Why? Well, it has some of the masterpieces of film available on DVD and BluRay. Works by Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Buñuel, and many more. You can buy these films, but if you didn’t want to or weren’t sure you wanted to buy these films, there is another choice.
I found out via their FAQ that you can do this:
“I’ve never watched a movie online at the Criterion online cinematheque. How does it work? What does it cost? What do I get?
Watching movies at criterion.com is easy. Click on FILMS, choose a film, and click where it says “Watch movie $5.” You’ll be asked to enter a credit card, and for $5 you can watch the movie right in your browser or full screen, as many times as you want for a full week. For a year after that, we’ll keep a $5 credit on file for you and apply it to your purchase of that film on DVD or Blu-ray disc. Use it as a way to explore different parts of the collection, get a little daring, or just “try before you buy.” And best of all, each dollar you spend on online rentals gives you points in our loyalty program.”
This is a great feature. You can see some of the greatest masterpieces of all time for $5 a pop. Hopefully you will love them and buy them. Either way, it’s a great deal.
I should add, there seems to be a bug in terms of what is “Now Playing”. If you don’t like what you see, click Refresh on your browser and you will get a different list of films. Not sure why that is, but otherwise, it is a great site. Go to The Criterion Collection for more info.