A Review of Free Streaming Movies On YouTube

Watching free streaming movies and shows on YouTube

YouTube is used by millions to watch movie trailers, stream music videos, and consume tons of other similar content, but it can also be used to watch free TV and full-length movies.

Fortunately, most of the movies on YouTube have very little advertisements, but unfortunately, you can not sort the movies by genre like you can with similar streaming websites. Even more, there isn't a specific page that shows all the free movies together, so you have to just search for movies among the millions of videos in hopes that they're available.

Snow Queen free stream on YouTube
'Snow Queen' Movie.

Read more of our review to learn about the movie quality, video player options, and other details you may like to know about watching free movies on YouTube.

YouTube's Movies & Shows Are Easy (and Hard) to Find

The free movies at YouTube are easy to find only in that you can quickly search for any title to see if it's available. However, they're hard to find in that you can't filter them by popularity or genre.

Nearly every other movie streaming website we've used will let you sort the films by their genre, but YouTube doesn't. This means you must hope the movie you want is listed when you search for it. It also means that anything you find could be a comedy, horror, action, drama, etc, but you're not explicitly told so.

Fortunately, you can see the view count, rating, and comments from other visitors once you've started watching a movie. This helps determine whether or not you may also like the film.

Watching TV shows on YouTube is a little different because not all of the shows you see are free—the ones that cost are marked as such. However, you can find TV shows through different genre sections, such as Food & Cooking, Celebrity & Entertainment, Animated, and Reality & Game, which is unlike browsing through the movies.

Video Quality Varies

Most of the YouTube movies we've watched have been less than or equal to the quality of a movie you'd watch on a standard DVD, but there are other films you may run across that are high definition, such as 720p or 1080p resolution.

There is no way to filter the movies by quality, though, so finding higher quality movies over standard or lower quality is basically hit and miss.

YouTube's Player Options

Similar to YouTube's movie quality, the options that are available in the video player will depend on the movie you're watching.

All of the movies on YouTube let you enter into full-screen mode, fast forward, rewind, and manage the volume, which are features you'd expect in any video player. However, you can also add a video to your Watch Later list, which is a queue of videos you can save to one place for easy viewing.

Some of the movies on YouTube will also let you alter the speed of the video, turn on captions, and even edit the font color, size, family, and opacity as well as the background and window color and opacity of the subtitles.

Some Movies Have Zero Advertisements

Movie streaming sites like Yidio show numerous advertisements throughout every single movie, but YouTube's advertisements aren't at all as persistent.

For example, out of ten movies we watched, only one had advertisements throughout the whole thing. Some had one ad at the beginning or end, but most of them didn't include any commercials at all, which is wonderful.

Buffering Experience

We've used YouTube a very long time and have noticed that the only instances where a video pauses to buffer or takes too long to start is when our own network or computer is being slow.

YouTube is a very large website that gets lots of traffic each and every day, which means the odds are likely in your favor that it's built sturdy enough to withstand hiccups in its ability to stream movies to your computer.

There's a YouTube App, But It's Not Easy to Use

YouTube has an app that's available for many different devices, and while it can surely be used to watch movies on the go, it's definitely not useful for finding movies.

What we mean by this is that while you can search for films that you know the name of, you can not browse through them like you can on the desktop website. This is in contrast to similar movie streaming websites, like Crackle and Popcornflix, that do offer useful apps.

Screenshots of YouTube's free movies in the YouTube app

However, with that being said, some of YouTube's free movies are categorized in a "Free to watch" section accessible from the app. To get there, search for Free movies and then tap Free to watch.

YouTube: Final Thoughts

If you don't mind scrolling through lots and lots of videos to find one you may like to watch, YouTube is a nice choice for watching free movies. It's similar to other movie streaming websites aside from the fact that you can't filter the movie list, which is too bad.

We don't like that there's no easy way to find free YouTube movies from the mobile application, though, because most other movie streaming websites allow it.

Movies made for mature audiences may require you to sign on to your YouTube account (which is the same thing as a Google account, like a Gmail email address) to confirm your age, but it's not a problem to do so because making an account is easy and completely free.