With so many streaming services out there these days, it’s easier than ever to watch movies online. However, the costs quickly start to add up, whether you’re looking at a Sky subscription or a streaming service like Netflix – unless you find places to stream movies online for free.
Some services (like Amazon Prime Video, NOW TV, etc’) offer limited-time free trials – which is nice (see our list of streaming services with free trials), but you still can’t really call it FREE.
Luckily, there are a lot of totally free movie websites as well – yes, you can actually stream movies for free these days, and we’re not just talking about old classics from 100 years ago – you can even find some blockbusters to stream without paying a single pound.
And we’re NOT talking about illegal torrents and piracy sites – all the free streaming movie services we’re going to list here, are perfectly legal. Be careful when you search online – many websites will send you to dubious destinations that not only stream illegal content, but also slam you with spammy warnings and popping windows… (In general, if it looks too good to be true – with the most recent Hollywood hits being offered ‘for free’ – then there’s something fishy).
And finally, all the services listed here work in the UK (as of this writing, at least) – there are many free streaming services, like Tubi, IMDB TV, Vudo and more – that unfortunately only work in the US. So we took the time to comb through the ones that work on our side of the pond, in order to give you the definitive list of the best free movie streaming sites in the UK.
One last note – most of these will work directly on your browser, but some (like the Roku Channel) require a special app or device. We’ll note this in the site’s description.
1. Channel 4 Films
Channel 4, the free commercial broadcaster, is a great curator of films. Not only that, they also back films via their Film4 production company.
While Channel 4 is normally available live, via Freeview, it’s also available to watch on-demand via the “All4” service.
The All4 streaming service is totally free – you just need to register, and then you can watch it directly on your browser, or via an app, which is available for most of the streaming devices and mobile phones in the UK. The one downside? There are advert breaks.
All4’s Film category has an ever-changing collection of films – from romantic comedies to thrillers, dramas, and everything in between. While you won’t usually find the most recent blockbusters – there are some real classics there, plus a few hidden gems.
2. BBC iPlayer Films
BBC iPlayer, the BBC’s on-demand player, is a treasure trove of content. It’s both a catch-up service for movies (and TV programmes) that aired on the BBC recently, plus an on-demand library full of interesting things to watch.
And, yes – it’s all free (though you do have to pay the annual TV licence) – you just need to register for an account first. You can watch the movies either directly from your browser, or via the BBC iPlayer app (which is available practically everywhere).
The list of movies you can stream online for free changes often, but it includes both classics AND big Hollywood blockbusters (though usually not very recent ones). As I’m writing this, they’re offering Paddington 2, Gravity, The Revenant, Looper and many more – that’s quite the collection, and all for free (and without adverts!).
3. My5 Films
Another free-to-watch commercial channel that normally airs on Freeview, Channel 5 also has an on-demand service, called My5.
It’s totally free (with adverts), and you just need to register for an account. Then, you can stream the movies directly from the website, or via the app, which is available on many streaming devices.
Many of My5’s on-demand free movies come from Pluto TV Movies – which is another streaming TV company owned by ViacomCBS (which owns Channel 5). Most of the films are obscure titles you’ve never heard of – but there are several hidden gems, as well as some older Hollywood hits.
4. The Internet Archive – Feature Films
The Internet Archive is a free digital library that includes a massive collection of digital books, games, old websites, and – movies.
All the movies available to stream for free on the Internet Archive are in the Public Domain – so most of them are pretty old. But you can find a lot of real classics there, as well as strange titles you’ve never heard of.
They offer more than 6,500 free movies (as of this writing), both feature-length and shorts, divided into categories like Sci-Fi, Horror, Comedy, Film Noir and more. There are also a few curated collections, that help in finding those hidden gems.
You can stream the movies online for free, directly from the website – or even download them as a file to then watch anywhere.
5. Pluto TV
While most of the services in this list offer on-demand movies (and TV shows), Pluto is different, in that it focuses on a long list of “live” channels. You still stream them via the internet – but they work just like live TV channels, where you can only watch what’s streaming RIGHT NOW.
