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31 Best Movies On Tubi [May 2022]

We have an assumption, generally speaking, that anything "free" must have a catch. It must be of worse quality, we tell ourselves. It must have some cut corners or loose ends, surely. Not so with Tubi, the streaming service that is, get this, completely free.

Sure, there is a "catch" of sorts. The streaming platform is ad-supported, which means that you'll get a brief advertisement every now and then. A small price to pay, we say, considering the incredible depth of their library. Tubi offers titles from a wide range of studios including Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate, among others. And as the list below will testify, the quantity of their materials does not sacrifice quality. You're truly spoiled for choice as far as Tubi is concerned, from cult classics and preternaturally excellent directorial debuts to top-shelf international offerings.

We culled through the streaming service's offerings and picked out the best of the best. So get out your pen and paper (or Letterboxd watchlist tab ... whatever floats your boat), and read on for our look at the best films currently streaming on Tubi.

Updated on May 2, 2022: Tubi is constantly updating its selection with new, excellent titles that will keep your watchlist well-staked. So please note that this article is updated monthly to reflect changes to Tubi's streaming availability.

12 Angry Men

In this primarily single-location ensemble piece, a jury trickles into a sweaty room to deliberate. A young Hispanic boy has been charged with murdering his father. And as far as the jury is concerned, the boy is guilty. Well ... most of the jury. With one hold-out who refuses to make such a quick decision over the fate of on other human being, the jurors sweat it out literally and figuratively as they unpack their assumptions, prejudices, and decision-making about the accused. Brilliantly acted and mesmerizingly paced, "12 Angry Men" is a classic for a reason. And it's available for free on Tubi, so if you haven't had the pleasure of watching this gem, you now have no excuse! Case closed!

  • Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley
  • Director: Sidney Lumet
  • Year: 1957
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Three drag queens — a kind-hearted dad, a starry-eyed youth, and a trans woman — sign a contract to perform at a resort in an Australian town deep in the desert. Their journey to their destination (facilitated by the titular, lavender tour bus) takes them through the backwoods of the country, encountering colorful characters, open-minded rural folk, and homophobes in equal measure. Imagine if "Mad Max: Fury Road" had a lot more glitter and ostrich features, and you're on the right track. A pillar of the queer cinema canon and one of the all-time road movies, "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is a marvelous film that manages to champion acceptance while inevitably being of its time.

  • Starring: Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce
  • Director: Stephan Elliott
  • Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Based on the terrifying real-life story of Lope de Aguirre — a conquistador mad with power, ego, and the conviction that he alone would discover the mythical gold-plated kingdom of El Dorado — "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" is a marvelous entry in the hallowed subgenre of colonialists digging their own graves while nature looks on, unconcerned. Filmed on location in the Amazon, Werner Herzog shoots Aguirre's expedition like a documentary, blurring the line between reality and fiction. A pillar of New German Cinema and a testament to the talent and volatility of lead actor Klaus Kinski, "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" is a descent into what else but madness itself.

  • Starring: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo
  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Year: 1972
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Akira

A breathtaking, kinetic terror trip of cyberpunk futurism, nuclear doomsdays, and roving biker gangs, Katsuhiro Otomo's "Akira" is an anime feature that will dig deep into your psyche and never let go. And that's a good thing! The film follows a young teen named Kaneda whose best friend accidentally crosses paths with a top-secret military project that transforms him into a homicidal psychic. With the survival of Neo-Tokyo in the balance, it's up to Kaneda to barrel through the conspiracy and burgeoning civil strife to prevent his friend from dooming what's left of the world. A classic for a reason, Akira boasts an unmatched attention to detail that makes good on its ambition. (And if all that weren't enough, it also has one of the best scores of all time).

  • Starring: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
  • Director: Katsuhiro Ohtomo
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Angst

Right off the top, it's worth noting that "Angst" is absolutely, positively not for the faint of heart. But if you have a strong stomach and your heart flutters at the thought of a sub-90-minute runtime, the good news is that "Angst" exists. The film's premise is simple — a nameless psychopath is released from prison and immediately finds and kills a family in a remote home near the town that boarders the penitentiary. The itch to kill is just too strong to ignore. And he's been biding his time plotting the perfect murder. 

