Angelika Anywhere Review | PCMag
It’s not just the biggest movies that benefit from the biggest screens. Arthouse cinemas – cinemas that show independent, foreign and vintage films – form the heart of the film community. The Angelika Film Center wants to recapture that spirit with Angelika Anywhere, its video streaming service. You’ll find hundreds of acclaimed movies, including recent critical darlings, to rent or buy. However, the lack of a subscription option, along with an unimpressive mobile app, keep this service from being an awards contender.
What can you watch on Angelika Anywhere?
Angelika Anywhere is a curated movie streaming service dedicated to true movie buffs. Its library has around 500 films, an even more impressive number when you consider that there is little filler. Almost everything here is acclaimed, award-winning art.
Just as brick-and-mortar theaters focus on new releases, Angelika Anywhere places a heavy emphasis on recent, high-quality movies. The Oscars haven’t aired yet, so you have time to watch the Best Picture nominees, such as Belfast, duneand King Richard. Mad Max: Fury Roada recent example of blockbuster cinema as high art, is here with the polarizing 2019 Joker to restart. Other gripping, but more mainstream movies include Blade Runner 2049, pulp Fiction, Principle, The Blair Witch Project, Selmaand even the Matrix trilogy.
If you want to push your limits, consider browsing Angelika Anywhere’s robust and distinct categories. Under “Adult Animation”, you will find anime masterpieces, such as Paprika and ghost in the shellas well as Charlie Kaufman’s stop-motion drama Anomalised and the animated war documentary Waltz with Bashir. Other categories highlight specific international directors, such as Pedro Almodóvar, Black cinema, or hand-picked celebrity favorites like Justine Bateman and Mark Duplass. Some films even come with exclusives. bonus content like filmmaker interviews.
Angelika Anywhere has vintage movies, such as An orange clock, The graduationand 2001: A Space Odyssey, but overall the library leans towards fascinating films released during this millennium. I understand why a mainstream service like Netflix has a recency bias, but an arthouse theater should honor the past a bit more. If you really want to dive into movie history, consider The Criterion Channel for $11 a month.
Costs and platforms
Angelika Anywhere is not a subscription service. You don’t pay a monthly fee to access everything in its library. Instead, it’s a store where you rent or buy each movie individually. Prices vary per film, with rentals usually costing around $5 and purchases costing between $12 and $20. Once you rent a movie, you have 30 days to start watching it (you can continue watching it for 48 hours after you start).
Even if you don’t get physical media, moviegoers understand the value of owning something by buying it. So in that sense, I appreciate the purely à la carte model of Angelika Anywhere. Once you’ve purchased a movie, you can watch it whenever you want, as many times as you want, through the service. Also, if you’re considering renting a movie digitally, renting it from an art house chain seems more noble than renting from a mega-corporation like Amazon.
Still, those costs add up quickly if you want to watch more than a handful of movies. It’s probably a legal nightmare, but I’d like to see Angelika Anywhere offer some sort of subscription option, even if it doesn’t include the entire library. That would put it more in line with other independent movie streaming services, such as IFC Films Unlimited ($6 per month) and Mubi ($11 per month).
Angelika Anywhere supports web browsers, Android and iOS devices, Apple TV and Google Chromecast. There is no mention of Amazon Fire TV support or video game console support. You can stream to five devices at once.
Angelika Everywhere on Web and Mobile
On the web, Angelika Anywhere has a sleek and chic monochrome aesthetic that adds to the sophisticated cinema vibe. The homepage displays exciting new movies; film collections; and movies you’ve added to your watchlist. Different collections even have their own eye-catching illustrations.
When you select a movie, you are greeted with a vivid picture and the option to watch the trailer. The list includes pertinent details, such as cast and crew, execution, genre, social media share buttons, and synopsis. I love that you also see reviews from critics and awards won by the movie. Angelika Anywhere also recommends other movies you might like.
The web player itself is fine. You can jump ten seconds forward or back and adjust the video quality up to 1080p. I had no playback issues on my home Wi-Fi connection (downloading at 60 Mbps).
Angelika Anywhere’s mobile app is much more disappointing, however. You can’t search and buy new movies in the sparse app, only watch movies already in your library. On Android there is a button to download movies, presumably for offline viewing, but every time I tried that I still couldn’t watch anything unless I was connected to the internet. On iOS, there is no download button at all. I emailed customer support and got a reply that Angelika Anywhere just doesn’t support offline downloads, which unfortunately cleared up my confusion. As an extension of the main web service, this app could be so much more.
Accessibility and Parental Controls
Unless you’re an extremely cool parent, I don’t know how interested your kids will be in Angelika Anywhere’s adult cinema. Although there are no explicit parental controls, the purchase model itself already creates an initial barrier between viewers and content. You have to enter payment information before you can watch anything, which is much harder to accidentally pull out than a toddler pressing a random button on a remote while Hulu is on. You can also see the rating of each movie before purchasing and decide for yourself what is suitable for your family.
Angelika Anywhere lets you turn subtitles on and off, but you can’t adjust visual options like color or font size. You can see which languages a movie is available in before watching it. However, not all of these accessibility options are consistent across films, a problem that arises with KweliTV and other international streaming services.
Angelika Everywhere and VPN
We can’t stress enough that you’re safer online when you use a VPN to stay private. It’s just a shame that VPNs and streaming services run into regional licensing agreements that punish users who spoof their location to another country.
I tested Angelika Anywhere with a Windows PC connected to ProtonVPN servers, and it turns out I couldn’t watch anywhere, as the name suggests. Streaming worked great when connected to the VPN’s US-based servers, but stopped working every time I changed servers overseas. It’s not at all surprising, but it’s a shame considering the price the service gives to its foreign films.
Wherever you want
If you’re looking to rent or buy a handful of movies that remind you of the artistic power of cinema, Angelika’s Anywhere’s vast and impressive collections fit the bill. They show fantastic films that are hard to find elsewhere in a central location. That said, a subscription streaming service may be the most economical option if you want to dive into a movie, and the mobile app is underwhelming.
Hulu and Netflix, our Editors’ Picks for mainstream streaming, also feature plenty of award-winning films. In many cases, they are produced by the streaming companies themselves. The free Peacock Editors’ Choice also has some great movies to watch in its ad-supported tier.
For more on streaming, check out five reasons why you might want to ditch your video subscription and stick with cable. Plus, you should read how streaming ushered in a new golden age of junk TV.
Angelika Anywhere lets you buy and rent fantastic movies to stream at home, but the purely pay-per-view model means the cost can quickly add up.
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