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2018 has to be The Criterion Collection's greatest year (1 Viewer)


Senior HTF Member
Nov 7, 2012
Real Name
Kevin Oppegaard
This year I purchased 247 films and I think it has been the greatest year ever for film collecting, since I started with VHS in the early 1980's. I've purchased films from just about every label issuing blu rays, including a whole bunch of 4K discs. I purchase from around the world - American, European and Asian releases, with the occasional Australian blu-ray (although none from Down Under this year). There is absolutely no doubt in my mind: the Criterion Collection has made 2018 the greatest year. I think half of what Criterion released that have been more than extremely great to watch:

Ingmar Bergman's Cinema
Some Like It Hot
The Tree of Life
The Princess Bride
Dietrich and von Sternberg in Hollywood
Eight Hours Don't Make a Day
Story From Chikamatsu
Andrei Rublev
A Matter of Life and Death
sex, lies, and videotape
A Raisin In The Sun
My Man Godfrey
Female Trouble
The Age Of Innocence
Midnight Cowboy
Au hasard Balthazar
The Other Side of Hope
The Virgin Suicides
Dead Man
The Color of Pomegranates
Women in Love
King of Jazz
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Night of the Living Dead
The Silence of the Lambs
The Breakfast Club

How can anyone interested in cinema argue with a list like that? If one were running an art house cinema, there would hardly be a need for further programming! I had a look back through what I'd purchased during the last five years and even though Criterion had some marvellous releases, the sheer volume of top-notch releases wasn't even close to the simply staggering selection they've given us in 2018.

100 Years of Olympic Films (2017)
Barry Lyndon (2017)
Stalker (2017)

The New World (2016)

Apu Trilogy (2015)
Ikuru (2015)

Complete Jacques Tati (2014)

Zatoichi (2013)
Shoah (2013)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (2013)

I've enjoyed some other great releases this year too, from other publishers, but I think Criterion pretty much stands head and shoulders above them all. 2018 is going to be exceptionally hard to equal.
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Senior HTF Member
Mar 6, 2004
Los Angeles, CA
Real Name
John Moreland
Honestly, if they had only released the Bergman and Dietrich/von Sternberg boxes they would have had a lock on the record for best year. The addition of the other great releases pushes it into a ridiculous embarrassment of riches. And, yes, it was a banner year from nearly all the boutique labels, but Criterion really outdid themselves.


Senior HTF Member
Nov 15, 2004
The basement of the FBI building
Admittedly, I'm not a big enough Bergman fan to spend $150 on the box set but it was still clearly an incredible release and a high point for Criterion.

Other highlights for me were The Breakfast Club, The Silence Of The Lambs, Female Trouble, the Dietrich/von Sternberg set, The Magnificent Ambersons and Night Of The Living Dead (which is probably my favorite disc of the year).


Second Unit
Mar 25, 2013
Real Name
Martin Teller
Bergman is my favorite, so of course this is going to stand out as an incredible Criterion year for me. But it made me wonder about my own history with Criterion, what I bought over the years. Films from my personal top 250 in bold (apologies for lengthy list posting):


Ingmar Bergman's Cinema
The Hero
An Actor's Revenge
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood
A Matter of Life and Death
The Tree of Life
Elevator to the Gallows (upgrade)


Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Lost in America

They Live By Night
The Breaking Point


The Graduate
In a Lonely Place
The New World
The Asphalt Jungle
The Exterminating Angel (upgrade)


Watership Down
Ride the Pink Horse
The Black Stallion

Moonrise Kingdom
Mulholland Drive
The Apu Trilogy

Cries and Whispers (upgrade)
Night and the City (upgrade)


The Long Day Closes
Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Essential Jacques Demy
Love Streams
All That Jazz

The Complete Jacques Tati
Picnic at Hanging Rock (upgrade)
All That Heaven Allows (upgrade)

The Hidden Fortress (upgrade)
Jules et Jim (upgrade)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (upgrade)
Pickpocket (upgrade)
Late Ray (Eclipse)


The Kid With a Bike
A Man Escaped

The Big City
Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project #1

Autumn Sonata (upgrade)
Wild Strawberries (upgrade)
Band of Outsiders (upgrade)
John Cassavetes: Five Films (upgrade)
Sansho the Bailiff (upgrade)


Letter Never Sent
The Organizer
Summer Interlude
Summer With Monika
Le Havre
La Promesse

The 39 Steps (upgrade)
Rashomon (upgrade)
Brazil (upgrade)
The Royal Tenenbaums (upgrade)