Playing out in real time with hypnotically queasy and fluid cinematography by the film's co-writer Zbigniew Rybczyński, "Angst" places its audience in extreme proximity to a truly sick mind, forcing us to contend with the pathetic depravity of its subject and his repellent actions. Once again, proceed with peril if this gem intrigues you.

  • Starring: Erwin Leder, Silvia Rabenreither, Edith Rosset
  • Director: Gerald Kargl
  • Year: 1983
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Black Christmas

It's Christmastime on campus. The eggnog is flowing freely, the carolers are crooning, and there's a spluttering maniac hiding in a sorority house killing students off one by one. Wait, what was that last part? A chilling seasonal classic and arguably the first true North American slasher (eat your heart out, "Halloween"), Bob Clark's giallo-inspired genre film is as visually stunning as it is liable to send a shiver straight up your spine. Palpably wicked and vehemently feminist, "Black Christmas" is whip smart, genuinely terrifying, and a masterfully controlled exercise in tone and terror.

  • Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea
  • Director: Bob Clark
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Blue Velvet

Returning to his childhood home in the suburbs after his father suffers a stroke, Jeffrey braces himself for boredom. Then he finds a severed human ear in a clearing. Soon, Jeffrey finds himself embroiled in a sadomasochistic maelstrom when his investigation leads him into the arms of a mysterious, troubled lounge singer ... who keeps company with some especially nefarious characters. Dream-like, unnerving, and immaculately atmospheric, David Lynch fires on all cylinders bringing the weird and wonderful in equal measure.

  • Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper
  • Director: David Lynch
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Carol

An invaluable addition to the LGBTQ+ cinematic canon from openly gay director Todd Haynes, "Carol" tells of a chance encounter at a Manhattan department store that blossoms into a complex romance. Therese, a shy sales clerk, finds herself infatuated with the striking, wealthy Carol, a stunning, older socialite in the throes of a messy divorce. As the pair fall in love and struggle to define the boundaries of their relationship, which, in the 1950s, was scandalous and then some, Haynes flexes his stylistic muscles to deliver one of the most striking Christmas-set films in ages.

The Changeling

After a tragic roadside accident results in the death of his wife and daughter, classical composer John Russell resolves to side-step his grief with a change of scenery. Moving into an enormous, lonely, and definitely not haunted house ought to do the trick right? Sure enough, the mysterious and violence-tinged history of the house begins to haunt the composer, driving him to dig in places no one thought to dig. A supernatural thriller par excellence and the crown jewel of the 20th-century Canadian horror boom, "The Changeling" is the haunted house film to end all haunted house films, anchored by a mournful and deeply moving lead performance by the great George C. Scott.

  • Starring: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas
  • Director: Peter Medak
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

The Color Purple

Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Alice Walker's novel of the same name, "The Color Purple" is a sweeping epic spanning four decades in the life of a Black woman named Celie. Born and raised in the South during the 20th century, Celie perseveres through bigotry and abuse, finding friendship and glimmers of goodness where she can in the hopes of being reunited, some day, with her sister. Featuring a formidable and commanding lead performance by Whoopi Goldberg that secured the actress an Oscar nomination, "The Color Purple" also features rich, jaw-dropping cinematography from DP Allen Daviau.

Daughters of the Dust

"Daughters of the Dust" explores the lives of three generations of women in the Peazant family, descendants of enslaved people who've made their home on an island off the coast of Georgia in the early turn of the century. Expansive and non-linear, we witness the past, present, and future as the various generations wrestle with identity, memory, and history. Brimming with poetic dialogue by first-time director Julie Dash, "Daughters of the Dust" was the first film written and directed by a Black woman to receive a wide theatrical release in the United States. It's a shame that it took until 1991 for this to happen and a greater shame that Dash's masterpiece remained underseen for many years. Do yourself a favor and seek this one out, you won't be disappointed.

