Despite its obvious reliability for providing countless movies to watch at your fingertips, Netflix does not always have what you are looking for. However, when you can only afford one digital streaming service subscription in a world in which Blockbuster is ancient history, where can you turn? What if I told you that there are multiple websites - such as Tubi, Crackle, Pluto TV, and more - in which you can legally watch free movies online?
One might assume that a free streaming service can only guarantee you the luxury of a cheap movie selection, but you would be surprised just how many great movies are available at no cost - save the occasional commercial interruption, of course. The following are our picks for the best movies you can stream online for free right now and where to find them.
The Matrix (Tubi)
A computer programmer by day and reclusive hacker by night (Keanu Reeves) discovers that his world is an illusion run by machines that he must rebel against after he is liberated into a dismal dystopian reality by another legendary hacker (Laurence Fishburne). Featuring groundbreaking, Oscar-winning visual effects, The Wachowskis' 1999 blockbuster The Matrix is a seminal moment for the sci-fi genre and one of the most exciting action thrillers of its (or any) time.
Monster (Crackle, Plex)
A sex worker from Daytona Beach (Charlize Theron) falls in love for the first time as her ongoing scheme to rob her clients begins to evolve into a series of deadly encounters. Theron gives an astonishing, transformative, Oscar-winning performance as notorious convicted serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster - the acclaimed, feature-length 2003 debut of writer and director Patty Jenkins.
Footloose (Pluto TV)
A teenage urbanite (Kevin Bacon) moves to a small rural community where he falls for the daughter of the domineering local preacher (John Lithgow) and rebels against the town’s banishment of dancing. Witness Bacon become one of the biggest stars in the world as the lead of 1984’s Footloose - a timeless celebration of music and self-expression with a killer soundtrack, including the eponymous hit theme song from Kenny Loggins.
The John Wick Movies (Peacock)
The cold-blooded murder of his new dog forces a widowed, legendary former assassin (Keanu Reeves) out of retirement, leading him down a blood-soaked path that, eventually, makes him public enemy Number One of the criminal underworld. An argument could be made for why any one of the inventive and highly stylized John Wick movies is the best, but you can try to settle that dispute (and prepare yourself for the upcoming fourth installment) by watching the first three on Peacock.
Stream John Wick on Peacock (opens in new tab).
Stream John Wick: Chapter 2 on Peacock (opens in new tab).
Stream John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum on Peacock (opens in new tab).
The Green Mile (Tubi)
In the Depression-era South, a prison guard (Tom Hanks) suspects a Black man (Michael Clarke Duncan) on death row is innocent, especially after discovering that he has an extraordinary gift. Duncan received an Oscar nomination for his heartbreaking performance in The Green Mile -- a powerful, 1999 adaptation of Stephen King’s serialized fantasy from The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont.
A devoted family man and construction manager (Tom Hardy) watches his career and everything he loves evaporate right before his eyes while behind the wheel of his car over the course of one distressing night drive. Literally taking place in real time and almost entirely from within the title character’s vehicle, writer and director Stephen Knight’s Locke is a stunning achievement in creating big thrills in a small place and one of the best A24 movies on Plex right now.
Stream Locke on Plex (opens in new tab).
Zoolander (Pluto TV)
Upon announcing his retirement after suddenly feeling underappreciated, a clueless male model (Ben Stiller) is lured back into the business as the latest unwitting participant in a deadly global conspiracy. Stiller also directs the brilliantly ridiculous satire that is 2001’s Zoolander - one of his best movies that was inspired by a character the actor and filmmaker originated at VH1’s Fashion Awards in 1996.
The Sixth Sense (Tubi)
A disillusioned child psychologist (Bruce Willis) tries to help a disturbed boy (Haley Joel Osment) come to terms with his ability to see the lingering spirits of the dead. Writer, director, and producer M. Night Shyamalan became an instant household name in 1999 with The Sixth Sense, which is, arguably, his best movie and the one with the best twist ending he has crafted so far.
Two close knit soldiers from the British Army (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) accept a very important mission that brings them face-to-face with the most terrifying perils of the first World War. One of the best action movies on Peacock currently is co-writer and director by Sam Mendes’ 1917 - a thoroughly gripping story of courage told in one virtual take with breathtaking, Oscar-winning cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins.
Stream 1917 on Peacock (opens in new tab).
