Best Free Movie Streaming Sites – 2020

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There are many options for video streaming entertainment today. So much so that many people now don’t bother with a cable TV subscription in order to watch movies and TV shows. However, you don’t need to pay to watch movies online because there are plenty of streaming sites that offer free movies.

Some streaming sites that charge people to watch movies or TV shows also have free movies available. Other streaming services offer free movies and TV series but charge a premium for the latest entertainment.

You probably know about fee-charging streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Those big streaming services have big advertising budgets, which streaming services that offer free movies don’t have. So, you are less likely to have heard of free movie streaming sites, which is why we decided to make this guide available.

The expensive video streaming sites have the money to pay for the exclusive broadcast rights to the very latest movies. The high costs of those rights to popular movies are out of the reach of free movie streaming sites. So, don’t expect to be able to watch the latest Hollywood movie blockbusters or new releases from Disney. Free movie sites are more likely to show classic movies, original content that is in the public domain, and different genres that cater to niche markets, such as anime or Bollywood movies.

The best free movie streaming websites 

You can waste a lot of time looking for movie streaming sites that will let you watch free movies and TV shows. However, we have tracked down the best site to save you from trawling through all of the streaming services out there. Here is our list of the best free movie streaming site in 2020:

  1. Crackle
  2. Popcornflix
  3. Vudu
  4. Tubi TV
  5. Pluto TV
  6. CONtv
  7. Classic Cinema Online
  8. YouTube
  9. Kanopy
  10. Hoopla

You can read more about each of these options to stream movies in the following sections.


1. Crackle

Crackle used to be a division of Sony, so you might see it referred to as “Sony Crackle.” However, Sony has sold off a majority stake in the free streaming site and now it is just called Crackle. The company that took over Crackle is called Chicken Soup for the Soul and it specializes in publishing self-help and motivational books. This ethos extends to the Crackle free video streaming service. 

What makes it different

Most of the streaming site’s original content is streamed in HD quality. The user-friendly homepage makes searching for your favorite movies as easy as ABC.  The TV shows are mostly in the real-life motivational and self-help TV series category, which are high quality productions. It includes reruns of TV series and movies. 

Pros

  • You can watch free movies on this streaming service. 
  • You don’t need to set up an account on this free streaming service in order to what free movies and TV shows. 
  • Signing up for a free account gives you features such as a tailored video library on your homepage.
  • You can watch Crackle through a web browser, straight to a smart TV, through a streaming device, such as Roku or Fire TV and there are also mobile apps for video streaming on Android and iOS devices.

Cons

  • Crackle is only available in the USA and Australia.

2. Popcornflix

Sometimes written as Popcorn Flix, this free video streaming service is ad-supported. It has a large library of full-length movies, with most of them being old. However, the site does also have original content and, although it has TV shows, the new release free movies on this streaming service are its biggest draw.

What makes it different

Signing up for an account isn’t compulsory in order to stream movies through a web browser. However, accounts are available and they are free. 

Pros

  • All of the content on Popcornflix is free 
  • Popcornflix includes short films from new directors as well as popular movie genres such as Thriller, Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Family, and Comedy
  • You can watch movies through a web browser, a mobile app for iOS devices, Roku, and Fire TV devices
  • You can stream movies through an Xbox or PlayStation 3 game console

Cons

  • Popcornflix will only allow video streaming to people located in the USA and Canada. 

3. Vudu

Vudu is a video rental service that delivers through a streaming service. It is owned by Walmart. The majority of the content on this movie website is charged for, but you can also watch free movies here. Look out for the Vudu Movies on Us section, or just search for free movies – there are quite a lot on there. The video quality is good, with a lot of movies in HD quality or above and there are also videos of TV shows available to watch.

The new release blockbusters are all for rent or buy, but there are a lot of classic movies on the site and even some different genres, such as anime and Bollywood movies.

