9 great places to stream movies for free

9 great places to stream movies for free

As the cost of living crisis takes hold, many naturally wonder if they really need all those streaming subscriptions. Recent research from Kantar Worldpanel suggests that almost a million Britons have given up paying for streaming services this year.

Fortunately, there are other options. Netflix is ​​already joining other streaming services introducing cheaper subscription tiers that contain advertising. In the UK it costs just under a fiver per month.

But if the outlay still seems too steep, or you’re just looking for a new source of movies to watch without shelling out another subscription, there are some great free options out there. The major TV networks – BBC, ITV, Channel 4 – all have their own platforms and, with the exception of BBC iPlayer, offer ad-supported streaming. And there are other options available too – mostly available through the usual channels (Android, iOS, Fire TV, Android TV, PlayStation, Xbox et al), as well as online.

Here are the best free movie streaming sites to keep an eye on in the UK:

Channel 4’s streaming platform offers a close approximation of the viewing experience on TV, with regular advertising and sponsorship. But the library itself is great, and as you’d expect with Film4 – the TV channel and production company – to draw from, there’s an emphasis on exciting new British cinema (‘Rocks’, ‘Saint Maud’ and ‘The Last Tree’ ‘ all stream now). Lots of recent crackers, the odd black-and-white classic and some great international films (‘Parasite’ and ‘Memories of Murder’ for a perfect Bong Joon-ho double bill).

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For £3.99 a month you can also access the content ad-free – although we’re talking free stuff here, so move on…

Best movies currently streaming: ‘Rocks’, ‘Hell or High Water’, ‘The Mist’, ‘Memories of Murder’, ‘Animal Kingdom’, ‘The Orphanage’

iPlayer
Photo: BBC

Not exactly free – there’s that license fee to pay, of course – but certainly good value, iPlayer is a reliable and expertly curated source of movies. The content is downloadable, so even if you don’t have access to iPlayer abroad, you can still watch the movies when you travel. The films usually cycle on and off iPlayer over the course of a month, ensuring a constantly replenished source of new watches.

Best movies currently streaming: ‘After Love’, ‘Paddington’, ‘The 39 Steps’ (1935), ‘Don’t Look Now’, ‘Bringing Up Baby’

For reasons of copyright law we are not really qualified to explain, a number of classic films are now freely available in the public domain. And one of the best places to find them is YouTube, which is not only a great place to watch Taylor Swift videos and honey badgers cutting loose, but a brilliant repository for hard-to-find works from the cinematic canon. If you’re looking for silent masterpieces, gritty old noirs or 70s curiosities, you can spin.

Best movies currently streaming: ‘Safety Last!’, ‘Hitch-Hiker’, ‘The Witchfinder General’. Damn, here is a handy list of 25 of them.

WeDoTV
Photo: WeDoTV

Another ad-funded streaming service, this Swiss-owned platform was rebranded and relaunched in April with big plans to be the main provider of curated free movies, TV and sports worldwide. It probably needs to increase its movie library to achieve the movie part of that mission statement, but a mixed bag of mostly throwaway obscure actioners and crime thrillers also has some really good stuff. A dig around will be rewarded.

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Best movies currently streaming: ‘Two Days in Paris’, ‘Shattered’, ‘Ghost World’, ‘The Good, the Bad, the Weird’, ‘Once, ‘Half Nelson’

Born from the dying embers of IMDb TV, Amazon’s new ad-supported VOD offering has the strongest lineup of free movies out there—as you might expect, with Amazon’s financial might behind it. You can access it via the Freevee app or the Amazon Prime Video website – you just need an Amazon account, but not necessarily a Prime subscription – and dig into a formidable catalog of movies (and TV shows) .

Best movies currently streaming: ‘Eden’ (2015), ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘Ginger Snaps’, ‘La Dolce Vita’, ‘Cinema Paradiso’, ‘Mean Streets’, ‘Ugetsu’

A convenient way to gather all your media – movies, audio, photos – in one place, Plex also has a free VOD library where you can access brand new content. Something for everyone, then, especially if you’re into festive guilty pleasures (the current Christmas selection is formidable) and classic westerns. There are some timeless British TV comedies in there too.

Best movies currently streaming: ‘Django’, ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Man of the West’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘Whip-It’, ‘The Harder They Come’, ‘Youth in Revolt’

ITV
Photo: ITV

Like All 4, the film slot on ITV’s easy-to-use streaming platform asks you to watch a few adverts every hour, and the films come with wrap-around sponsorship (you’ll find yourself longing for a Domino’s at some point). But if you’re cool with that – and it’s always nice to see Ian Wright on TV – there’s a deep and varied selection of films on the platform.

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Best movies currently streaming: ‘Anomalisa’, ’13 Assassins’, ‘Black Dynamite’, ‘Belleville Rendez-Vous’

As the name indicates, this is the freeview bit of the Japanese-owned streaming platform Rakuten TV follows the standard model of ads during the movies. The selection isn’t world-shattering—you’ll have to subscribe or rent from the wider Rakuten library—but there are tons of rom-coms and a classic or two to stumble upon.

Best movies currently streaming: ‘The Big Short’, ‘Begin Again’, ‘Imperium’, ‘The King of Comedy’

Min 5
Photo: My5

Channel 5’s ‘break glass in case of emergency’ streaming platform offers a very Channel 5-y selection of films. It’s a small line-up and most are worth swinging by, but there are usually one or two gems among the straight-to-DVD stuff. Again, it’s an advertising model, but there aren’t too many to sit through.

Best movies currently streaming: ‘The Sixth Sense’, ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

Netflix makes your nights a little cheaper – but there’s a catch.

Do you stick with Netflix? Here are the 30 best movies on Netflix UK right now.

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