While nothing can replace the movie-theater experience -- the big screen, the crowd, the buttery popcorn -- nowadays the convenience of watching movies online at your own pace and from the comfort of your own computer screen comes a close second. With video content expanding on the web, finding quality versions of popular movies for free online -- and legally -- can be tricky. So many sites promise "free" video but don't deliver, leaving the user stuck on confusing, messy, ad-heavy sites. We've cut through the clutter and compiled six key sites for finding free movies online.
The granddaddy of all free movie sites, Hulu.com has a extensive library of free movies for streaming on their site, along with television programming normally available one day post air-date. To view free the video content, users are not required to have an account unless the content is flagged as mature and requires age verification. Movies can be sorted by date added, category, or popularity ranking among users. This site is filled with mostly mainstream movies and classics.
Similar to Hulu, Fancast offers free movies and television on the web in a clean, sleek design. Movies can be easily searched by title or genre and the site has a useful Editors Pick section if you don't know what movie you want to see. Fancast collects movie content from other online providers as well, making it a one-stop-shop for online movie watching.
If you're looking exclusively for documentary films, SnagFilms is the place to go. It collects the best in documentary film making and makes it available for free online to anyone. The site also focuses users embedding their videos, so that a user can "snag" them and place them anywhere else on the web, hence the name. SnagFilms also features special channels where partners have linked content together to make finding themed movies easier for visitors.
A site focused on independent films for viewing. The movies are easily sorted and identified by genre and ratings, as well as popularity. The site also features movie news and movie reviews ranging from independent cinema to more mainstream blockbusters.
This free indie film site requires viewers to become members, but community is a huge part of this site and members are encouraged to communicate and share recommendations and tips. The site allows you to filter movies by what film festivals they appeared in, and spotlights independent filmmakers and more non-mainstream works. Definitely the place to go to seek out the next big things before anyone knows their name.
Amazon Video on Demand
While most of the video content on Amazon is pay-per-view, they do offer a limited selection of free movie content on a rotating basis. They also offer many special features and bonus content at no additional charge, preserving the experiences of DVD viewing. As for their pay content, ranging from $1.99 a movie to $5.99, and a variety of options for viewing environment -- plus the option to purchase the movie digitally, Amazon Video on Demand is a nice alternative to the traditional video store.
From blockbusters to to tiny-budget indies, dramas to documentaries, anyone looking for free movies online can find quality videos to satisfy their film desires on these sites.