Fancy a movie night that won’t cost you a penny? Here’s where to watch blockbusters, Oscar-winners and classic films online – legally and for free.
The BBC iPlayer’s ‘Films’ category offers about 50 movies at a time, all free to stream with the usual iPlayer benefits – great picture quality, configurable subtitles and a Download option so you can watch without buffering. But the default 30- day time limit means there’s a fast turnover. La La Land, Dom Hemingway and Whitney: Can I Be Me were all recently available, but we’re gone again in a couple of days, so you need to keep an eye out.
Channel 5’s offering is the best of the rest, but even when it throws up a gem – such as The African Queen – it has a lot of ad breaks, so you may be better off elsewhere. ITV Hub is much the same.
Channel 4’s All4 service doesn’t offer the facility to watch films at all. You can livestream movies without ads via Film4 and click Restart Programme to watch from the beginning, but there’s no on-demand content.
Best of the rest
For every film with an iPlayer expiry date so tight it whistles, the web has a thousand out-of-copyright classics available to stream forever.
YouTube has everything from Nosferatu to His Girl Friday, but its search tool is a very hard to use effectively.
BlackAnd White Movies lets you watch classics in a retro-style TV player
Instead, use Black And White Movies (www.bnwmovies.com). You don’t have to register to watch anything, or even to create Wish and Watched lists. Just click a film to get a fast-loading stream that you can watch full screen or download for free, with optional subtitles where available.