Watching movies is one of life‘s simple pleasures. Who doesn‘t love settling in for a night of great entertainment and escaping reality for a few hours? With today‘s speedy internet connections and endless streaming options through services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, movies are more accessible now than ever before.
But what if you want to download movies to watch offline, rather than streaming them? This allows you to save on data usage and enjoy your favorite films anywhere, even without an internet connection. While most premium streaming services restrict downloading due to licensing restrictions, there are still great options for legally obtaining free movie downloads.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover where you can safely and legally find free full movie downloads as well as apps that allow offline viewing.
An Introduction to Free Movie Downloading
Before jumping into the best free movie downloads available today, let‘s look at some quick facts and trends surrounding free movie downloading:
81% of internet users engage in online piracy, downloading movies, series, music, and more from illegal sources, according to a 2022 Sandvine report. This demonstrates the huge demand for free content.
Streaming accounted for 72% of total downstream volume on the internet in 2022, showing the massive popularity of online streaming services.
Despite the prevalence of piracy, 59% of Americans believe downloading copyrighted movies is unethical, according to Statista survey data from 2022.
The number of households with broadband speeds over 100 Mbps grew 22% year-over-year in 2022. Faster internet makes downloading and streaming movies easier than ever.
The average full HD movie is 3.6 GB in size while 4K ultra HD movies average around 10 GB. Larger movie files require solid internet speeds for smooth streaming and downloads.
This data shows that while people love streaming movies online, there is still significant demand for downloading movies for offline viewing. Next, we‘ll explore the best legal options for free movie downloads.
Best Free Movie Download Websites
Rather than resorting to illegal torrents, there are several reputable websites where you can download free full-length movies legally. Here are the top options:
As the world‘s largest free video platform, YouTube offers thousands of free-to-watch full movies. Major film studios like Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros make previous releases available. There are also tons of independent films uploaded by producers.
YouTube has over 2.5 billion monthly users who watch over 1 billion hours of content daily. Tons of that viewing goes toward movies.
To find free films on YouTube:
- Search using keywords like "full movie", "free", or "CC"
- Filter YouTube‘s Movies category by Free to Watch
- Look for movies uploaded by major studios
- Find independently produced films across genres
Once you locate a free movie, use a YouTube downloader like 4K Video Downloader to save it for offline viewing.
2. The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library offering millions of free ebooks, music, video, and more. It has a massive collection of over 6,000 classic films, mainly ones in the public domain.
Public domain movies at Archive.org include:
- Early black-and-white films
- Silent movies
- Sci-fi B-movies
- Horror flicks
- Experimental and avant garde cinema
- Historical footage
- Drive-in theatre staples
As public domain works, these movies are 100% legal to download. The Archive provides torrents for fast downloading. Downloaded movies can then be played on any device. The site sees over 1 million daily visitors.
Vudu, owned by Walmart, is a popular on-demand streaming service with thousands of free ad-supported movies. They partner with major studios like MGM, Warner Bros., and Paramount to offer recent releases for free with ads.
There are over 100,000 free titles on Vudu, including comedies, dramas, family films, horror flicks, and more. The site also offers regular deals on movie rentals and purchases.
Once you select a free or affordable rental, stream it or download it using Vudu‘s app on Roku, Fire TV, iOS, etc. Downloads are yours to keep and watch offline forever.
4. Pluto TV
Pluto TV operates over 300 free streaming channels through apps on all major devices. The on-demand movie library has cult classics, blockbusters, comedy favorites, award winners and more.
Although Pluto TV lacks a built-in download feature, you can download movies through Pluto‘s apps on Fire TV and Roku using screen recording apps like Apowersoft. This grabs a copy of the movie as you stream it.
Pluto TV has over 70 million monthly active users who watch an average of 250 million hours of content per month. The service added 39 new channels in 2022 to meet demand.
Crackle is an ad-supported streaming service owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. The Crackle app offers thousands of movies in action, comedy, crime, thriller genres and more.
You can download Crackle movies through:
- Video recording tools to capture movie streams
- The Crackle app on Fire TV or Roku plus screen recording apps
- Accessing the site via a VPN with Canada or UK connections
Crackle has over 40 million monthly active viewers who stream 1.5 billion minutes of movies and TV shows each month. It‘s completely free.
6. IMDb TV
IMDb TV is a free streaming service owned by Amazon and available through Fire TV devices and the Prime Video app. It offers hit movies and shows from major studios like Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures.
Like regular Amazon Prime, IMDb TV allows you to download titles for offline viewing. Movies are available to download on Fire tablets and phones. Downloads expire after a certain period.
IMDb TV has an estimated 55 million monthly active users. The service adds 3,000 hours of new content each month.
Best Apps for Downloading Free Movies
In addition to websites, many mobile apps enable free movie and TV show downloads for offline viewing. Here are the top free movie apps:
Tubi is an on-demand video app with thousands of free movies and shows. It‘s available on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and more.