If you miss that live TV experience of flipping channels and dropping in on whatever’s airing at the moment, Pluto will scratch that itch. They also offer, however, a limited selection of on-demand movies.
There are currently 11 live channels dedicated to movies, which are divided into topics – SciFi, action, westerns and more.
You can watch Pluto TV’s content directly on their website, or via one of their apps, for mobile phones and the leading streaming devices.
6. Plex Free Movies And Live Channels
Plex is a normally a popular personal media streamer, that helps people organise and watch their own media (see our full Plex review). However, they also launched two services with free content – the on-demand Movies and TV section, and the Live TV section.
The on-demand Movies and TV part of Plex offers an eclectic list of movies you can watch for free (with adverts). In the US, the list includes many known titles – but in the UK, you would be hard-pressed to find movies you’ve heard of.
Still, they’re all free – and there are some interesting finds, especially if you’re a fan of some specific niches.
The Live TV section, which launched this year, offers live channels in a variety of topics and niches – some of which also show movies – mostly older classics and niche oddities.
Plex’ on-demand and live free movies can be streamed directly on the Plex website, or via their apps (which are available practically anywhere).
7. The Roku Channel
The Roku Channel, which launched in the UK this year (see our review), is a free service from Roku, that gives you thousands of free movies, TV programmes and kids content on demand.
The Roku Channel in the UK features a selection of popular global and British content. Most of the movies are pretty old or obscure, but there are some classics, especially if you like specific niches like horror.
Unlike most of the other services on this list, The Roku Channel doesn’t work directly on a browser – but instead only works via one of Roku’s streaming devices (see our Roku comparison here). In the US, you CAN stream The Roku Channel from the website – and hopefully, this functionality will reach the UK at some point.
8. Retrovision TV
As you probably figured out by now, most of the (legal) free online movie streaming sites offer older “public domain” films and niche oddities.
Retrovision TV is no different – but we like it because of the curation – and the fact that every movie has a short description, so it’s easier to pick and choose what you want to choose.
The movies are divided into several categories – Adventure, Comedy, Cartoons and more, and you can stream everything, for free, directly from the website.
9. Top Documentary Films
This site is similar to Retrovision TV – but focuses on free documentaries.
If you’re looking to learn something, you’ll find thousands of full length documentary films, as well as series and shorts, divided into categories – from history to health, sports, nature and the list goes on and on.
While the user interface makes finding things a bit messy, we like the fact that each documentary has a long description, and often also user ratings and reviews – so it’s easier to decide what to watch.
Many of the films are simply embedded from YouTube – but the fact that someone took the time to curate all these selections, makes things so much more comfortable.
10. Films for Action
This is another great collection of documentaries, with their official goal being “to provide citizens of the world with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.”
You will find more than 4,000 documentaries – from feature-length films to shorts and clips, divided into categories like Economics, Racism, Gender, Politics and more.
The interface is a bit confusing, with so much stuff to watch, but if you dig into it, you’re going to find a lot of food for thought.
Most of the titles in the digital library are free (without adverts!), with a few films only being available to the Patreons who donate to the site, and also a small selection of Pay-per-view titles.
11. Netflix “Free Watch” Page
Back in the day, Netflix – which is the most popular streaming TV service in the world – used to offer a free trial in the UK. That offer was eventually removed, and instead, Netflix recently launched a Free Watch page, which offers some of their popular movies and TV programmes for free.
The selection isn’t very big, but they might add titles occasionally. In the movies section, there are currently three big Netflix hits available to watch for free: The Two Popes, Bird Box and Murder Mystery.
The movies are only available to watch from a PC or Android browser. You can’t watch them directly on your TV, or even on iOS for some reason.
YouTube gets an honourable mention, because there are indeed A LOT of free movies you can stream for free in there – but… they’re often hard to find.
With millions and millions of clips and titles, YouTube is also full of movies that get uploaded illegally – and it’s often hard to distinguish between what’s under copyright and what’s not.
Still, if you know what you’re looking for (especially older movies that are already in the public domain), you can find a lot of free films to watch and enjoy, and there are a lot of playlists that curate public domain titles.