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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
June 9, 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 out our picks for the best ones to binge-watch at the link below.

Read more: Best free YouTube shows

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.


Die Hard

Bruce Willis became a major movie star with this 1988 action film. A case could be made for this to be named the best action movie of all time. Willis plays John McClane, an NYPD officer who is visiting his estranged wife on Christmas Eve at her company’s holiday party at their new corporate skyscraper in Los Angeles. However, he quickly has to become a one-man force for good when a group of thieves take over the building to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.

Willis does an excellent job as the working-class hero who can take a lot of punishment but can also deal it out. Plus, we have perhaps the greatest movie villain of all, Hans Gruber, as played perfectly by a suave but ruthless Alan Richman.


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 monsters? That’s the premise of this film, and it’s handled very well.


The Terminator

Here’s another action movie classic, this time from 1984. Arnold Schwarzenegger had appeared in movies like Conan the Barbarian before he played the cyborg title character in this movie. However, The Terminator took his stardom to another level, and he quickly became the biggest box office movie star for the next decade.

It’s also one of the very few times he ever played a full blown villain. The Terminator has been sent from the future by a murderous AI to 1984. Its sole mission is to kill the mother of the human resistance, who actually defeated the evil AI after a nuclear war, before he is even born. The humans send a protector for the mother, but will he be able to defeat the Terminator with 1984 weapons? Director and co-writer James Cameron does an excellent job blending fast action with some excellent sci-fi plotting.


The Last of the Mohicans

Based loosely on James Fennimore Cooper’s novel, this 1992 adaptation is set in pre-Revolutionary War America, where the British and French battled over territory. This movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis, and it’s the closest he came to becoming a major movie star.

His portrayal of Hawkeye, the white man raised by the last of the Mohawk Native American tribe, was designed to make him a romantic lead, and he does have chemistry with the movie’s leading lady, played by Madeleine Stowe. However, both are overshadowed by the big battle sequences and solid cinematography.


The Princess Bride

Usually, romantic films with a fantasy theme are made mostly for a female audience. However, director Rob Reiner was able to upend many of the romantic fantasy genre’s tropes to give us a funny and exciting 1987 film that appears to both men and women of all ages. The bookend idea of telling this story via a grandfather’s bedtime tale to his sick grandson is brilliant, and the tale of star-crossed lovers in this fantasy realm also has a swashbuckling swordsman bent on revenge, a gentle giant (played by the late Andre the Giant), and a hilarious cameo by Billy Crystal as a very funny wizard.


Valkyrie

In July 1944, just a few weeks after D-Day, a group of Nazi German officers tried to assassinate Hitler and stop World War II. Unfortunately, their plot failed, and now you can see how Hollywood shows how the operation went down in this 2008 film. Tom Cruise stars as the head of this plan, which uses a real Nazi operation called Valkyrie, which was supposed to protect Hitler and the government in case of a popular revolt.


Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill S, Preston ESQ. (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) are two high school kids who are destined to become the most popular and most powerful force of music in the universe. However, they still need to graduate from high school, and they are in danger of flunking out. So the powers that control time send back Rufus (the late and great George Carlin), with a time travelling phone booth so he can assist Bill and Ted with their final history report. The result is a journey to pick up major figures in history, and get them back to the present day. This 1989 movie is much funnier and much more clever than it has any right to be, and Winter and Reeves are perfectly cast as well.


Honorable mentions

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

  • The Longest Day — This is an excellent (and long at nearly three hours) drama about the WWII Allied invasion of Normandy, with an all-star cast. 
  • Zathura: A Space Adventure  — Jon Favreau directed this family adventure movie about two brothers and a sister who have their house thrown into outer space.
  • Splash  — Tom Hanks plays an ordinary guy looking for love, and finds it in a mermaid, played by Daryl Hannah.
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s — Most modern romantic comedy films owe a lot to this 1961 classic, starring Audrey Hepburn as the NYV socialite Holly Golightly that’s looking for love.
  • 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.