Movies You Can (Legally!) Watch for Free on YouTube

audrey hepburn charade
Charade | Universal Pictures
Charade | Universal Pictures

As great as it is to have a zillion video-streaming options (Netflix! Hulu! Seeso!), subscription fees for all those different platforms add up. So it's our duty to point out one you're likely overlooking that won't cost you a cent -- as long as you already have an internet connection and a device capable of connecting to it, that is.

YouTube isn't just for Vine compilations and viral videos anymore. The OG streaming platform hosts an insane number of movies you can watch at no cost -- some more legal than others, admittedly. In addition, the site has a section for movies you can buy or rent. So the next time you're in a movie slump and want a free way out, give some of these a try. 

<strong>Night of the Living Dead |</strong> Image Ten

Movies in the public domain

When a film's copyright expires, it enters the public domain -- meaning you can watch it legally for free, no strings attached. Many of the films below were made before copyright renewals were a thing, and for more under-seen old-school classics and B-movies, check out the curated selections on accounts like Times Classic Entertainment.

A Bucket of Blood
Carnival of Souls
Cyrano de Bergerac
The General
His Girl Friday
The Gold Rush
The Kid
The Lady Vanishes

Night of the Living Dead
Plan Nine from Outer Space
Reefer Madness
Sita Sings the Blues
A Star Is Born
The Stranger
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

charlize theron monster
Newmarket Films

Channels with free movies

Not sure what you're in the mood for? You can browse these channels to find something that will satisfy. 

The Documentary Network (recently stopped uploading new documentaries, but still has a lot of content)
Full Cinema Channel
Movie Express (Turkish films)
PizzaFlix (not to be confused with Popcornflix!)
Popcornflix (not to be confused with PizzaFlix!)
Timeless Western Movies
Timeless Classic Movies
A Touch of Evil
Ultra Movie Parlour (Bollywood films)

exit through the gift shop
Producers Distribution Agency


From true crime to Banksy's seminal examination of the contemporary art market, YouTube has a wide range of documentaries on offer to make you feel smarter as you browse the internet. 

Born to Lose: The Last Rock and Roll Movie
The End of Poverty? 
Exit Through the Gift Shop 
The Family That Walks on All Fours
Just, Melvin: Just Evil
Kubrick Remembered
Life in a Day 
This Is the Zodiac Speaking 

mystery science theater
Shout Factory

Mystery Science Theater 3000

The specialty of the cult Comedy Central and Sci-Fi Channel series MST3K is riffing over ridiculous B-movies. If you're a fan of its shtick -- which is tantamount to saying that you like to laugh -- follow along as these guys crack wise over full movies like these:

Alien From L.A.
Beginning of the End
The Brain That Wouldn't Die
The Crawling Eye
Devil Fish
The Final Sacrifice
Lost Continent
Manos: The Hands of Fate
Master Ninja II
Outlaw (of Gor)
The Pumaman
Samson vs. the Vampire Women
Time of the Apes
The Touch of Satan

monty python and the holy grail
EMI Films

Everything else

Many other movies are available to stream for free on YouTube, but we can't fully recommend them to you because they could be in violation of copyright laws. We can, however, point you to the intrepid Redditors who discover these not-entirely-legal movies before they're taken down. You may be able to find titles like SennaMonty Python and the Holy Grail, and Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious, as well as French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard's classic Breathless, plus his films Viver a Vida and Bande a Part. Browse responsibly.

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