At one point on the Criterion Collection website, they had some film critics, writers and filmmakers name their top ten favorite Criterion Collection editions. Among those who gave their lists were Steve Buscemi, Allison Anders, Jane Campion, Neil LaBute, Dennis Lehane and Richard Linklater among others. Their lists were interesting to view as each of their choices described their influences as well as movies they veer towards watching more regularly. It was great to see what they selected, and that’s regardless of whether or not you agreed with their selections.
Criterion has been around since the days of laserdiscs, and they have very well pioneered the audio commentary that has since become the standard on most special edition DVDs and Blu-rays. We all want to know what the director, writers and actors were thinking when they made their particular movie, and we are more than willing to listen in as they talk over it. It's one of the very few opportunities in life where we actually don’t mind someone talking during a movie (but they still need to keep their cell phones on silent).
Truth is, I am a big DVD and Blu-ray fan and buying them was at one time my biggest addiction. Criterion Collection editions have been among my favorites because they can get so in depth about the making of movies, and they have set a path which many other companies have followed when it comes to creating special editions. It’s no secret that the world of movies owes a lot to Criterion.
On the list, I put my favorite Criterion special editions here as opposed to my favorite movies in their catalog. These are the ones that I would leap to first above all the others. Here are my top ten picks for the best Criterion Collection editions.