Top 20 YouTube Movies Available To Watch

Since the moment they've opened their doors, YouTube has always been a fine purveyor of everything from DIY hacks to cute animal videos, with tons of gaffes, live TV moments, and movie trailers filling the gaps in between. Yet there's one thing YouTube isn't primarily known for, at least when it comes to the legal enjoyment of filmed entertainment: they've got a lot of good movies sitting on their servers, just waiting to be viewed -- in their entirety. Some are classics that have fallen into public domain, and can be watched for free. Others are big studio pictures or legacy titles that are locked up tighter that Citizen Kane's past. Yet they all have one thing in common: they're on the YouTubes and available for anywhere from free to a nominal fee.

So if you're looking for something to watch, Netflix or Amazon Prime are exhausted options, and your Blu Ray collection has been picked over so frequently you know all the words to X-Men: Days Of Future Past, why not frequent some of these easy to view picks? Chances are there's something you've always been meaning to watch sitting on the list below.


Year Of Release: 1988

IMDB Score: 7.3 / 10

Synopsis: After Josh Baskins makes a wish upon a carnival fortune-telling machine, he grows up to become a more Tom Hanks-looking version of what he'd look like as an adult. With the help of his best friend, he embarks on a journey to make better toys, reverse the wish, and learn how to deal with women... not necessarily in that order. If you need a good reminder of just how funny Tom Hanks can be, or if you just want to relive the piano scene one more time, look no further.

Broadcast News

Year Of Release: 1987

IMDB Score: 7.2 / 10

Synopsis: The world of television news is tough, especially when the ax is looming and some pretty boy wants your dream job (and dream woman). Aaron (Albert Brooks) has to contend with Tom (William Hurt) for both breaking news and the heart of Jane (Holly Hunter,) his best friend. Set against the backdrop of 1980's network news, Broadcast News tells the story of talent vs. looks -- a debate that was waged on no greater battlefield than the ever-evolving landscape of TV news. Funny, heartbreaking, and thought provoking -- this is a comedy that's in rare form, and you'll be hard pressed to find anything like it today.


Year Of Release: 1987

IMDB Score: 7.5 / 10

Synopsis: Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) was the perfect cop, a good husband, and a great father. At least he was, until he was killed in the line of duty by a gang of criminals he was trying to apprehend. Given a new lease on life, Murphy finds himself back on the streets... as a cyborg law enforcement officer who's "part man, part machine, all cop." Robocop is Paul Verhoeven's satirical action masterpiece, skewering the politics of 1980's Reganomics, as well as drawing attention to the sad state Detroit would eventually find itself in. Come for the action, stay for the smart-assed one liners.

The Incredibles

Year Of Release: 2004

IMDB Score: 8.0 / 10

Synopsis: Years after a superhero registration act leaves all powered heroes with new identities, and witness relocation-style packages, Bob and Helen Parr (Craig T. Nelson & Holly Hunter) find themselves dealing with mid-life crises, defiant children, and what to do without a world to save. Before they know it, they're inadvertently swept up in something greater than themselves... something incredible. The Incredibles is a landmark moment for Disney/Pixar, as Brad Bird took the medium they used strictly on toys and animals and turned it loose on human characters. It's dramatic, it's thrilling, and it lives up to its name.

The Philadelphia Story

Year Of Release: 1940

IMDB Score: 8.1 / 10

Synopsis: Getting married is a nerve-racking prospect the first time around, but the second time around can be just downright horrifying. Tracy (Katherine Hepburn) is about to learn that the hard way, as not only has her ex-husband (Cary Grant) popped up out of nowhere, the tabloids also want in on the nuptials... and they've sent a good looking reporter (Jimmy Stewart) to file the story! If you're a fan of top-notch romantic comedies, you owe it to yourself to watch The Philadelphia Story and see just where all the old tricks came from.

