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If you miss losing yourself for 120 minutes in a dark movie theater and have exhausted your Netflix queue, the Content Gods are opening up the gates to free movies and TV right now. We’ve rounded up where to find these quarantine gifts, from new releases to forgotten classics and every guilty pleasure in between. Below, some of the best deals for free films and shows—because we could all use a win right now.
Right now, you can nab a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, filled with films including Oscar nominee The Big Sick and Late Night, starring Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson. The streamer is also presenting movies from this year’s cancelled SXSW Film Festival in late April. Films from the festival will stream exclusively on the service—no Prime membership required—for 10 days. Other free perks on the site? Amazon is offering free kids programming here (no membership needed). And Fleabag fans, rejoice! You can watch the one-woman play starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge that inspired the show for only $5 here. (Proceeds from renting the filmed version will go to health charities and arts funding.)
Overwhelmed by streaming services and their endless supply of content? AppleTV+ is offering a free 7-day trial and a selection of its series for free at Apple.co/FreeForEveryone. Free shows include Dickinson (an ELLE.com favorite) and Kumail Nanjiani’s Little America. On the movie front, you can stream The Banker, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, or dive into the nature doc The Elephant Queen.
Staying home means more time to peruse what’s happening over on network TV. CBS announced it will air iconic films every Sunday night throughout May, starting with Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark on May 3, followed by Forrest Gump, Mission: Impossible, Titanic, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade each Sunday after.
Over on the network’s streaming service, CBS All Access, you can get an extended one-month free trial with the code “GIFT” until April 23. While there, watch the ’90s guilty pleasure The Craft or Nancy Meyers’ rom-com classic Something’s Gotta Give.
Plan out your Disney binge over the course of a 7-day free trial. After that, you’ll pay $6.99 per month for films including the recent Pixar release Onward and the Meghan Markle-narrated nature documentary Elephant.
In uncertain times, structure in any form can be satisfying. Allow Focus Features to schedule a portion of your Mondays this month. Catch a film from the studio’s catalogue as part of its “Movie Mondays” program at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on its Facebook page. The screening includes a exclusive Q&A with the filmmaker; this month’s schedule includes Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, and Oscar nominee Pawel Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love.
If your quarantine watchlist includes finally tackling Succession or The Wire, now’s your chance. On April 3, HBO made nearly 500 hours of programming across films, TV, and documentaries free—no HBO subscription required. The move is part of the #StayHomeBoxOffice campaign and includes films such as Crazy Stupid Love, the Elizabeth Holmes documentary The Inventor, Blinded by the Light, and Jane Fonda in Five Acts.
Hulu is offering a month-long free trial, so you’ve got 30 days to experience Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite and newly-released Portrait of a Lady on Fire for free. Then, it’s $5.99 per month. (But, seriously, make those two movies a streaming priority.) And while you’re there, don’t forget Little Fires Everywhere and Mrs. America.
Jamie Lee Curtis is doing God’s work by hosting “Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies,” a series that will livestream four of Lionsgate’s films for free on YouTube. Beginning April 17 and running through May 8, the campaign will raise awareness for movie theater employees impacted by the pandemic, with Donations to the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation encouraged. Friday night screenings will include The Hunger Games (April 17), Dirty Dancing (April 24), La La Land (May 1), and John Wick (May 8).
If you’re the last person on Earth to binge Tiger King, you can get a 30-day free trial on Netflix. While browsing its selection, you can finally commit to that last hour of Scorsese’s The Irishman or rewatch the excellent The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which hit the service on April 1.
A new virtual film series from Paramount will cost you $1.99 per screening. And while that’s not technically free, viewers will be able to interact with fans while they watch via text and video. Each event will have a special guest host, beginning with a 25th anniversary showing of Tommy Boy, hosted by the film’s director, Peter Segal at 8 p.m. ET on April 18. Films to follow include Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on April 25 and Breakfast at Tiffany‘s on May 2.
Documentary junkies can get their fix with tons of free content available on PBS.org or the PBS Video App, including episodes of Frontline (like Oscar nominee For Sama) and Great Performances. In honor of Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 (the day he broke the color barrier in professional baseball), PBS released Ken Burns’s 2016 documentary Jackie Robinson for free. It’s one of many films, TV shows, and concert specials you can catch while sheltering at home.
The latest entry in the streaming wars specializes in “quick bites” of entertainment that are optimized for mobile viewing and release Movies in Chapters. While that may seem counterintuitive to the film experience, you can test Quibi for 90 days free of charge through April. Two films available at launch include Sophie Turner’s plane crash drama Survive and the dystopian thriller Most Dangerous Game, starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz. Here’s a guide to all the best content on Quibi right now.
The premium cable channel is offering a 30-day free trial for its catalogue of movies, including the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex and the documentary David Bowie: Finding Fame.
This ad-supported channel offers free movies—no free trials required. Its selection is a bit of a mixed bag, but boasts Oscar-nominated films including The Big Short and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Plus, where to stream indie and classic films.
If your viewing habits skew from the mainstream, check out free trials from the following indie and classic film-focused streaming services:
- The Criterion Channel (14-day free trial available here)
- FuboTV (7-day free trial available here)
- IFC Films Unlimited (30-day free trial available here)
- IndieFlix (7-day free trial available here)
- Kanopy (free to education professionals and those with a library card here)
- Mubi (7-day free trial available here)
- Sundance Now (Extended 30-day free trial with the code SUNDANCENOW30 here)