Sweet Smell of Success
Kiss Me Deadly
The Music Room
The Killing
Three Colors Trilogy

The Double Life of Veronique (upgrade)
Fanny and Alexander (upgrade)
High and Low (upgrade)
The Lady Vanishes (upgrade)
Naked (upgrade)

Rushmore (upgrade)
Smiles of a Summer Night (upgrade)
The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Eclipse)
Aki Kaurismaki's Leningrad Cowboys (Eclipse)

...and I should stop there, getting carried away. What stands out to me is not how great 2018 was (2011, 2013 and 2014 all give it a run for its money, even with the Bergman set) but how sad 2016 and 2017 were, at least for me as a Criterion buyer. I wonder how 2019 will turn out. So far the only titles I'm buying are Notorious and To Sleep With Anger.

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Dec 16, 1998
Mich. & S. Carolina
Real Name
Scott Merryfield
Not a Bergman fan, either, but it is still an impressive set for his fans. I am quite happy with my Criterion haul from this year -- Some Like It Hot, My Man Godfrey, The Magnificent Ambersons, Silence of the Lambs, and Night of the Living Dead all found their way to my shelves.

You are short changing other, years, though. Looking through my collection, from 2017 alone I have Mildred Pierce, The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, The Before Trilogy, The Lodger, Rebecca, They Live By Night, and Woman of the Year. I think Criterion does a fine job every year in releasing titles - each year there is something for just about any film lover.

Vic Pardo

Feb 7, 2013
Real Name
Brian Camp
After years of waiting, this finally came out:



Supporting Actor
Jul 10, 2005
Noblesville, Indiana
Real Name
For me Criterion always hits it out of the park every year but this year was extra special with this set!

Still have 4 other releases on the wishlist if Santa is listening :)

What delights await us in 2019 ?



Senior HTF Member
May 6, 2015
Real Name
View attachment 53307

Maybe Critierion can "try harder" next year and release the MGM Marx bros on blu-ray ... ;)
"A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races" through Criterion may also lend itself to further supplements from The Dick Cavett Show; to which there were many interviews between he and Groucho from the 1970's. Now that would be clause to celebrate.:)

P.S. If Criterion produced nothing but the Bergman Box, they would still own the crown for 2018.:thumbs-up-smiley:
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Patrick McCart

Senior HTF Member
May 16, 2001
Northern Virginia
Real Name
Patrick McCart
Largely thanks to two of their own flash sales, two Barnes & Noble, and a few Amazon deals, I managed to pick up 20 of their releases from this year.

Ingmar Bergman's Cinema is obviously the crown jewel of the year, but I think it's also their greatest release. Only The Complete Jacques Tati comes close. I'm still making my way through the set.

The Passion of Joan of Arc was one of my most-wanted upgrades and the wait paid off. Gaumont's restoration is simply miraculous.

King of Jazz is probably my favorite discovery of the year. It's such a fun movie and the early Technicolor and sound only add to the curiosity factory. But it's damn entertaining, too. If that's not enough, it's packed with supplements, including two Oswald cartoons that have been fully restored.

Night of the Living Dead is another revelation after decades of garbage quality editions on every format. Even Mill Creek's rude snipe of a release a few months prior didn't steal any thunder. Any time Criterion saves a public domain film from the garbage heap is cause for celebration (also see Charade, My Man Godfrey, and Carnival of Souls).

I had held off seeing Tom Jones for the longest time because the DVDs looked awful. Criterion's restoration looks amazing, even with clear shortcomings of available film elements. It's also a massively entertaining film.

The Color of Pomegranates was amazing when I saw it years ago via Kino's DVD, which was a recycled laserdisc master. Poor quality, but the power of the film wasn't fully diminished. I'm hoping Criterion also puts out Parajanov's Shadow of Forgotten Ancestors, which I think is just as great of a film.

A Matter of Life and Death is another essential from this year. There's literally no reason to not own this. Powell & Pressburger in Technicolor shot by Jack Cardiff and restored by Sony.

The Magnificent Ambersons is a long-awaited release that I'm looking forward to watching a few more times with the commentaries. I had to watch the old Warner DVD for my recent rewatching of Welles' films before seeing The Other Side of the Wind. (For that matter, I hope "Wind" ends up with Criterion since it's worthy of being alongside his other masterpieces)

Also picked up Midnight Cowboy, Von Sternberg & Dietrich, The Princess Bride, Some Like It Hot, sex lies and videotape, True Stories, Andrei Rublev, Rififi, Mishima, The Tree of Life, The Silence of the Lambs, and Elevator to the Gallows.

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