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The 5 best free movie apps: Grab the popcorn and settle in

What is the best free movie app? Freevee is ZDNET's top choice thanks to its collection of titles. We researched and compared features, as well as accessibility, quality, and real customer reviews to determine our picks.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Allison Murray

At the end of a long day, there is nothing like curling up with a great movie, but that can be easier said than done when you are on a budget. 

Renting and buying movies can quickly get very expensive, as can going to the actual movie theater, but the good news is that you do not always have to pay for your Hollywood entertainment. There are several free movie apps that you can use to watch tons of hit and classic movies, as well as more specialized genres like classics, kids content, and anime. 

Before your next movie night, consider these best free movie apps for the entire family.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • No charges ever
  • Award-winning content
  • New content each month
cons
  • Limited content
  • Few new releases
More Details

Specs: Developer: AMZN Mobile LLC | App Store rating: 2.9 | Google Play rating: 3.8 | Concurrent streams: Unlimited | Original programming: Yes | Ads: Yes

Freevee is a free streaming service provided by Amazon with thousands of movies and shows of all genres, as well as Freevee Originals. These releases come directly from Amazon Studios and include shows like Bosch: Legacy, Sprung and Judy Justice. If you do not feel like looking for something to watch, there are live channels, too, running 24 hours a day. They include picks for Freevee's Stories You Love and Crime 360 to keep you entertained, no matter the time or day. New Originals are added each month, so you never run out of options. When you are ready to begin watching, just search by title, genre, or cast member. There is no need to provide any payment information since the service is free, but you will still need an Amazon account to begin watching. It is compatible with a whole host of devices, including Amazon fire tv, Apple TV, LG, Roku, Xbox, and PS5. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Recommended for cord-cutters
  • Live sports and news
  • Peacock Originals
cons
  • Must upgrade to access all content
  • Most content restricted to NBCUniversal family
More Details

Specs: Developer: Peacock TV LLC | App Store rating: 4.6 | Google Play rating: 3.9 | Concurrent streams: 3 | Original programming: Yes | Ads: Yes

As a part of NBCUniversal, Peacock is a leading streaming service that is best for new movies. It is forever providing exclusive content with new movies like The Bad Guys and They/Them. With access to major studios like Universal and DreamWorks Animation, there is no shortage of blockbuster films to keep you busy. Peacock also includes its own catalog of shows like Modern Family, The Office, and Yellowstone. There is news via services like NBC News and MSNBC for the news junkie at home, as well as live sports for the sports enthusiast in the family, including access to NFL, MLB, and WWE. You also get to enjoy Peacock Originals and Spanish-language programming from Telemundo. Current programming is included from Bravo and NBC, but if you want access to everything Peacock has to offer, you will have to upgrade to Peacock Premium for $4.99 per month. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • 27 movie channels
  • Several popular channels
  • Live TV
cons
  • Few new episodes
  • Limited TV programming
More Details

Specs: Developer: Pluto.tv | App Store rating: 4.8 | Google Play rating:  4.3 | Concurrent streams: Unlimited | Original programming: Yes | Ads: Yes

Pluto TV has long been one of the best free movie apps for live TV and movies. You get to benefit from live TV with a ton of channels to choose from, plus full seasons of shows like CSI and Narcos are available for streaming. You also get access to thousands of movies that include classics and blockbuster films, as well as new releases. Options can include popular films like The Hitman's Bodyguard, Hitch, The Italian Job, Titanic, Insidious, and Friday the 13th. 

No matter your fancy, Pluto TV has 27 different exclusive movie channels, so you never run out of things to watch. There are also more than 50 Spanish-language channels with both native language and subtitle options, plus reality TV, crimes, and sports. There is no cost ever to use the service, either, a rarity when it comes to live TV programming.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • New content added each week
  • Parental controls available
  • Watchlist feature
cons
  • Ad-supported content
  • Older movie titles
More Details

Specs: Developer: Tubi, Inc | App Store rating: 4.7 | Google Play rating:  4.8 | Concurrent streams: Unlimited | Original programming: No | Ads: Yes

Tubi offers free streaming for both movies and TV. It is an ad-supported app, which means that you will have commercials, but Tubi claims to have three times fewer ads than cable TV. And like live TV, you also get access to live news, sports, and live entertainment channels. Plus, you get access to hit movies from studios like MGM, Paramount, and Lionsgate. Special categories make it easy to find something to watch with options like "Not on Netflix" and "Highly Rated on Rotten Tomatoes." 