Half Nelson (Crackle)
A Brooklyn junior high school teacher (Ryan Gosling) forms an unlikely bond with one of his students (Shareeka Epps) after she accidentally learns about his secret addiction. Gosling received his first Academy Award nomination for playing the challenging lead role from one of his best movies, 2006’s Half Nelson — the acclaimed, dramatic feature-length debut of director Ryan Fleck and his co-writer Anna Boden, who would go on to helm Captain Marvel in 2019.
The Evil Dead (Pluto TV)
An ill-prepared young man (Bruce Campbell) must fend for himself in a rundown cabin in the woods after his friends become possessed by malevolent spirits that transform them into grotesque, cruel, and bloodthirsty creatures. Working on a shoestring budget, writer and director Sam Raimi, arguably, pioneered the cabin in the woods thriller and kicked off one of the most beloved horror franchises of all time with 1981’s The Evil Dead, which masterfully holds up its reputation as the ultimate experience in grueling terror.
Seventeen years after a failed experiment leaves the world uninhabitable, the last of humanity have developed a feudalist system within the railcars of a self-sustaining bullet train that a group of rebellious peasants aspire to dismantle. Based on a French graphic novel, 2014’s Snowpiercer is an inventive dystopian dazzler from Parasite director Bong Joon-ho and features one of the best Chris Evans performances outside of his MCU tenure.
Stream Snowpiercer on Plex (opens in new tab).
Easy Rider (Tubi)
A pair of free-wheeling L.A. hippies (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper) use their recent drug deal profits to purchase motorcycles, which they then take on a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Also starring Jack Nicholson in his first Oscar-nominated role, Easy Rider is a fun road movie that offers a perfect reflection of time which Hopper also directed and co-wrote with Fonda.
Night Of The Living Dead (Peacock)
A group of strangers are forced to take refuge together in order to survive the sudden of flesh-eating, reanimated corpses, while also struggling to survive each other. The modern-day definition of the zombie was born in 1968 when writer and director George A. Romero released Night of the Living Dead - a powerful commentary on the darker sides of human nature that spawned a heavily influential franchise of increasingly gruesome and thought-provoking horror epics.
Stream Night of the Living Dead on Peacock (opens in new tab).
The Great Escape (Tubi)
A crack team of prisoners of war from various allied countries plan to break out of a German detention camp during World War II. Director John Sturges’ 1963 classic The Great Escape is a thrilling and mostly faithful dramatization of the true story that inspired it, as well as a pivotal moment in Steve McQueen’s career as a leading man.
A group of friends come together for a dinner party on the night that a comet passes over, which appears to be the cause of a series of strange and disturbing events that threaten to tear them apart. The less you know about the story of co-writer and director James Ward Byrkit’s Coherence, the more rewarding the experience will be watching this profoundly unique, wonderfully acted, and (most surprising) almost entirely improvised brain teaser from 2013.
Saving Private Ryan (Pluto TV)
A U.S. Army captain (Tom Hanks) and his battalion are tasked with a risky mission to locate and send home a young soldier whose three other brothers were killed in action during the second World War. Steven Spielberg deservingly won his second Best Director Oscar for helming 1998’s Saving Private Ryan - a boldly realistic and heartbreaking portrait of war that should have also won Best Picture in the eyes of many.
Train To Busan (Peacock)
A divorced businessman (Gong Yoo) boards a train to take his young daughter (Su-an Kim) on a visit to her mother’s home, but the trip soon becomes a desperate fight for survival after the railcars (and much of South Korea) becomes overrun with a vicious horde of the undead. One of the best Asian horror movies of its time and one of the most impressive zombie movies of all time is Train to Busan – co-writer and director Sang-ho Yeon’s brutal thriller that was followed by an animated prequel, a 2020 sequel, and an upcoming American remake.
Stream Train to Busan on Peacock (opens in new tab).
Gladiator (Pluto TV)
A respected general (Russell Crowe) is forced to participate in deadly games after a young, power-hungry emperor (Joaquin Phoenix) has his wife and son murdered and banishes him into the slave trade in ancient Rome. You will surely be entertained by 1999’s Gladiator —an action-packed and beautifully acted Best Picture Oscar winner from director Ridley Scott.
While movies like these are still worth every penny, the ability to watch them for the price of absolutely nothing almost makes the experience all that much better.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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