Maybe you’re sick of paying for streaming services you don’t actually use as much as you thought you would. Maybe you’ve just gone through all the movies you want to see on Netflix. Maybe you’re looking for something out there, something a littleweirder than what you’ll find on traditional streaming services. No matter what the reason may be, there may come a time when you’re looking for something to watch but you don’t want to spend any money. There are tons of sites and services out there, but some are less legal or trustworthy than you may feel comfortable using.
That is why we put together alist of sites where you can watch movies online for free, without breaking any laws orjeopardizing your computer’s security. The following are some of the most trustworthy video-streaming services on the internet and, combined, they house more movies than you could watch in a lifetime.
Crackle is owned by Sony, so it features a robust lineup of movies and TV shows from Sony Pictures Entertainment. In thecollection of full-length movies, you’ll find a good number of blockbuster hits along with a generous smattering of obscure-but-interesting B-movies. There isa diverselibrary of freebies, but rather than keeping movies on the site indefinitely, Crackle cycles through them, posting titles online for a limited period.Crackle is a great resource, though the constant interruptions from advertisers can get old pretty quickly.
This one is really a no-brainer. Everyone knows YouTube is the biggest video-hosting service online, andyou probably already use the site for silly cat videos and footage of people getting hit with exercise balls.But YouTubehas a sizable collection of feature-length movies on its free tier as well. Granted, the majority of these are B-list novelties, but there are a few qualityflicks hiding in there.
In addition to the free, Google-curated movies, there are thousands of filmson the site that won’t show up unless you search directly forthem. If you’re looking for aparticular flick, especially an olderone,it’s worth performing a quick search on YouTube to see if someone has posted it. These aren’t always uploaded by the film’s rights holders, and many of themare divided into episodes and playlists, but as they say, beggars can’t be choosers.
Finding free movies on YouTube has been getting more difficult lately, as more rights holders are opting to offer their films for rent via the service, and YouTube also has subscription tiers like YouTube Premium and its live TV streaming service, YouTube TV. Still, you’ll find plenty to watch, especially if your standards aren’t too high regarding the quality of the stream.
YouTube might be the biggest video-hosting site, but Vimeo is probably the best. Yeah, them’s fighting words, but Vimeo has the muscle to back them up. The sitedonsa clean layout that’s devoid of ads and benefits froman active usercommunity that’s widely considered more professional and constructive than YouTube’s. From this community emerges a lot of great original short and feature-length films. Vimeo also has an On-Demand section where users can purchase full-length movies and television shows. The majority ofthese are independently produced by Vimeo users, but someofferings areproduced by major studios as well. Either way, Vimeo is a great place to find free, high-quality movies.
Though it may not be nearly as well-known as the above services, Pluto TV is absolutely worthy of your attention. Not only are on-demand films available, but the service is also a totally free live-TV streaming service, hosting content curated from across the web. While the channels vary wildly, we’re focused here on the movies. Pluto TV currently features nine live movie channels, perfect if you want to watchsomething but don’t know what. There are two general purpose movie channels, with the rest being focused on specific genres or categories: Action movies, Flicks of Fury, Horror 24/7, Classic Movies, Black Cinema, Gravitas Movies, and The Asylum.
Pluto TV’s on-demand movie library is relatively small and rotates frequently, but offers just as much variety as its live movie channels. In additions to films shown on its live channels, you’ll find a library that runs the gamut fromBravehearttoThe Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. It’s also available on a ton of devices in addition to your computer, like the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku devices, and more. For more on everything available on Pluto TV, see our guide to the service.
Another up-and-comer, Tubi is very similar to Crackle, with both free movies and TV episodes available. No matter what device you use, chances are pretty good that you will be able to watch Tubi, as it is available onAndroid, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TVs, Sony Smart TVs, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the web. As with the vast majority of services on this list, you’ll need to watch a few commercials, but that’s what keeps the service free.
At the time of this writing, Tubi says it has “over7,439 titles,” which is an awfully specific number to choose, especially when you qualify it by saying you have more than that number, but semantics aside, you’ll find plenty of movies to watch. If you’re using this service to supplement Netflix rather than replace it, the “Not on Netflix” section will help you find new and interesting films to watch.
