In the current economic climate, many households are looking at ways to cut their costs.
This doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice your entertainment, however.
Most of us enjoy an excellent movie to wind down from the stresses of the day, and there are actually lots of services where you can stream movies for free.
In this article we’ll explore 21 free movie streaming services that will allow you to watch your favorite movies without needing to empty your wallet.
You Can Watch Free Streaming Movies With These Apps & Websites
We've tried and tested a wide variety of free movie streaming services, and after all was said and done, the ones below came out as some of the very best legal options for free streaming movies.
Popcornflix app has been around for almost ten years, and it offers a selection of independent movies for free. The platform has recently been adding web series and Hollywood movies to its catalog. Popcornflix is able to offer this free service as the movies are ad-supported, so you will need to be prepared to see an ad or two before you watch full-length movies.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll see all the movies and television shows on a wall that is sorted by categories. New arrivals are always shown at the very top of the wall. You’ll also see Popcornflix Originals, which is exclusive content.
The movie player streams well, and the movie files are good quality, and you may even enjoy the classic TV series that are also available for free.
- Go to Popcornflix
Tubi provides access to free TV shows and movies. You can download the app on to your tablet, phone, or streaming device, and you’ll be able to view thousands of programs. The catalog of free movies is neatly sorted into different genres, and you can even search by most popular. The movie player operates smoothly, and the files are high quality, with subtitles available.
You can also add movies to a queue and sync it across all of your devices. This will allow you to pick up your movie where you left off even if you switch to another device. There is also an option to screencast.
Most of the movies are from the major Hollywood studios, so you won’t find the lists packed with low budget B movies.
- Go to Tubi TV
Yidio has one of the most impressive selections of television shows and movies. However, the site does not host the videos; rather, it is an aggregator linking you to content on other sites.
Yidio finds free movie and television content for you, so you can find the latest television show episodes and movies that are uploaded to free streaming sites. While it provides access to a gigantic catalog, you will need to be careful, as there will be paid movies and subscription services listed.
Generally, Yidio makes it easy to find lots of free movies. You can even use the platform to browse your membership of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and more without needing to visit each of the sites.
- Go to Yidio
Originally called Grouper, this app was rebranded as Crackle when it was acquired by Sony. Today, Crackle is one of the most popular streaming sites. In addition to free movies, there is a great selection of tv shows, including classics like All in the Family. You’ll also find original content, and they have produced a number of popular originals such as Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
You don’t need a membership, but when you sign up for a free account, you’ll be able to pick up your movie or television show where you left it and track your viewing. The player is easy to use, and while free movies are ad-supported, the ads are not overly intrusive.
- Go to Crackle
Vudu offers free and premium content, and you can create a free account to browse thousands of movies and television shows. However, there is also an option to rent or buy the latest blockbusters.
The free content available includes modern Hollywood films, classic movies, and some family favorite sitcoms. The platform is ad-supported, but most of the ads are quite short, and they are not frequent.
Vudu has an easy to use interface, with the content divided into categories, and if you’re struggling to find something to watch, you can have quick access to the latest movie releases.
- Go to Vudu
Archive.org is a massive website offering millions of pieces of content. The content is typically uploaded by the user, but you can still find thousands of free movies. Most of the movies on the website are public domain, so they are decades old, but you can find classic horror or sci-fi films from the 1930s and 1940s.
However, if you’re strictly a contemporary film buff, this is not likely to be the right choice of free movie service for you.
- Go to Archive.org
Retrovision Classic Movies
Another streaming service that, as the name suggests, offers classic movies is Retrovision Classic Movies. This site is small but has a limited selection of some of the classics. You don’t even need to create an account since you can just click on a movie and start watching.
Like Archive, most of the content is public domain, but you can find romance, action, sci-fi, and horror movies from the 1930s to 1960s.
In addition to the older movies, you may also see some random episodes of classic television shows, so you can really get into classic viewing without spending a dime.
- Go to Retrovision.tv
Open Culture is an online resource that has free cultural and educational media that you can take advantage of. They have online courses, audiobooks, eBooks and movies.
They have a listing of more than 1,150 movies, and you don’t need to create an account to watch the content on your browser. The content has been handpicked by the site’s creators, and includes Hollywood films, foreign films and more.
This website should appeal to those with eclectic film tastes, but most of the content is not actually hosted on the site. Open Culture allows you to scroll through movie lists and click on the link to find the movie. However, this is a great way to locate difficult to find obscure movies all for free.
- Go to Open Culture
Classic Cinema Online
Classic Cinema Online is another simple website that does not require users to sign in or join as a member. You can start to browse the site and watch any movies that appeal instantly.
The website has hundreds of movies, most of which are public domain, but there are others from after the 1960s, including family movies and westerns.
