The word "Movies" written on a green key on a laptop keyboard. [Image by FRadu/Thinkstock]

Watch Movies Online For Free, Legally: Top Sites To Use

“Free movies online!” is a phrase often screamed out by many questionable looking websites and links. There is a multitude of shady and downright illegal ways to obtain free access to films, and sometimes it seems each more complicated than the next. Other times, those options don’t always last for long, as the Inquisitr has reported in the past.

The movie industry is well-aware of the desire for free movies, however, and has some options in place. It is often easy to forget the availability of several free, and totally legal, movie streaming websites. They have agreements with movie studios to operate, and make their income from advertising rather than subscription fees.

Here are some of the top free, and legal, streaming movie websites. Please note that some of these options may be region-locked to only the United States and will not be available elsewhere. Additionally, the movies listed as current selections in this article may expire and be replaced with other films.

VUDU Movies On Us

VUDU, a movie streaming site owned by WalMart, offers a variety of films that users can pay to rent and own. They also have a totally free movie section called “Movies On Us.” A number of different titles rotate through this section monthly.

Featured movies this month include Slumdog Millionaire, Paranormal Activity, and The Running Man.

In addition to more well-known films, VUDU’s “Movies On Us” has a big catalog of retro, niche, and cult film options such as Dark Night Of The Scarecrow, Cube, Universal Soldier, and Miami Connection.

For even more hardcore lovers of obscure movies, “Movies On Us” also has a lineup of films from MGM IMPACT, a movie service focused on vintage exploitation and genre movies. Previously available as a VOD service only to paid subscribers of Comcast cable, MGM IMPACT now has some free movies to stream on VUDU every month.

VUDU “Movies On Us” does require users to create an account, but it only needs an email address (users can skip past the option to enter in credit card info).

Man watching streaming series in a laptop computer, lying in the bed. [Image by Daviles/Thinkstock]
[Image by Daviles/Thinkstock]


Crackle is perhaps most famous for its TV offerings, including Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. The site is run by Sony, and also features movies from the large library of films they have the rights to – all for free.

Featured movies this month include Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, Apollo 13, the 2005 version of King Kong, and Smokin’ Aces.

Classic 80s movies like the original Fright Night, Fletch, Heavy Metal, Midnight Run, and Blue Thunder are also in the current lineup. Those who are 90s fans will likely enjoy the inclusion of Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! along with the original Robin Williams Jumanji.

Monster movie fans may enjoy a current selection of four Godzilla movies from that series’ revival in the early 1990s.

Amazon Free With Ads

Like VUDU, Amazon also has a huge number of films that can be bought for rental or to own. There is a free section that does not receive much attention. Perhaps this is because the Amazon “Free With Ads” section has more obscure films as the bulk of its catalog.

The movies featured are primarily vintage action and drama films, with an emphasis on foreign movies. There are also many documentaries and childrens’ movies, along with oddities like “video fireplaces” and meditation films. Of special note for kung fu lovers, there are nearly 100 different vintage martial arts films from the 1970s and 80s.

Overseas cult classics such as Master Of The Flying Guillotine and Mystics In Bali are currently available. Some other interesting and unusual selections include the 70s Italian crime film Gang War In Milan, and the Hong Kong action/horror/comedy Kung Fu Zombie.

Amazon’s “Free With Ads” section does require an Amazon account, but users do not need to be paid Amazon Prime subscribers. The service is totally free, all one has to do is put up with some occasional advertising.

Yahoo View

Following the Hulu’s move to only paid subscriptions, all free Hulu videos went to Yahoo View. Less than a year old, the service primarily focuses on free TV episodes, but has a section for movies as well. The current lineup films emphasize genres like horror, anime, and documentaries.

Some movies of note that are currently available include the anime movie Trigun: Badlands Rumble, goofy sci-fi like Sharknado and Three-Headed Shark Attack, the original Hellraiser, critically-acclaimed indie horror They Look Like People, and vintage computer documentary Viva Amiga.

Hoopla / OverDrive

Hoopla and OverDrive are two different streaming services that work the same way. Both partner with local public libraries to provide free streaming movies, as well as audiobooks and ebooks. All a user needs is a valid library card. Check with your local library to find out if they participate and which service they use. There is overlap in the selection for both companies, so viewers likely won’t miss out on any exclusives.

Some movies currently available include The Giver, Silver Linings Playbook, The Imitation Game,Django Unchained, Pan’s Labyrinth, and the video game documentary The King of Kong.

Laptop, movies, and popcorn. [Image by demaerre/Thinkstock]
[Image by demaerre/Thinkstock]

Shout Factory TV

This site might not be for everyone, as it only offers a very niche set of movies. But, if you are a lover of that style, you may have found a new favorite movie website. Shout Factory TV is a free streaming service offered by Shout Factory, a video company that focuses on unique vintage entertainment, with a focus from the 60s through the early 2000s. In addition to cult classic TV shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Dick Cavett Show, and Home Movies, Shout Factory TV has a multitude of cult classic action, horror, and art movies all available for free.

Notable films include Day Of The Dead, Assault On Precinct 13, Kentucky Fried Movie, Night Of The Demons, and Holy Motors.

Godzilla fans can rejoice again. While Crackle has some later-era Godzilla movies, Shout Factory TV has several classic movies from the 1960s and 70s, regarded by many fans as the best in the series. If that wasn’t enough, there are films from the competing Gamera series as well.

Is there a legal free movie website that we missed? What’s a favorite movie you wish was more easily accessible? Leave a comment below, but try to make sure you’re linking to a legal source.

[Featured Image by FRadu/Thinkstock]