7 Best Apps to Watch Free Movies & TV Shows on Apple TV, iPhone, & iPad

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

If you’re like me, you like free stuff. Luckily, there are plenty of free movies for your Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad out there, waiting in apps. Most of the free movie or free TV show apps allow you to watch streaming movies free on your Apple TV and some have free movie apps on iOS and iPadOS for iPhone and iPad as well. You won’t get the latest theater releases here, but you will find classic shows such as Seinfeld, oldie-but-goodie public domain flicks, older documentaries, independent and international films, and even free anime! Overall, it’s surprising the amount of good free movies and free TV shows you can watch. Here are our seven best free movie and TV show apps for Apple TV.

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

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

How to Watch Free Movies & TV Shows on Your Apple TV & iPhone

Different apps offer varying ways in which to watch free movies and free TV shows. Some of the apps below feature movies from the public domain, which means they’re free to the public. Apps that feature classic movies don’t need to monetize to pay for the content. However, Apple TV 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 short advertisements to pay for that content. You won't be able to stream or download new movies or TV shows on these apps, but you'll find a lot of great classic 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 TV 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 Apple TV apps to your heart’s content and binge watch as many free movies and TV shows as you want.

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

What If I Want to Watch Free Movies on My iPhone or iPad?

You can do that too! Most of the apps below are available across devices, which means you can watch your free movies on iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. If the title of the app isn't a link, that means the app is only available on Apple TV. Let’s get started.

7 Best Free Apple TV Apps for Watching Free Movies & TV Shows

1. Crackle

This collection of ad-supported movies is more apt to have movies from recent decades. More recent movies are typically available for a set period and then expire, to be replaced by new titles. Currently available are well-known films such as RudyAliThe Legend of ZorroRoxanneBirdyThe NetThe China SyndromeAbout Last NightCrashLa Bamba, and The Cable Guy. Crackle also has original shows and films, including Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. TV shows include SeinfeldMarried with ChildrenDilbertAll in the Family, and The Larry Sanders Show. 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.

2. Viki

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. In my experience, there’s no commercial interruption. The app also has a selection of TV shows. You can sort content by country. TV series from the U.S. include classics such as The Lucy ShowThe Beverly HillbilliesOzzie and HarrietPopeyeFelix the CatCasper the Friendly GhostThe Lone Ranger, and The Adventures of Robin Hood.

3. Public Domain Movies

This app has over 100 movies that are in the public domain that you can sort by director, actor, writer, and year, as well as by genre. Classic movies include those with Cary Grant, Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire, Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello, and Kirk Douglas. There is an iPhone app that seemed to be broken, but the TV app is still going strong.

4. Classic Films

This app claims to have the biggest collection of free classic films and movies, silent films, comedy, and film noir, as well as a selection of science fiction and horror movies. As with a number of other apps, you’ll find Night of the Living DeadPlan 9 from Outer SpaceLady Frankenstein, and House on a Haunted Hill. The app uses the Internet Archive as a streaming source for all of the movies.

5. Pluto TV

This app simulates a cable TV service. Instead of movies/shows on demand, it has a viewing guide with channels, with specific programs streaming at specific times. The viewing guide is organized into categories, with the Memory Lane category including the channels Drive-In Movies, Classic Movies, Shout TV, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Currently playing as I write this are Son of RamboSherlock HolmesTerror by NightH.G. Wells: The Invisible ManRoute 66, and The Castle of FuManchu.

6. SnagFilms

SnagFilms has over 5,000 independent movies, TV shows, and documentaries you can stream. With popular documentaries such as Super Size Me and well-known independent movies like Visioneers and Brooklyn Rules, there’s a lot of opportunity to discover movie gems. Named the “Best iPad Video App” by the Huffington Post, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

7. Tubi TV

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. It also has a selection of Korean dramas and exclusive categories such as, “Highly Rated on Rotten Tomatoes”.

What's Your Favorite Free Movie App?

These seven 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.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

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.