Streaming Tips

Internet Archive Is Full Of Movies You Can Watch For Free (And Without Ads)

This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a commission. Learn more

For those unaware, the Internet Archive is a great destination for movies that you can watch for free and without having to sit through ads. While there are already plenty of streaming services that offer access to free movies and shows, they all tend to be heavily reliant on ad breaks.


For many, the Internet Archive will be better known for its Wayback Machine that makes it possible to see a snapshot of a webpage at an earlier point in time. However, archiving web pages is only one of its purposes. In the same way it records websites and stores those recordings, it does so for books, software, music, and even movies.

All of which does mean the Internet Archive can be a good resource to keep in mind when looking for a movie or episode to watch for free and without ads.


Internet Archive’s video catalog

One of the first things to be aware of is that you are unlikely to find the newest movies available to stream through services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu. After all, the purpose of the Internet Archive is to build a digital library and preserve content, not to function as a streaming service.

New movies and shows aside, the catalog is substantial. So much so that it can be a little difficult to navigate. For example, and in addition to feature films and TV shows, the Internet Archive also offers access to a ton of home movies, movies trailers, ads, vlogs, government videos, and more.


Some of the video categories that you might want to check out probably include:

Even though the selection of videos won’t suit everyone, it is still a good resource to keep in mind, and may just prove handy when a particular movie or show is hard to find. For example, after binging a bunch of murder mystery movies one weekend, I added 1976’s Murder by Death to my Google TV watchlist.

Google TV Watchlist
My Google TV Watchlist

That was months ago, and 204 (I counted) watchlist additions later, Murder by Death is still unavailable to watch through all of the streaming services I’m subscribed to. However, after a quick check of the Internet Archive, there it was, ready to stream for free, ad-free, and finally ready to be removed from my watchlist.

For those unfamiliar with Murder by Death, it is the Knives Out or Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery of its time, featuring an impressive cast that includes Peter Falk, Peter Sellers, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Alec Guinness, and Truman Capote.

Here’s the trailer:

Streaming Internet Archive on a smart TV

Unlike most other streaming services, the Internet Archive doesn’t currently have an app you can download to stream its movie catalog. Instead, the service is primarily accessed via a web browser.

For desktop and laptop users, this won’t be too much of an issue. Likewise, visiting the Internet Archive using a mobile browser makes it possible to watch a movie on an Android phone or an iPhone.


While accessing a web browser is more difficult on a smart TV, it is possible to cast a video from a mobile device to the smart TV, providing both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network at the time.


Once the user has found the movie they want to watch and opened it using the website’s media player, they will need to click on the cast icon in the control row.

Internet Archive cast button

It is then just a matter of selecting one of the nearby devices to cast to. This method not only makes it possible to stream to smart TVs, but also most streaming players, smart displays, and many other devices.

Internet Archive cast smart TV
Internet Archive casting

Once connected to a smart TV, the viewer can then use the actual TV’s remote to control playback. While the functionality will be more limited compared to other apps, viewers can still pause, rewind and fast-forward through the video.

Internet Archive cast to TV
Casting Internet Archive to a Sony TV

A good addition to streaming

Again, the Internet Archive is not going to replace the various subscriptions you are already paying for. It also won’t replace Pluto TV and Tubi, or any of the other free streaming services that you might be using.

However, what it is, and should be viewed as, is another free resource that’s available to you. If, like me, you have a watchlist that’s full of random movies that you can’t seem to stream without purchasing or renting, it might be worth quickly checking the Internet Archive.

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at or say hi on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Streaming can be frustrating but please be respectful and avoid personal information. All comments are moderated according to our comment policy.