The two major reasons most people give for not ponying up $8 a month for Hulu Plus are that the service lacks the movie library of Netflix and you still need to sit through commercial breaks. But Hulu’s new, commercial-free deal with the revered Criterion Collection could possibly tempt a few film fans to join.
Hulu announced earlier today that it has acquired streaming rights to films on the Criterion Collection list. If you’re not familiar with Criterion, they’re a video company known for releasing high-quality DVD (and, in olden days, laserdisc) versions of hundreds of the best films ever made (and Armageddon).
Hulu says Criterion will gradually be adding to the initial launch of 150 offerings on Hulu Plus. Among those films available now are Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and Jules & Jim, Godard’s Breathless, Tati’s Playtime, Kurosawa’s Rashomon and Seven Samurai, and Fellini’s La Strada.
There will also be a handful for Criterion movies available for free to regular Hulu users. Currently, you can watch the Maysles brothers’ classic documentaries Salesman and Grey Gardens along with a few other films without having to join, though you will have to battle with occasional ads.