
Released: 1953
Documentary

What it's about: Set to a classic Duke Ellington recording "Daybreak Express", this is a five-minute short of the soon-to-be-demolished Third Avenue elevated subway station in New York City.

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

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11. A Day's Pleasure

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
48/100
Released: 1919Rated: G
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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12. Taris

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
47/100
Released: 1931
Documentary, Sport

What it's about: Short documentary directed by Jean Vigo about the French swimmer Jean Taris. The film is notable for the many innovative techniques that Vigo uses, including close ups and freeze frames of the swimmer's body.

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

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13. Love You More

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
47/100
Released: 2008Rated: PG-13
Drama

What it's about: Two teenagers are drawn together by the Buzzcocks' single 'Love You More' during the summer of 1978.

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

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14. Coda

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
46/100
Released: 2013
Animation, Drama

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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15. Diary of a Pregnant Woman

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
46/100
Released: 1958
Drama, Documentary

What it's about: Impressions of the rue Mouffetard, Paris 5, through the eyes of a pregnant woman.

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

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16. Lick the Star

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
Reelgood Logo
45/100
Released: 1998
Drama

What it's about: A clique of school girls devise a secret plan that they code-name "Lick the Star".

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

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17. School for Postmen

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Reelgood Logo
44/100
Released: 1947
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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18. Six Men Getting Sick

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

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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19. Artun

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
43/100
Released: 2014
Drama

What it's about: A boy from a small town has never kissed a girl. One day he and his friends decide to go to the 'big city' to see if they have more luck there. In the city, the boys get much more than they bargained for.

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

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20. Le chant du styrène

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
43/100
Released: 1959
Documentary, Animation

What it's about: Le chant du Styrène is a 1958 French documentary film directed by Alain Resnais. The film was an order by French industrial group Pechiney to highlight the merits of plastics.

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

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21. Hunger

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Reelgood Logo
42/100
Released: 1974
Animation, Comedy

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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22. Passionless Moments

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 1983
Drama

What it's about: A series of the awkward trials of everyday living.

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

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23. Gregory Go Boom

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 2013Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: A paraplegic man leaves home for the first time only to discover that life on the outside is not like he had imagined it.

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

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24. Black and Tan

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 1929
Drama

What it's about: Short film featuring Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.

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

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25. Solar Walk

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 2018
Animation

What it's about: Solar Walk follows the journey of individuals and their creations in space.

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

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26. Joy Street

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 1995
Animation

What it's about: A nightmare of a woman depressed by the concrete world she lives in.

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

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27. Limbo

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 2016
Drama

What it's about: The leopard shall lie down with the goat. The wolves shall live with the lambs. And the young boy will lead them. 12+1 kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore…

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

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28. Your Face

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 1987
Animation, Comedy

What it's about: A tenor, in suit and tie, with a receding hairline, sings a ballad to his love, “Your Face Is Like a Song,” to simple piano accompaniment.

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

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29. St. Louis Blues

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
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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30. A Day with the Boys

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 1969
Drama

What it's about: A group of elementary school boys goes for a walk on the outskirts of a big city. The ominous atmosphere of fun begins when they pull in a man they met by chance.

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

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31. Wren Boys

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Reelgood Logo
40/100
Released: 2017
Drama

What it's about: On the day after Christmas, a Catholic priest from Cork drives his nephew to prison.

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

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32. Butter Lamp

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
39/100
Released: 2013
Family

What it's about: A young itinerant photographer and his assistant suggest to Tibetan nomads to photograph them in front of various background.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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33. Ramona

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
Reelgood Logo
39/100
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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34. Fry Day

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
39/100
Released: 2017
Comedy, Crime

What it's about: A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Ted Bundy's execution in 1989.

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

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35. Would You Look at Her

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
38/100
Released: 2017
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: A hard-headed tomboy spots the unlikely solution to all her problems in an all-male religious ritual.

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

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36. Shadow Animals

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Reelgood Logo
38/100
Released: 2017
Mystery, Drama

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 popular subscription service (Prime Video & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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37. Counterfeit Kunkoo

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
38/100
Released: 2018
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 popular subscription service (Prime Video & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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38. Kitty

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Reelgood Logo
37/100
Released: 2016
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: A girl dreams of becoming a kitten.

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

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39. Bath House

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
Reelgood Logo
37/100
Released: 2014
Comedy, Animation

What it's about: Six characters meet in a bath house. The pedant bath house manager, a couple with a strange way of communicating and a gang with shady intentions. Something goes wrong.

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

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40. Cailleach

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
37/100
Released: 2015
Documentary, Biography

What it's about: Morag is 86. She lives alone at the end of a track looking out to sea on her croft on the Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, with her three cats and twelve sheep. Morag was born in this house and has lived here her whole life, following five generations of the family who came before her. Cailleach is a portrait of Morag and her simple and peaceful life as she contemplates her next chapter, shares her unique sense of independence and the connection she has to her wild island home.

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

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41. When It Rains

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
Reelgood Logo
36/100
Released: 1995
Drama, Musical

What it's about: A musician spends New Year's Day trying to help his friend pay the rent.

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

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42. The Pleasure of Love in Iran

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
Reelgood Logo
36/100
Released: 1976
Documentary, Romance

What it's about: Made at a time when Iran had a seemingly revolving door for incoming European directors and bottomless funding for their projects, Plaisir d'amour en Iran is a short, sort of love story between a handsome Iranian (Ali Raffi) and a visiting French woman (Valérie Mairesse). The film was shot at the Shah Masjed in romantic Esfehan.

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

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43. Five Miles Out

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
Reelgood Logo
34/100
Released: 2009
Drama

What it's about: Cass is sent away on holiday with her cousins where she meets a boy on a secret mission. All the while, in the back of her mind, is her sister back home in a hospital bed.

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

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44. Snow Canon

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
Reelgood Logo
34/100
Released: 2011
Romance, Drama

What it's about: An American babysitter comes to look after a young French teenager in her parents' chalet in the French Alps. Teenage sexual awakening fantasy.

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

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45. Junkopia

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Reelgood Logo
34/100
Released: 1981
Documentary

What it's about: A short film that shows Boundless, Surreal objects that are juxtaposed with our present World. Cars, Motorways, noise of our modern society; A giant city in the distance - all that shrouds this lonely and forgotten island of Dreams. Filmed at the Emeryville Mudflats near San Francisco.

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

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46. Call of Cuteness

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.2/10
Reelgood Logo
33/100
Released: 2017
Animation

What it's about: While we watch the ‘cat fail’ of the day in cheerful safety, all that remains invisible in this neoliberal nightmare catches up with us. The cat’s body is consumed, exploited and controlled. The fear of pain is greater than the will for freedom. Objects are fetishized and subjects are made into things – quantifiable and ready for use. They are the natural commodity for a luxury they are not even aware of. We are here, because you were there – and waste is disposed of in the sea. In the end, the bodies reveal the causes and effects of power, lust and hate.

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

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47. Pillars

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
33/100
Released: 2020
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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48. Rubber Band Pistol

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
Reelgood Logo
31/100
Released: 1962
Comedy, Romance

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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