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Anyone With An L.A. Public Library Card Can Stream The Criterion Collection

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(See above for some of our picks from the available collection.)

A Los Angeles Public Library card comes with plenty of perks, but did you know that it also provides access to hundreds of movies from the Criterion Collection?

Criterion has dedicated itself to gathering and publishing the greatest films from around the world since 1984, and its collection is the ultimate cinephile playground. Your LAPL card will give you access to stream 419 (!) different films from Criterion's unparalleled collection, including the work of masters of cinema like Akira Kurosawa, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Eisenstein and many others.

Pull up a chair and stream French New Wave gems like Breathless, The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and Vivre Sa Vie, none of which are available for streaming on Netflix. Or delve into the classics of American independent film, and acquaint yourself with the work of Jim Jarmusch and John Cassavetes (also not available for streaming on Netflix). The possibilities are near infinite, or at least approximately 50,280* minutes long.

The movies are made available to LAPL users through a service called Kanopy, and you can watch up to 10 films per month. Once you set up a free account on Kanopy using your library card, you can stream movies through your computer, or on your phone/iPad using the Kanopy app. Kanopy is also compatible with Apple TV and Roku. Anyone with a library card can set up a Kanopy here.

The incredibleness of the collection is perhaps best summed up by a tweet by New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis, who responded to our query for favorites:


*Four hundred and nineteen titles, multiplied by the average length of a movie (approximately 120 minutes).