Watching movies is one of the most popular pastimes around the world. However, with the rising costs of streaming services and theater tickets, it can get expensive to watch all the latest and greatest films. That’s why free movie streaming websites have become so popular in recent years.
These sites allow you to watch both new and classic movies at no cost right from your computer or mobile device. While free movie sites have had a bit of a sketchy reputation in the past, many of the top sites today are completely legal and safe to use.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about watching movies for free online, including:
- The benefits of free movie streaming sites
- How to choose the best free movie websites
- The legality and safety of using free streaming sites
- 40 of the top free movie websites for 2023
- How to access restricted streaming sites with a VPN
- FAQs about free movie streaming
So whether you just want to save some money on entertainment or cut the cord completely, read on to learn all about watching unlimited movies for free!
Table of Contents
Benefits of Free Movie Streaming Sites
Before we get into the specifics of which free streaming sites are the best, let’s look at why you may want to use these services in the first place:
The most obvious benefit is that you get to watch movies without spending any money. No more paying for pricey theater tickets or monthly subscriptions to streaming services. And you can watch as many movies as you want without racking up rental fees.
Paid streaming services like Netflix often have a limited catalog of movies and shows available. Free streaming sites open up a world of options, from latest blockbusters to old classics and obscure indie films. You’ll never run out of movies to watch.
Being able to stream movies directly from your laptop or phone means you can watch wherever and whenever you want. No need to go out to a theater or video rental store.
Try Before You Buy
The free streaming sites are great for watching something before you decide to pay for it elsewhere. You can check out a movie or show before subscribing to a streaming service it’s on.
With a free streaming site, you can come and go as you please without any monthly fees or commitments to keep up with. It’s entertainment on your own terms.
How to Choose the Best Free Movie Websites
Not all free streaming sites are created equal. Here are some key factors to evaluate as you choose the best free movie websites:
Library Size and Quality
The best free movie sites have huge libraries with both popular mainstream movies as well as hard-to-find indie and foreign films. Video quality should be DVD or HD level for the best experience.
The tradeoff for getting movies for free is that you’ll have to sit through some ads. Look for sites with minimal, non-intrusive advertising that doesn’t interrupt your streaming.
The site should be well-designed and easy to navigate. Search and filtering capabilities help you find movies quickly.
Many of the top free movie sites also have mobile apps or mobile-friendly web interfaces so you can stream on the go.
Only use sites that operate legally within the US and your local area to avoid any potential issues. More on this below.
Make sure any site you use is free from malware risks and doesn’t expose your personal data. Using a VPN provides an extra layer of protection.
Is It Legal to Use Free Movie Streaming Sites?
When evaluating the legality of using free streaming sites, there are a few key factors to consider:
Licensed vs Unlicensed Content
Legitimate free streaming platforms like Tubi, Pluto TV, and Crackle stream movies and shows they are officially licensed for. However, many sketchy “free” sites simply pirate content without obtaining rights. Accessing unlicensed content is illegal.
Most countries have copyright laws that make it illegal to download and distribute copyrighted content like movies without authorization. Streaming pirated content is still a legal gray area in many regions.
Terms of Service
The terms of service for streaming sites may prohibit using VPNs or accessing content from other countries. Violating a site’s ToS can get your account banned.
To stay on the right side of the law, opt for well-known streaming sites that operate legally in your region and avoid newer sites that may be pirating content. Using a VPN gives you an extra layer of privacy but doesn’t make illegal streaming legal.
40 Best Free Movie Streaming Sites for 2023
Ready to start watching? Here are 40 of the best, safest and most reliable free movie streaming sites that will allow you to watch tons of movies and TV shows 100% free!
With over 20,000 movies and TV shows available for free streaming, Tubi is one of the largest legitimate free streaming libraries available. Content comes from major studios like Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate. Available in the US, Canada and Australia.
Highlights: Huge content library, minimal ads, easy to use interface, completely legal
2. Pluto TV
Pluto TV operates more like a traditional TV streaming service, with hundreds of live channels and on-demand movie options. No account needed to start watching free movies. Available in the US and parts of Europe.
Highlights: Live TV channels, large on-demand library, 100% legal
3. The Roku Channel
Roku’s free streaming channel doesn’t require a Roku device to watch. It features premium movies and some Roku original content. Supported by ads. Available in US and Canada.