Tubi partners with major studios like MGM, Paramount, and Lionsgate to offer recent releases. Categories include cult classics, action, comedy, drama, and more.
The Tubi app allows you to download titles for offline viewing. Movies expire 30 days after downloading. Tubi has over 50 million users.
Popcornflix is an ad-supported streaming app with hundreds of free movies. You can download movies on iOS and Android to watch offline for 30 days.
Popcornflix features movies in action, drama, comedy, horror, and other popular genres. The app is owned by Screen Media Ventures.
3. Pluto TV
As mentioned, Pluto‘s mobile app for iOS and Android enables you to watch and download free movies from their extensive on-demand library.
Using a screen recording tool on mobile devices, you can save Pluto TV movies for offline viewing. Pluto works on both jailbroken and non-jailbroken iOS devices.
Plex makes this list because it‘s the best app for managing your own media library. You can use Plex to organize free movies downloaded from sites like YouTube and Archive.org.
Plex downloads, catalogs, streams, and backs up your personal collection. It works across mobile, desktop, streaming TV, and other devices.
The free Plex app supports media libraries with up to 1,000 items. Paid Plex Pass plans unlock unlimited library sizes. Plex has an estimated 25 million users.
Hoopla is a digital media library app that partners with local public libraries to share free content. By entering your library card, you gain access to Hoopla‘s collection of movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks, and more.
The selection of films depends on your library‘s budget. But Hoopla often carries major motion pictures, documentaries and indie flicks you can download using the app.
Hoopla has partnerships with over 2,500 libraries across the United States and Canada. The service sees an average of 10 million monthly page views.
How to Legally Download Copyrighted Movies
Generally, downloading a copyright-protected movie from the internet is illegal unless you have specific permission. However, there are a few grey areas and exemptions:
Stream-Ripping: Tools allow you to download streaming videos for personal offline use. This is a legal grey area that probably violates terms of service.
VPNs: Using a VPN to access free movie downloads may be prohibited in streaming apps but isn‘t strictly illegal itself.
Remote Access: Plex and similar apps let you stream your downloaded movies over the internet. This is legal as long as content was obtained legally.
Digital Copies: DVDs and Blu-Rays often come with codes to redeem a digital copy you can download. This is authorized use.
Cloud Storage: Backing up legally obtained movies to a cloud locker like Google Drive is typically allowed under fair use exemptions.
While tempting, downloading movies via pirated torrents, illegal streaming sites, and file lockers is risky. Use the free legal options outlined in this guide instead.
Maintaining a Movie Library
Once you start downloading movies, you‘ll want to build and maintain a nicely organized personal library. Here are some tips:
Use apps like Plex, Kodi or Emby to manage and stream your library across devices.
Store your downloaded movie files on a large external hard drive or SSD. A 1TB drive provides space for around 200 movies.
Back up your movie collection both locally (ex: external drive) and remotely (ex: cloud storage) to avoid data loss.
Keep an organized folder structure and catalog your movies with details like ratings, descriptions and posters.
Make sure to get movie files from legal sources to avoid legal issues. Avoid pirated torrents.
Check movies have subtitles, high resolution, proper aspect ratios and 5.1 audio if desired.
Set up secure remote streaming so you can access your library on any device when away from home.
Properly curating your library takes work but pays off with an endless supply of entertainment ready to enjoy offline.
Choosing the Best Free Movie Downloads
When looking for free movie downloads, keep the following criteria in mind:
Quality – Only download HD quality videos with crisp image and sound. Avoid low-res compressed files which diminish your viewing experience.
File Size – Larger HD and 4K files provide the best quality. But smaller files work well for mobile devices with limited storage.
Subtitles – Look for subtitles or closed captioning in your preferred language. This makes movies more accessible.
Device Support – Make sure downloaded movies are compatible with the player apps on your devices. MP4, AVI, MKV and MOV files work with most.
Safety – Always use legal download sources and antivirus tools to avoid malware risks. Don‘t give personal info to dubious sites.
Focus on these factors to build an exceptional free movie library you‘ll enjoy for years to come!
The Bottom Line on Free Movie Downloading
Streaming services make watching movies incredibly convenient these days. But downloading films for offline viewing is still in demand.
Thankfully, there are plenty of legal options for building a library of free movies to watch anywhere, anytime, without requiring an internet connection.
Next time you want to download a free movie, steer clear of shady pirated sources. Instead, turn to reputable sites like YouTube, Vudu, and Archive.org to safely obtain legal high-quality films.
Pair these websites with downloader apps like 4K Video Downloader and streamer apps like Plex. This empowers you to curate an awesome collection of free movies to enjoy offline on all of your devices.
So pop that popcorn and settle in for a movie marathon using your own downloaded flicks. The ability to watch movies anywhere, even without WiFi, is an incredible perk that removes limitations.