11 Best Free Movie Download Sites for 2023

These are the best, completely legal ways to download free movies

Streaming is great, but sometimes you want to watch that movie during the camping trip in the middle of nowhere, or on the plane when the internet is much slower than at home. The solution is to download the movie to your device so you can watch it (aka "stream it locally") later on, when the internet isn't so great.

It's easy to search for "free movies" to download, but pretty much everything you find will be illegal. Fortunately, there are plenty of completely legal free movie download sources out there. Some of them offer movies in the public domain, but most are actually not-so-well-known, free features of the streaming plans you may already subscribe to!

We scoured the internet and found all the best free movie download sources, filtered through them to remove any of the shady ones (you're welcome, trust us), and wrote about them below. Enjoy!

As you know, streaming is usually a better way to get free movies because there are simply a lot more free and legal movie streaming options out there vs movie download sites or services. Check out the streaming advice at the bottom of this page for more.

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detour free movie download at publicdomainmovie.net
What We Like
  • Several genres to choose from.

  • Downloading is straightforward.

  • Most can be streamed as well.

  • No payment necessary.

What We Don't Like
  • Only older movies.

  • No search or sort options.

  • Lots of website ads.

Of the hundreds of free movie download websites available on the internet, public domain movies should be your go-to so that there's no question about their legality. PublicDomainMovies.net is a great source for these kinds of films.

When a movie is public domain, it means the copyright is no longer held by any one individual—the public owns the movie. In other words, you can watch and download the films as many times as you like, completely legally.

There are a handful of genres along the top of the site to help you find the dramas, horrors, comedies, etc., among the several hundreds movies that are offered here. Every movie page shows the film's cover image, release date, synopsis, and cast members.

You can stream these movies directly from the website if you want to preview what you're getting, but the download button will take you to a final download page, where you can save it to your device for watching later.

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The Public Domain Review

The Public Domain Review free downloads
What We Like
  • Useful filtering options.

  • Includes a search utility.

  • Ad-free website.

  • Completely free.

What We Don't Like
  • Solely older films.

  • Fewer than 200 movies.

Very similar to the above site is The Public Domain Review. Most of the films here are from the same source as the previous site's collection, but we've added it here because of the great filtering options you have.

The link below takes you to the films section specifically, but once you're there, you can filter by century, genre, theme, and type. For example, maybe you're looking for 20th century movies, or only shorts or silent films, or movies that fall under the fashion, ghost, or natural world theme.

Every movie can be streamed. The movie download links are on the bottom of each page.

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Internet Archive

internet archive's featured films catalog of free movie downloads
What We Like
  • Lets you stream before downloading.

  • Filter by year and topic.

  • Huge listings, all totally free.

What We Don't Like
  • You won't find newer films here.

Internet Archive is a trove of digital information. It has not only movies for download, but also software, web pages, books, and more. Like the above two sites, this one offers free movie downloads because they're in the public domain.

There are lots of categories here where you might find movies, so the link below, which takes you to Featured Films, is just one example. There are tens of thousands of free films in over a dozen languages.

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The Library of Congress

Library of Congress free public domain movie downloads
What We Like
  • Lets you stream before downloading.

  • Nothing costs.

What We Don't Like
  • Only includes older films. 

  • Tiny collection.

Another way to download movies is through the Library of Congress. According to the LOC, the purpose of this list of movies is to "showcase the range and diversity of American film heritage."

They're a selection of films from the National Film Registry (NFR), which is a collection of movies selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board.

These movies can be downloaded directly from the Library of Congress' website in formats like MP4 and MOV.

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list of popular movies on netflix
What We Like
  • Includes both movies and TV shows.

  • Big library of films that updates often.

  • Browse for just downloadable movies.

What We Don't Like
  • Must be a paying user.

  • Ad-supported plans don't include downloads.

  • Must download from the app (not the website).

  • Not all titles can be downloaded.

  • Downloads are automatically removed in no later than seven days (some sooner).

Netflix is one example of a subscription service that lets you save its movies and TV shows to a download portion of the app so you can watch even without an internet connection.

Downloads are permitted from both the mobile app and the desktop app. See How to Download Netflix Shows and Movies to learn how this works.

Streaming services like Netflix, and the other options listed below, don't give you the video file to save wherever you want. You can only download the movie in their approved app, which helps them control further copying or burning to discs.

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Amazon Prime Video

amazon prime video movie list
What We Like
  • Download purchased, rented, and subscription titles.

  • Purchased movies can be saved to up to four compatible download devices.

  • Includes a section for just downloadable content.

  • Filter by genre.

What We Don't Like
  • Must use the app to save movies.

  • Downloading isn't available for all films.

  • Subscription and rented movie downloads expire after a set time.

If you subscribe to Amazon Prime Video, you can download Prime movies via the Download button on the same screen where you can stream the video. Downloading movies also works for rented and purchased titles (but not free movies).

Most rented movies, and movies purchased through a Prime subscription, expire 48 hours after you download them. Purchased movie downloads can be saved on up to four devices, but subscription titles can be stored on only two devices at a time.

To download movies from Prime Video, you need a Fire tablet, or the Prime Video app for iOS, Android, macOS, or Windows 11/10.

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vudu movie list
What We Like
  • Lots of high-quality movies.

  • You can download purchased and rented movies.

What We Don't Like
  • Downloading requires the mobile app.

  • Free movies can't be saved.

  • Generic genres to pick from when sorting the movie list.

Vudu movie downloads are allowed through the official mobile app. Just like with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, this is possible only if you've already purchased the video.

The app lets you sort movies by most watched or release date. There's also a genre picker and an option to show only "Fresh" movies, as determined by Rotten Tomatoes.

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youtube's top selling movies
What We Like
  • Download movies you've purchased or rented.

  • View comments, ratings, and trailers.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't download free titles.

  • Millions of other videos get in the way of viewing the full movies.

  • No filtering options.

YouTube permits offline viewing for movies you've purchased or rented, and you don't need to be a YouTube Premium subscriber to do it! Just open the video for viewing in the Android or iOS app, and tap Download to pick the quality and preferred audio track.

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disney plus animation movies
What We Like
  • Download the same movie on up to 10 supported mobile devices.

  • Includes movie trailers.

  • Suggests similar movies.

What We Don't Like
  • 'Basic' subscribers can't download movies.

  • Downloaded content gets removed if you're offline longer than 30 days.

  • Some titles may be unavailable for download.

  • Few genres to pick from.

You can download movies from Disney+ through the mobile app if you're a Disney+ Premium, Disney Bundle Trio Premium, or Legacy Disney Bundle subscriber. Just press Download on the movie page.

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hulu's featured and blockbuster movies
What We Like
  • It's easy to locate just the titles that support being downloaded.

  • You can have up to 25 downloads on five supported mobile devices at one time. 

What We Don't Like
  • Ad-supported plans don't include movie download support.

  • Not all movies can be saved offline.

  • Requires a supported mobile device.

  • Must occasionally renew expired downloads to keep them offline.

Hulu is a subscription-based service that offers full legal movies and original programming.

To watch offline through Hulu, use the download button next to the film you want to save. This only works on Hulu (No Ads) and Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV plans, and only on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Amazon Fire devices. Movies from premium add-ons, and Live TV on-demand movies, are not downloadable.

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iTunes Store movies list
What We Like
  • Download movies on your computer, phone, or tablet.

  • Helpful categories for finding a movie to purchase.

What We Don't Like
  • Downloaded films play only in an approved app.

If you use iTunes to buy movies, you'll be pleased to know you can download movies via iTunes Store by selecting Download after you purchase it. Movies can also be downloaded on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

There Are Few Legal Movie Download Sites

A quick Google search for 'movie download site' will show you lots of options. In fact, you likely won't even see any of the above websites on the first page of the search results.

Why is that? There are two reasons:

  1. Most websites offering movie downloads are doing so illegally.
  2. Most movie download sites are really just movie streaming sites.

The top sites people are visiting for movie downloads often don't deliver on the 'download' part and instead let you stream movies (here's the difference), but they still shouldn't. Usually, the films you can get on those sites were released this year, and some are even still in theaters! That's the first red flag that the website isn't complying with most copyright laws.

Movies obtained that way are almost always rips of Blu-rays or DVDs, meaning that a random person is simply sharing their purchased (or rented, or filmed) movie with the world. This is how most movie torrent sites work.

If a movie isn't in the public domain, or the creator hasn't given permission for their movie to be shared this way, then it's not yours to keep. The first few sites in our list above are totally free because they're public domain films, and the others don't have any legal concerns because of the agreements those companies have with the studios that produced the movies they're letting you download.

Consider Streaming Movies

If you don't have to, don't limit yourself to downloading when there's the option of streaming. You'll find many more movie choices if you'll consider watching movies on free movie websites instead of downloading them. The films may not be yours to keep, but you'll get to watch them often in high-quality, and stream them directly from the websites, usually as many times as you like.

You also may want to try out a free movie watching app if you're looking to view free movies on a mobile device.

If you're into old fashioned disc rentals, you can even often take advantage of free Redbox rental codes to keep entertainment on the cheap.

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