Is Netflix putting a strain on your budget? Following a price hike earlier this year, the streaming service now starts at $9 per month, with its most popular plan now at $13 and its ultra-HD tier priced at $16.
Fear not: As long as you have an internet connection, you can continue to enjoy movie night. Granted, you may not be able to stream Hollywood’s latest, but you can still watch gems such as Blade Runner, Captain Fantastic, Eighth Grade and plenty of classics, all without spending an extra penny.
Here are 10 services offering totally free, totally legal movies you can watch online. Some offer TV shows as well. Just be prepared to sit through commercials, because that’s how most of these services pay the bills. And note that because selections change regularly, not all the titles listed here may still be available.
Read more: The best free movies you can stream right now
Crackle is bringing out the Star Trek classics this month.
Sony’s Crackle is an ad-supported streaming service, one that offers both movies and TV shows — including some original content. It’s available on a wide variety of devices and doesn’t even require you to set up an account, though doing so enables you to save favorites, get recommendations and resume playback if you switch between devices.
What you can watch: Crackle’s selection continues to expand, with around 200 movies available at any given time. (The selection changes periodically). At this writing, you’ll find gems like Fight Club, Looper, My Girl and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. They’re all older films, to be sure, but there’s still plenty of quality stuff to watch.
Where you can watch: Crackle’s list of supported devices is extensive. The service offers apps for all mobile platforms, game consoles and major streaming devices, and it’s even baked into many smart TVs. It does not offer the option to download movies for offline viewing.
Captain Fantastic is a fantastic new addition to IMDb TV (formerly FreeDive).
This relative newcomer, formerly known as FreeDrive, is part of IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, which is owned by Amazon. In other words, IMDb TV is Amazon’s way of offering ad-supported movie streaming independent of Amazon Prime. And it’s not limited to movies; there are TV shows available as well. Unfortunately, there’s a pretty major viewing limitation.
What you can watch: Though it started with only about 100 titles, IMDb TV just announced plans to triple its content selection, which will bring the tally into the thousands. Already you can watch great stuff like Captain Fantastic, Paddington and Platoon, and Oscar-winner La La Land will arrive on the service on July 1.
Where you can watch: IMDb TV works on any device that supports Prime Video with channels
Hoopla is a streaming service you may have access to through your public library.
Got a library card? Check to see if your library has partnered with Hoopla. This digital-media service allows you to check out all kinds of stuff — including movies. When you “borrow” a movie, you have 72 hours in which to watch it. Your library determines the total number of movies you can borrow each month.
What you can watch: It’s hard to get a bead on how many movies Hoopla has available at any given time, but you can browse a huge range of genres — everything from animation to westerns. There’s also a generous selection of family friendly content. The good news is Hoopla doesn’t have the same catalog of movies as many of the other services here; the bad news is the selection doesn’t change very often, and it can be hard to find anything familiar to watch.
Where you can watch: Hoopla content can be viewed on your PC in a browser, or on Android or iOS devices. The service now supports most streaming devices as well, including current-generation Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku devices. Surprisingly, Hoopla’s mobile apps offer not only streaming, but also a download option for offline viewing.
The Internet Archive is home to all things public domain, including thousands of feature-length movies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s no cost to use the service, nor do you need an account (though you can create one if you want to mark favorites and such).
Many classic movies and TV shows can be found on the Internet Archive.
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET
What you can watch: “Public domain” is code for “old” or “mostly black-and-white,” making this the place for folks interested strictly in classic films. Thus you’ll find the likes of His Girl Friday, Plan 9 from Outer Space and Gulliver’s Travels.
Where you can watch: The Internet Archive exists solely on the web, so you’ll need a browser to access it. However, most mobile browsers (including Safari on iOS) can stream the content.
If your library doesn’t offer Hoopla, maybe it has Kanopy? This commercial-free (yay!) service, which began life in Australia, has made its way to thousands of college campuses worldwide and, more recently, various US libraries. Check the website to see if your library has it — and ask for it if it doesn’t.
Here’s hoping your library subscribes to Kanopy, because the commercial-free service has a growing selection of top-quality films.
What you can watch: Given its educational bent, it’s not surprising that Kanopy offers a large selection of indie films and documentaries from the likes of PBS and The Great Courses. But its sizable library also includes titles from the esteemed Criterion Collection, which is code for “films.” There are also some fairly mainstream titles to be found, including Donnie Darko, Ex Machina, Lady Bird and Moonlight.
Where you can watch: Kanopy has Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku channels and apps for Android and iOS. It’s also available on Chromecast.