Public Domain Torrents: A Review of Free Movie Streams and Downloads

Couple watching television together and eating popcorn
Publicdomaintorrents has several free movies you can watch at home. Chris Ryan / Getty Images

Public Domain Torrents is a free movie streaming website that has many films available for both watching online as well as downloading to your computer. 

The movies shared include works that have become part of the public domain and are no longer owned by their creators. This happens when the works reach a certain age or when the original creator fails to renew their copyright. All of the movies listed on the site are thought to be in the public domain, and any questionable or illegal material can be submitted to the website owner for prompt review.

Some of the most popular torrents include Return of the Street Fighter, Night of the Living Dead, and A Boy and His Dog.

The Website Interface

Public Domain Torrents has a huge number movies, and fortunately, they're categorized in easy to understand genres. These include some of the following:

You can also view every single film on one page. This makes it easy to scroll through and find a title that catches your eye, regardless of its genre. However, in each of these categories, there is nothing but a link to the movie. There is no way to see the synopsis of the film, a screenshot of the video, or anything else but the title. This can be frustrating for users looking for a better interface that provides a snapshot of the movie information. Instead, users must actually click the movie title before seeing such details.

Some Movies Might Not Play

Some Public Domain Torrents' movies require you to download the torrent of the movie before you can watch it. Films that you can stream from the website have a Google logo next to them, but if you'd rather not look for these videos among the online-only ones, there's a section called "Watch Live" for all the movies you can watch online. There is also a list of free torrent clients available for a program or service that can download these movies for you.

Additionally, some movies that say you can watch online without downloading might not work at all. You might also run into the problem of not enough people sharing the movies you want to watch over torrents, which may cause some movies to download incorrectly. However, website visitors will be happy to find that the video player is useful, which has a full-screen option alongside regular features, like volume and playback controls.

It's Not Entirely Mobile Friendly

Unfortunately, there aren't any reliable applications that movie lovers can install on a mobile device to watch movies from Public Domain Torrents. There may be mobile torrent clients that can handle downloading the movies, but there is no official app for streaming videos.

Watching from the regular desktop website on an Android or iPhone will run you into problems, although the site owner is slowly adding in mobile-friendly videos to be tested.