Many of the movies have been embedded from other sites, so there is the occasional broken link. However, this is a convenient place to find free, older films.
- Go to Classic Cinema Online
Film Chest Media Group is a media company with a focus on the restoration and archiving of older films. However, it also offers a fantastic resource for finding free movies to watch. The website has an easy to browse layout and a simple interface, providing access to more than 2,000 stream free movies. While many of these movies may be found on other sites, Film Chest restores movies, so they are likely to be better picture quality compared to other free movie streaming sites.
In addition to classic films, you’ll also find foreign movies, and all of the content on the site has been restored. Just be aware that there are dead links on the site, so you may need to hunt around to find specific movies that are currently available.
- Go to Film Chest
Most of us have used the movie database IMDb, but you may not be aware that they also have a service called IMDb TV that you can also use it to watch movies.
If you have an Amazon Prime account already and an Amazon Fire device, you can gain access to some great free content on IMDb TV. Although it is ad-supported, the number of ads isn't excessive. This is one of the best streaming sites available for free with lots of television shows and some great movies.
One of the stand-out features of IMDb TV is that some of the functionality of the IMDb database is integrated into the platform, making this one of the best platforms that are practically free.
The service can also be accessed via the web.
- Go to IMDb TV
If you love classic westerns, then Western Mania should be one of your top picks for free movie streaming. The platform has a bit of a dated look, but all the movies on the website are free and legal. You can stream what you like from a limited catalog of Westerns.
While the content is free, you can donate to the project using the button on the site. You can watch the movies directly on a video window, but it also provides some trivia about the movie, including the year of production, actors, and director.
- Go to Western Mania
Kanopy is a fantastic streaming service, and you may not even realize that you can access it for free. If you attend college or hold a library card, you may be able to gain access to the massive library of streaming movies.
If you’re not currently a member of your local library, this is a good incentive to join and get your card. You’ll be impressed with the streaming selection, and you can also use the Kanopy app on all the major platforms, including Android, iOS, Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV.
However, just like borrowing a book, you need to make sure that you stream your chosen content within the specified timeframe.
- Go to Kanopy
Like Kanopy, Hoopla allows you to access a fantastic choice of movies for free if you have a library card with a participating local library. You may find your favorite popular TV shows and movies available here for free. The selection does differ from Kanopy, so it is well worth looking at both platforms.
Like Kanopy, Hoopla has apps that allow you to download content for offline viewing, so you can even watch free movies when you’re traveling. Just bear in mind, like Kanopy, you will need to stream the content within a specific amount of time before you need to “return” it.
- Go to Hoopla
Roku doesn’t directly license content like many of the services we’ve listed here, rather it aggregates free streaming and live TV channels from other providers. This is a great time saver, as you don’t need to spend hours searching multiple platforms if you’re looking for a specific movie or television show. You can find lots of great content in just one place.
The only drawback is that this service is only available on a Roku device or a web browser. However, since Roku devices are among the most popular streaming media tools, it is safe to assume that if you’re reading this list, you may already have one.
- Go to Roku
Plex is a media server software that allows you to manage and serve all of your owned content via their web interface or apps. Peter uses Plex at his house to manage his collection of movies, TV shows, music and more, read his review of Plex for more information.
Beyond it's capability as a media server, Plex has also recently added a new section in their interface where you can access a decent catalog of video content from their partners like the WB, MGM, Lionsgate, Legendary and Crackle that can be streamed for free.
To use Plex you just need to sign up for an account, install the media server on your computer, and either open the interface on your browser or install the Plex app on your device.
There are apps available for most devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart televisions, streaming devices, and game consoles.
- Go to Plex
PlutoTV is a fantastic, free alternative to cable TV. You’ll not only find lots of free content, but it will provide access to a number of live TV channels for completely free streaming. This allows you to watch movies and television shows for free and access to on-demand content.
Pluto TV has recently overhauled its user interface, streamlining the process of finding content. The new line up allows you to navigate intuitively; you can jump into live TV categories with one or two clicks. The content is sorted into categories such as comedy, entertainment, news, sports, and movies.
There is a similar layout to the video on demand section, so you can easily find something great to watch.
- Go to Pluto TV
Redbox has a more traditional TV model, but it is a great way to access free television shows and movies. There are lots of different channels which stream live TV. You’ll find comedy shows, news, movies, and popular TV series.
This layout is a little bit like reading a TV guide, so you can scroll through to find something that you want to watch. Redbox is completely free with no need to signup and login. You can stream from the Redbox website or install the Redbox app on your device.
- Go to Redbox
Finally, if you already have an Amazon Prime membership, this is a great option to stream movies for free.
