How to Find Free Movies Using IMDb Advanced Search
July 12, 2022
Doing a quick advanced search I found that there are over 10 million titles on IMDb.com including feature films, TV shows, video games, short films, and even podcasts. If you go into the IMDb Advanced Title Search and select Title Type to be "Feature Film" and "TV Movie" (or just "Movie" in the mobile app) you'll come up with about 600,000 movie results currently on IMDb.
In this blog post I'm going to show you some ways to find the best free ad-supported movies that are among IMDb's 600,000 movie titles. Doing a simple "free movies" search on IMDb will get you nowhere, so you have to do some advanced searching in order to find the free movies. The easiest way to do this is by utilizing IMDb's streaming services filter.
The first and easiest way to filter is by the FreeVee service (available in the US only currently). For those of you unfamiliar with FreeVee it is Amazon's newly branded free ad-supported movie service (it used to be IMDb TV). If you do an advanced search of "Feature Film" and "TV Movie" (or just "Movie" in the mobile app) and then you select "FreeVee" under Where to Watch you'll come up with results for over 6,500 movies to freely watch! Check out a screenshot of the mobile advanced search below:
A few hurdles to watch FreeVee are you need to have a free Amazon account and be logged in. On desktop it will pop open the movie to stream on Amazon.com. But on mobile you'll need to download the FreeVee app, which is free obviously. You can also get the FreeVee app on your Amazon Firestick, Roku, Apple TV, and a bunch of other streaming devices.
Beyond FreeVee, IMDb has ways to filter by other free streaming services but it's a little tricky and requires the IMDb mobile app. The best free streaming services you can filter by on the IMDb app are Plex, Pluto TV, and Tubi. Unfortunately you can't filter all 600,000 movie titles by these services with the app. So I've found the best way to find free great movies that are on these services is by the power of IMDb's great movie lists.
IMDb has thousands of user generated movie lists. To access them on the IMDb mobile app you have to go to Google and search. For instance search on Google "roger ebert great movies imdb" (it's key to add "imdb" at the end to get the list on IMDb in the search results). You'll get Google results of Ebert's Great Movies list. Click one and it'll open in the IMDb app, or just click this link:
Roger Ebert's List of 364 Great Films
Now that you're in the list on the app you can filter by all sorts of things. Click the "Streaming" drop down and you'll see all the streaming services featured on IMDb. Many of these are paid services, but we want free movies! So scroll down to services like FreeVee, Plex, Pluto TV, and Tubi and see the results you get. Right now from this list I'm getting 9 results from FreeVee, 22 results from Plex, 31 results from Pluto TV, and 36 results from Tubi. You can even combine the number of filtered streaming services to expand your results. You can see a screenshot of the mobile advanced search results below:
The key to finding free movies this way is finding the best lists on IMDb. You can Google all sorts of lists on IMDb and bring them up in the app. Here I'll link to some great movie lists on IMDb below as examples:
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (2020 Edition)
The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
AFI 100 Years... All Films (complete) - A list of every film honored in the American Film Institute's 100 Years lists.
Sight & Sound "Greatest Films of All Time" Top 250 (2012 edition)
Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century
THE MUBI TOP 1000
Best Picture Oscar Nominees by Year (Academy Awards)
200 Best Horror Movies of All Time - Rotten Tomatoes
So you get the idea. It's a great way to find movies for free. And if you belong to popular streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video, Showtime, Starz, Hulu, and a bunch of other streaming services, then this is a good way to find great movies on there as well!
And one last method for finding free movies on IMDb is by actor or director. Just go into their filmography on the IMDb app and you can refine the results of their movies by streaming services such as Plex, Pluto TV, and Tubi. Great way to find free movies by one of your favorite actors or directors!