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The Best New York Movies on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good New York movie 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 New York movies of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. Taxi Driver

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1976Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feed his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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2. Night on Earth

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Reelgood Logo
88/100
Released: 1991Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night.

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

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3. My Dinner with Andre

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, apparently playing themselves, share their lives over the course of an evening meal at a restaurant.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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4. Stranger Than Paradise

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
70/100
Released: 1984Rated: R
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: Rootless Hungarian émigré Willie, his pal Eddie, and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.80 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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5. Frances Ha

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 2012Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: An aspiring dancer moves to New York City and becomes caught up in a whirlwind of flighty fair-weather friends, diminishing fortunes and career setbacks.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (fuboTV, Showtime & The Criterion Channel), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Showtime) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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6. Paris Is Burning

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Reelgood Logo
70/100
Released: 1990Rated: R
Documentary, LGBTQ

What it's about: Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City's African American and Latinx Harlem drag-ball scene. Made over seven years, PARIS IS BURNING offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion "houses," from fierce contests for trophies to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia, transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens, and trans women — including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza — PARIS IS BURNING brings it, celebrating the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community.

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

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7. Alice in the Cities

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
66/100
Released: 1974
Travel, Drama

What it's about: German journalist Philip Winter has a case of writer’s block when trying to write an article about the United States. He decides to return to Germany, and while trying to book a flight, encounters a German woman and her nine year old daughter Alice doing the same. The three become friends (almost out of necessity) and while the mother asks Winter to mind Alice temporarily, it quickly becomes apparent that Alice will be his responsibility for longer than he expected. After returning to Europe, the innocent friendship between Winter and Alice grows as they travel together through various European cities on a quest for Alice’s grandmother.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.85 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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8. The Naked City

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
65/100
Released: 1948
Crime, Drama

What it's about: The Naked City portrays the police investigation that follows the murder of a young model. A veteran cop is placed in charge of the case and he sets about, with the help of other beat cops and detectives, finding the girl's killer.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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9. Metropolitan

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Reelgood Logo
64/100
Released: 1990Rated: PG-13
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: A radical student is adopted by a group of young New Yorkers, serves as a catalyst to alter his and their lives. Gathering in a Manhattan apartment, the group of friends meet to discuss social mobility, Fourier's socialism and play bridge in their cocoon of upper-class society - until they are joined by a man with a critical view of their way of life.

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

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10. Girlfriends

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
59/100
Released: 1978Rated: PG
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: A photographer and her best friend are roommates. She is stuck with small-change shooting jobs and dreams of success. When her roommate decides to get married and leave, she feels hurt and has to learn how to deal with living alone.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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11. Gloria

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
62/100
Released: 1980Rated: PG
Thriller, Drama

What it's about: When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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12. It Should Happen to You

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
59/100
Released: 1954
Romance, Comedy

What it's about: Gladys Glover has just lost her modeling job when she meets filmmaker Pete Sheppard shooting a documentary in Central Park. For Pete it's love at first sight, but Gladys has her mind on other things, making a name for herself. Through a fluke of advertising she winds up with her name plastered over 10 billboards throughout city.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Plex & Crackle), stream on a subscription service (Philo, fuboTV & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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13. Nothing Sacred

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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59/100
Released: 1937Rated: G
Romance, Comedy

What it's about: When a small-town girl is diagnosed with a rare, deadly disease, an ambitious newspaper man turns her into a national heroine.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi, PlutoTV & Plex), stream on a subscription service (Paramount+, Epix, The Criterion Channel & 2 others), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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14. Five Corners

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
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54/100
Released: 1987Rated: R
Thriller, Drama

What it's about: A psychotic young man returns to his old neighborhood after release from prison. He seeks out the woman he previously tried to rape and the man who protected her, with twisted ideas of love for her and hate for him.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi, Plex, Vudu & 1 other) & stream on a subscription service (Philo, fuboTV & The Criterion Channel).

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15. The Immigrant

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
61/100
Released: 1917
Drama, Comedy

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 & 1 other) & rent or buy from $0.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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16. Permanent Vacation

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
Reelgood Logo
56/100
Released: 1980
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: In downtown Manhattan, a twenty-something boy whose Father is not around and whose Mother is institutionalized, is a big Charlie Parker fan. He almost subconsciously searches for more meaning in his life and meets a few characters along the way.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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17. Insignificance

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Reelgood Logo
66/100
Released: 1985Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Four 1950s cultural icons who conceivably could have met but probably didn't, fictionally do so in this modern fable of post-WWII America. Visually intriguing, the film has a fluid progression of flashbacks and flashforwards centering on the fictional Einstein's current observations, childhood memories, and apprehensions for the future.

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

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18. Magnet of Doom

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Reelgood Logo
49/100
Released: 1963
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A young boxer Michel Maudet is sacked by his manager after a series of match defeats and is forced to look for a new job. He is engaged as secretary to a millionaire named Ferchaux who is in a hurry to flee the country when he discovers he has been implicated in a high-profile fraud.

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

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19. The Connection

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1961
Romance, Drama

What it's about: Eight drug addicts are waiting for their connection in a New York apartment belonging to Leach. Jim Dunn, a budding filmmaker, has agreed to pay for the fix if the addicts will allow him to film the connection.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $4.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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20. Sidewalk Stories

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
47/100
Released: 1989Rated: R
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: A street artist (Charles Lane) rescues a baby girl (Nicole Alysia) after her father is murdered. The artist then sets off to find the mother, but has to first learn how to care for the child. Ultimately he ends up in a horse drawn chase of the murderers.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Vudu), stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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