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Forget Netflix, watch these free movies on YouTube instead

Stop throwing your money away! YouTube has an awesome list of free movies.
By
November 28, 2022
YouTube Kids logo on smartphone stock photo 1 best free youtube movie
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Netflix is not the cheapest video streaming service and can get quite expensive depending on your plan. Therefore, save money by ditching your Netflix subscription and watching free movies on YouTube instead. There are quite a few available, although most are a bit older.

We’ve compiled a list of the ten best free movies on YouTube from different genres, including comedy, action, and drama. But keep in mind that they are not available in every country. Like Netflix, YouTube has location restrictions, likely due to licensing rights. So if you can’t watch any of the movies on this list, you’ll need to connect to the internet via a VPN server in the US.

Also, Google has recently added some free YouTube TV series to watch, and you can check them out as well.

The best free movies on YouTube

Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this list of the best free movies on YouTube.

Train to Busan

If you think the zombie movie genre is overstuffed, you might be right. However, the horror sub-genre can still be used to come up with new plotlines like this terrific film from South Korea. Passengers on a train from Seoul to Busan have to contend with a massive outbreak of fast-moving members of the undead.

A Fistful of Dollars

Clint Eastwood turned from a minor TV supporting actor into a major movie star with this 1967 classic “Spaghetti Western” directed by Sergio Leone. As the “Man With No Name,” Eastwood turned the Western hero stereotype around 180 degrees. Entering a town with two warring gangs of gunslingers, he appears to take both sides, but in reality, he’s aiming to destroy both gangs from within. Oh, and the music score is truly iconic.

Capricorn One

For all those who thought the moon landings were hoaxes, this film perfectly fits that conspiracy. Astronauts thinking they were going to go to Mars are pulled out of their rocket at the last minute and told that the mission would have been a failure, no matter what. To keep the space program funded, they fake the Mars trip and landing for the general public. But what happens when things go wrong on the ship that the space program didn’t foresee?

4 Minute Mile

This movie is all about perseverance and overcoming obstacles. It revolves around a teenager on the wrong side of the tracks, working for a drug dealer connected with his brother. However, the boy dreams of a better life for himself. He’s a runner, and after seeing his talent, a retired ex-track coach starts training him in some brutal ways. His dream is to become even faster in the hopes of gaining a college scholarship and getting out of the place he currently calls home.

Cell

John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson star in this movie, based on a novel by Stephen King. King’s story is something that might keep you up at night. What happens when every mobile phone, which nearly everyone on Earth has, starts emitting a signal that turns everyone who hears it into zombie-like monster? That’s the premise of this film, and it’s handled very well.

Robocop

This 1987 action movie classic from director Paul Verhoeven may have a silly title, and indeed this film is very (intentionally) funny. However, there are some dramatic moments as well, especially with the brutal gun-caused murder of Detroit police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller), who is the one transformed into the cyborg supercop. It’s not only one of the best action films ever made, but it also has some pointed messages about how the corporate world is slowly taking over.


Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

This 1939 classic from director Frank Capra is credited with elevating its lead, Jimmy Stewart, into major movie star status. Stewart plays Jefferson “Jeff” Smith, who is picked by a governor of an unnamed US state to be its next US Senator after the previous person in that role passes away. Smith quickly learns that the Washington DC political machine, as well as the media, are corrupt and determined to undermine his efforts to make the US a better place. While this movie is a bit of a satire, a lot of what Smith deals with in the movie seems to ring true in today’s politics over 80 years later.

Glengarry Glen Ross

This might be the best movie adaptation of a play by the legendary David Mamet. This 1992 film truly has an all-star cast, including Al Pacino. Ed Harris, Jack Lemmon, and perhaps the best-ever role for Alec Baldwin. His brief appearance as the boss of a group of real estate salesmen is perfect. Basically, he tells them to sell properties now or be fired. The script is great, of course, and it’s a treat to see these great actors use that script to create some great performances.

Wargames 

Matthew Broderick became a big movie star with this 1983 film. Long before the rise of the consumer internet in the 1990s, Broderick’s character was using his home computer to do things like changing the grade of his girlfriend’s test. However, when he unknowingly connected his PC with a superintelligent war computer at NORAD, he starts a chain of events that could lead to “global thermonuclear war”, as the movie itself says. It’s still a solid thriller, even if the PC hacking bits are outdated.

2001: A Space Odyssey

It may have been made in 1968, long before computer-controlled cameras and well before CGI effects. However, director Stanley Kubrick’s space epic about the origins and the future of mankind (with a side story about a murderous AI) remains one of the best-looking sci-fi films ever made. The storyline is also much deeper than even most present-day sci-fi films, and its influence can still be felt in movies like Contact and TV shows like Space 1999 and others.

Hannibal

Anthony Hopkins returned to his Oscar-winning role as the serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter in this sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. Dr. Lecter is happy living in Italy, where he can pursue the finer things in life. However, a former victim of his wrath (played by an uncredited Gary Oldman) is trying to destroy him. It’s up to FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) to save her former target from Oldman’s threat.

Lawerence of Arabia

This 1962 epic is truly one of the best YouTube movies and one of the best films of all time. Peter O’Toole plays the title character T. E. Lawrence, the real life British soldier who, as part of the First World War, helped to lead tribes in the Arabian part of the world against the Ottoman Empire. While at times it’s a vast and epic war film, with beautiful cinematography of the Arabian desert, O’Toole’s performance as Lawrence makes this nearly 4 hour (not a typo) film feel more personal and relatable.


Honorable mentions

Here are a few more free movies on YouTube that might be interesting.

  • Mortal Kombat (1995) — The first movie version of the fighting game series remains a fun watch, with some great action sequences.
  • Mad Max  — The first movie in the Mad Max franchise still packs a punch with its low budget but effective car chase scenes.
  • The Transporter  — Jason Statham was never better in this action film about a driver who will transport anything. He soon learns that not everything should be transported.
  • The Mask  — Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz both became stars thanks to this wild comedy about a man who puts on a tribal mask and turns into a superpowered version of himself.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters — This is the original Japanese movie that started the Godzilla series and helped create the entire kaiju genre.

These are the best free movies on YouTube in our opinion, although there are plenty of other great ones available as well. You can check out more of them by visiting the YouTube Movies channel on the platform via the button below.