Criterion 4K releases announced: includes Citizen Kane & Mulholland Drive.

At last, the people have spoken and been heard, with Criterion announcing today that they’re getting ready to release their first-ever slate of 4K Ultra HD titles. The six-film slate, which will be released in November 2021, will be led off by Citizen Kane. Widely regarded as the best film ever made, the Orson Wells classic has a long history with Criterion, being the first film ever released by the collection way back in 1987. The format, of course, was laserdisc, and rights issues have kept it out of the collection for a whopping thirty-seven years. So, in many ways, this is the ideal first release.

But, that’s not all. Criterion will also be releasing five more titles, which have been released through the collection before but are now getting extensive visual upgrades. The films are David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Jane Campion’s The Piano, Allen and Albert Hughes’s Menace II Society, The Archer’s The Red Shoes, and Richard Lester’s iconic A Hard Days Night starring a little band you may have heard of, The Beatles! 

So far, no extras have been announced, but knowing Criterion, you can likely expect their first 4K movies to be loaded to the gills with special features. Every other edition of Citizen Kane out there came packed with PBS’s The Battle For Citizen Kane, which fills in a lot of the gaps left by David Fincher’s recent Mank, along with HBO’s RKO 281. No word yet on whether they’ll be ported over.

Interestingly, it’s taken Criterion this long to jump on the 4K bandwagon, but better late than never. I’m sure many of their most iconic titles will be getting significant upgrades in the months and years to come. 

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.