12 free movies to stream right now: Die Hard, The Big Short and more
You don't need a subscription to Netflix, Hulu or HBO Max to enjoy some genuinely great films, including several Oscar winners.
Abrar Al-HeetiVideo producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
ExpertiseAbrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley.Credentials
Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has twice been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
All you need is an internet connection and your phone, tablet or TV, ideally one equipped with Fire TV or
capabilities so it can get the necessary apps. The catch, of course, is that you'll have to sit through commercials -- unless you're streaming from Hoopla or Kanopy, which are ad-free but require a library card from a participating library.
Here are some of our top picks ranging from comedy to drama to horror. Availability is subject to change, as the services rotate their selections on a regular basis.
This South Korean film stole the spotlight at the 2020 Oscars, and for good reason. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite is a dark yet hilarious masterpiece that explores issues of class while keeping viewers on their toes.
If you think it's utterly impossible to make an entertaining movie about the 2008 financial crisis, watch The Big Short. The cast alone should convince you: Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. Take note, however, that while the movie is indeed entertaining, the subject matter may make your blood boil.
A must-watch for horror fans, this South Korean film follows a father and daughter who get trapped on a train during a zombie outbreak. (The film is slated for an American remake, which has some fans up in arms. Guess you'll have to watch the original to decide for yourself how you feel about it all.)
In an Oscars ceremony finale no one is likely to forget, Moonlight was named best picture in 2017 (sorry, La La Land). The film follows the story of a young Black man grappling with his identity and sexuality.
This feature adaptation of the popular British drama series continues its storyline. It takes place in 1927 and follows a visit by the King and Queen to the Crawleys, which unravels into nothing short of drama and chaos.
If you prefer your sci-fi dark, occasionally disturbing and thoroughly thought-provoking, watch Alicia Vikander absolutely crush it as the android Ava. Anyone who digs Black Mirror will almost certainly dig this as well. In fact, Ex Machina could easily join that archive of futuristic cautionary tales. Same aesthetic, same vibe. (And Domhnall Gleeson was even in one of the best Black Mirror eps, Be Right Back.)
Before Daniel Craig delighted audiences with his southern charms in Knives Out, he honed his skills in this underrated heist flick. Call it a poor man's Ocean's 11, because instead of robbing Vegas casinos, this hapless crew (which includes Adam Driver and Channing Tatum) sets out to knock over... a NASCAR racetrack.
This is one of the all-time great prisoner-of-war movies (and the obvious inspiration for the TV series Hogan's Heroes). Someone in the barracks is a German spy, and all signs point to William Holden. Is it him? The movie -- part comedy, part drama -- does a great job stretching out the whodunnit, leading to a genuinely surprising, satisfying conclusion.