The Amazon Prime Video platform is already included in your membership fee, so you can enjoy access to some fantastic free content in the Prime library. You can also rent and purchase new release movies here, but there is a ton of free content available.
- Go to Amazon Prime
Live TV + DVR
# of Streams
1-4 (package dependent)
$12.99/mo or $119/yr
Other Ways To Get Movies For Free
If none of the above options appeal to you, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to gain access to stream movies online for free.
Sign Up For Free Trials
Although free trials are just a temporary solution, they can provide access to some great entertainment for a limited time. Both Netflix and Hulu offer a one month trial, but you can also get a seven day trial with Fubo TV, Sling TV, Philo, and AT&T TV.
You will need to be careful, as if you don’t cancel your subscription before the end of the trial, you may be billed. However, you’ll need to provide your email address to sign up for a free trial, so the chances are the companies will start sending you discount codes and invites for another trial to tempt you back once you’ve canceled your subscription.
Complete Microtasks To Earn Movie Gift Cards
There are lots of apps and platforms that allow you to complete microtasks in your spare time for rewards. Many of these rewards include gift cards and perks for movie lovers. You’ll earn points for filling in surveys, taking quizzes, playing games, or even trying products. Once you’ve reached the minimum point total, you can redeem them for a gift card for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or other movie streaming services.
This payoff may not happen right away. Many platforms have a conversion rate of one point to one cent, and since many tasks only pay 50 or 100 points, it can take some time to accumulate sufficient points. You’ll typically need 5,000 points for a $5 gift card, so it may take you some weeks to earn enough points.
However, if you enjoy completing surveys, playing games, and other simple tasks in your spare time, you could earn enough points to stream movies online for free in no time at all.
You will need to choose your platform carefully, as there are some disreputable companies out there, but platforms such as Swagbucks, InstaGC have a great reputation and are easy to use. These apps pay out thousands of dollars each week in gift cards and cash.
Check For Phone Carrier Offers
Phone services and television providers have become more intertwined in recent years, so it is now quite common to see phone carriers offering streaming services. So, it is well worth checking if your phone carrier has such an offer.
For example, here are a few providers that currently have a deal:
- T-Mobile offers Netflix subscriptions when you sign up for the Magenta or Magenta Plus plans.
- Verizon gives 1 year of Disney+ on 4 different plans.
- Metro by T-Mobile has a year of free Amazon Prime Video on the $60 Unlimited Plan.
- AT&T has free HBO Now for those on the Unlimited Elite plan.
- Sprint gives a free limited commercials Hulu plan with it's unlimited plans.
As with any monthly cost, you should compare the costs of your current cell plan to check that you’re saving money, but this can be a good option to get free movies and television shows when paying for something you need to have anyway..
- To take this further, check out our article discussing the best cheap cell phone plans.
Use Your Credit Card Rewards
Many credit card companies have rewards programs, allowing you to earn points that can be converted into gift cards that can be used for streaming subscriptions. Of course, you will need to take a sensible approach to this method. There is no point in spending on your card just to get free movies, but if you use your card responsibly, you can earn credits for free streaming.
You should check the benefits offered with your current card or look at switching to a new card that has a rewards program if this method would suit you.
Consider Family Connections
Many subscription and streaming platforms have referral plans that allow you and your friend to receive free services. For example, Netflix offers a month of free viewing for referrals, while the existing customer also receives some perks. This offer is limited to new Netflix customers, but it can be a good way to get free movies.
There are other ways that you can access free streaming through family members or friends. An example is Amazon Prime that allows users in the same household to share benefits using an Amazon Household plan or Hulu, which allows users to add five profiles to their account.
So, it is well worth checking with family members and friends to see if they are willing to share their account, so you can get access to free or significantly reduced TV and movie packages.
There Are Lots Of Places To Stream Movies For Free
As you can see, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to gain access to great movies and television shows. There are some fantastic free platforms that offer free streaming movies and are easy to use. Many don’t require signing up to become a member, but it is worth double-checking the terms and conditions before you start using any platform.
The sites, apps, and platforms we’ve listed here provide access to legal, legit movies, but you may still see advertisements, so you will need to be wary about clicking on links that may expose you to malware.
You will also need to be careful about providing your personal information. You shouldn’t need to provide any card details for free streaming options, but you are likely going to need to supply an email address in many cases. So, if you're concerned about privacy, it might be worth signing up for a new throwaway email account that can be used for your free streaming services. That way, you won’t need to wade through a ton of junk email.
However, with a little care, you can enjoy a ton of great entertainment, and plenty of free movie streaming to keep you occupied during this pandemic and beyond.
Some Low Cost Cable TV Alternatives
If you aren't worried about your movies being free, but would like something lower cost than cable or satellite, we've compiled a list of low cost cable tv alternatives in the table below.