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10 best legal free movie apps and free TV show apps

Watching TV is still quite expensive, but it doesn't have to be. There are tons of free movie apps that are entirely legal!
By
September 3, 2023
plex on phone with plex on tv as background
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Video streaming is the new norm. People pay for Netflix, Hulu, and similar services without thinking twice. Cord-cutting is also pretty common now. However, not everybody can afford hundreds of dollars worth of subscription services every year. We get that, and so do many mobile apps. There are select options for movie buffs who want to watch stuff for free without reaching into the shady parts of the Internet. These are the best legal, free movie apps for Android.

Yes, movie sites like Amazon Prime and Google TV are available, but you can occasionally catch a free movie on YouTube. These services also sometimes offer free rentals or movie giveaways. These are less common nowadays, but they do happen. 

The best legal free movie apps and TV apps for Android

Crackle

Price: Free

Crackle screenshot 2020

Sony’s Crackle is one of the most popular free movie apps on mobile. It boasts a bunch of hit titles, various TV shows, and a bunch of genres to choose from. It even has Nielson tracking software, so you can be part of the stats when it comes to popularity. You’ll find a decent selection, although it doesn’t have every great movie ever made. The streaming quality itself definitely needs a lot of work. However, we expect it to improve over time. It’s popular, but it’s also not the best implementation of free video streaming on this list.

Crunchyroll

Price: Free / In-app Purchases ($7.99 – $99.99 per item)

Crunchyroll is the most popular anime streaming service in most parts of the world. It boasts a metric ton of content, including a bunch of new stuff every season. Yes, that includes movies. Crunchyroll includes an ad-supported free tier where you can watch whatever you want as long as you don’t mind advertisements. Crunchyroll acquired Funimation and began merging the service into Crunchyroll in 2022. There is literally no competition here. Crunchyroll is the best for anime fans.

Hoopla Digital

Price: Free

Hoopla Digital screenshot 2022

Hoopla Digital is an all-in-one free content medium. It uses local library access along with your library card to show you a bunch of stuff for free. That includes movies, TV shows, ebooks, music, and even comic books. The app also comes with Android TV and Chromecast support. Your local library has to be a part of the Hoopla network in order for it to work with your library card. However, aside from that, it works pretty well.

Disney+

Price: Free/ In-app Purchases ($7.99 – $99.99 per item)

Hotstar screenshot 2022

Disney+ is one of the most popular free movie apps in India and similar places. It offers movies, TV shows, and live sports, although you may not get access to everything through the free membership. The streams seem to work okay, and there are advertisements, as you would expect. However, aside from the limited availability, it’s a serviceable free streaming platform. A lot of this app’s complaints stem from the World Cup and how Hotstar didn’t work well with the Jio TV app.

Kodi

Price: Free

a screenshot of kodi, one of the best free movie apps

Kodi is a media player app for Android. It supports local video and audio playback and comes with a full UI to control everything. One of its other neat tricks includes the ability to run plugins, and many of those plugins can deliver free content. We don’t condone piracy, so many of those plugins aren’t going to do it for this list. However, some, such as USTVNow, let you watch TV channels (and movies airing on them) for free.

Plex

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.99 – $149.99 per item)

Plex screenshot 2023

Plex wasn’t an option for this list a year ago, but things changed. The company launched an on-demand video service with well over 1,000 titles to choose from. These include Hollywood blockbusters, independent films, and more. There is some television, but not much, honestly. Still, the selection is above average for its segment. You simply create an account and start watching movies.

There is advertising, like most of the services on this list, but it’s honestly not a big deal, considering you pay nothing for this content. The company plans to do even more free and premium content like this, so keep an eye out for more. Plus, Plex is arguably the best option if you have media on your computer and you want to stream it to your TV.

Pluto TV

Price: Free

Pluto TV is another popular option for free movie apps. It offers hundreds of TV channels and thousands of movies and TV shows on demand. It works like most of the others. You watch ads and get video content in exchange. This one also has 17 curated movie stations for horror, romance, comedy, and others. Like many free streaming services, some users complain that the ads are annoying and repetitive. At the same time, others have complained of the app occasionally freezing and crashing on some devices. Other than that, the app works well as a free movie streaming option. 

Popcornflix

Price: Free

Popcornflix screenshot 2022

Popcornflix is a free streaming app specifically for movie content. The app boasts a modest 700 movies, with new films added frequently. There are also a bunch of genres, some international films, and more. The app works like you would expect, so there aren’t any surprises there. The streaming quality is only just okay, though, and many complaints are about buffering issues. However, when it works, it’s not half bad.

Tubi

Price: Free

Tubi is a popular app for free movies and TV shows. It boasts the usual 100% legal streaming with advertisements, although many don’t seem to mind the ads with this one. You also get a variety of genres from a variety of places around the world. You can even find stuff like anime if you want to watch it. It feels like a generally good all-in-one style streaming service, but that ultimately means it doesn’t reach into niches as well as some others. Still, this one is excellent and one of the first we’d recommend.

Yidio

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.99 – $47.99 per item)

Yidio isn’t an app that streams video content. However, it’s an excellent way to search for streamed content. This app lets you search Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Showtime, and over 300 other services to find the movies you want to see. You can then see if any services show them for free legally. The ads and suggested content are a bit much, but you get used to them over time. This is a good way to search for content, even if you can’t watch any of it here.

Vudu

vudu
Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Price: Free/ In-app purchases ($99.99 per item)

Vudu isn’t just a streaming app. It’s your personal gateway to the diverse world of movies, TV  shows, and more. If you don’t want to buy movies or pay for a streaming service, this app is just for you. Just download the Vudu app from the Play Store and watch all your favorite shows on-the-go. It also has the option to rent movies. Watch shows and movies in super clear quality on compatible devices. But with any free app there’s a catch. You’d have to sit through a lot of ads in between viewing sessions. Additionally, Vudu’s app interface is somewhat less intuitive when compared to other apps. This makes it difficult to discover and access content making the app less user-friendly.


If we missed any great, legal-free movie apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.