Cutting cable can be a relief, but relying on multiple streaming services to fill the gaps might not save all that much cash. For movie buffs looking to pinch pennies, here are a few solid outlets offering free films.
IMDb Freedive (imdb.com/freedive)
The Internet Movie Database is the go-to site for film facts, and it has a curated library of movies you can watch free with ads. Sign in with your IMDb username or a Google, Amazon or Facebook account, and it's accessible through both desktop and Fire TV devices.
Highlights: Quality over quantity with this one. Amongst my favorites in the library are Run Lola Run, Adaptation and Memento, and there are comedy classics like Groundhog Day, Roxanne and Tootsie, and all four Lethal Weapon movies.
If you have a Spokane Public Library card, you already have access to Kanopy, which offers an impressive, ad-free selection of indies, foreign films and documentaries. Create a profile and get eight play credits per month, which refresh every 30 days.
Highlights: Kanopy partially fills the void left by the defunct FilmStruck service, with a wide assortment of Criterion Collection-approved films by foreign luminaries — Buñuel, Fellini, Kurosawa, Bergman — and big titles from the acclaimed studio A24, including Moonlight, Lady Bird and Room.
If you don't mind commercials, PopcornFlix offers a quirky, unusual mix of high art and lowbrow silliness. Watch on your desktop, or through Roku, Apple TV, Xbox and Amazon devices.
Highlights: A bunch of cult classics, from the endearingly cheesy (BMX Bandits, Q: The Winged Serpent, Sleepaway Camp) to the generally beloved (The Exorcist III, Clue, Black Christmas). There's also a bunch of Werner Herzog's films on here, including his mad jungle adventures Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo.
This Sony-sponsored streaming service has become something of a punchline. After all, they exclusively released the Joe Dirt sequel exactly zero people were clamoring for. But it has dozens of free films with skippable commercial breaks, and you can activate your Smart TV to be Crackle-compatible.
Highlights: It has a bunch of pleasantly dumb '90s comedies you forgot existed — finally, Booty Call, High School High and Multiplicity, all in one place! But there are some gems in there as well, including the martial arts masterpiece Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the stylish arthouse thriller Drive, the anime freakout Paprika and pedal-to-the-metal action classic Speed. ♦