The Fog Of War

Year Of Release: 2003

IMDB Score: 8.2 / 10

Synopsis: If anyone knew the Vietnam War inside and out, it would be its chief strategist – former Secretary Of Defense, Robert McNamara. Errol Morris focuses his keen documentarian eye on McNamara, and goes into detail on his life, his days in the private sector, and eventually his tenure as Lyndon B. Johnson's Defense secretary during Vietnam. If you're looking for concrete answers, or any sort of apologies, you're probably going to walk away from this empty handed. But if you want an intriguing profile of an enigmatic man, then you're going to enjoy this greatly.

The Searchers

Year Of Release: 1956

IMDB Score: 8.0 / 10

Synopsis: When his niece is kidnapped in the wild west of post Civil War Texas, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) heads out into the great frontier to try and save her. Throughout his five-year mission he’ll fight the indigenous Native Americans, and anyone else who gets in his way. John Ford’s picturesque Western is considered by many to be the epitome of the genre, with Wayne displaying his usually stellar mix of bravado and vulnerability for all to see. How the hell this man was considered a "B-Actor," the world will never know – but The Searchers is the perfect case as to why that assumption is dead wrong.

Citizen Kane

Year Of Release: 1941

IMDB Score: 8.4 / 10

Synopsis: Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) is as enigmatic as he is powerful. Yet for all of the power he holds, not one person could tell you that they truly knew him. Upon hearing news of his death, a reporter (William Alland) tasks himself with decrypting the meaning of the man's final words. Through those that knew him best (and worst,) the life of Charles Kane is unraveled. A monumental classic, this is the movie RKO and William Randolph Hearst didn't want you to see! If you've ever wondered why people would say, "It's no Citizen Kane," after a particularly bad movie, now's the time to find out.

North By Northwest

Year Of Release: 1959

IMDB Score: 8.4 / 10

Synopsis: Ever feel like you've been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) sure has, and he's wanted for murder because of it! Now, embroiled in a case of mistaken malfeasance, he has to clear his name, get the girl (Eva Marie Saint), and scale Mount Rushmore in the process. One of Alfred Hitchcock's finest, North By Northwest brings Hitch's trademarks of suspense, gallows humor, and lightly-veiled innuendo to life yet again. There are many Hitchcock classics that you should be watching, but this one has to be one of the most tightly wound.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Year Of Release: 1975

IMDB Score: 8.7 / 10

Synopsis: When given the choice of hard labor or time in a mental institution, Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) opts for the latter, unwittingly pitting himself against the vicious Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher.) During his stay in the institution, McMurphy makes friends with several of the inmates, and eventually connects with them in ways he couldn't have imagined... which further puts him at odds with Ratched, who has a very different approach with McMurphy and his colleagues. This is peak Jack Nicholson, and it's all at once funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting.

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Year Of Release: 1942

IMDB Score: 7.8 / 10

Synopsis: James Cagney went down in history as one of Hollywood's most iconic hard-asses. Yet for all of that whooping and hollering he made as gangsters and madmen, he really wanted to be a song and dance man. Thus Yankee Doodle Dandy was born, finding its way onto his resume like a note to a song sheet! This biography of legendary performer and jack of all trades, George M. Cohan, might fudge things just a tiny bit, but at the very least it delivers some good old fashioned musical thrills. Just don't watch it as the second half of a double feature opening with White Heat.


Year Of Release: 1976

IMDB Score: 8.2 / 10

Synopsis: Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is mad as Hell, and he's not gonna take it anymore! After he finds out he's got two weeks left as UBS's news anchor, Beale goes from a mad man to the mad prophet of the airwaves. This naturally leaves the executives (Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall) nervous and excited, as the ratings are climbing and a merger is at stake. You've heard the quote, but you need to see one of the first films to predict reality television, questionable content, and Glenn Beck's future – except with a lot more intentional dark humor.

The Goonies

Year Of Release: 1985

IMDB Score: 7.8 / 10

Synopsis: Ok, confession time: who hasn't seen The Goonies? Those of you with your hands up, stick around. Those of you who are already hip to the game, feel free to forward this to as many converts as you want. For the uninitiated, The Goonies is what happens when you mix an Indiana Jones film with a classic 80's kids flick. When their town is about to be bulldozed to make way for a country club, our band of ruffians seek out a legendary pirate treasure. Unfortunately for them, some local mobsters have a very similar idea. A classic romp in every sense of the word.