What makes it different

Signing up costs nothing and you can also just browse the popular movies for rent even if you don’t intend to watch them. 

Pros

  • Vudu will stream straight to smart TVs and you can also watch movies from Vudu on a TV set through Roku, Apple TV, Android TV boxes, and Fire TV devices 
  • Vudu will stream through an Xbox or a PlayStation games console as well
  • You can watch movies at the Vudu site through a web browser or through a mobile app for Android or iOS devices
  • It is possible to stream from a web browser or the mobile app onto a TV set with Google Chromecast

Cons

  • Vudu will only stream movies to locations within the United States

4. Tubi TV

Tubi TV is really just called Tubi, but everyone refers to it as Tubi TV. It is the largest free movie and TV series streaming service in the USA. The service has recently been acquired by Fox corporation.

The video streaming library of Tubi TV contains more than 20,000 free movies and TV shows. The streaming service is available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, and Australia. 

What makes it different

Signing up to the service is very easy. You need to give your name, date of birth, and email address. The email address has to be real because you will be sent a verification email before your account is activated.

Pros

  • You can stream free movies and TV series directly through a smart TV or channel it from the internet through Roku, Amazon Fire TV devices, Android TV boxes, and through an Xfinity or Cox hub
  • Xbox and PlayStation games consoles can be used to stream movies from Tubi TV onto a TV screen. 
  • It is possible to watch Tubi TV through a website or a mobile app, which installs on Android and iOS. 
  • Video streams through web browsers or the mobile app can be sent to a TV screen through the Google Chromecast system

Cons

  • The service isn’t accessible from Europe

5. Pluto TV

Pluto TV is completely free of charge and you don’t need to go to the trouble of signing up because you don’t need an account to watch movies or TV shows with this video streaming service.

The homepage of Pluto TV is organized as a live TV service. Although Pluto TV doesn’t carry well-known TV channels like cable TV providers do, Pluto TV creates its own channels with some very good free movies and TV series.

What makes it different

There are more than 200 live TV channels in this free video streaming service and many of them are movie channels. This is one of the best free movie sites around and it includes many popular movies and Hollywood movie blockbusters, although you won’t get those big new releases until they have been in circulation for a while. 

Pros

  • Pluto TV has a large video on demand library so you can watch movies to your heart's content and pay nothing
  • You can watch Pluto TV on the website through a web browser
  • Popup blockers don’t block the video streaming player
  • There are mobile apps for Android and iOS from Pluto TV and you can send the stream from a browser or the mobile app to a TV with Google Chromecast
  • Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV devices, Android TV boxes, Xfinity hub, Xboxes, and PlayStations can all stream video from Pluto TV, and smart TVs can get the streaming service directly from your internet connection

Cons

  • The TV guide menu doesn’t work very well in a browser

6. CONtv

If you have heard about Viewster and wonder where it has gone, it has shut down and it has been bundled into CONtv. you might have heard about Viewster if you are a big anime fan because that streaming service has its own anime channel. However, CONtv would be your best bet for anime now.

The CONtv streaming service is ad supported. This movie website is great for Sci-Fi, thriller, and Horror fans. The website was originally set up to serve the attendants of Comic-Con events. 

What makes it different

You need to go through the process of signing up for an account to watch movies on CONtv, but it’s a very straightforward process and there’s no charge. 

The homepage is organized to look identical to Netflix. You scroll through the categories of free movies and then click on a title that interests you to get more information. Click on it again to watch the movie in your web browser.

Pros

  • As well as being available through web browsers, this free movie streaming service can be channelled directly on a smart TV
  • CONtv can be streamed through Roku, Amazon Fire TV devices, Android TV boxes, and mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Forward the video stream from your video browser or mobile app onto a TV screen with Google Chromecast

Cons

  • The service stops working on mobile devices when you travel outside of the USA

7. Classic Cinema Online

As the name suggests, Classic Cinema Online shows classic movies. These are not just old movies but very old. However, the site has a large library of free movies from the 1930s and before. It even has a whole segment for silent classic movies. Movie types include Horror, Thriller, Comedy, and some very clunky low-tech Sci-Fi.

