How to watch free movies online: The 12 best websites for streaming (2024)

We live in a world with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to streaming channels, but the cost of subscribing to the best streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Max, Peaco*ck and Disney Plus adds up — your monthly streaming bill can be as pricey as an old-fashioned cable subscription, or even worse.

The antidote to endless streaming subscriptions are free movies online. Here are 12 of the best streaming apps and services for watching movies for free.

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Roku

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Roku doesn't just make some of the best streaming devices; the company also has a free streaming channel that you can access from any Roku product or the web. Here you'll find an impressive array of ad-supported TV shows and feature films you can stream for free – and while Roku's movie collection is modest, it has one of the strongest lineups of free TV shows you can find anywhere.

There's a mix of classic and contemporary movies (like "Click," "Superbad," and "Minority Report") to choose from. There's no need to create an account (though you can if you want to) and ads, while present, are not overly intrusive. Newly-added titles on the platform include "The Lovely Bones," "Blackfish," and "Burlesque."

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YouTube

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YouTube offers hundreds of free movies and TV shows (with ads), making it a convenient one-stop shop for all types of video content. YouTube is also one of the few sites where the content is rated by users and you can read comments about the movies as you watch them.

The best part about YouTube is that all the free movies are arranged in a single category.

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Vudu

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Vudu is the streaming video arm of Fandango that offers both free and paid videos. It's easy to find the free content thanks to a Free link at the top of the page. There, you'll find thousands of movies – new and old, popular films, and schlock.

The site also does a great job of sorting the movies into categories like Mythical Creatures, New Releases, and Thrilling Suspense, for easy browsing.

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Crackle

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Crackle has been around a long time — it got its start in 2004. And unlike some other streaming channels, Crackle is 100% free, offering all its content at no cost (with ads), so anything you see on the site you can watch without paying.

You can browse movies and TV shows by genre, alphabetically, or search for a specific title.

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Popcornflix

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Popcornflix is another completely free video streaming site, offering about 2,000 movies with ads in a variety of categories. It's available as an app for a variety of devices, and you can also watch in a web browser. There's no account required; just open the website, select a movie and start viewing.

Many of the entries at Popcornflix fall into the category of guilty pleasures (like "2-Headed Shark Attack") and cheap knock-offs of mainstream properties (like "Atlantic Rim" and "Almighty Thor") but there's something charming here about the movies you can binge for free with limited ads.

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Pluto

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Pluto TV is a little different than most streaming video services. In addition to being able to watch movies and TV shows on demand, it also streams live programming that you access in a program guide as if you were watching cable or satellite TV.

You can jump into programs in progress after browsing the dozens of categories arranged like channels, or switch to the On Demand tab, and start any of the thousands options that are, arranged into easily browsable categories. No catch here! It's all free, supported by ads.

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Freevee

Freevee is an ad-supported video streaming service owned by Amazon. You can stream Freevee content through a number of devices via the Amazon Freevee app, Prime Video app, or by using your web browser.

On Freevee, you'll find a selection of completely free ad-supported movies and TV shows, including original titles that are available exclusively on the platform.

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Tubi

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Tubi is a free streaming service with thousands of movies and TV shows. You can watch it all online or on a number of devices including Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation, Samsung smart TVs, and Sony smart TVs.

You don't need a subscription, and Tubi boasts that it has fewer ads than cable. Like Pluto TV, Tubi has both on-demand and live programming. There's also a kids' section of the website with family movies and TV shows to watch with your little ones.

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Kanopy

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Kanopy is a bit different than the average free streaming service – it is targeted at library patrons and higher education. If you have a public library card, you can log into Kanopy with your library ID and password; otherwise, if you're a student or processor you can use your university login at participating schools.

The number of movies you can watch depends on the specific school or library you sign up through; you might have anywhere from five to 50 credits each month. Kanopy is a great resource not just for TV shows and movies, but also documentaries, instructional, and educational videos.

Kanopy's selection includes countless thought-provoking and award winning titles from cinema titans like Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese, and Raoul Peck. Many of the titles are written and performed in languages other than English, allowing you to easily explore the world's best cinema.

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Plex

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No subscription is required to watch Plex's more than 50,000 free on-demand titles and 250 live TV channels. You can use the Plex app to access its content on pretty much any device (Apple, Android, Smart TVs), or go to the Plex website on your computer.

Movies and TV shows are sorted by categories, and there are special tabs for the most popular titles and ones that are leaving the platform soon. You can also use the search bar to find a specific movie or TV show, and keep track of things you want to see later with their Watchlist feature.

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Rakuten Viki

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For those looking for non-English language content, Rakuten Viki is focused specifically on Asian live-action movies and shows. Alongside the ability to sort by genre, Viki allows you to sort by country and region. The app showcases dramas and thrillers from Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Not everything on Rakuten Viki is free, but the free content is clearly marked while browsing, and there's a helpful Watch Free section that collects all of the free titles in one place. The platform is structured with a Netflix-like set of categories (Latest Releases, Based on Novels and Toons, and more) and you can access the content on the web or in apps on most devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and more.

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Internet Archive

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You may not be aware that the Internet Archive, in addition to being a treasure trove of books, webpages, and historical documents, also has thousands of free feature films available to watch.

Don't look here for contemporary movies or the latest blockbusters, though. As you'd expect from the Internet Archive, these films are in the public domain – generally older films and those made outside the Hollywood cinema industry.

This also means they're oftentimes of lower quality, so your mileage may vary when it comes to deciding if it's worth your time to browse here. The sheer scope of content on The Internet Archive (combined with the fact that it's largely volunteer-run) means you may have to do some serious digging to find gems.

Dave Johnson

Freelance Writer

Dave Johnson is a technology journalist who writes about consumer tech and how the industry is transforming the speculative world of science fiction into modern-day real life. Dave grew up in New Jersey before entering the Air Force to operate satellites, teach space operations, and do space launch planning. He then spent eight years as a content lead on the Windows team at Microsoft. As a photographer, Dave has photographed wolves in their natural environment; he's also a scuba instructor and co-host of several podcasts. Dave is the author of more than two dozen books and has contributed to many sites and publications including CNET, Forbes, PC World, How To Geek, and Insider.

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How to watch free movies online: The 12 best websites for streaming (2024)
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