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21 movies free to stream right now: Parasite, The Big Short, Train to Busan, more


2020’s best picture Oscar-winning film Parasite is available to stream for free.


Neon

Sure, there’s a plethora of subscription-based streaming platforms out there with an endless selection of movies. But you don’t always have to fork over cash to access some of the best films, as there are plenty of sites that offer totally free movies.

All you need is an internet connection and your phone, tablet or TV, ideally one equipped with Fire TV or Roku capabilities so it can get the necessary apps. The catch, of course, is that you’ll have to sit through commercials — unless you’re streaming from Hoopla or Kanopy, which are ad-free but require a library card from a participating library.

Here are some of our top picks ranging from comedy to drama to horror. Availability is subject to change, as the services rotate their selections on a regular basis.

Read more: Best movies 2021: I Care a Lot, Nomadland, A Quiet Place Part 2, more

Movies to stream for free right now

Parasite (2019)

Neon

This South Korean film stole the spotlight at the 2020 Oscars, and for good reason. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite is a dark yet hilarious masterpiece that explores issues of class while keeping viewers on their toes.

Where to watch: Kanopy

The Big Short (2015)

Paramount Pictures

If you think it’s utterly impossible to make an entertaining movie about the 2008 financial crisis, watch The Big Short. The cast alone should convince you: Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. Take note, however, that while the movie is indeed entertaining, the subject matter may make your blood boil. 

Where to watch: KanopyPluto TV

Train to Busan (2016)

Next Entertainment World

A must-watch for horror fans, this South Korean film follows a father and daughter who get trapped on a train during a zombie outbreak. (The film is slated for an American remake, which has some fans up in arms. Guess you’ll have to watch the original to decide for yourself how you feel about it all.)

Where to watch: Peacock

Jaws (1975)

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

A classic thriller, Jaws is perhaps single-handedly responsible for instilling a deep fear of sharks around the world. Now’s your chance to get in on the fun.

Where to watch: Tubi

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Some of the most powerful rom-coms are the ones that are most honest. This film, about a man reflecting on his relationship after getting dumped, checks that box.

Where to watch: Tubi

The Founder (2016)

The Weinstein Company

You may never be able to pass the golden arches of McDonalds again without reflecting on the fast food giant’s humble — and tumultuous — beginnings. The Founder tells the true story of how Ray Kroc turned the burger restaurant into a global giant, rough patches and all.

Where to watch: The Roku ChannelPluto TV

Moonlight (2016)

In an Oscars ceremony finale no one is likely to forget, Moonlight was named best picture in 2017 (sorry, La La Land). The film follows the story of a young Black man grappling with his identity and sexuality.

Where to watch: Kanopy

Moneyball (2011)

Sony Pictures Releasing

Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) strategizes ways to reinvent his baseball team on a tight budget and opts for using statistical data to evaluate players who appear to have potential.   

Where to watch: Peacock

Bridesmaids (2011)

Universal Pictures

This comedy, about a bitter rivalry between a maid of honor and a bridesmaid, is always a good time. The colorful cast includes Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy, promising some good laughs and wild plot lines.

Where to watch: Peacock

Django Unchained (2012)

Sony Pictures Releasing

Set in 1858, a freed slave goes on a mission to save his wife from a plantation owner in Mississippi. The Oscar-winning film is directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.

Where to watch: The Roku ChannelPluto TVPeacock

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Screenshot by Abrar Al-Heeti/CNET

You can actually watch the first three movies in the Harry Potter franchise on Peacock for free (the rest are available with a subscription), but the second installment is especially gripping, as things start to really get creepy around Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Where to watch: Peacock

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

This film about a quirky (read: dysfunctional) family embarking on a road trip to get their daughter to a beauty pageant is as entertaining as it is surprisingly heartwarming.

Where to watch: Tubi

Lady Bird

Saoirse Ronan shines in this poignant coming-of-age story about a young woman who yearns for adventure while trudging through high school in Sacramento, California.  

Where to watch: Kanopy

The Proposal (2009)

Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Sure to be a hit with fans of romantic comedies, Sandra Bullock plays an editor who pushes her assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her so she can avoid being deported to Canada. Things get complicated — and hilarious — when she goes to meet his family in Alaska.

Where to watch: Peacock

Ex Machina (2014)

DNA Films

If you prefer your sci-fi dark, occasionally disturbing and thoroughly thought-provoking, watch Alicia Vikander absolutely crush it as the android Ava. Anyone who digs Black Mirror will almost certainly dig this as well. In fact, Ex Machina could easily join that archive of futuristic cautionary tales. Same aesthetic, same vibe. (And Domhnall Gleeson was even in one of the best Black Mirror eps, Be Right Back.)

Where to watch: Kanopy

The Exorcist (1973)

Warner Bros.

A true classic for horror fans, this timeless piece follows the story of a young girl who mysteriously begins levitating and speaking in tongues, leading a priest to believe she’s been seized by the devil and requires an exorcism.

Where to watch: Peacock

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Bleecker Street

Ever wonder what it would be like to live off the grid? That’s what Viggo Mortensen’s dedicated dad does — but not for the reasons you’d expect — in this thoroughly charming film.

Where to watch: Kanopy

Logan Lucky (2017)

Fingerprint Releasing

Before Daniel Craig delighted audiences with his southern charms in Knives Out, he honed his skills in this underrated heist flick. Call it a poor man’s Ocean’s 11, because instead of robbing Vegas casinos, this hapless crew (which includes Adam Driver and Channing Tatum) sets out to knock over… a NASCAR racetrack.

Where to watch: Kanopy

The Matrix (1999)

Warner Bros. Pictures

This pop cultural phenomenon has spurred a handful of remakes (the forth is slated for release later this year), though perhaps none are as well-revered — or as highly referenced — as the original. The Matrix follows a computer programmer and cybercriminal named Neo (Keanu Reeves) who’s led into an underworld and learns the troubling truth about his reality and the forces controlling it.

Where to watch: Pluto TV

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Madman Entertainment

This hilarious gore-fest stars Taika Waititi, who also directed, and Flight of the Conchords vet Jemaine Clement. Finally, a vampire movie that doesn’t take itself so seriously.

Where to watch: Kanopy

Stalag 17 (1953)

Paramount Pictures

This is one of the all-time great prisoner-of-war movies (and the obvious inspiration for the TV series Hogan’s Heroes). Someone in the barracks is a German spy, and all signs point to William Holden. Is it him? The movie — part comedy, part drama — does a great job stretching out the whodunnit, leading to a genuinely surprising, satisfying conclusion.

Where to watch: Tubi



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