As of 2015, sites such as Hulu, Crackle, archive.org, YouTube.com and Popcornflix allow users to watch free movies online legally. Hollywood entertainment companies officially sanction these reputable streaming sites, making their content completely legal.
While Hulu is better known for free TV streaming, the site also offers a large selection of free movies in a range of genres, from horror and action to documentary and drama. Movies are available to watch free with limited commercial interruptions. The site’s partnership with the prestigious Criterion Collection also gives Hulu a range of critically acclaimed arthouse films, such as “8 ½,” “Persona” and “Eraserhead.”
Crackle operates in partnership with Sony Pictures, giving it access to hundreds of major Hollywood films. The site's substantial library of films includes action, crime, comedy, sci-fi, thrillers and more. From Crackle’s main movie page, users can search by keyword or browse by title, genre or release date. The site also allows users to combine genres for searches, such as action comedy or horror comedy. Like Hulu, brief commercial interruptions intersperse films on Crackle.
Popcornflix is another streaming site that offers more than 1,500 movies free to stream. While not all of its films are Hollywood blockbusters, Popcornflix offers ample selections of action, comedy, drama, horror and documentaries. Popcornflix also hosts a sister site, Frightpix, which offers scary movies exclusively.
Archive.org features an extensive archive of public domain media, including music, television and movies. Movies available on the site include unlicensed films uploaded by their creators, as well as feature films in the public domain, which occurs when the copyright on them lapses or isn't renewed. Certain movies are available for free on YouTube. These movies include those in the public domain, as well as movies produced by major studios that have been made available for a variety of reasons.
Public domain websites also allow users to watch a variety of free classic films and TV shows. These websites provide expired copyright content and content provided by the video’s owner. Most videos are available for streaming online and provide the option to download videos free for offline use.