No money in the budget for a? Or ? Do not fear: As long as you have an internet connection, you can still enjoy movie night. Granted, you may not be able to stream Hollywood's latest but you can still enjoy gems like Lady Bird, the first four Rocky movies, The Grand Budapest Hotel and lots of classic, all without spending extra crowns.
Here are nine services that offer absolutely free ̵1; and completely legal movies you can watch online. Just be prepared to sit through commercials, because that's how many of these services are left for business. (A quick note: The selection is changed regularly, so all titles listed here may still be available.)
Sony's Crackle is an ad supported streaming service, one that offers both movies and TV shows – including some original content. It is available on a variety of devices, and does not even require you to create an account, but allows you to save favorites, get recommendations, and resume playback if you switch between devices.
What you can watch: Crackle's range continues to expand, with about 200 movies available at any given time. (The selection changes periodically). At this writing you will find pearls like a few men, cloudy with chances of meatballs, Jerry Maguire and the first two lethal weapon films. They are all older movies, to be sure, but there are still plenty of things to watch. Just plan to sit through temporary commercial interruptions.
Where to watch: Crackles list of supported devices is extensive. The service offers apps for all mobile platforms, game consoles and larger streaming devices, and it's even baked in many smart TVs. It does not offer the ability to download movies for offline viewing.
Do you have a library card? Check if your library has collaborated with Hoopla. With this digital media service, you can check all kinds of things – including movies. When you borrow a movie, you have 72 hours to watch. Your library determines the total number of movies you can borrow each month.
What you can watch: It's hard to get a pearl on how many movies Hoopla has available at any time, but you can browse a wide variety of genres – from animation to westerners. There is also a generous selection of family-friendly content. Some remarkable choices available at this writing: A fish called Wanda, Chinatown, No land for old men, Commitments and Screams.
Here you can watch: Hoopla content can be viewed on your computer in a web browser, or on Android or iOS devices. The service now also supports most streaming devices, including the current generation of Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku devices. Surprisingly, Hooplas mobile apps offer not only streaming, but also a download option for offline viewing.
The internet archive is home to all public domains, including thousands of movies with feature length. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is no cost to use the service, nor do you need an account (even if you can create one if you want to highlight favorites and such).
What you can watch: "Public domain" is code for "old" and / or "mostly black and white", making this place for people interested in strictly classic movies. Thus, you will find similar to his girlfriend, plan 9 from outer space and gold fever travels.
Where to watch: The internet archive is available on the web, so you need a browser to access it. However, most mobile browsers (including Safari on iOS) can stream content.
If your library does not offer Hoopla might have Kanopy? This commercial free (yay!) Service, which began life in Australia, has made its way to thousands of university camps worldwide and, recently, different American libraries. Check the site to see if your library has it – and ask if it does not.
What you can watch: Given its education, it is not surprising that Kanopy offers a large selection of indie films and documentaries from, among others, PBS and The Great Courses. But its significant library also contains titles from the appreciated Criterion Collection, which is the code for "movies". There are also some pretty common titles available, including Donnie Darko, Ex Machina, Lady Bird and Moonlight.
There you can watch: Kanopy has Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku channels and apps for Android and iOS. It is also available on Chromecast.
A relatively newcomer, Pluto TV, is remarkable for offering not only on demand movies but also live TVs – including channels like CBS News and Ahem, CNET! Obviously, it is ad-hassle-free, but definitely one of the best options for free content that is currently available.
What you can watch: It's hard to tell you how many movies Pluto has, but there are many categories, all with many titles. There is a lot of C-grade junk, to be sure, but also some very good titles that are not elsewhere. A current sampling: Adaptation, Birdman, Black Swan and Grand Budapest Hotel.
Where to watch: Pluto TV works in desktop browsers, but also offers a Windows client. It has apps for Android, iOS and various smart TVs and channels for Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku.
Roku Channel is not a free movie provider but rather an aggregator of new and existing free of charge. So do not be surprised if there is any overlap with some of the movies available on other services. You will find movies from Roku partners like Lionsgate, MGM, Sony and Warner, along with free content from existing Roku channels like FilmRise, Popcornflix and Vidmark.
What you can watch: As pretty much every free movie channel, the Rokus rotary selection is a blend of schacky things and some standouts. The latter includes Blade Runner (The Final Cut), The Fighter, True Grit and Terminator. Keep in mind that you can safely find many of the same titles from similar Crackle and Tubi TVs; Roku Channel puts only a few hand-picked choices under one roof.
There you can watch: On Roku devices, natch. But there is also a browser-based Roku channel so you can watch your computer. But do not plan to go mobile just yet; Roku programs currently do not allow streaming from the Roku channel.
Home to thousands of free commercial movies (but definitely not commercial without), Tubi TV offers content from studios, including Lionsgate, MGM and Most important.
What you can watch: Tubi TV has many movies, but the chance is good you have not heard of most. To help distinguish wheat from the meat, check out the top rated rats tomatoes and not on the Netflix categories. Even then, the current election is quite meh; The best titles I found were Hugo, Four Weddings and a Funeral and True Grit.
Where to watch: Tubi TV's list of supported devices is very extensive; The service offers apps for Android and iOS, the major game consoles, big streaming devices, and some Samsung TVs. There is no possibility to download movies for offline viewing.
Walmarts Vudu Video Service has consistently extended its ad supported section, enabling viewers to choose from a generous selection of movies (usually older titles, unfortunately) to watch for free. This option requires you to have a Vudu account, but it's free to set one.
What you can watch: It's hard to get super excited about Vudus's choice, consisting of mostly older and direct-to-video titles, but there are some beads in the mix: Beetlejuice, Glory, Karate Kid and Paddington, for example.
There you can watch: Vudu is found to a large extent everywhere: all major streaming devices, mobile devices, game consoles and so on. While mobile apps allow you to download paid movies for offline viewing, free titles can only be streamed.
You may think that Google's video service is nothing but clips and more clips, but it. (This should not be confused with the subscription service that includes some original movies.) Just jump to the Free to Watch section to see what's available.
What you can watch: If there's an old movie – old enough that copyright has expired – you're interested to see, maybe you can find it on YouTube. There are actually at least. But you can also find modern movies that support Legally Blonde, the first five Rocky movies and the original Terminator.
Where to watch: There is no way to access YouTube (which is almost everywhere). You can watch YouTube movies.
Originally published February 21, 2017.
Update, November 28th: Updated movie selection and services.
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