Best Free Movies on YouTube (June 2023)

From Arrival to Godzilla to Waves, these are all free to watch

It isn't always easy to find good, free movies online. Most recent blockbuster films usually cost a rental fee on popular streaming sites. Thankfully, many free movies are on YouTube if you know where to look.

The easiest way to find free movies on YouTube is to visit the Movies and Shows section on YouTube. This is where all moves available on YouTube are organized. Many are fee-based, but there's an entire "Free" section with a library of movies you can watch.

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Arrival (2016): Not Your Average First Contact Film

The cast of Arrival 2016

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Genre:  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

When an extraterrestrial species tries to make first contact, linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) are recruited to decode their alien language.

If you're expecting an action-packed invasion flick, then look elsewhere. Arrival is a cerebral sci-fi story that takes its time but ultimately pays off.

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Life of a King (2013): Most Inspirational Redemption Story

Screenshot of Life of a King

IMDb rating: 6.9/10

Genre:  Drama 

Starring:  Cuba Gooding Jr., Dennis Haysbert, George Dick

Director: Jake Goldberger

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Eugene Brown, an ex-convict who goes to work for the Washington, D.C. school system after finishing his prison sentence. This true story details how Eugene inspired inner-city teenagers by using chess as an analogy for life itself.

Eugene's competed against some of the best high-school chess players in the country. This movie details the trials and setbacks Eugene faced as he worked to help his students understand what it truly means to be a king in all aspects of their lives.

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On Golden Pond (1981): A Wistful Drama From Two Hollywood Icons

Peter Fonda and Katherine Hepburn in 'On Golden Pond'

Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Peter Fonda, Katharine Hepburn

Director: Mark Rydell

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

In this classic drama, Hollywood legends Peter Fonda and Katharine Hepburn star as an aging married couple. When their estranged daughter (Jane Fonda) leaves her boyfriend's son in their care, they start to form new bonds and repair old ones. A great showcase for Fonda and Hepburn's talent in their later years, this film requires a box of tissues.

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Dungeons & Dragons (2000): Wackiest Big Screen Adaptation of a Board Game

The cast Dungeons & Dragons 2000

IMDb rating: 3.6/10

Genre:  Action, Adventure, Fantasy 

Starring:  Justin Whalin, Jeremy Irons, Zoe McLellan

Director: Courtney Solomon

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

To save humanity from destruction by dragons, Empress Savina (Thora Birch) sends two young thieves on a quest to wrest the Rod of Savrille from the evil mage Profion (Jeremy Irons).

Critics and actual Dungeons & Dragons fans didn't like this movie, but it's gained a cult following thanks to its hokey acting, bad early-2000s CGI, and overall campy production.

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The Last Descent (2016): Best True Tragedy Movie

Screenshot of The Last Descent

IMDb rating: 5.6/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Chadwick Hopson, Alexis Johnson, Landon Henneman 

Director: Isaac Halasima

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

The Last Descent is the story of John Jones (played by Chadwick Hopson) and his adventures with a friend in the Nutty Putty Cave in Utah. During their trip, John became wedged in an 18-inch hole 150 feet under the ground. This movie details the many attempts of rescue crews to free John from the cave.

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Frozen (2010): Best Reason to Never Go Skiing Again

The poster for Frozen (2010)

IMDb rating: 6.1/10

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Starring: Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers

Director: Adam Green

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

If you're looking for a feel-good movie to watch with your kids, it's crucial not to confuse this one with the animated Disney film of the same name. Rather than a colorful adventure with instantly classic songs, 2010's Frozen is a harrowing tale of survival about three friends stranded on a ski lift with days before anyone will know they're there.

Rather than coming to terms with their amazing cryokinetic powers, these people contend with frostbite, infighting, and a pack of hungry wolves circling below their perilous seat. Ignore everything that must go wrong for people to get into this situation, and you're in for a good, if stressful, time.

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Waves (2019): A Portrait of an American Family

Waves (2019)


IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Genre:  Drama, Romance

Starring: Taylor Russell, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Alexa Demie

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

High school senior Tyler Williams (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) has a promising future as a wrestler until a tragic accident sends his life in a different direction. Tyler's sister Emily (Taylor Russell) grows to resent her family for what happened to her brother while their parents blame each other.

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Planet of the Apes (1968): A Kong-Sized Allegory for Prejudice

Roddy McDowall in Planet of the Apes
Roddy McDowall in Planet of the Apes.

20th Century Studios

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Genre:  Adventure, Sci-Fi

Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

Motion Picture Rating: G

Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston) and his crew crash land on a planet run by an advanced civilization of apes. If you somehow don't know how this movie ends, don't read any further reviews or spoilers so that you can fully enjoy the story as it unfolds.

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Children of the Corn (1984): Corniest Stephen King Triller

Children of the Corn (1984)
New World Pictures

IMDb rating: 5.6/10

Genre:  Horror, Thriller

Starring: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong

Director: Fritz Kiersch

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

On their way to the big city, Vicky (Linda Hamilton) and Burt (Peter Horton) pass through a rural town with no adults. When they make the mistake of trying to help one of the orphaned children, the couple is captured by a cult of killer kids.

By modern standards, Children of the Corn is funnier than it is scary, but it's still worth watching for the timeless performance by John Franklin as leader of the corn cult.

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Godzilla (1954): The Original, Uncut Version of a Monster Movie Classic

Godzilla terrorizes Tokyo in 'Godzilla' (1954)

Toho Co.

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror

Starring: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi, Akihiko Hirata

Director: Ishirô Honda

Motion Picture Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

This is the original, uncut Japanese version of the classic monster movie about an enormous dinosaur-like creature that destroys Tokyo. Catch up on some of the other films in the franchise, like Mothra vs. Godzilla, for free on YouTube as well, and make a marathon out of it.

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