Skip to main content

The best free movies on YouTube right now (February 2023)

With increases in both the cost and number of streaming services available these days, “cutting the cord” is sneakily becoming less and less affordable. One thing you can always fall back on for your movies, however, is YouTube. Believe it or not, the video platform has a host of free movies and TV shows available for streaming. Sure, it’s not the best collection, but there are some worthwhile titles in the bunch if you look hard enough. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the hard work already. These are the best free movies on YouTube right now.

Looking for more stuff you can watch for free? Check out our guides to the best free shows on YouTube and the best sites for watching free movies online.

Recently added to YouTube
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) new
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
69 %
r 107m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Stars George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Joel Coen
The Coen Brothers took Homer’s Odyssey and adapted it to the deep south in the 1930s, with a trio of escaped prisoners (George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro) setting off on an adventure to discover a fortune in buried treasure. On the run from the law, the fugitives encounter all kinds of curious, comical, and terrifying characters as they evade capture, rise to fame as folk music heroes, and attempt to secure their freedom.
The Sisters Brothers (2018) new
The Sisters Brothers
78 %
r 122m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Western
Stars John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal
Directed by Jacques Audiard
Based on Patrick Dewitt’s novel, The Sisters Brothers follows hired gunmen Eli and Charlie Sisters (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix) as they track down a gold prospector who has stolen a profitable secret from their boss in 1851 Oregon. The genre-bending Western stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, and Rutger Hauer in supporting roles.
Godzilla (1954)
Genre Thriller, Horror, Science Fiction
Stars Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi, Akihiko Hirata
Directed by Ishirō Honda
Godzilla is one of the most crowded film franchises ever, so go back to the beginning with the 1954 Japanese original. After several ships are sunk near Odo Island, a scientific expedition sets out to identify the issue. They’re quickly confronted with something more terrible than ever imagined: a 50-meter-tall monster known to the natives as Gojira. Released upon the world, the monster threatens to destroy Japan and beyond. YouTube has a host of ’50s and ’60s Godzilla movies so get comfortable and delve into the dawn of monster flicks.
Skiptrace (2016)
50 %
pg-13 107m
Genre Action, Comedy, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville, Fan Bingbing
Directed by Renny Harlin
Jackie Chan stars as Hong Kong detective Benny Chan in this high-octane comedy thriller. For years, Chan has tried to work by the book, working within the system to avenge his partner’s murder. But when he learns that American gambler Connor Watts (Johnny Knoxville) has the evidence he needs to bring the murderer to justice, he might just bend the rules a little.
I Kill Giants (2018)
I Kill Giants
74 %
pg-13 106m
Genre Fantasy, Drama
Stars Madison Wolfe, Imogen Poots, Sydney Wade
Directed by Anders Walter
This fantasy film follows Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe), a young girl who finds solace from the realities of her difficult family life by retreating into a magical world where she is the greatest giant fighter the world has ever seen. But as the giants’ threat to her world becomes greater, Barbara finds help in the form of her new friend Sophia (Sydney Wade) and her school counselor, Mrs. Mollé (Zoe Saldana).
My Friend Dahmer (2017)
My Friend Dahmer
68 %
r 107m
Genre Drama, History, Crime
Stars Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche
Directed by Marc Meyers

Someone at YouTube has very deftly picked up on the renewed interest in Jeffrey Dahmer by getting the rights to stream My Friend Dahmer. This is based upon the true story of John “Derf” Backderf (Alex Wolff), a cartoonist who was the closest friend that Jeffrey Dahmer (Ross Lynch) had in high school. In this adaptation of Backderf’s graphic novel, he and his fellow outcasts befriend Dahmer, but they aren’t blind to his bizarre behavior. However, they couldn’t have predicted that the awkward young man that they knew would go on to become one of the most infamous serial killers of the last century. It’s also a tragic tale, as no one notices how monstrous Dahmer has become until it’s far too late to stop him.

