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10 Legitimate Ways to Watch Free Movies Online

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There are now more ways than ever to watch free movies online. Here are 10 of them, some of which offer recently released flicks.

watch free movies online

If you’re anything like me, your family time and date nights often involve watching movies. There’s nothing our five-year-old likes better than curling up on the couch with some popcorn to watch one of my favorite childhood classics.

But all that movie watching can get expensive, especially if you don’t already pay for TV-watching services like Netflix and Hulu. And even then, you can pretty quickly tap out those services’ movie lists if you’re at all picky.

Luckily, there are lots of great places online that let you watch movies for free. Sure, you might have to wait a while before you can watch the latest blockbuster. Or you might have to search through a few different sites before you find the movie you want to see. But these sites may be a good way to get some movie watching in without paying a dime.

Of course, you need to be careful when figuring out where to watch movies for free. Many movie-watching sites are basically scams or feature illegally-uploaded content. We’ve done our best to help you avoid sites like these in this list.

Here, in no particular order, are the 10 most legitimate options we found:

1. SnagFilms

This streaming site has a variety of types of movies, including some classics and some you’ve probably never heard of. It definitely specializes in artsy films and documentaries. But you’ll also find family movies, comedies, and more.

2. Top Documentary Films

This site is just what it sounds like: a place to watch great documentaries. It’s got everything from low-budget productions to better-known documentaries. You’ll likely find some interesting options here that you’ve not heard of before.

3. PopcornFlix

This site includes recent-ish movies, like M:I-3, as well as some TV series. You can stream them directly from the site. It also includes a wide selection of older movies and TV shows. You’ll have to watch commercials in order to access the content. But that’s no big deal for free content!

4. Amazon Instant Video

Even if you aren’t a Prime member, you can access some movies for free on Amazon Instant Video. And if you’re already a member of Amazon Prime, you’ll get access to even more movies. So these aren’t strictly free. But if you use Prime for other things, you should always double check to see if you can find a good movie to watch on Prime before you went one.

5. PBS

PBS has produced a lot of great content over the years, including movies and feature-length series episodes. PBS Masterpiece Studio offers a wide variety of content, and you can stream some of it online for free.

6. My Lifetime

If overly dramatic Lifetime movies are your guilty pleasure, you’re in luck. You can stream some online. Current options include Sea Change and Drink, Slay, Love. You have to sign in to watch using your TV provider login information. But Hulu counts as a TV provider, so you probably have an account that will work.

If you don’t see the options you want to watch, you can get a Lifetime Movie Club membership for $3.99/month or $39.99/year.

7. BBC America

The BBC produces some of my personal favorite content anywhere. They stream a limited number of free movies, both new and old, on their website. The options change out frequently, and you can always see how many days a film will be available for. As I write this, A Knight’s Tale and Legion are the available options.

8. Crackle

As a Sony-owned site, Crackle is probably the best place online to get newer releases of popular movies. Right now, you can watch movies like 7 Seconds and Man of the Year. If you create an account, you can add movies to a watch list to watch later. Or you can stream them right away. Crackle also lets you see trailers and clips of old, new, and upcoming films.

9. TubiTV

You have to register for an account to even get to Tubi’s content. But once you do, you’ll get streaming access to a variety of old and new films. Right after I registered, classics like Dances with Wolves popped up on the rotating home page. But you can sort Tubi by a variety of categories, many of which include both lesser-known and newer, more popular movies. This one offered more kid-friendly movies than some of the other services listed here.

10. YouTube Movies

YouTube has its own movie rental service. It can actually be a fairly affordable place to rent or buy the latest releases. But you can also watch free full-length movies there, too, including several classics like Gaslight and Charade.

The Bottom Line

You’ll find much longer lists of free places to watch movies. But we tried to weed out any that seemed shady, ad-heavy, or that gave us actual security warnings when we tried to play the movies.

Using this list, you can probably find something to watch for more than a few nights in. But if you want the top new releases as soon as they come out, you’re probably going to have to pay for them. So your goal then is just to find the cheapest possible way to rent those movies when you really want to watch them right away.

(And, of course, remember to take those Redbox movies back the morning after you watch them!)

Published or updated November 6, 2017.

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