No Subscription Needed: Free Movies to Watch on YouTube


Keally Peck, Writer

More items, including subscriptions, are increasing in price over time. Streaming services include several movies and shows that are free to watch with a subscription. But there is also a selected variety of items that are entirely free, with the only price being to watch one or multiple advertisements.

On Valentine’s Day, 2005, YouTube was registered as a website for sharing videos. Shortly after the site was opened, it was attracting 30,000 visitors per day. By the time of the site’s official launch on December 15, 2005, it had more than two million views per day, and by the following month, the views had surpassed 25 million, with the number growing by the day. Now, almost two decades later, the video-sharing website has become a well-used website with an app and subscriptions. With special services like YouTube TV and YouTube Music, the platform maintains steady popularity among those who can and cannot afford the services. YouTube has also been known to be one of many streaming platforms, one of which offers movies to watch for free but with advertisements included.

“By offering a free and ad-supported streaming experience, Pluto TV has clearly differentiated itself from paid streaming services,” Zak Kann wrote in his CordCutting article “Pluto TV Review.”

“Given its price tag (or lack thereof), Pluto TV is probably worth adding to your list as a supplement to your main streaming services. However, it’s definitely not ready to stand on its own,” Kann concluded.

Movies have altered their viewing habits on the popular video-watching platform. Some popular movies have progressed from being bought or rented, to being paid to watch, to eventually being free with advertisements. Some of these films are entertaining for families to watch, while others are educational or nostalgic. A small portion of the hundreds of movies available to watch for free are on YouTube. Watching ads to explore nostalgic films like ‘Space Jam’ and ‘School of Rock,’ as well as family films like ‘Cats Don’t Dance’ and ‘Monsters vs. Aliens,’ and educational films like ‘The Help’ and ‘The Great Gatsby,’ are among these films. These are just six examples of films that are either recognizable, or a movie to explore without the need of making an account or paying to watch them.

“I feel like I’m dreaming that this movie is free.” Johnny Vang commented on the free YouTube movie, ‘The Help.’

“Growing up poor, this is a privilege.” Vang concluded.

Because these films are available for free on the YouTube platform, other streaming services are attempting to keep their audiences engaged by adding more films to their subscriptions. Netflix, which debuted in 2007, was one of the first movie streaming services. Netflix has grown to have more than 200 million subscribers worldwide, but other platforms are also growing in popularity over having exclusive movies or shows. Apps like HBOMax and Disney+ have movies and shows specifically for their streaming services, all for free with a subscription. However, there are streaming services that, like YouTube, offer free to watch films with no sign up required. Many films and shows are available for free on streaming services such as Vudu and Pluto TV, and there is no need to sign up. With Vudu, it’s best to wait for films to become free after a short period of purchase or rental. Pluto TV works in the same way that live TV does, with movies and shows included in the streaming service but with ‘commercial breaks,’ which are two or more ads in the middle of the shows or movies.

YouTube TV prices plan to rise next month, on April 18. Having these movies, plus many more on other platforms, include no price tag to view them, it’s always a great idea to discover or rewatch one of these free films.