The 11 best free movies to watch online right now

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Left screenshots, Paprika and Taxi driver

When you don’t subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, it’s easy to feel left out. Everyone is at home watching a comedy special while you try to find the best videos to watch on YouTube. But in the midst of all the crossed eyes on social media and following the Joneses, it’s easy to forget that there is a plethora of free movie resources out there – you just need to know where to find them. To save you the trouble and the roll of the dice that comes with just typing “free movies” into your search bar, we’ve dug our probes deep into the net and found a list of the best movies you can stream right now in the States. United, completely free:

Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure

You don’t need to register to watch free movies in their entirety on the Tubi TV streaming service, which is great for everything from G-rated movies to PG-13 (R-rated movies require registration, but luckily there is still no credit card information required). With the announcement of a third Bill and Ted film, there’s never been a better time to revisit the 1989 proto-stoner comedy, Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure, or its sequel, Bill and Ted’s False Trip, both on Tubi TV. It’s also worth signing up for free to experience classic R-rated movies like Showgirls and Glengarry Glen Ross.

Carnival of Souls

A ridiculous technicality has landed that horror thriller from 1962 in the public domain in the USA: the filmmakers “failed to display a copyright notice pretty clearly in the credits. “Well, their mistake is your opportunity to catch an exemplary indie first ghost story, which would have made a major impact on David Lynch.

The Driller Killer

The whole of the UK has revolted against this sadistic and insanely funny 1979 horror film about an artist who is fed up and starts killing New Yorkers with an electric drill. Abel Ferrara is easily one of America’s best and most underrated filmmakers (Pasolini, anyone?) and that punk-grindhouse classic, now in the public domain, that’s where he made his first indelible impact.

I’m not your nigga

Did you know that if you have a library card, you probably have access to a library of over 30,000 amazing movies, 100% ad-free? Yes that’s the beauty of Kanopy: Not only can you stream the entire #rare ghost hospital miniseries by Lars von Trier, The kingdom, you also have a reason to finally make that trip to the library that you’ve been putting off for years now. Our current choice for Kanopy is Oscar nominated 2016 documentary by Raoul Peck based on the work of James Baldwin, but this streaming service offers thousands of other masterpieces. Eat your heart, Netflix!

Ida

If you’re ok with occasional advertising, you’ll have no problem finding something to watch on Popcornflix. Now available on the free streaming provider is the recent masterpiece by Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski, the New Yorkerthe words, not just mine – an old-fashioned black-and-white drama reminiscent of the days when cinematography was slow, breathtaking, and still framed in 4: 3. Classify this one with post-war essentials including Hiroshima My Love and The night porter.

Intolerance: the struggle of love through the ages

The crowning glory of the silent film era is a three-hour epic that denounces racism and shatter the hypocrisies of prejudice – and that’s 19-freaking-16. The legendary DW Griffith was the man behind this camera, and she is enveloped in so many mysteries that he seeks to discover, but it is a must for anyone who is even temporarily interested in the history of cinema and humanity.

Night of the Living Dead

Another movie that landed in the public domain due to human error is the classic independent horror film by George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead. This 1968 film is one of the first to link zombies and critiques of consumerism, making it the prototype for the zombie movies that followed. Although it’s neither as fast nor as macabre as, say, 2004 Dawn of the deadIt is important to remember your roots, especially when trying to bury the dead again.

Paprika

In 46 short years, the late Satoshi Kon wrote and directed four films that do it systematically on the lists of the best animated films: Perfect blue, Millennial actress, Tokyo Sponsors, and Paprika. Each is a masterpiece in its own right, but the latter, his last feature film before his death in 2010, is perhaps the best entry into his stunning body of work. It’s a sci-fi installment about a scientist moonlighting as a detective in people’s dreams, and it’s packed with empowering subconscious scenes you’ll never forget. Watch it for free now with ads (unfortunately), on Crackle, Sony’s streaming service. (For true anime chefs, Fist of the North Star is also available.)

Selections from the National Film Register

Each year, 25 films deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically” important are selected for preservation by the National Film Preservation Board of the United States and added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. While many NFR movies are not yet available for free streaming, here’s what’s on your mind, Casablanca—American classics like The hitchhiker (1953) and The case (1914) are available now on the LoC Playlist, “Selections from the National Film Register.”

Space is the place

It’s not entirely clear how the films that populate the UbuWeb avant-garde art repository remain available and online for free, but we are not complaining. Legendary jazz musician Sun Ra is the star of this 70s Afro-futuristic sci-fi, which features a better style than the last decades of the Met Galas. Look at it now.

Taxi driver

Unforgettable Screenplay by Paul Schrader highlights Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese’s most-cited collaboration about an insomniac Vietnam veteran who sets out on a self-defense mission to dig through the scum of New York City. You might have to watch it with ads, but all it takes is a Facebook to watch it on Vudu’s free feature film collection.

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