The Next Barnes and Noble Criterion Sale


The question on every cinephile’s lips around the 15th of every month: “When is the next Barnes and Noble Criterion sale?”

It’s true we’re spoiled twice a year, but that moment after you make your final, last-minute purchase is one of both satisfaction and disappointment. “Really, I’m not going to own another one of these beauties for six months?”

Of course, there are flash sales, and Amazon occasionally marks Criterion titles down close to 50% off, but Barnes and Noble has mastered the art of the Criterion sale. Something about it feels like a holiday—better, more important than Christmas and your birthday combined.

The next Barnes and Noble Criterion sale begins July 7, 2015. It will likely run until the last week of the month. Below is a bunch of Criterion titles you should consider picking up over those few weeks.

New Stuff That’s Out

You won’t have a hard time finding some great titles that were released over the last few months:

Silent Ozu—Three Crime Dramas
I’ve seen one of these films—the sublime That Night’s Wife—and I can’t wait to dig into the other two films in this set. Ozu is on Japanese cinema’s Mount Rushmore, and he’s arguably one of the ten or so most important filmmakers of any place or time. Here, he’s operating with some unexpected genre conventions, but applying them in a way that’s extremely humanistic and oh so Ozu. I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s a great place to dive into the Eclipse series, too.

Hoop Dreams
The best documentary of all time comes to Criterion Blu-Ray. I’ve been holding off on picking up the company’s Hoop Dreams DVD because I knew this was coming soon. But if you love cinema, you really need to own one (or both, if you’re so inclined). It’s absolutely packed with extras, including two feature-length commentaries—one with the filmmakers, the other with the film’s subjects.

The River
This one’s on my wish list for a few reasons: 1.) It’s Renoir on Blu-Ray. 2.) Martin Scorsese called it one of the two most beautiful color films ever. 3.) Did you read those first two points?!?!?

Catalog Stuff That’s Out

Maybe a director is new to you, or maybe you’re new to the Criterion Collection. If this is your first Barnes and Noble Criterion sale, here are a few staples every collector needs to own:

The Essential Jacques Demy
Worth buying the set just to own The Umbrellas of Cherbourg on Blu-Ray. I hadn’t ever seen a Demy film until I purchased this beautiful box set during the summer Criterion sale, and a first watch of Umbrellas shot it into my all-time top 20. Most of the rest of the films are great, too, and they look absolutely brilliant.

Red River
Accompanying Criterion’s dual-format release of Howard Hawks’ fantastic Western is a copy of the book that the film is based on.

The Wages of Fear
For my money, this is the best film in the collection. Beyond that, however, this is an excellent pick-up as the film has a pretty wild history and great special features that touch on it.

Hearts and Minds
Just make it a documentary-filled July. (There’s also an Errol Morris two-for to consider with The Thin Blue Line and the Gates of Heaven/Vernon, Florida set.) Hearts and Minds should still be available as a dual-format package. It’s a great, important film, and Criterion’s edition includes more than two hours of unused footage.

Stuff That’s Coming Out

Criterion’s July 2015 lineup looks good and will be available to purchase at half-off over the course of the month. Incidentally, its August 2015 lineup is even stronger (and might be worth saving for in case a flash sale pops up). Here are the highlights in a strong next couple months:

Hiroshima mon amour
Arguably the late Alain Renais’s best film, this one went through a pretty painstaking restoration last year. I haven’t seen it yet, obviously, but I’m very eager to pick this one up.

Dressed to Kill
One of my favorite films from one of my favorite directors. De Palma at his best, and even if you’re not a devotee, this one is worth giving a shot.

Two Days, One Night
I named it among my ten favorite films last year. It’s the Dardennes doing what they do best. Ditto Marion Cotillard.

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12 Responses to The Next Barnes and Noble Criterion Sale

  1. Sam Juliano June 22, 2015 at 11:05 am

    No SAFE is NOT Todd Haynes’ best film ever. That designation is 2001’s FAR FROM HEAVEN. Likewise Julianne Moore’s greatest performance ever is as Cathy Whitaker in FAR FROM HEAVEN.

    But SAFE is a damn good film indeed.

  2. DM February 3, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Any news on when the first sale will be in 2015 for Criterion blu-ray?

    • John Gilpatrick February 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      Nothing solid yet. Traditionally, Barnes and Noble will have its next sale in July. But Criterion has had 24-hour flash sales the past two Februarys, so keep an eye on their site and their social media accounts for that. Hopefully we get one soon. My wish list is getting backed up!

  3. A Braunsdorf November 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    If you’re a B&N member, you get another 10% off, so most ($40) titles are $18. If we’re lucky, there’ll be a monthly coupon too. I’m hoping so to get the Tati box- used one one on the Demy box and another on the World Cinema Collection last time.

    • John Gilpatrick November 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Excellent point! I think I’ll probably wait on Tati until the coupon comes, which is usually toward the end of the sale.

  4. Tim October 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Any word on the next Criterion/B&N sale? You say November so I’m just wondering if that’s still the case or if you’d heard anything about that.

    Email me, please.

    • Rick November 3, 2014 at 3:17 am

      I asked a salesperson at a B&N store a couple weeks ago and he was saying probably mid-November would be when the next sale starts. No confirmation on this though.

      • John Gilpatrick November 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

        This Tuesday, November 11, is the start date. I’m still waiting on confirmation for the end date. Get excited!!

  5. Bill June 30, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Sale starts tomorrow (7/1).
    Check the B&N website if you don’t believe some jerk on the Internet.

  6. Stevo June 29, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Asked the salesperson at B&N last night (6/28/14), the arthouse sale begins on 7/1, but no word on the Criterion sale yet.

  7. Brian D. Scott March 19, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I love the fact that the November sale happens around my birthday! Every year I treat myself to a TON of titles.

  8. Steven Flores August 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Oh man, you got a good list of stuff that you bought. The films I bought in the sale are: Badlands, Sweetie, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law, and Mystery Train. Next sale, I’m going to go get Schizopolis, Gray’s Anatomy, La Notte, L’Eclisse, and a box set or two. One of them will be from the Eclipse series.


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