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The Best Short Movies on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Short 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 Short movies of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. Doodlebug

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
60/100
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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kanopy

2. Tales of the Night

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Reelgood Logo
53/100
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 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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3. The Fall

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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59/100
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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4. Weekends

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
59/100
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 $1.90 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Prime Video).

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5. 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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6. Artun

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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48/100
Released: 2014
Animation, 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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7. Ramona

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
Reelgood Logo
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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8. A Day's Pleasure

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
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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9. Six Men Getting Sick

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.6/10
Reelgood Logo
48/100
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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10. Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
55/100
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. Butter Lamp

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
49/100
Released: 2013
Animation, 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).

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12. Fauve

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
56/100
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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13. Behind the Screen

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
52/100
Released: 1916Rated: G
Romance, Comedy

What it's about: During the troubled shooting of several movies, David, the prop man's assistant, meets an aspiring actress who tries to find work in the studio. Things get messy when the stagehands decide to go on strike.

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

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14. Hunger

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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48/100
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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15. Shadow Animals

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Reelgood Logo
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) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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16. Cailleach

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
40/100
Released: 2015
Biography, Documentary

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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17. Counterfeit Kunkoo

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Reelgood Logo
42/100
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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18. Le chant du styrène

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
48/100
Released: 1959
Animation, Documentary

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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19. The Count

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Reelgood Logo
50/100
Released: 1916
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: A tailor's apprentice burns Count Broko's clothes while ironing them and the tailor fires him. Later, the tailor discovers a note explaining that the count cannot attend a dance party, so he dresses as such to take his place; but the apprentice has also gone to the mansion where the party is celebrated and bumps into the tailor in disguise…

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

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20. Pillars

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Reelgood Logo
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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21. 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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22. The Heart of the World

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
52/100
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 & Fandor).

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23. Junkopia

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Reelgood Logo
44/100
Released: 1981
Animation, 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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24. School for Postmen

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Reelgood Logo
49/100
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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25. Black and Tan

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
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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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26. 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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27. A Day with the Boys

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
42/100
Released: 1969
Comedy, 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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