Train to Busan (2016)
Train to Busan
73 %
r 118m
Genre Action, Horror, Thriller
Stars Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok
Directed by Yeon Sang-ho
Train To Busan is a Korean action film that may be the best zombie movie of the last 10 years. An American remake is already in the works, with the less memorable title of The Last Train To New York. In the original film, Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) regrets his personal failures as a father, which is why he takes his daughter, Su-an (Kim Su-an), on a trip to Busan to see his estranged ex-wife, who is also Su-an’s mom, on her birthday. Wouldn’t you know it, but a zombie plague breaks out on the bullet train right at the same time it’s happening everywhere else. But inside the train, there’s less room to run. Seok-woo, Su-an, and the other passengers also come to realize that their fellow survivors may become threats as well.
The Illusionist (2006)
The Illusionist
68 %
pg-13 110m
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Thriller, Romance
Stars Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel
Directed by Neil Burger
The Illusionist beat the similarly themed film, The Prestige, to theaters by about two months, but Christopher Nolan’s movie is the superior of the two. Regardless, The Illusionist has its charms, largely in the core trio of Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, and Paul Giamatti. When they were young, Eduard Abramovich (Nortan) and Duchess Sophie Von Teschen (Biel) had a passion for each other that was forbidden by her parents. Upon adulthood, Edward reinvented himself as Eisenheim The Illusionist and reunited with Sophie before she could be married to the malevolent Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). When Sophie is murdered, Chief Inspector Walter Uhl (Giamatti) is unnerved when Eisenheim appears to be able to summon Sophie’s spirit at will.
Dear Mr. Watterson (2013)
Dear Mr. Watterson
54 %
Genre Documentary
Stars Seth Green, Berkeley Breathed, Stephan Pastis
Directed by Joel Allen Schroeder
If you’ve never read the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, then you’ve missed out on one of the all-time greats. Writer and artist Bill Watterson ended his incredible creation in 1995 and stepped away from a life in public. Nearly a quarter century later, documentarian Joel Allen Schroeder’s film Dear Mr. Watterson explores the ongoing impact of Calvin and Hobbes even years after its conclusion. Don’t expect any on-camera interviews with Watterson himself. He was quite serious about not wanting to be a public figure any longer. But several of Watterson’s colleagues and admirers do share their perspective on his seminal work.
Fanboys (2009)
45 %
pg-13 90m
Genre Adventure, Comedy
Stars Carrie Fisher, Christopher McDonald, Sam Huntington
Directed by Kyle Newman
Fanboys is both a love letter to Star Wars and a spoof of all things sci-fi and fandom. Chris Marquette stars as Linus, a diehard Star Wars fan who has only months to live due to cancer. Since Linus won’t live long enough to see Star Wars: Episode 1, his friends Windows (Jay Baruchel), Harold “Hutch” Hutchinson (Dan Fogler), Eric Bottler (Sam Huntington), and Zoe (Kristen Bell) hatch a plan to break into Lucasfilm Ranch and screen the film for Linus. Along the way, their friendships are tested, and several familiar faces show up in unexpected roles.
Free to Play (2014)
Free to Play
Genre Documentary
Stars Benedict Lim, Danil Ishutin, Clinton Loomis
Directed by Valve Company
More than a year after the Overwatch League was founded, e-sports are still carving out a niche and establishing itself as a legitimate form of entertainment. Those who don’t game on a competitive level might not understand the level of dedication required for such endeavors, not to mention the physical and mental tolls placed on young players who train for hours on end each day. Free to Play, a documentary from game developer/distributor Valve Entertainment, focuses on two athletes and one coach who are competing in the 2011 International Defense of the Ancients (DotA) tournament. It explores the stresses the players are forced to deal with and deftly compares the struggles of e-sports athletes to those of traditional athletes.
The General (1926)
The General
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, War
Stars Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender
Directed by Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
While Charlie Chaplin remains a household name more than 40 years after his death, Buster Keaton is an oft-overlooked film pioneer, and one of the first true silent film stars. The General met mixed reviews and poor box office returns upon release in 1926 but has since become regarded as Keaton’s greatest film and an all-time classic. Adapted from Union soldier William Pittenger’s memoir, The Great Locomotive ChaseThe General follows a Confederate train engineer forced into action after the father of his love interest (Marion Mack) is wounded in battle. The film includes two train chase scenes that proved to be the most expensive stunts ever in a silent movie, and features some impressive historical detail, all things considered.
Kung Fury (2015)
Kung Fury
Genre Action, Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Stars David Sandberg, Jorma Taccone, Leopold Nilsson
Directed by David Sandberg
A rare example of a successful Kickstarter film, Kung Fury promised its backers a spectacular homage to ’80s action films, and it delivered. Director David Sandberg also plays the lead, Kung Fury, a detective who gained superhuman fighting abilities after being simultaneously struck by a bolt of lightning and bitten by a cobra. Kung Fury uses his supreme combat skills to clean up the filthy streets of Miami but faces his greatest challenge when no less a villain than Adolf Hitler (Jorma Taccone) arrives, intent on conquering all of time through his own mastery of kung fu. If it’s not apparent already, Kung Fury is a film that makes no attempts at seriousness. That’s not all, either; a full-length sequel is on its way, with Michael Fassbender, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and David Hasselhoff involved in varying capacities. Yeah.

Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (1936)
Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children)
pg 66m
Genre Crime, Drama
Stars Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles
Directed by Louis J. Gasnier
If you’ve never heard of Reefer Madness, you might be living under a rock. No matter your views on marijuana use, this absurd 1936 movie was made to “educate” young Americans on the dangers of drug abuse, but it’s actually a propaganda film produced by a church group and distributed by notorious exploitation producer Dwain Esper. In the film, pot abuse drives several young adults to violence, murder, and (of course) madness. In the end, Dr. Alfred Carroll (Josef Forte) breaks the fourth wall (uh, spoilers?) to warn viewers that their children might die after consuming marijuana. After a sort of reappearance in the 1970s, Reefer Madness took on a new life as a parody film for supporters of drug reform and cannabis legalization.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead
89 %
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
Directed by George A. Romero
A seminal entry for American horror cinema, George A. Romero’s classic horror movie follows seven people who find themselves trapped 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 its influences can be seen in everything from 28 Days Later to Shaun of the Dead. Romero’s debut — he wrote, directed, edited, and acted in the film — made him into a superstar, quickly revolutionizing the genre on a budget of a mere $114,000.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from: