Watch Free Movies & TV: 9 Best Free Movie Apps

Learn how to watch movies for free on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac with the best free movie apps and free TV apps.

9 Great Free Apps for Free Movies and TV Shows on Apple TV

Looking for free TV apps for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac? Overall, it’s surprising the number of good free movies and free TV shows you can watch. Here are our seven best free TV and free movie apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

Related: 12 Must-Have Apple TV Apps: Best Picks for Your Home Theater Experience

Watch Free Movies & TV Shows on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV & Mac

Most of the free movie apps or free live TV apps allow you to enjoy free movie streaming on your Apple TV, and some have free movie apps on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac as well. You won’t get the latest theater releases here, but you will find classic shows, oldie-but-goodie public domain flicks, documentaries, independent and international films, and even free anime!

Different TV and movie apps offer varying ways to watch free movies and free TV shows. Some of the apps feature movies from the public domain, which means they’re free to the public. However, apps with more recent content do come with royalty fees, which is why some apps below, such as Crackle and Tubi TV, offer great content but include advertisements to pay for that content. You won't be able to stream or download brand new movies or TV shows on these apps, but you'll still find a lot of great content to choose from.

With each of the apps for watching free movies and TV shows below, you can download the app to your Apple device for free and watch the content within the apps for free. I’ve included apps with a wide range of content, from classic movies and documentaries to more recent TV shows and anime. There’s even an app for watching international shows. The best part? Download these free movie and TV apps to your heart’s content and binge-watch as many free films and shows as you want.

The above video is a preview from an iPhone Life Insider Apple TV Video Guide

9 Best Apps for Watching Free Movies & TV Shows

1. PBS KIDS Video

Works with: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

Free movies on Apple TV - PBS KIDS Video

If you've got kids (or a serious case of nostalgia), the PBS KIDS Video app is for you. This entirely free live TV app has full episodes of more than 30 PBS KIDS shows, and you can stream live shows with no subscription needed. This app was specifically designed with kids of all ages in mind, so you don't need to worry about your young child stumbling onto inappropriate content. You can even download episodes and new episodes are added weekly.

2. Crunchyroll

Works with: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

free movies on Apple TV - Crunchyroll free movies on Apple TV - Crunchyroll

If you or anyone in your life is an anime fan, you've probably already heard of this one. Crunchyroll calls itself "the world's largest anime library" and to support that claim, it offers more than 1,000 anime titles, old and new. You will have to put up with ads—a lot of ads, according to reviews—but you can enjoy shows like Attack on Titan and One Piece for free.

3. Peacock

Works with: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

free movies on Apple TV - Peacock free movies on Apple TV - Peacock

You may have heard about Peacock for the wrong reasons: I, for one, was outraged when The Office and Parks and Recreation left Netflix for NBC's new streaming app. But while Peacock does have a paid version, it also offers many shows and movies free to stream with ads on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. You can sign up and start watching without entering any payment information, and in my experience, the ad frequency and duration were not overwhelming. The catch is that, while you can watch some of your favorite shows, you may not be able to watch all of them: seasons 1–5 of The Office are available for free but only two seasons of Parks and Recreation are, for example. Peacock also offers free live TV in the app, and one of my favorite features is the pop-out picture-in-picture player, so you can work on other things while watching.

4. Crackle

Works with: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac

crackle appcrackle free movie app

This collection of ad-supported movies and TV shows has tons of recent films, shows, and sports. More recent movies options include drama, comedy, action, and more, and are typically available for a set period and then expire, to be replaced by new titles. There are regular commercial interruptions during the movies, which is the tradeoff for free content. But, the number of ads is smaller than you’d see on network TV, and there's even a Watch Later feature to keep track of what you'd like to play next.

5. FilmRise

Works with: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

filmrise appfilm rise app

Here's a great one for those who love cooking shows, British drama, true crime documentaries, LGBTQ+ movies, political thrillers... you'll even find a section of animated kid's classics! In essence, content that won't be spotlighted or found in a lot of other apps. Of course, you'll have to watch commercials but, far fewer than you'd experience watching cable TV.  

6. hoopla Digital

Works With: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

hoopla app

We've written articles about apps for free audiobooks and free e-books, both of which can be downloaded through your local library app. Well, hoopla is a library app that offers audiobooks, comics, e-books, and also movies! Not every library patron will be able to download and use hoopla; the closest library system that offers hoopla is two hours away from me! But, if you live in an urban area, there's a good chance that you can download and use hoopla to watch a large variety of commercial-free movies. 

7. Viki: Asian Drama, Movies & TV

Works with: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac

Viki has a large selection of international movies and TV shows, mostly from Korea and China, but also other countries such as Japan, India, and the U.S., with subtitles available. There are ads, but you can pay a monthly fee for fewer or no commercial interruptions. The app also has a selection of TV shows, and you can sort content by country. 

8. Pluto TV

Works with: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

pluto tv apppluto tv comedy

This app simulates a cable TV service with more than 250 channels and thousands of free movies. Instead of movies/shows on demand, Pluto TV has a viewing guide with channels where specific programs stream at specific times. The viewing guide is organized into categories, including Comedy, Classic TV, Home & DIY, Sports, Gaming & Anime, and more.

9. Tubi TV

Works With: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and iMessage

tubi apptubi app options

Tubi TV has some surprisingly recent films for a free movie watching app. The company behind the app is able to do this by monetizing with commercial interruptions. It may be a trade-off, but for free quality content, it’s worth it. Like Anime? Tubi TV streams new anime the day after it’s released in Japan. Movie categories like Not on Netflix, Family Movies, Black Cinema, Sci-Fi, and a selection of movies in Spanish.  

What Are Your Favorite Free Movie Apps?

These nine apps offer you a lot of free entertainment. If we've missed any great free apps that offer free movies and TV shows, let us know in the comments.

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Author Details

Jim Karpen's picture

Author Details

Jim Karpen

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.