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The best free movies on YouTube right now (April 2024)

A group of point people point guns at the earth in Tremors.
Universal Pictures

If you’re tired of paying for the rising costs of streaming services, you can always turn to the best free movies on YouTube. Believe it or not, YouTube goes well beyond short-form content and even offers a large library of ad-supported free movies and TV shows to all users.

You may not be surprised to learn that YouTube’s free movie selection doesn’t really compare to paid services, but there are always a few quality entries. The collection changes drastically every month so remember to check back here for updates because we keep tabs on all the new arrivals and departures. Read on for the best free movies on YouTube 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

Tremors (1990) new

65 %
pg-13 96m
Genre Horror, Action, Science Fiction, Comedy
Stars Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter
Directed by Ron Underwood
An homage to early Hollywood creature horror films and a polemic against the risks of nuclear testing, Tremors depicts the infestation of a desolate town by gigantic, man-eating creatures that live underground. Now, Val McKee (They/Them‘s Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) must become the town’s unlikely heroes.

Bridge of Spies (2015) new

Bridge of Spies
81 %
pg-13 141m
Genre Thriller, Drama
Stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg directs this high-stakes drama about a prisoner exchange at the height of the Cold War. After the Soviet Union captures U.S. spy pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell), he’s sentenced to 10 years in Soviet prison. To get him back, the CIA recruits New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks) to negotiate Powers’ release. Landing in Berlin, Donovan soon finds that in exchange for Powers, the Soviets want the return of convicted spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), whom Donovan defended in U.S. court. Bridge of Spies was nominated for six Oscars, including a Best Supporting Actor win for Rylance.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) new

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
69 %
pg-13 107m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Stars George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
The Coen Brothers take on The Odyssey in O Brother, Where Art Thou? In the 1930s, in the Deep South, prisoners Everett, Pete, and Delmar (George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson) manage to escape from a chain gang and immediately go searching for a hidden treasure. They’re relentlessly pursued by the law but stay one step ahead as they encounter comical characters and ridiculous situations inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, from alluring Sirens to a menacing Cyclops.

The Rookie (2002) new

The Rookie
72 %
g 127m
Genre Drama, Family
Stars Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez
Directed by John Lee Hancock
A great choice for family movie night, The Rookie is the true story of Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid), a high school baseball coach who dropped out of the minor leagues due to an injury. Inspired by his championship-winning team, Morris shows up to Tampa Bay Devil Rays Spring Training at age 35, 12 years after quitting, to try to earn a spot on the roster. Turns out he’s still got it.

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 grows, Barbara finds help from her new friend Sophia (Sydney Wade) and her school counselor, Mrs. Mollé (Avatar: The Way of Water‘s 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 serial killer movie 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.

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 (Norton) and Duchess Sophie Von Teschen (Biel) had a passion for each other that her parents forbade. 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. However, several of Watterson’s colleagues and admirers do share their perspectives on his seminal work.

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.

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:
Nick Perry

Nick Perry is a freelance writer who bounced from Hollywood to Silicon Beach to pajama pants. His work has been featured on Digital Trends, Good Morning America, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and more media outlets.

Blair Marnell

Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek Monthly, SYFY Wire, Superhero Hype, Collider, DC Universe, and the official sites for Star Trek and Marvel. He also lends his pop culture expertise to Digital Trends on a variety of TV, movie, and streaming features.

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