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If you're of a certain age. you probably remember the heyday of all of those free movie websites – sketchy URLs that always seemed to be changing from .eu to .se to .so or a thousand other .somethings that you never even knew existed. Free movie websites like these flourished because there was a market for them – and were hunted down because they were illegal.

Then, as now, the streaming video market was dominated by companies with paid subscription-based business models: Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. But there were always some consumers that preferred free content, even if they had to head to sketchy sites to get it. These days, the sketchy free movie websites are on the run – but a new breed of free movie website has emerged.

We're talking about AVOD. AVOD is advertising-supported video on demand, the free counterpart to subscription video on demand (SVOD) services like Netflix and Amazon. AVOD services allow movie fans to watch films for free, and because they're legitimate operations, they can offer perks that the old free movie websites couldn't: perks like HD video, mobile apps, apps for streaming devices, and the sense of security that comes with knowing that the FBI isn't about to batter down your door.

Let's get to know some of these AVOD sites!

Legal Free Movie Websites and Apps That You Should Know

Crackle

Crackle

Crackle is perhaps the best-known of the AVOD crew, thanks in part to its success with the original series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee – a series that has since jumped ship to Netflix. Crackle offers many of the same perks that its paid peers do, including personalized accounts, watchlists, mobile apps, and more. Read our review of Crackle here.

Popcornflix

PopcornFlix

Popcornflix has no connection to Popcorn Time, the most recent and most noteworthy heir to the sketchy free movie website legacy (Popcorn Time used online torrents to source their catalog and dressed up their interface in a well-branded way that was a big step up from the sketchy blue links of yore). Popcornflix, unlike Popcorn Time, is a totally legitimate operation, one that works in the same way as competitors Crackle and Tubi TV. Read our review of Popcornflix here.

Tubi TV

Tubi TV

Tubi TV is a rising star in the AVOD space, and probably the second best-known service of its kind (after Crackle). We interviewed Tubi TV's Thomas Ahn-Hicks here on Cordcutting.com, and he had a lot to say about the service's future and the AVOD market in general. Once again, you'll find the same perks you'd expect from a paid service: good content discovery feature, a watchlist, and more. Read our review of Tubi here.

Yahoo! View

Yahoo! View

Yahoo! View focuses on TV shows rather than movies, but it's otherwise very similar to the other AVOD services on this list. The ad-supported service has the rights to some of the same shows as Hulu – so there's still a way to watch some of those shows even though Hulu has made the jump from an AVOD to an SVOD model (yes, Hulu's ad-supported free service is no more: ads or no ads, you'll have to pay a subscription fee to watch).

YouTube

YouTube

Oh, yeah, YouTube! Everyone knows that YouTube is full of free videos, but the service is certainly best-known for its viral hits and massive collection of user-created videos. The truth is that YouTube has more to offer than just user-generated content. You'll find plenty of TV show clips on the site, plus a fair number of full-length movies. We're not just talking about users uploading movies without having the rights (YouTube takes those down as soon as it finds them) – we're talking about things like the Paramount Vault, Paramount Pictures' channel full of classic films streaming for free. There's plenty of great free content on YouTube, so go ahead and check it out! You can start with these suggestions from our list of the best free movies and TV shows on YouTube.

Get Streaming!

So there you have it – we've left the era of sketchy free movie websites behind and have moved into the era of high-quality ad-supported free movie apps. While no single free app can offer as impressive a catalog as Netflix or Amazon, it's important to remember that there's no monetary restriction at play here – nothing is stopping you from subscribing to every one of the services we listed above, and when you combine their catalogs, you have a pretty impressive selection of free movies. And this list doesn't even mention non-VOD free streaming services like Pluto TV. It's about time you got streaming!

2 thoughts on “Free Movie Websites That Aren’t Sketchy

  1. Avatar Bill Leavitt says:

    VUDU also has a large free AVOD that they recently added with a lot of good movies and TV shows.

  2. Avatar Twilight City Studios says:

    There is way more to Youtube than just the Paramount Vault. There’s many independent content creators on Youtube, including this commentator for Twilight City Studios making indie media productions, please consider checking us out our work! I want to also provide you with a list of awesome independent content creators that make their living on Youtube & through other ways like Patreon or merchandise. Please support us independents and not people re-uploading other people’s movies, here is my list.

    Channel Awesome – Movie Reviews
    Red Letter Media – Movie Reviews
    Jon CJG – Arby N Chief Web Show
    Cinemassacre – Various video series such as The Angry Video Game Nerd
    Isaac Arthur – Science & sci-fi documentaries
    Alternate History – Making videos about alternative historical events
    noisepuppet – YouTube poop videos
    Sci Show – Making educational science-related videos
    cs188 – YouTube poop videos
    Film Riot – Films & film making tutorials
    yoshimaniac – YouTube poop videos
    Pistol Shrimps – Funny VFX Parody videos of other videos & films. You may have seen multiple videos of his re-distributed onto FB
    Pie Pivotmontier-O – YouTube poop videos
    Darkmatter2525 – Animations
    Black Plasma Studios – Animations
    JonTronShow – Very entertaining & funny reviews of video games & movies from Jon Tron
    Knowledge Hub – Short videos talking about historical stuff
    Rooster Teeth – Indie studio making various animations, videos, & films. Became very successful from Red vs Blue
    USHANKA Show – Man who talks about life & growing up in the Soviet Union
    BuzzFeedBlue – This particular division of BuzzFeed makes unsolved crime drama and supernatural videos with two main host they also have some fun & entertaining history analysis videos
    Drunken Peasants – Funny & entertaining podcast show
    Deep Fat Fried – (Former members of Drunken Peasants) Also make a funny & entertaining podcast show. I really liked their analysis of the Roman Emperor Caligula got some good entertainment out of that one
    JClayton 1994 – YouTube Poop videos
    Alexo – Makes the C N P web show
    SoFallenFilms – They stopped making short videos & sketches. I really enjoyed their Halo Machinima ones where they used audio lines of actors or characters from their various works and used them in an episode such as Joker plays Halo 3. I’d like to hope that one they will come back
    Smosh – Not really a big of these guys anymore. I recall them doing sketch comedy videos and they still do
    Company Man – Makes documentaries dedicated to companies. He made one recently about the fall of Toys R Us
    Installation 01- Youtube channel for a group of game makers making a fan made Halo video game.
    Real Life Lore – Making videos related to real life stuff
    Wisecrack – Philosophy videos on various IPs like The Matrix, Rick & Morty, Attack on Titan, & others.
    Second Thought – Makes videos related to our world like RLL
    Wendover Productions – Like Second Thought & RLL, makes videos related to our world.
    I Hate Everything – Makes review videos
    Kurzgesagt – In A Nutshell – Info show made using animations.
    Twilight City Studios – Multimedia indie studio making films, videos, documentaries and other stuff. All divided up into separate playlists such as short films, comedy, documentaries, & more

    All these that I mentioned here are all independent YouTube channels to one extent or another unless you don’t count Buzzfeed or Smosh – I still see them as independent to a certain extent. My point is there’s lots of great content creators on YouTube without having to even look at clips of big movies. There’s also tons of YouTube channels I didn’t mention. The point I’m trying to make here is there’s some cool stuff on YouTube that are not just cat videos, I don’t know why that’s a stereotype, but it is. So yes have fun!

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