This article is continually updated to reflect removed and newly available movies. Last updated June 7, 2015. Drew Prindle, Brandon Widder, and Rick Stella contributed to this article.
Back in 2011, Google quietly rolled out the YouTube.com/movies section. Over the past few years it has amassed a library of titles you can rent, purchase, or stream for free, and today, there’s more content in the movie section than you could watch in a lifetime — and that’s not even counting all the full-length films uploaded by users. So to help save you some time in your search for something to watch, we’ve sifted through all the movies the site has to offer — free, paid, legal, and not-so-legal — to bring you this list of the best full movies on YouTube.
Free Movies (legally uploaded)
YouTube has a pretty sizable list of movies you can stream for free, but truth be told, not many are worth watching. The overwhelming majority of them are obscure B-movies that’re so bad they make you want to gouge your eyeballs out with a hot grapefruit spoon. Movies so genuinely awful that, if you dare to watch them, you’ll find yourself awestruck by the idea that somebody actually took the time to shoot, edit, and distribute such garbage. That being said, there are a few freebies on here that we were pleasantly surprised to find, all of which we’ve listed below.
As the name denotes, this documentary looks at factors that led to world poverty and the forces that are pushing the wage gap further and further apart. Martin Sheen lends his voice to narrate the movie, examining the barrios of Latin America and slums of Africa, while showcasing interviews with historians, economists, and sociologists. It isn’t a particularly happy film, but it will change the way you look at people in poverty and might motivate you to examine your lifestyle.
An eccentric millionaire invites five people to party at a mansion and tells them if they can stay the entire night, they each get $10,000. However, this isn’t an ordinary house and the guests become uneasy when they are given a pistol at the door, and the wife warns them her husband is psychotic. Things take a turn for the dangerous as they discover their host is hiding something and one guest turns up dead. Unfortunately, you likely won’t experience the original gimmicks which made the film a standout during its theatrical release.
A gripping documentary about two climbers’ journey to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru, Touching the Void is an inspiring story of determination and perseverance. After successfully reaching Siula Grande’s summit — which no one had ever done before — climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates thought they’d completed the hardest part of their climb. Little did they know, the descent back to base camp would try them in every way imaginable.
Not your typical zombie movie, Ahh! Zombies! is from the humorous perspective of the undead themselves. After drinking toxic beer, four teenagers believe everyone around them has a virus that makes them speed up. They soon come to find that they are the infected ones and have to figure out how to live after death. The oddball action-comedy is the definition of low-budget, teeming with B-list acting and effects, but the unique perspective gives it an appeal akin to Shaun of the Dead.
This documentary follows one of the founders of Greenpeace and a crew as they scour the Antarctic to stop Japanese whaling ships in the Ross Sea. A combination of lack of experience and equipment turns their attempt to uphold international law into a perilous and ill-fated journey, but the David and Goliath story makes you think about the implications of putting your life on the line for something you believe in. Director Dan Stone also went on produce Whale Wars.
Director Theodore Melfi writes and directs this feel-good dramedy about a Vietnam vet (Vincent) who develops an unlikely friendship with his 11-year-old neighbor. After living a mostly self-serving life, the child teaches Vincent how to love those around him and lead a more saintly life. As expected, Murray transforms from crabby war vet to lovable oaf by the time the final credits roll. Starring Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, and the great Bill Murray, St. Vincent is a fantastic independent film which is both sentimental and hilarious. Murray has an impressive resume as an actor, though his turn as Vincent might rank as one of his all-time best.
A chilling adaption of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nosferatu represents an eerie vampire movie in an era well before vampires were good looking. On a business trip to Transylvania, Thomas Hutter wakes up with two puncture wounds on his neck and his life is changed forever. He must defeat the terrifying Count Orlock, who is holding the city hostage. The black-and-white cinematography and the film’s adaptive elements are superb, even if they substantially deviate from the novel.
Known mainly for the fact it’s legendary actor Robert DeNiro’s first on-screen appearance, The Wedding Party follows a groom-to-be as he interacts with family and friends hours prior to his wedding. Perhaps most interesting about the movie is the fact it was filmed in 1963, but didn’t earn a widespread release until DeNiro began making waves on Broadway as an accomplished actor. Director Brian De Palma — then just a measly protege — wrote, produced, and directed this farce comedy, which is worth a watch if not to just see DeNiro’s young mug.
Actor Val Kilmer narrates this chilling documentary about methamphetamine use in America, and the ugly affect it’s having on families across the country. Filmmaker Justin Hunt visits states like New Mexico and Oregon, chronicling the way people succumb to the horrific drug, and the way communities are fighting to get it off their streets. Though it ventures into cringe-worthy territory because of its source material, American Meth is a powerful and insightful look into one of the most devastating drugs around.
Known as one of the original horror movies, George A. Romero’s classic follows seven people who find themselves trapped in a barn in Pennsylvania as the terrifying walking dead surround them. They have to try to survive without understanding the terror that lurks outside. The movie has been noted as the first zombie film and it’s influences can be seen in everything from 28 Days Later to Shaun of the Dead, quickly revolutionizing the horror genre on a budget of a mere $114,000.
Due to the fact that Google periodically adds/removes movies from this list, some of the films listed above may no longer be available. If you find that any of these links lead to movies that have been removed, let us know in the comments and we’ll swap it out for a new film.