There’s a plethora of free streaming sites and apps out there, but which ones are offer the widest selection? And most legit? We’ve rounded up the best streaming sites for anyone who wants to watch their favorite movies without having to pay for a subscription.
The trade-off: Sitting through commercials. Free-ad-supported TV (FAST) can be a mixed experience, depending on the platform: Ads might cut in at odd moments or the same ad might might run three times in a row, but hey, it’s free, right?
As the major streamers add their own ad-supported sites, such as Amazon’s Freevee, the options for free streaming should continue to grow. (Movie availability on each platform are subject to change.)
You can currently stream classic movies such as the 1949 Humphrey Bogart movie “Tokyo Joe” or the ’80s comedy “Just One of the Guys” on this free ad-supported site. Sony sold it to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in 2019.
The place for all things anime. The free tier is ad-supported, but doesn’t include all of Crunchyroll’s anime and manga or access to simulcasts.
You might have to do some digging on this un-curated ad-supported site for movies among the news clips, music videos and movie trailers, where your search could turn up a high-quality video of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Lady Vanishes.” Sadly, it’s not available as a Roku channel.
Billed as “the world’s largest independent free streaming network,” it’s available via app or as a Roku channel. Film categories include Western, True Crime, Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Mysteries and Anime.
At the moment, Amazon’s free ad-supported streaming site (which was formerly known as IMDB TV) offers “Back to the Future” and “Promising Young Woman.” It also has original programming, including “Jury Duty” with James Marsden and “Bosch: Legacy.” Watch via Amazon, online or on a variety of devices including Roku and Apple TV.
Go waaaay back with these extensive, ad-free archive, with movies dating as far back as 1905 in this free alternative to the Criterion Channel. Among its many offerings: Sidney Lumet’s 1950s courtroom classic “12 Angry Men,” Al Pacino playing a junkie in 1971’s “The Panic in Needle Park,” and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 1997 low-key horror film “Cure.”
All you need to access Kanopy’s 30,000 collection of ad-free movies, including “Moonlight,” “Lady Bird” and “The Florida Project” is your local library card, which works as your login. The downside: You’re limited to 10 movies per month — and starting and stopping a movie may lower that count. As on commercial platforms, movies rotate on and off the service each month. Offers a wide selection of documentary and foreign films.
Unfortunately, you can’t stream NBCUniversal’s library for free, but if you’re a Comcast Xfinity1 or Flex subscriber, it’s free with ads. Spectrum video and broadband customers get an extended free trial of Peacock, thanks to a deal with parent company Charter Communications, with deals extended up to a year for Spectrum internet users. You’ll have to subscribe for Peacock Premium content, however.
Another solid FAST option, which is self-described as the largest independent video-on-demand and streaming media platform and is available in 193 countries. You can stream online after you sign up up for an account or watch via Roku or other devices. The current movie lineup includes “Zola,” “Halloween,” “Minari” and “The Green Knight.”
This Vicacom/CBS-owned service offers hundreds of live channels and select-on demand titles and is a great workaround for watching Hallmark movies without a Hallmark Channel subscription. Stream via Roku and other devices or download the app for your desktop, but it’s for PC only. Among the current on-demand offerings are “Titanic,” “Raiders of the Lost Arc,” “The 5th Element” and a collection of A24 films.
This channel, which is owned by Fox Corporation, includes “featured” films like “Django Unchained” and classics such as ’80s horror comedy “Fright Night” or Clint Eastwood in “High Plains Drifter.”
Vudu (which is owned by Fandango) is mostly known as a place to rent new movies, but it does also a no-cost option way to watch — with ads, of course. Right now, you can stream action flick “Wind River,” horror movie “Terrifier,” A24’s “The Green Night,” and animated family movie “Sgt. Stubby.” And you have the nifty option to filter by genre, year, MPAA rating or Tomatometer score.
The Google-owned granddaddy of free streaming sites includes “primetime movies” that are free with ads, such as “Taken,” “Heat” and “Just Wright.” You can also find classics streaming for free, often without ads and often in very high-quality. A good option for former TCM subscribers who cut the cable cord to find lesser-known film noirs or ’50s sci-fi flicks.
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