When streaming first emerged, the whole appeal was that you had everything you wanted to watch in one place, and it was cheaper than expensive bundles of cables. However, as more companies create their own services, we seem to be right where we started with hefty bills and scattered options.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of services that can help you entertain yourself without spending a penny. Here are 10 services that offer totally free, totally legal movies for you to watch, and mobile devices. Some also offer TV shows. Just be prepared to check out some commercials before streaming movies because that’s how most of these services pay the bills. And don’t expect the option to download free movies for offline viewing. This is currently only possible with Hoopla.
Please note: as the selection changes regularly, not all titles listed here may be available, but we try to keep them up to date.
Sony Crackle is an ad-supported streaming service that offers both movies and TV shows – including some original content and web series. It’s available on a variety of devices and doesn’t even require you to set up an account to watch free movies online. However, this allows you to save favourites, get recommendations and continue playing when you switch devices.
Best Choice: The wailing, coherence
Formerly known as FreeDrive, this streaming service is part of IMDb, the Internet Movie Database owned by Amazon. In other words, IMDb TV is Amazon’s way of offering ad-supported movie streaming independent of Amazon Prime. And IMDb TV isn’t limited to movies; There are also TV episodes. Unfortunately, there is a viewing limitation: the IMDb TV service can only be accessed on PCs and within Prime Video and IMDb apps.
Best Choice: Nightcrawler, Napoleon Dynamite, Lost in Translation (and shout-outs for the TV series Lost and Mad Men)
Do you have a library card? Check if your library has partnered with Hoopla. This digital media service allows you to watch all sorts of things – including movies. If you “borrow” one, you have 72 hours to watch it. Your library determines the total number of movies you can rent each month.
Surprisingly, Hoopla’s mobile apps not only offer streaming, but also a download option for offline viewing.
Best Choice: Ex Machina, Raising Arizona and What We Do in the Shadows
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET
The Internet Archive houses everything that is in the public domain, including thousands of feature-length films. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s no cost to use the service, nor does it require you to have an account (although you can create one if you want to mark favorites and the like).
“Public Domain” is code for “old” or “mostly black and white,” making this the place for people who are only interested in classic films. You’ll find titles like His Girl Friday, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Gulliver’s Travels. However, the archive only exists on the web, so you will need a browser to access it. (Most mobile browsers should work.)
If your library doesn’t offer Hoopla, maybe it has Kanopy? This ad-free (yay!) service, which got its start in Australia, has made its way to thousands of college campuses worldwide and, more recently, various US libraries. Check the website to see if your library has them – and ask if they don’t.
Kanopy offers some mainstream stuff, but also a wide selection of indie films and documentaries from PBS and The Great Courses. Its library also includes titles from the esteemed Criterion Collection, which is code for “movies”. There’s also a new Kanopy Kids section with lots of family-friendly content.
Best Choice: Memento, In the Mood for Love and Lady Bird
A newcomer to this list is Peacock, NBC’s streaming service – and its free tier is surprisingly generous, offering not only the obvious (TV shows) but also some movies you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll have to endure commercial breaks, of course, but there’s a countdown timer so you’ll know if it’s time to go to the bathroom.
Best Choice: Casino, In Bruges, Jurassic Park, Actually Love, Zombieland
Pluto started out as a live streaming service that offered multiple “channels” of content — including a wide variety of CNET videos. It has since been bought by Viacom, which previously owned CNET. Although it seems to be expanding more into the live TV space with a growing number of news and sports channels, it also hosts many free on-demand movies.
Best Choice: Drive, The Way of the Dragon, Terminator and Hot Rod
The Roku Channel is not only a free movie provider, but also an aggregator of new and existing free content. So don’t be surprised if there is some overlap with some of the free movies available on other services. You’ll find movies from Roku partners like Lionsgate, MGM, Sony, and Warner, as well as free content from existing Roku channels like FilmRise, Popcornflix, and Vidmark.
Of course, the channel is available on Roku TVs and devices, but it’s also accessible on desktop web browsers, on Amazon Fire TV streamers, and in app form.
Top chooses: Caddyshack, When Harry Met Sally and Halloween
Tubi TV’s streaming platform offers thousands of free commercial movies (although definitely not ad-free) and features content from studios like Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount. To separate the wheat from the chaff, check out these two categories: Top Rated on Rotten Tomatoes and Not on Netflix.
Best Choice: Fight Club, I’m not your Negro, Stalag 17
Walmart’s Vudu video service has continued to expand its ad-supported section, where you can choose from a generous selection of Hollywood movies (mostly unfortunately older titles) that you can watch for free. To watch free movies online you need a Vudu account, but it’s free to set one up.
Best Choice: To be honest I had a hard time finding any
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https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/best-netflix-alternatives/ Free Movies: 10 Netflix Alternatives to Keep You Entertained