Highlights: Quality movies, Roku originals, easy to use
Crackle is an ad-supported free streaming site owned by Sony Pictures, with a library of both movies and TV shows from major studios and networks. Available in 21 countries.
Highlights: Major studio movies & shows, original content, mobile apps
5. IMDb TV
IMDb TV offers a solid selection of free movies and TV shows with minimal ads. Owned by Amazon and available as an app on Fire TV and Prime Video. Only available in US.
Highlights: Decent selection, Amazon-owned, minimal ads
Walmart-owned Vudu has a large library of ad-supported free movie options, plus pay-per-rental new releases. Available as an app on many devices. US only.
Highlights: Extensive ad-supported library, latest rentals available
YouTube may not be a dedicated movie streaming site, but it does have thousands of free, legal movies available from major studios like Paramount and Lionsgate.
Highlights: Totally free and legal, huge selection if you dig
Yidio aggregates free movies and TV shows available on other streaming sites and services. Provides helpful tools to track when titles will be expiring or leaving free tiers.
Highlights: Convenient hub for free streaming content
Kanopy provides a collection of free movies to those with a participating public library card or university login. Content comes from respected production companies like A24 and Paramount.
Highlights: Excellent movie selection, totally free with library card
Formerly known as IMDb TV, Amazon’s FreeVee offers an assortment of free movies and TV shows if you don’t mind ads. Available via Prime Video app or online.
Highlights: Solid movie selection, Amazon owned, mobile apps
NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service has a limited free tier with ads. Much larger library available for paid subscribers. Currently US only.
Highlights: Quality NBC/Universal content available for free
Plex is actually a media library organizing service that also offers a selection of free movies and TV shows supported by ads. Available worldwide.
Highlights: Decent free movie selection in addition to main service
Popcornflix has a decent ad-supported library of free movies, but selection tends to be older and B-list titles. Owned by Screen Media. Available in US, UK and Canada.
Highlights: 100% free and legal, apps available
Specializing in TV shows and movies from Korea, Viki has a selection of free content available in addition to premium tiers. Must create a free account to start watching.
Highlights: Good Korean TV & movie selection
CONtv offers a niche library of free movies focused on comic con, cosplay, sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. Support by ads. Available worldwide.
Highlights: Free niche movies, no account needed
16. Shout! Factory TV
Shout! Factory TV streams cult classic movies, original content and retro TV shows for free with ads. Available as website and apps.
Highlights: Cult films, retro TV, originals
17. CW Seed
The CW’s free streaming platform primarily focuses on TV series from CW and older shows. Available in US with some access internationally.
Highlights: Free access to CW shows new and old
Like Kanopy, Hoopla allows you to access free movies and TV shows on-demand with a library card from a participating public library. Content from major studios.
Highlights: Movies for bookworms, with a library card
Your local PBS station offers plenty of free movies available to stream on their website or apps without needing an account. Focus is documentaries and classic films.
Highlights: Free educational and classic content
20. Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library that offers hundreds of free movies available for download or streaming.
Highlights: Massive library of free content
21. Sony Crackle
Sony’s Crackle offers an adequate selection of free movies supported by ads. Recently added some live TV channels. Available in 21 countries.
Highlights: Sony-owned, decent selection, available worldwide
22. The Roku Channel
Roku’s streaming channel doesn’t require any Roku hardware. Provides free movies from major studios like Lionsgate and MGM with limited ads.
Highlights: Solid movie selection completely free and legal
23. Vudu Movie Extras
Walmart’s Vudu service offers “Movie Extras” free movies supported by ads on their streaming platform. Rental services also available.
Highlights: Ad-supported new and older movies
24. Shout Factory TV
Shout Factory TV offers cult favorite films, original content and vintage television shows for free streaming with ads. Available online and on various apps.
Highlights: Cult classics, retro TV, originals
25. Pluto TV Movies
In addition to live streaming channels, Pluto TV has an on-demand selection of free movies from major studios like MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount.
Highlights: Solid selection completely free and legal
26. Yahoo View
Yahoo View offers some free TV shows and movies without even needing an account. Content selection is on the smaller side. Not available on mobile.
Highlights: Completely free, no account needed
27. Tubi TV
Tubi TV has one of the largest content libraries of any free streaming service, with movies from just about every major studio. Supported by ads.
Highlights: Huge library totally free and legal
Popcornflix has hundreds of free ad-supported movies, but selection tends to be B-list titles. Owned by Screen Media. Apps available.
