YouTube Kids logo on smartphone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Netflix is not the cheapest video streaming service out there, costing as much as $17.99 per month. Save money by ditching your Netflix subscription and watching free movies on YouTube instead. There are quite a few of them available, although most of them 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 set up, 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 located in the US.

The best free movies on YouTube:

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


The Truman Show

Jim Carrey shines in this 1998 classic. He plays a man who was born into a TV show, literally. Truman doesn’t realize it, but he’s been kept inside a massive TV studio that’s made to look like a small town. Everyone else in the town, including his parents and his wife, are all actors. The movie is a satire on the media, but it also predicted the rise of reality TV just before it became a significant trend.


Dances With Wolves

This Academy Award winner for Best Film stars Kevin Costner as Lt. John Dunbar. He’s a soldier who, after the Civil War, requested to be stationed in a base in the deep frontier of the US West. He encounters a tribe of Native Americans who slowly start to trust this outsider. However, Durbar later has to choose between the Army and his new tribemates.


American Assassin

Action movie fans should love this recent film. Dylan O’Brien stars as a young CIA operative who is put under the wing of a veteran assassin, played by Michael Keaton. The duo are assigned to stop a potential attack by terrorists. There are some excellent action set pieces in this movie, and it’s always fun to watch Keaton in any film.


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 pretty brutal ways. His dream is to become even faster in 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, which is 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.


Patriot Games

Harrison Ford plays spy and family man Jack Ryan in the first of his two movies based on the character created by Tom Clancy. In this movie, Ryan, on vacation in London with his wife and daughter, managed to stop the assassination of a royal family member, killing one of the assassins in the process. However, that assassin’s brother, played by Sean Bean, becomes obsessed with killing Ryan for revenge.


Star Trek: First Contact

This is the second and best movie featuring the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV show. The crew of the Enterprise faces off against the evil cybernetic race called the Borg. Taking a page from The Terminator, the Borg go back in time to the mid-21st century to stop the first contact between humans and an alien race. Can Captain Picard and the rest of the Enterprise crew stop them?


Ronin

Robert De Niro leads a cast of excellent international actors in this action-thriller set in France. De Niro leads a team of mercenaries who are hired to secure a mysterious package. Of course, lots of other folks want whatever is in this case. This not only has some great action sequences, including a memorable car chase, but it also has some twists and turns you might not see coming.


The Naked Gun

Police Squad was a funny parody of TV cop shows, but it got canceled after just six episodes despite excellent reviews. Thankfully, we have the Naked Gun movies, which star Leslie Nielsen as the bumbling Police Squad’s Frank Drebin. The film, from the makers of Airplane, keeps the jokes going a mile a minute, as Drebin tries in his way to stop the assassination of the queen of England.


Gremlins

This classic film from the ’80s is genuinely one of the best free YouTube movies you can watch. A father brings home a mysterious creature called a Mogwai for his son to enjoy. The Mogwai, named Gizmo, has specific rules to take care of him that must be obeyed. However, it wouldn’t be a movie if someone didn’t violate those rules, which indeed happens. Soon, the entire town is threatened by an invasion of Gizmo’s “babies,” which are not nearly as nice as he is.


Honorable mentions

Here are a few more free movies on YouTube that might be of interest

  • Ghost in the Shell (1996) – Check out the original sci-fi anime movie that’s tons better than the recent live-action remake.
  • Sweeney Todd – This is an excellent adaptation of the hit musical that centers on a barber in 19th century London who has clients that are never seen again.
  • Thelma and Louise – This classic film by director Ridley Scott stars Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as two women who go on a very different kind of road trip.
  • Major League – This may be the best straight-up baseball comedy, as a fictional Cleveland Indians team try to beat the odds to get in the playoffs. 
  • The Silence of the Lambs – This Best Picture Oscar winner first introduced us to Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, and movie villains were never the same again.

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.