What makes it different

If you are into old movies then this is the movie website for you. The video stream is of high quality so, the lower resolution of these old films is still watchable. 

Pros

  • The video stream plays on the movie site through a video player, which you can expand to full screen on your computer
  • TYou can stream the classic movies from your web browser to a TV with Google Chromecast

Cons

  • There isn’t a mobile app for this streaming service

8. YouTube TV

Cord cutters are turning to live TV streaming services or on demand movie streaming sites as an alternative to cable TV services. One of the competitors in the cable TV replacement market is YouTube TV. That is a subscription service. However, back on the old YouTube, you can watch movies and TV shows for free.

YouTube has been around for a long time and it has a winning formula. Although the site is meant to show user-generated original content that is in the public domain, there are a lot of movies and TV series on there, too.

YouTube is a property of Google and its big money backing and longevity means it is a survivor in the video streaming industry and has ended up being a host for other streaming services. For example, SnagFilms used to run its own free video streaming service but has now shut down its movie website and just operates a channel on YouTube instead.

What makes it different

You don’t need to sign up for an account in order to watch movies on YouTube, you just have the challenge of finding them. However, once you have found one free movie that you like, the system will organize a playlist of similar content for you to watch. The homepage of the streaming site also has suggestions for videos that are popular.

Pros

  • YouTube can be picked up directly on smart TVs
  • A YouTube player is loaded onto most Android TV boxes
  • The site can be accessed through any web browser 
  • There are also YouTube mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • You can channel YouTube through Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices and you can also get it on a TV screen from your web browser or mobile app by using Google Chromecast

Cons

  • There are millions of videos on the site, so you would need to know the name of a movie and search for it in order to find something to watch
  • A lot of the videos on YouTube are not streamed in high quality

9. Kanopy

Kanopy doesn’t show Hollywood blockbusters but you should be able to find some great popular movies on the site. The HD quality of the video streaming system makes for very enjoyable viewing. 

What makes it different

Kanopy has a special niche, shared with Hoopla (below). It rents videos for free on its streaming services and charges local libraries for the exposition. You need to have a library card to set up an account with this movie website but it costs nothing to join.

Pros

  • You can watch videos on the site through a web browser
  • There is a mobile app for Android and iOS devices
  • Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV boxes and it can also be picked up on smart TVs

Cons

  • Not every local library subscribes to the service

10. Hoopla

Hoopla has the same business model as Kanopy – its streaming service is free to users, but the local library of the viewer pays a fee for each play. If your local library doesn’t subscribe to Kanopy, it might use Hoopla instead.

What makes it different

As well as movie streaming, Hoopla has a library of audiobooks, music, and eBooks and all of these can be accessed through the rental concept that mimics the lending library book borrowing methodology.

There are some popular movies to choose from on the site as well as short films, children’s entertainment. There is even some good Hollywood-level blockbuster content on there because 

Pros

  • The streaming service has broadcast contracts with Disney, Starz, and Warner Bros
  • Video streams are high quality 
  • The service can be streamed through web browsers or mobile apps for iOS and Android devices

Cons

  • You can’t join if your library hasn’t signed up for the service

What about Popcorn Time and Putlocker?

Popcorn Time and Putlocker are torrent-based movie websites and streaming services. They don’t hold any of the movies that they make available. Instead, they are torrent tracker hosts and the videos streamed through them are sourced from many private computers all over the world. Each of these movie websites includes a video player. So, really they are torrent clients fronted by video players that stream the file immediately rather than saving it.

Unfortunately, like most torrent systems, Putlocker and Popcorn Time don’t have the broadcast rights to any of the content that they stream and neither do any of the sources of the movies that you might watch for free on those systems. So, these are pirate video streaming services.

Alex Grant
 

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