Highlights: 100% free and legal, apps for streaming
SnagFilms offers a wide variety of free documentaries and indie movies available to stream without an account needed. Library frequently updated.
Highlights: Quality docs & indies
30. Vimeo On Demand
Vimeo offers select movies for free on-demand as part of their overall paid service. Sort by price low-to-high to find freebies. Account required.
Highlights: Curated quality films for free
Retrovision is an ad-supported streaming site offering classic movies from the 1900s through 1960s. Library legally licensed from the public domain.
Highlights: Vintage films, 100% free and legal
VEGFlix offers only vegan-themed movies and documentaries available to stream for free with ads after creating a free account.
Highlights: Free niche content
In addition to news/entertainment articles, Distractify has an entire streaming channel of obscure free movies supported by ads. Unusual picks that are legal.
Highlights: Weird but legal free movies
Cineloops legally streams classic short films from indie creators and animation festivals across the world. Create a free account to start watching for free.
Highlights: Indie shorts
MoviesFoundOnline has hundreds of free movies available, but does contain intrusive ads. Seems to secure licenses for titles they stream.
Highlights: Huge library of free flicks
36. YouTube Movies
In addition to user uploads, YouTube hosts hundreds of free movies from major studios like Paramount in their movie section.
Highlights: Major studio movies totally free
37. Maverick Movies
Maverick curates free-to-watch full movies from major studios on their YouTube Channels. Completely free and legal.
Highlights: Legit movies recommended by real people
38: Reddit Movie Streams
Certain film-focused subreddits regularly link to legal, free movie steams as they pop up around the web. Worth browsing occasionally for surprises.
Highlights: Occasional free gems
39. OVGuide Movies
OVGuide aggregates links to thousands of free movies across legal streaming sites all in one place. Handy directory of what’s available.
Highlights: Movie directory with tons of free options
40. Free Classic Movies YouTube Channels
YouTube channels like Classico Cinema and Public Domain Movies legally offer hundreds of classic free movies. Look for “public domain” in title.
Highlights: Legal vintage movie goldmines
Using a VPN to Access Restricted Content
Many of the best free streaming sites restrict content based on location due to licensing agreements. For example, Sony Crackle has different libraries for each country they operate in.
You can get around these restrictions and access more free movies by using a VPN (virtual private network). Here’s how it works:
- Choose a paid VPN service with US-based servers and robust unblocking capabilities, like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Avoid free VPNs.
- Download the VPN app and connect to a US VPN server to get an American IP address.
- Visit a streaming site like Crackle and you’ll now see the US movie library available. Site thinks you are accessing from within the US.
A quality VPN will also encrypt your data for improved privacy and security when streaming. But do note that using a VPN to access streaming sites from outside your territory may violate their terms of service. Proceed with caution.
FAQs About Free Movie Streaming
Are free movie sites legal?
It depends. Legitimate services like those listed above legally stream movies. But free sites hosting unlicensed content are illegal. Avoid sketchy unknown sites.
Can I get a virus using free movie sites?
Spammy streaming sites can contain malware. Use trustworthy sites and an adblocker for safety. A VPN provides encryption and malware blocking.
Do I need a VPN to use free movie sites?
A VPN provides an extra layer of privacy and security when streaming, and allows you to access restricted content. But isn’t strictly required on most major free sites.
What are the risks of using free movie streaming sites?
You may be exposed to more ads/spam and potential malware on some free sites. Using an unlicensed site also risks legal trouble in some regions.
What video quality do free movie sites offer?
Majority of free sites support 720p or 1080p HD quality. But some obscure sites may only offer lower quality streams.
Can I watch new movies for free online?
You’ll have the best luck finding new movies for free on major studio-backed services like The Roku Channel. But selection is limited.
Enjoy Unlimited Free Movie Streaming
With this huge selection of free movie streaming sites, you’ll be able to ditch expensive cable and streaming subscriptions but still be able to watch all of your favorite movies and shows online.
Be sure to use trustworthy sites with minimal ads and a focus on quality over quantity when it comes to their movie selection. And never hesitate to turn on a VPN for privacy and access to restricted content libraries in different countries.
Settle in on the couch with your favorite movie snacks and get ready to stream unlimited entertainment 100% free! Let us know your favorite free streaming movies sites in the comments.