How To Watch Free Movies & TV Shows Online: The Best Legal Streaming Services


With so many streaming services out there in the modern market and varying subscription fees attached to each of their respective libraries, it’s hard to know where to put your money. But what’s even harder to figure out is where to find free movies and TV shows online, especially when you’re looking for real quality sources.

Believe it or not, free and legal online access to movies and TV shows exists. You just need to know where to look, and that’s why we’ve put together this guide to the legal streaming services that are available for any entertainment need you could ask for.

Please note that some services may have regional restrictions or require certain registrations to access their catalogs. So if you are interested in what you see, be sure to do your research before continuing. Warning issued, let’s enter the world of free online movies and TV shows!

Pluto TV logo

Pluto TV

Probably the best known and perhaps the most talked about source for free movies and free TV shows online, Pluto TV has made giant strides in the past two months. Its selection of films and films has been aided by partnerships with brands like the Shout Factory family, as well as its recent acquisition by Viacom, the parent company of the CBS and Paramount brands.

As such, a ton of Paramount movies like Cloverfield and are available, along with dedicated channels for networks like MTV and Comedy Central, as well as 24/7 show streams like The daily show and Dora the Explorer. More impressive still, Pluto TV is also the home of free streaming for the classics. Doctor Who adventures, and there is a recently activated pop-up channel showing 18 films from the James Bond franchise. While the feeds are the bread and butter of Pluto TV, there is also a healthy selection on demand to work with.

Snorkel logo


Tubi is one of many hotspots for free movies and TV shows online that works like a typical streaming library. The core of the site is most comfortable with classic streaming movies like Suspiria and Midnight race, in addition to indies and obscure gems that date back to the 80s.

If you are more of a TV fan, you might be happy to hear that Tubi has the first seasons of The single person and The bachelorette available for viewing. So if you want to relive how these beloved reality TV series started, look no further. Their library also includes nostalgic and international favorites, as evidenced by the inclusion of the Robert Stack series library from Unsolved mysteries, as well as some of the last seasons of the BBC quiz IQ, moderated by Stephen Fry.

Crackle logo

Sony Crackle

When it comes to streaming services, studios and content creators aren’t just branching out on the pay side of the fence. As Disney + and HBO Max begin to loom on the horizon, Sony’s proprietary service Crackle has existed in the background for a while, with its own compelling originals. Shows like Guy Richie’s TV adaptation To tear out, as well as the Martin Freeman / Ron Perlman star Start can be found, as well as classic Sony sitcoms like Just shoot me and Barney miller. But as a powerhouse in TV and film, Sony Crackle has a lot to offer.

If you like the serial adaptation of TNT Animal Kingdom, the original film that inspired him can be found in this particular library. Or if you’re ready to start preparing for the Halloween season, Don’t be afraid of the dark could be a good option for a spooky movie night. Although if you want to dig into the crazier side of things, that crazy repackaged pilot that has become Cruel Intentions 2 is available for all Amy Adams fans who want to immerse themselves completely in her canon.

CW Seed Logo

CW seed

Right out of the door, CW seed differentiates itself from most other providers on a separate front: it is primarily comprised of free TV shows. But damn it, what a huge selection of TV shows he has, as CW favorites Everyone hates Chris and Who owns the line anyway shine on the wide range of the platform.

But if you want to dig a little deeper, and that’s not in the streaming world, there’s a whole category dedicated to “One Season Wonders” in the vein of titles like Alcatraz and Always. Also, there are a few movies, but as of this point it looks like this side of the fence is represented by DC animated films, with Constantine: city of demons being one of the most striking examples.

Shout Factory TV logl

Shout Factory TV

You can find a lot of Shout Factory content spread across several other platforms, including Pluto TV, which provides a dedicated channel for the Shout Library, as well as separate streams for the Shout Factory. Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax securities. But if you want to focus on the free movies available through these streams in a more traditional streaming / on-demand format, Shout Factory TV is the way to go!

A crowd of those Mystery Science Theater 3000 titles are available for selection and viewing on your own schedule, along with many free-to-play TV series that Shout has cultivated from the annals of the cult fandom. SNL competitor fridays and Al’s strange spectacle are some of your best bets on this front. However, the more adventurous viewer will want to engage in reruns of The Dick Cavett Show, as well as the 80s arcade game Starcade.

vudu logo


When advertisements are included, it is not clear what kind of movies you might be showing on the internet! Just ask Vudu, as their movie rental or buy-to-buy business also includes a range of movies that are completely free to the public. All you have to do is watch some commercials to take advantage of it.

What kind of free movies are we talking about? How about the holiday favorite Elfanimated classic The iron giant or the underestimated Storks? Are Free TV Shows Faster? Recent successes like Leverage, syndicated gems like Andromeda by Gene Roddenberry and even 3rd rock of the sun are all lined up to kick off a frenzy day, afternoon or even weekend.

IMDB television logo


Even IMDB is moving into the free content business as free movies and TV options have recently been added to the site’s new streaming platform, IMDB TV. Not just any movies are available in its lineup, as you can find La La Land, Dune and I can not wait all sitting nicely and waiting to be watched by you, the viewing audience.

When it comes to free TV shows online, you will easily be able to find shows that are longtime favorites like The middle, underestimated prospects like the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica and classics like Gilligan Island. Oh, and if you’re a Fringe fan, you’ll be happy to hear that all five seasons are available here.

YouTube logo


When it comes to YouTube programming of free content, there is good news and bad news. The downside comes from the fact that there really isn’t any free TV shows to enjoy without paying for the episodes or seasons you are looking to watch. So if you want to see Alton Brown’s Great food: the return, you’ll either need to pay or limit yourself to the free episode Food Network shared recently.

However, the good news is that the home theater side has a selection of free movies to participate in. The options are a bit limited, but there are some really big gems included, like The Terminator and A fish called Wanda. Epic like Dance with the wolves and classic cheese parties like On top also have a home with YouTube, so there really is something for everyone here.

Hoopla digital logo

Digital hoop

The following two services are quite unique, as they will require you to have an eligible library card to access their libraries. But if your card is eligible, Digital hoop will become one of your best friends in the world of free entertainment. And that counts for both free movies and free TV shows, with music and comics also being added to the mix.

Limiting ourselves to the topics we’ve come to discuss here, free movies are made up of many choices under the radar like Hotel Artemis, Bone tomahawk and some limited Disney titles such as Bed buttons and brooms and Ducktails The Movie: The Lost Lamp Treasure. Free TV titles will see people who want to watch Mr. Mercedes and The Great British Pastry Fair without any subscription ready to dig anytime. Please note, you are only allowed to borrow five titles per month and the TV series are spread out episodically.

Kanopy logo


Also requiring a library card to access it, Kanopy is a bit more limited, as not all libraries qualify for their services. But if you have a University ID, you may be able to sign up for the programming available on their streaming platform, which has the distinct advantage of having certain titles from the Criterion collection available for reading.

Other recent favorites, such as Moonlight and Lady Bird, more classics like Chinese district fall into its selection of free movies, while a wide array of PBS series like First line are in the free TV aisle of their library. Kanopy seems to work more as a reference tool, based on the titles available and the process required to register to access them. But if you’re ready to open your mind to the horizons of their titles, Kanopy is a good cashless option.

The world of free streaming is one that can show you recent favorites, under-watched surprises, and everything that might be out there. All you have to do is figure out where to look and what you like in order to maximize your viewing potential. Stream securely and proudly, knowing you have the best selection money can’t buy at your disposal.

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