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Watch full movies for free on YouTube

CNET logo CNET 3/23/2021 Matt Elliott
graphical user interface, website: Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET © Provided by CNET Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Seen everything on Netflix? Nothing jumping out to you on Hulu or Prime Video? Can I interest you in a free movie on YouTube?

You don't need to pay to rent a movie on YouTube or pony up for a YouTube Premium subscription in order to watch full-length films for free. If you are willing to have your movie-viewing experience interrupted by the occasional ad, there are hundreds of movies you can watch for free on YouTube. 

graphical user interface, website © Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

YouTube's free-to-watch movies

While you can rent or buy movies on YouTube, there are more than 300 titles that you can watch for free. You can see all YouTube's Free to Watch movies here. They're all labeled as Free with Ads. 

The collection of free movies looks a bit like what you might find in a bin of old DVDs at a garage sale. You won't find any new releases and or any sense of organizational structure, but there are a few gems. If you are up for some classic 1980s cinema, you can watch Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Terminator or Sylvester Stallone in Over the Top. More in the mood for an '80s comedy? There's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spaceballs and Big Trouble in Little China. I also found a trio of excellent music documentaries: Muscle Shoals, The Wrecking Crew and Sound City. The most recent title I encountered was Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a wonderful film from 2016 by Taika Waititi.

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In my viewing of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, I had to sit through an ad every 10 minutes but could skip the ad after five seconds. I would complain about the jarring nature of the ads starting at seemingly random spots in the movie, sometimes in the middle of a character's dialog, but then I remembered I was watching for free.


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