  • Starring: Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, Adisa Anderson
  • Director: Julie Dash
  • Year: 1991
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Dick Tracy

Released back when Hollywood was still figuring out how, exactly, to approach comic book adaptations, this 1990 live-action adaptation of the comic strip of the same name is absolutely bananapants. Unbelievably stylish (no, seriously, you could make a killer drinking game out of all the split diopter shots), "Dick Tracy" follows our titular hard-boiled, trench coat-wearing hero as he attempts to take down Big Boy Caprice and his gang of mobsters. Tracy knows that a mysterious lounge singer can help him crack the case, but her interest seems less on crime and punishment than Dick Tracy himself. A technical marvel and one of the rare "comic book movies" to genuinely feel like a comic book, "Dick Tracy" proves that sometimes style is substance.

  • Starring: Warren Beatty, Madonna, Charlie Korsmo
  • Director: Warren Beatty
  • Year: 1990
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Force Majeure

During an idyllic ski trip in the French Alps, a seemingly perfect Swedish family's vacation becomes a psychological battleground after the patriarch abandons his wife and kids during an assumed avalanche. A tense, wry, incisive, and deeply hilarious look at traditional gender roles, "Force Majeure" is the most fun you'll have watching a family unit progressively come apart at the seams as one mistake snowballs (pun intended) into a domestic crisis. Keep your eyes peeled for an incredible supporting performance from Norwegian redhead Kristofer Hivju ("Game of Thrones").

  • Starring: Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren
  • Director: Ruben Östlund
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Gone Girl

Dud husband Nick Dunne winds up in the public eye when his wife, a famous children's author, goes missing. With suspicion pointed clearly in his direction Nick sets about trying to clear his name despite the mounting evidence. Meanwhile — spoiler alert — the very much alive Amy relays to us a very different story of their relationship. Full of dark twists, soured relationships, and lead performances that put its erotic thriller peers to shame, "Gone Girl" is a modern classic that absolutely deserves a bump to the top of your watchlist.

Good TIme

Hey, look: sometimes you want a movie that also feels like a heart attack. Anxiety-riddled and guaranteed to leave you in a cold sweat, "Good Time" tells the tale of a heist gone wrong. For all his poor decision making and anti-heroic behavior, Connie does have one redeeming trait: He loves his younger brother, Nick. When Connie's get-rich scheme lands Nick in prison, he feels compelled to do whatever it takes to get his beloved bro out of jail. An intense, suspense-filled thriller that features an incredible, pulsing score by Daniel Lopatin, "Good Time" will leave you out of breath in the best way possible. 

The Host

Surprise, surprise, when you dump an ungodly amount of toxic chemicals into a natural body of water ... there are disastrous consequences on the natural environment! And when the American military does just that in Bong Joon Ho's groundbreaking monster film, an amphibious monstrosity is birthed in the Han River. As the city descends into a state of imposed quarantine, a local family must band together to locate the youngest member of their group, who was snatched by the creature by the riverbank. Expertly well-executed and rich with environmental allegory, "The Host" is an unnerving and galvanizing watch.

  • Starring: Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il
  • Director: Bong Joon Ho
  • Year: 2006
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

A film as warm and restorative as a wool sweater, "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" sees ward of the state/bad egg Ricky Baker fleeing his latest foster home into the New Zealand bush. With his cranky guardian in hot pursuit, the pair form a slow and steady bond as they make their way through the wilderness and do their best to evade child welfare. Soothing and warmhearted, "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" is chicken soup in film form — a restorative, gently paced coming-of-age comedy with lush New Zealand vistas to spare.

  • Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata
  • Director: Taika Waititi
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

I Saw the Devil

There have been many films that see dogged law enforcement hunting down malicious serial killers. But here, Kim Jee-woon presents us with a veritable nightmare — a thriller in which the "good guy" is a psychopath in his own right, fueled by a desire inflected with far more bloodlust than is necessary to bring a man to justice. A game of cat and mouse where it's never quite clear who is who, "I Saw the Devil" boasts impressive performances (with Choi Min-sik's turn as the serial killer being straight up the stuff of nightmares). Brutal, unrelenting, and certainly not for the faint of heart, the strong stomached will be rewarded with one of the greatest thrillers of the 21st century.

  • Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik, Jeon Gook-hwan
  • Director: Kim Jee-woon
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 142 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

The Killing

The third feature film from the great Stanley Kubrick, "The Killing" follows Johnny Clay, a career criminal looking to retire from the bank-robbing business. He just needs one last score before flying straight. Pulling together a crackpot team tailor-made for the projected gig, Johnny and company aim to steal millions from a racetrack. But the ballet required to pull off the job is delicate, and some of the key players have looser lips than others. Taut and economic like a well-maintained, non-linear clock, "The Killing" is a film noir heist film par excellence.

  • Starring: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Year: 1956
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Melancholia

While "Melancholia" is, at least on paper, one of Danish director Lars Von Trier's more accessible films, it is unabashedly consumed by a stomach-churning darkness. Namely, its namesake — melancholy. Here's the premise: Justine's wedding is taking place on the eve of Earth's extinction. A massive planet is on a collision course and is dead-set to wipe us out. As the end draws nigh, Justine's suffocating depression allows her to steel herself for the inevitability of it all, while her sister, Claire, frets and panics, looking for a way out (there isn't one).

  • Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgård
  • Director: Lars von Trier
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 135 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Night of the Living Dead

Here's the slow-shambling survival horror that started it all. For reasons unknown, the dead have started clawing their way out of their graves. A group of survivors, some in better mental states than others, congregate in an abandoned farmhouse. Soon enough, the undead are swaying in the front yard, pawing at the boarded-up windows, and gnawing on anyone unlucky enough to fail to find a farmhouse of their own. A film you can't help but put yourself in (how would you react?), "Night of the Living Dead" is an incredible directorial debut and an essential piece of the cinematic puzzle. Featuring one of the most gut-punch endings of all time, "Night of the Living Dead" has lost none of its power, even in an age where zombies have learned how to break into a full sprint.

  • Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
  • Director: George A. Romero
  • Year: 1968
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Notorious

A World War II-set romantic drama from the master of suspense himself, "Notorious" follows T.R. Devlin, a ruthlessly charming U.S. suit charged with bringing Nazi war criminals to justice. After recruiting Alicia, the Yankee-born daughter of a convicted Nazi, the pair begin to fall in love. Their blossoming romance becomes increasingly complicated when Alicia is tasked with wooing a suspected Nazi hiding in Brazil. As the "love triangle" tightens and the stakes get higher and higher, the pair must compromise their feelings to stay under cover. Pitch black and deeply erotic, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman deliver luminous performances dripping with deception and nuance.

  • Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1946
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Peeping Tom

A shocking and unnerving solo venture from British director Michael Powell (one half of a prolific duo alongside Emeric Pressburger), "Peeping Tom" follows Mark, a photographer, a loner, and a compulsive killer. Indeed, Mark's mild-mannered exterior masks a deep-seated darkness. He's an artist, you see — a documentarian making a film on the nature of fear that's made up of filmed recordings of his murders. When he befriends Helen, his neighbor, there's a glimmer of hope that Mark may be able to get his head on straight and form a real human connection. As the tension between his dark desires and his insatiable loneliness come into conflict, Mark's careful balancing act begins to crack. Meticulously crafted and endearingly acted, "Peeping Tom" will raise the bristles on the back of your neck and then some.

  • Starring: Carl Boehm, Moira Shearer, Anna Massey
  • Director: Michael Powell
  • Year: 1960
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Psycho

With big dreams of starting a new life and a bag heavy with stolen money from her real estate firm, unassuming clerk Marion Crane pulls up to the Bates Motel, a roadside affair with a suspicious amount of vacancies. To say more would give away too much, and if you haven't had the twists and turns of this masterful thriller spoiled for you, you're in for a real treat. Groundbreaking in more ways than one and effectively unsettling even 60 years later, "Psycho" is a classic for a reason. Seek it out and settle in for one of the best (and most influential) genre offerings  in the business.

  • Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1960
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

The Secret of NIMH

While Walt Disney Studios floundered during the 1980s, Don Bluth reigned supreme in the world of Western feature animation. While we're certainly "The Land Before Time" fans around these parts, "The Secret of NIMH" is neck in neck for Bluth's masterwork. It's a visually stunning, imaginative, and shockingly intense film that's one of those movies that probably shouldn't actually be rated G. The film tells of a widowed field mouse who must relocate her family in order to get out of the way of an incoming farmer's plow. When the move proves too much for her sickly youngest son, she must seek out the rats of NIMH, who may hold the key to saving her family.

