Best Criterion Titles to Buy During Barnes & Noble's 50% Off Sale

Barnes & Noble's 50% Off Criterion Collection Sale

Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions.

Let's get to it...

My Absolute First Pick

I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for.

Next Ten Recommendations

It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out.

More Favorites

You have all those above? Well how about these including films from Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock.

Even More

Oh, you need more? How about some movies by Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg and Guillermo del Toro?

And now here are some titles from some of my favorite individuals in the collection that haven't yet been mentioned specifically.

Charlie Chaplin

Wes Anderson

Akira Kurosawa

I'll do my best to sort out a few more, but in the meantime this should be a good start.

  • James Meiers

    It's a shame that there's no Blu-Ray version of Criterion's version of The Third Man. I'd buy that in an instant.

    • Brad Brevet

      There was, it was one of their first Blu-ray releases, and I expect they'll get the rights back one day.

  • Ian

    It appears to be a week longer this year; almost the entire month of July (which might mean I end up picking up and extra film or two). My first choices are to upgrade Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Persona. After that maybe The Hidden Fortress.

  • Ian

    Also how about a Transformers box set huh Brad? They already have (or had) The Rock and Armageddon, which I have to assume you own.

  • Ben


    I see that you omitted On the Waterfront. Being one of top 5 favorites, I have always wondered what your opinion of the film is.

    • Brad Brevet

      Not an omission, at least not intentional, but definitely one to add... So I have. I also never got around to reviewing that title, I should, I definitely enjoy it.

  • Matt Risnes

    I think Barnes and Noble are always laughably overpriced (some individual titles going for as much as 50$!), so the half price sales bring the prices to some semblance of normalcy, if but for a brief while.

    That having been said, the loveliest Criterion I've ever owned was their Night of the Hunter. I sold 85% of my blurays earlier this year to help pay for daycare, but I held on to that one and Island of Lost Souls. Gotta give it up for Charles laughton!

    • Brad Brevet

      Oh, definitely, they are WAY overpriced, but only because they go with MSRP on everything.

      What I've always done with these Barnes and Noble sales are buy box sets, because you are pretty much always guaranteed a deal. I also used to use their buy two get one free sales on box sets as you always end up saving a good chunk of change.

      When it comes to individual titles, it's a little tougher, but sets like the Samurai trilogy, Seven Samurai, Fanny and Alexander, Three Colors and others are definitely worth it if you're looking to expand your collection, otherwise, I completely agree.

      And yes, The Night of the Hunter Blu-ray is fantastic, one of my favorite Criterions ever.

  • Jeff Antoni

    Definitely picking up Seven Samurai

  • Winchester

    I actually blind bought the Masters if Cinema 'Ace in the Hole' this week but haven't taken a look at it yet. That's the closest to a Criterion I can get on these shores.

  • Jordan B.

    Right now I'm thinking some combination of the following (bear in mind, I've seen none of these -- I almost always blind buy my Criterions):

    Persona; Ace in the Hole; Jules and Jim; Black Narcissus; Shoah; Hard Day's Night; To Be or Not To Be; Pierre Etaix; Seconds; The Night of the Hunter; The Rules of the Game; Nashville; Topsy-Turvy; The Freshman; La haine; Thief; Vivre sa vie.

    • Andrew13

      All great choices, I own about 80% of these myself. If you're looking to narrow down your selection I'd give the following my highest recommendation:

      1. Persona
      2. The Rules of the Game
      3. Ace in the Hole
      4. Black Narcissus
      5. To Be or Not To Be
      6. Jules and Jim
      7. Thief
      8. Nashville

      • Jordan B.

        I grabbed Persona, Ace in the Hole, and Night of the Hunter in the past few days (as well as Amelie which was $5 as part of the arthouse sale).

        Next on my list are:
        1. To Be or Not To Be
        2. Jules and Jim</i.
        Black Narcissus

        And that will probably be it for me this sale; don't want to break the bank too much, plus I will probably try to get Pierre Etaix, Shoah, and a few others during the November sale (my birthday is early December, and then there's Christmas, so that always works out well).