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Plan 9 From Outer Space

Year Of Release: 1959

IMDB Score:4.0 / 10

Synopsis: So you might have noticed how low of a rating this one has compared to all the others. Well, don't let Plan 9 From Outer Space’s reputation fool you, as this film is a cult classic of filmmaking so bad, it actually swings back to good. While the film's plot is a bit hard to find in the actual film itself, the official synopsis has this movie down as a tale about aliens turning the dearly departed into undead creatures... all because we're trying to build "the bomb." It's not exactly Citizen Kane, but Plan 9 From Outer Space makes for a fun watching experience, especially with the RiffTrax commentary.

Night Of The Living Dead

Year Of Release: 1968

IMDB Score: 8.0 / 10

Synopsis: A new threat to humanity emerges without warning, trapping a handful of people in the same local farmhouse. As day turns to night, the dead continue to rise from their graves and make life hell for the living. All it takes is one bite or one scratch, and you're done for. It might be hard to believe, but George A. Romero's zombie classic, Night Of The Living Dead still packs an atmospheric punch this very day. From its unassuming beginning, right through its tense middle, and landing on the granddaddy of shocking finales, this widely acknowledged classic is still something you don't want to watch alone at night.

The General

Year Of Release: 1926

IMDB Score: 8.3 / 10

Synopsis: When a train engineer (Buster Keaton) is rejected from enlisting in the Confederate Army, a huge misunderstanding ensues and the love of his life leaves him. Sometime later, the two meet again, although under the circumstance that Union saboteurs have seized our hero’s train, The General, and his lady love is a captive aboard. Buster Keaton had a way with physical comedy, as well as filmmaking that was extreme for its time. If you enjoy silent, more physically expressive comedy; you’ll be locked in from the beginning.

Meet John Doe

Year Of Release: 1941

IMDB Score: 7.7 / 10

Synopsis: Deciding to use her last assignment as a blaze of glory, reporter Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) accidentally starts a public movement in support of one John Doe. Of course, there’s just one problem with John Doe… he doesn’t exist; which means it’s time for Ann to roll with the con and hire a homeless baseball player (Gary Cooper) to play the part. But just when does a gag to sell papers stop being harmless and start becoming immoral? One of Frank Capra’s early efforts, Meet John Doe isn’t one of the filmmaker’s better-known pictures, but it’s certainly worth a look.

His Girl Friday

Year Of Release: 1940

IMDB Score: 8.1 / 10

Synopsis: Walter (Cary Grant) still loves his ex-wife / ex-co worker Hildy (Rosalind Russell.) In fact, he loves her so much, he tries to save her from a life of dull marriage by bringing her along to cover an execution for the paper they both worked for. Fast-talking antics and romance ensue, in a classic that not only inspired quite a few remakes, but was a remake itself tailored to be a romantic comedy instead of a buddy comedy. His Girl Friday director Howard Hawks was a genre hopper, and this entry in his career showcases his more laughable side - and to great degree!

House On Haunted Hill

Year Of Release: 1959

IMDB Score: 6.9 / 10

Synopsis: What would you do if you were offered $10,000 to stay in a house that was supposedly haunter? What would you do if that offer was made to you, via peak horror era Vincent Price? Doesn’t sound so fun now, does it? While House On Haunted Hill’s events aren’t something you’d wish on your worst enemy, it’s certainly a fun classic to enjoy with or without its Rifftrax commentary track. After all, what horror fan worth their salt could say no to Vincent Price and legendary director William Castle working together to scare the living daylights out of the weaker audience members?

The Gold Rush

Year Of Release: 1925

IMDB Score: 8.3 / 10

Synopsis: And of course, what comprehensive film list is complete without a Charlie Chaplin buffet of dry, visually inspired punchlines? The Gold Rush certainly delivers, as it puts The Tramp in the race to claim some of those sparkling riches just waiting to be claimed in the Klondike. Of course, being a Chaplin picture, things get silly and unpredictable. So if you’ve ever seen a parody of the shoe eating gag, or even the dancing potato gag, you really should see the film that inspired many generations of comedy practitioners to come.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.