Best Documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime
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Best Documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime

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It’s a golden age for documentaries. New films have broken news and pushed stories forward. And it’s easier than ever to dig into Netflix to find classic and award-winning docs. But sometimes the options can be overwhelming. From Oscar-winning and -nominated works of journalism, to rock docs and pop-culture biographies, to emotional and thrilling examinations of society, Netflix's collection of documentaries are all-encompassing. If you're in the mood for a true story, one that is seemingly too intense, too outlandish, too exciting to be true. You've come to the right place.

Back in the old days if you wanted to stream on demand movies and TV shows there was only one house in town, Netflix. But fast-forwarding to today there are many more options. And the good news is that more are coming online almost every day. For example the new DisneyPlus service. In addition the one really col thing is that some of these services are absolutely free. And they are good. They are streaming on demand some really awesome documentaries and popular movies all for free. There is so much to watch right now it’s incredible. You could spend all your days just watching on demand.

Here is my list of free streaming services. You will surely want to bookmark.

1. The Roku Channel

TV and moviegoers can enjoy a large and ever changing selection of free movies, shows, live news, children's TV and more. Plus there is always TV streaming, such as ABC News and Cheddar News. Stream to Roku with devices that connect to your TV or to Roku TVs that have already built-in streaming experience. If you prefer to watch from your laptop, all you need to do is create an account, and you're ready to watch online.

2.IMDb TV

Freedlive is now IMDb TV and allows US based folks to stream TV shows and movies for free. In June of 2019 they expanded their line-up by making deals with well known studios like Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, and MGM. This made popular titles like La La Land Rain Man and Sense and Sensibility available.

3. Pluto TV

One of my favorite is of course Pluto TV owned by the giant Viacom. They deliver over 100 live and original outlets, including Paramount Movie Channel, CNN and NBC News, as well as thousands of on-demand films in collaboration with TV networks, film studios, publishers and digital media firms. Pluto TV is available online and on Roku, Apple TV, ipads, Android TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Sony, Samsung and Vizio Smart TVs. But the best new is they now have many James Bond movies on demand for free! This might be one of the reasons they are one of my favorites.

4. Tubi

You may not have heard of Tubi but they have over 200 partners. I was unaware they had so many till I did some research. Tubi offers thousands of hours of streaming video content from studios such as Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. With no subscription fees, you can watch My Best Friend's Daughter, Scary Movie, Thelma & Louise and a variety of other movies and TV shows anywhere. Watch Tubi on Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xfinity X1, Xbox, Samsung Smart TV, Sony Smart TV, PlayStation and web.

5. Sony Crackle

Most everyone is now familiar with Crackle. They do run ads but they do have a large nice selection of full length movies, TV shows plus their very own original programming. The service is available on a number of platforms, including connected TVs, mobile devices, set-top boxes, video game consoles and online. Some popular streams are Friends With Money, Catch & Release, The Jane Austen Book Club, Julie & Julia.

6. Vudu

Another favorite is Vudu. They require NO contract or subscription to watch videos and TV shows with minimal advertisements. Streamers can choose from a boat-load of free films to watch. Some examples are Three Men and a Baby, Gravity and Maid in Manhattan. But here is cool part, you can steam in 1080p provided your internet has the bandwidth. Vudu allows you to watch popular shows on mobile devices, regular TV and computers.

7. Kanopy

To enjoy Kanopy you will need your public library or university card to take advantage of Kanopy's catalog of ad-free films, such as Lady Bird and Moonlight; documentaries; award-winning foreign films; and series. I bet you did not know that public libraries and universities cover all associated costs, so you can enjoy free use of Kanopy. So start looking for your card now and head over to Kanopy.

8. Popcornflix

Popcornflix is a streaming service that is supports on Apple TV, Roku, Google Play, Xbox, Amazon and iOS devices. But wait here is what’s really nice, you don't have to think about registering or building an account. Yep! That right no account needed. All you need to do is just select the movie or show of your choice, and hit play and bam! You are now ready to watch on the ad-supported page. This is a good place to watch movies like Stuck in Love and Paris, Je T’Aime.

9. XUMO

The ad-supported streaming site, which is available in the USA, offers free live entertainment and on demand. In addition to movies, users can choose from more than 160 different channels to tune up to the Today show and the Family Feud and Fox Sports. The LG smart TVs, iPhones, iPads, Android, and the Roku are available for watching XUMO on Hisense, Sharp, Magnavox, Philips, Sanyo and on VIZIO.

10. Hoopla

And just like Kanopy, this digital media service will need your library card to "browse" movies and TV shows to watch on your computer, tablet, phone or TV. They have thousands of titles to choose from like Emma and Good Will Hunting. It’s like having your public library of movies at your fingertips. Can you see what all the Hoopla is about now? It's compatible with Roku, Android TV, Fire TV, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon and Google Play. What more could you ask for, right?

11. Snagfilms

SnagFilms is a website that provides advertising-supported documentaries and independent films. Movies are downloaded to the website, which features a library of more than 5,000 films. This is not really a mainstream service yet but getting there. Filmmakers may also submit documentaries for consideration. The website features films created by National Geographic and titles such as Super Size Me, The Good Son: The Life of Ray Boom Boom Mancini, Kicking It and Nanking.

12. Youtube

And now last but not least, drum roll please, Youtube. The video sharing site is not only for stupid and funny video clips but also for some really good documentaries. There are thousands of nature and wildlife full length videos on Youtube. Plus the do have some popular full length movies like Wish Upon a Star. And I was shocked and delighted to find The Pink Panther for free!

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