  • Starring: Elizabeth Hartman, Derek Jacobi, Dom DeLuise
  • Director: Don Bluth
  • Year: 1982
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Stagecoach

In the year 1880, a group of strangers climbs aboard a stagecoach headed from Arizona to New Mexico, with each passenger running from something. Their journey takes them through Native American territory, and their unwelcome presence triggers the ire of the local tribal leader. A heart-pumping chase sequence ensues. You know how "Mad Max: Fury Road" is one long chase? Well, John Ford was doing that nearly eight decades earlier. A metaphorical door kick both for the career of John Wayne, the Hollywood Western, and a new visceral vision of what cinema could do, "Stagecoach" may be old, but don't let its age fool you. This puppy's got some kick to it.

  • Starring: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
  • Director: John Ford
  • Year: 1939
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Starship Troopers

Arguably the most bombastic of Paul Verhoeven's satirical output, "Starship Troopers" took a massive critical beating when it first premiered back in 1997 (as testified by its "meh" of a Rotten Tomatoes score). But, in the rearview mirror, Verhoeven's film has stood the test of time as an incisive, hilarious, and terrifyingly incisive indictment of fascist military states and vicious propaganda machines. The word "subtlety" doesn't exist in Verhoeven's dictionary. And "Starship Troopers" is very much a brilliant anti-war film hiding out as a very dumb space opera. We follow real-life G.I. Joe Johnny Rico as he and his pals are conscripted to fight an interstellar war against a bug-looking alien race. Between all that comically over-the-top ultra-violence is a subversive takedown of nefarious, genocidal politics and the mechanics the state uses to seduce citizens into throwing gas on the jingoistic fire.

  • Starring: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards
  • Director:
  • Year: 1997
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

The Terminator

There's some debate about what genre "The Terminator" belongs to. There are those who are happy to call it a day with "science fiction," while others find the stalking, slasher-like similarities call forth a "horror" moniker. Then there are the real sickos who claim it as a "tech-noir." But, whichever way you slice it, James Cameron's classic is an unparalleled piece of genre filmmaking, the terrifying tale of a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, the mother of an unborn child that will head the resistance in the war against machines. A simmering thriller flecked with menace and apocalyptic urgency, "The Terminator" is a marvel of technical filmmaking, drenched in dread, grease, and neon lighting.

Thief

One of the strongest directorial debuts of all time, "Thief" follows Frank, a master jewel thief and proficient ex-con clamoring for a different life on the right side of the law. He wants a family and a normal life, but first, he has to pull off one big score to wriggle out from under the thumb of a Chicago mob boss. Mesmerizing in its style and full of heart-pounding action, "Thief" announced the confident big screen arrival of Michael Mann, and it features a number of the wrinkles that defined his career: consummate professionals, neon-noir cool tones, and a heaping helping of dread. The Tangerine Dream score is just a bonus.   

  • Starring: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 123 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Train to Busan

A rare blend of action and horror that delivers the thrills and chills in equal measure, "Train to Busan" combines two terrifying forces: a high speed locomotive and zombies. While inattentive father Seok Woo accompanies his daughter by train, martial law breaks out. There's a mysterious outbreak that's turning the infected into homicidal, flesh-hungry maniacs. You know ... exactly the kind of people you want to be trapped in a train with.

  • Starring: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Choi Woo-sik
  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

The Wailing

Don't let that runtime scare you away! "The Wailing" rewards patient viewers. Well, maybe we need to qualify our definition of "rewards." An unknown plague has descended upon a small, rural village in the hills of South Korea, twisting the populace into violent wretches destined for an early grave. The bumbling family man cop assigned to the case is in over his head. But when his daughter falls ill, his by-the-book investigation twists down darker paths of shamanic rituals and black magic. Thick with menace and emotionally devastating, Na Hong-jin's 2016 film is a simmering slow burn that boils over when you least expect it.

  • Starring: Kwak Do-won, Jun Kunimura, Hwang Jung-min
  • Director: Na Hong-jin
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 156 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%