Snagfilms is a video-on-demand site that sports a selection of films you can’t find anywhere else on the web. Founded in 2008, it’s amassed around 10,000 independent documentaries and narrative films. There are plenty of rare gems to watch here, and since the founders have worked to establish dozens of partnerships, there are also plenty of different streaming devices which support freeSnagFilms; the service is currently availableasa free app for iOS and Android, but it’s also compatible with variousRoku devices, Kindles, and a hostof other streaming devices. The main website isalso a breeze to navigate.
Kanopy is not only free to use but entirely commercial-free as well. There is a catch of sorts though, if you could call it that: In order to sign up to watch movies through Kanopy, you need a library card. Originally founded in 2008 in Australia as an educational tool, Kanopy now offers a library of over 30,000 films through its partnerships with more than 200 libraries. There is a heavy focus on independent movies and documentaries, but you’ll find all sorts of films available, and even more are on the way thanks to a deal that will see the entire catalog of filmmaker Fred Wiseman coming to the service.
Love documentaries? So do we. After all, there’s something about real life that’s almost more fascinating than fiction. The apt-titled TopDocumentaryFilms is, hands down, the best site to go to for documentaries. Not every selectionis full-length, but a good documentary doesn’t have to be long — some of the bestare under the60-minute mark. Boasting a library of over 3,000 films, thesite also has a simple and straightforward layout and categorizes all of itsfilms based on subject matter, making itreally easy to find something you’re interested in right away.
Chances are, you’re reading this article because you’re looking for a place to watch newly released movies online. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you definitely shouldn’t ignore all of the fantastic older films the internet has to offer. Archive.org offersa veritable treasure trove of old movies you’ve probably never heard of, as well as a handful that you’ll recognize.
The Archive — which is also the home of the famous Wayback Machine that shows you how the internet used to be — has silent films, black-and-white horror flicks, obscure sci-fi movies, and an assortment of other movies. Itmight not have all the fancy CGI we’ve all grown so accustomed to, but the occasional throwback is a great way to mixthings up.
Open Culture is designed to be your one-stop shop for all things free and cultured. The site offers hundreds of free online classes to enroll in, thousands of free ebooks to read, and hours upon hours of lectures fromprominent figures such asCarl Sagan and Leonard Bernstein. It also offers a tonof free movies. Here, you’ll find everything from silent and Hitchcock-helmed projects to Westerns and film noir. The siteeven houses some early shorts by legendslike Quentin Tarantino and Stanley Kubrick. Open Culturemay be difficult to navigate, but with more than1,000 free movies available, it’s definitely worth the slog.
If Big Five Glories’ name seemskind of corny, that is because thefolks behind the project spent their timecompiling hundreds of free movies from the ’20s to the ’50s — aka the “Golden Age” of Hollywood — instead ofcoming up with a hip and edgy name. (If you’re curious, it’s a reference to the former big five movie houses: 20th Century Fox, RKO Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.) If your idea of a fun weekend is kicking back and watching Turner Classic Movies, you’ll dig Big Five Glories.
Retrovision is another public domain site that featureshundreds of classic movies from several different eras.The word “classic” might be up for interpretation — there are some films here that were made as recently as last year, and not all of Retrovision’s movies are high-quality — but there’s still plenty of good stuff here. Retrovision is also a well-designed site that allows users to filter based ongenre. It’s not limited to feature-length movies, either, as there’s a robust collection of classic TVshows to choose from.
Shocker Internet Drive-Inis a bit niche, and its website looks like it was made in the ’90s, but it’s a great resource.The site is updated weeklywith “featured” horror classics, which are then made available for free download as WMV files at the website’s “Snack Bar.” The site is a fun little blast from the past, with weekly showings framed in a digital drive-in. Users can also purchase DVD copies of any film on the website for a mere $3.
The downside to so many different services being available is that if you have a film in mind but don’t know where to watch it, you have a lot of different catalogs to wade through in the hopes of finding it. Fortunately, as long as you have a smartphone, you probably have access to a tool that can help you. Apple’s TV app, which is available on iOS as well as the fourth-generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K, lets you search across more than 50 different streaming services. For Android users, the Google Play Movies & TV app offers similar functionality, though currently, the number of connected services is smaller. Roku devices also include cross-service search, though in this case most of what you find will either be available for purchase or rent, or will be on a service that requires a subscription. Either way, you can’t guarantee that you’ll find a way to watch what you’re seeking forfree, but they can be a good place to start.
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