Pardon us while we wax philosophical, but one might call the modern era of streaming both a gift and a curse. On the positive side, home viewers have never before gained this kind of access to such a wide spectrum of free content. On the negative side, that very same access can undervalue the specialness of the movie-going experience. While one is likely to pay close attention when they’ve invested a certain amount of time and money into a film, then surely the opposite can hold true.
Hence, we ask that you approach cinema’s best offerings as though you paid for them, even when they come to you free of charge. Put the phone and computer away. Get some popcorn ready. Dim the lights. Watch them with a loved one. Treat the experience as if you’re going to the movies in the comfort of your own home in an effort to conjure a certain magic. Now free from distractions, prepare for absolute immersion. (Short on time? Though not necessarily free, these are the best 90-minutes-or-less movies you can stream right now.)
To determine the best movies to stream for free this month, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDban online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of July 2022, weighting all ratings equally. We considered only movies with at least 5,000 audience votes on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes that are streaming on Tubi, Pluto TV, Plex, Amazon Freevee, Peacock, Vudu, and/or Crackle. Documentaries were not considered. (Data on streaming availability, current as of this month, comes from the streaming guide reel goodand directorial credits are from IMDb.)
Click here to see the 50 best movies to stream for free this month
There’s a ton of cinematic treasure on this list – for instance, Stephen Chow’s 2004 action comedy masterpiece “Kung Fu Hustle.” On the more serious side of the aisle is “The Wailing,” a South Korean thriller with a supernatural twist. Then we have domestic classics such as “Jaws,” “Stand By Me,” Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush,” and so much more – all the way up to Billy Wilder’s 1957 courtroom classic “Witness for the Prosecution.” (here’s where to stream 50 great movies you’ve probably never seen.)
And remember: just because you’re not paying for it, that doesn’t mean you can’t treat it like an investment. Happy viewing.