There are over 40 genres available, including rarer categories like Spanish telenovelas, Korean dramas and British TV with international films also available. As you find content that piques your interest, you can create your own personal playlist to organize your favorites. Parents will also be reassured by the parental controls that help wayward children stay in line. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • 4K UHD content
  • Ability to purchase other content
  • Built-in Rotten Tomatoes reviews
cons
  • Ad-supported content
  • Older TV shows
More Details

Specs: Developer: VUDU, Inc. | App Store rating: 4.7 | Google Play rating: 4.6 | Concurrent streams: 3 | Live TV: No | Ads: Yes

Vudu claims to have the largest collection of 4K UHD titles, making for an even better streaming experience. Here you will find content with Dolby Vision(R), Dolby Atmos(R) and HDR10 for fantastic clarity and quality. There are thousands of titles that are free to watch without a subscription through Vudu's Movies On Us feature. Plus, more than 200,000 movies and TV shows are available to rent or buy, including new releases. Even though you have to pay for this content, there are tons of discounts and Mix & Match bundles you can use to save money. 

You will also get personalized offers based on your own preferences and viewing activity. Vudu is a part of the Fandango family, which means that you have free access to Rotten Tomatoes reviews. You also benefit from VIP+ loyalty rewards and discounts from partner programs. 

What is the best free movie app?

The best free movie app is Freevee by Amazon. In addition to 24/7 live TV programming, you will find tons of content, including Freevee Originals from Amazon Studios. Plus, with unlimited concurrent streams, there is no fighting in the family over the TV. 

To see how Freevee stacks up, here is an overview of the best free movie apps.

Best free movie app

App Store rating

Google Play rating

Freevee

2.9

3.8

Peacock

4.6

3.9

Pluto TV

4.8

4.3

Tubi

4.7

4.8

Vudu

4.7

4.6

Which is the right free movie app for you?

To help you find the best free movie app for your needs, we offer our expert recommendations based on our research.

Choose this free movie app...

If you want...

Freevee

Popular movies and shows for the whole family

Peacock

To see the latest titles with your favorite stars

Pluto TV

To skip the decision-making and indulge in live TV

Tubi

The latest titles

Vudu

High-quality streaming

How did we choose these free movie apps?

There are several factors we consider when choosing the best free movie apps. This is why they matter.

  • Titles: We look to see what content is available on each platform, looking for a variety of genres and titles to appeal to a wide audience. 

  • Ads: Many free apps opt for advertisements as a way to make money, which means that you are plagued by pesky commercials. We consider whether an app is ad-supported and if there is another plan available for upgrade.

  • User ratings: Viewers know a platform best, so we review thousands of real customer reviews to find the best free movie apps.

  • Concurrent streams: If you come from a big household, concurrent streams can be a lifesaver by allowing multiple people to stream content at once.

The best free movie apps all offer excellent advantages when it comes to streaming movies and TV shows. 

What is a free movie app?

A free movie app is an app that allows you to view content like movies and TV shows without requiring a paid subscription.

Are free movie apps really free?

Free movie apps are free to use, but you may find that some titles or services have a fee associated with them. There may be a requirement to upgrade your subscription for premium content. 

What kind of movies and shows can I watch on a free movie app?

The exact movies and TV shows on a free movie app may vary over time and from service to service, with many free apps recycling out old content on a regular basis. Before you sign up, the best free movie apps will give you an example of the titles currently available so you know what you expect.

Are there alternative free movie apps worth considering?

In our search, we also found a few other free movie apps that may be worth your consideration.

For even more entertainment, check out our expert suggestions for the best free video streaming services, the five best Netflix alternatives, and the best live TV streaming services!

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