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31 Best Movies On Tubi [January 2023]

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 January 3, 2023: 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.

The Act of Killing

"The Act of Killing" isn't the kind of film you can easily recommend to other people. It's harrowing, unforgettable, and explicitly concerned with digging under the skin of some of humanity's greatest monsters — namely, former Indonesian death squad leaders who participated in the genocide of nearly one million people. "The Act of Killing" offers its subjects the chance to reenact their heinous deeds in a variety of cinematic genres, from Westerns to musicals. Difficult to watch but undeniably powerful, "The Act of Killing" is a surreal exploration of how mass murderers personally remember their participation in a brutal and banal regime.

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%

All That Jazz

The legendary Bob Fosse recounts a fictionalized story of his own life through the sordid highs and lows of Joe Gideon, a workaholic pull-pushing Broadway choreographer. A stunning self-tribute absolutely full of self-loathing, "All That Jazz" is pretty much a perfect film about the self-destructive nature of the artistic death drive. Grounded by a career-defining performance from Roy Scheider, run (or quick ball change) to catch this masterpiece on the small screen.

  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking
  • Director: Bob Fosse
  • Year: 1979
  • Runtime: 123 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

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%

Burning

A slow-burning, almost Hitchcockian thriller, "Burning" features the story of Jong-soo, a young man in Seoul who becomes obsessed with his former childhood friend, a mysterious girl who has just recently come back into his life. But she brings with her a strange, seductive presence in the form of Ben, played with a predatory charm by Steven Yeun. "Burning" plays fast and loose with Jong-soo's entire perception of reality, and although it begins unassumingly enough, by the film's climax, it's reached a roaring crescendo that will captivate audiences.

  • Starring: Yoo Ah-In, Steven Yeun, Jeon Jong-Seo
  • Director: Lee Chang-Dong
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 148 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

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%

Das Boot

In the fall of 1941, the Atlantic Ocean runs red. German U-boats stalk supply freighters, keen on sending their precious cargo to the bottom of the sea. We follow U-96, a German vessel, as its crew goes through the throes of service, from boredom to abject terror. "Das Boot" is one of the most claustrophobic films ever made. If you like clenching your butt for three hours, this is the film for you!

  • Starring: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann
  • Director: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 208 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

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%

Fitzcarraldo

In order to fund his dream of building an opera house in the middle of the jungle, ambitious Brian Sweeney "Fitzcarraldo" Fitzgerald must first make his fortune in the rubber business. Putting the cart before the horse — or rather, the massive steamship before the rubber fortune — Fitzcarraldo sets out to haul a massive boat over a small mountain. But this is a tale of hubris, exploitation, and foiled best-laid plans. "Fitzcarraldo" marks another fruitful (and positively chaotic) creative union between director Werner Herzog and actor Klaus Kinski.  

  • Starring: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy
  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Year: 1982
  • Runtime: 157 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

The General

The American Civil War is in full swing, and to his annoyance, railroad engineer Johnny Gray cannot enlist. Running the railroads is too important, apparently. Then, when his beloved locomotive (containing his equally beloved fiancée) is stolen by the enemy, Johnny is given a chance to prove himself as a big wartime hero. A daring effort by stuntman extraordinaire Buster Keaton, "The General" has thrills, romance, and plenty of train-based shenanigans. Don't let its age scare you off — even at nearly a century old "The General" still has plenty of steam.

  • Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender
  • Director: Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton
  • Year: 1926
  • Runtime: 79 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Ghost World

Two irony-poisoned teens named Enid and Rebecca find themselves in a post-graduation malaise once the summer hits. Now that high school is over, they have to figure out what kind of people they want to be — but in truth, they don't seem to want to be much of anything. Self-discovery is hard ... and they have lonely middle-aged men to mess with in the meantime. Based on Daniel Clowes' comic series of the same name, "Ghost World" pokes fun at late-20th century cynicism while offering a poignant portrait of the inevitable rifts that form in young adult friendships.

  • Starring: Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi
  • Director: Terry Zwigoff
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

His Girl Friday

Newspaper editor Walter and ace reporter Hildy are no longer married, but that little technicality isn't going to stop him from doing everything in his power to keep her on the payroll. While Hildy gets sucked into a thrilling assignment about a convicted cop killer, Walter pulls out all the stops to thwart his ex's impending marriage. Does Walter value Hildy more as an employee or as the love of his life? Will Hildy continue her career or will she settle down for a quiet life of domestic bliss? A screwball comedy with wit and heart to spare, "His Girl Friday" is a fast-talking delight.

  • Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
  • Director: Howard Hawks
  • Year: 1940
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Lars and the Real Girl

Ryan Gosling has long had a reputation for being so charming that he could have believable chemistry with an inanimate object, but "Lars and the Real Girl" is probably the first of his films to put that to the test. Gosling stars as a quiet, painfully shy man who lives in a garage next door to his older sister. He shocks the entire community when he brings home an unexpected girlfriend — a sex doll he calls Bianca. "Lars and the Real Girl" could so easily spend its runtime poking fun at Lars, but instead, it finds a real and profound empathy in the small town that embraces Lars, understanding that what he needs more than anything is love and support.

  • Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
  • Director: Craig Gillespie
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Marty

For all those of you out there who have ever had a family member pseudo-innocently ask you when you're going to settle down and get married, this one's for you. Ernest Borgnine stars as Marty, a shy, mild-mannered butcher who has been struggling to meet a woman in the face of pressures from his overbearing mother. One night, he hits it off with Clara, a schoolteacher who is equally unlucky with love, and the two wallflowers are aglow with the joy of someone actually showing interest in them. A sweet, low-key romance, "Marty" is thoroughly of its time while still feeling strikingly relatable to modern audiences.

  • Starring: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Joe Mantell
  • Director: Delbert Mann
  • Year: 1955
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Metropolis

Set in the far-flung future, this masterwork of science fiction weaves an epic tale of love, robots, and class warfare. Golden boy Freder Fredersen is surprised to learn that an underground society of working class citizens labors underground to fulfill their more privileged brethren's utopian dreams. Curiosity piqued, Freder investigates further, and stumbles across a revolution in the making and a prophecy foretelling a mediator who will lead the disenfranchised to a better future. Still stunning all these decades later, "Metropolis" is a must-watch for any self-respecting cinephile. While its lengthy runtime might be intimidating to some, Fritz Lang's monumental artistic achievement continues to thrill and captivate.

  • Starring: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
  • Director: Fritz Lang
  • Year: 1927
  • Runtime: 153 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Mother

An unnamed widow lives an unassuming life with her mentally disabled adult son Yoon Do-joon, who's fallen in with the reckless, violent Jin-tae. One day, the brutalized body of a young girl is discovered. While Do-joon is accused of the murder, his overprotective mother believes he is innocent and grows increasingly convinced that he is being used as a scapegoat by the local police force. Determined to uncover the truth for herself, the widow begins to investigate the case in an effort to save her son. A tragic, touching, and unpredictable watch, "Mother" is a methodical thriller and another feather in the illustrious cap of Korean director Bong Joon-ho.

  • Starring: Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Jin Goo
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 128 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

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%

One-Eyed Jacks

After a bank robbery goes sideways, seasoned criminal Dad Longworth chooses to sacrifice his young partner Rio to the law. Five agonizing years later, Rio escapes from jail with a singular, revenge-filled purpose: find and kill his treacherous mentor. However, when Rio finally tracks Dad down, he's shocked to find his former friend has changed his criminal ways and is the elected sheriff of Monterey. He even has a family. Melancholic and deeply agnostic about the hard line between the good guys and the black hats, "One-Eyed Jacks" is an essential and criminally underseen entry in the revisionist Western canon. While the reputation of "One-Eyed Jacks" is mostly as a curio — it's the only film that Marlon Brando ever directed — this atmosphere-rich portrait of revenge and redemption is a must-watch.

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%

Samsara

A unique cinematic experience that must be seen to be believed, "Samsara" is a 70 mm world tour through 25 countries, five continents, and five years. From elaborate dances to natural wonders, "Samsara" is a testament to the magic of our world in all its beauty, danger, and curiosity. A non-traditional film that feels a heck of a lot more like a meditative exercise than a documentary, "Samsara" is a feature-length reminder that the world around us really is a fantastic place.

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%

The Sisters Brothers

The biggest thing that "The Sisters Brothers" has going for it is its quartet of incredible leading actors: Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed. Together, they bring humanity to a razor-sharp Western about a pair of brothers, Eli and Charlie Sisters, who journey across the Northwest in pursuit of a gold prospector. It luxuriates in all the tropes of the genre while bringing an almost post-modern sense of humor to the proceedings. Joaquin Phoenix is at his most interesting in a role that allows him to be eccentric but not self-indulgent, and John C. Reilly has rarely been given a better opportunity to showcase his dramatic skills.

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%

Suspiria

As aspiring ballerina Suzy Bannion pulls up to her new prestigious dance academy, she catches glimpse of a student — fear written across her face — fleeing the school in the pouring rain. The strange occurrences begin to pile up, such as unexplained deaths and beastly visions. Soon, Suzy uncovers the truth — the academy used to be home to a coven of witches. And it appears that they never left. Arguably the crown jewel of the supernatural Italian horror subgenre, "Suspiria" is a Technicolor terror trip without parallel that is as terrifying as it is gorgeous.

  • Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Joan Bennett
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Year: 1977
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

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%

Viy

If you've ever thought to yourself, "Gosh, I'd love to watch the first (and only) Soviet-era horror film officially released in the USSR," have we got the film for you. Adapted from Nikolai Gogol's horror novella of the same name, "Viy" tells the story of a young and airheaded priest who bumbles his way into presiding over the corpse of a rumored witch for three consecutive nights. This seemingly easy task is foiled by the terrifying fact that the witch is dead-set on making the priest break his vigil. As tense as it is full of "Evil Dead"-style physical comedy, "Viy" is the most nightmarish film to also contain a scene where a witch surfs atop her own coffin. With its crisp runtime and striking visuals, "Viy" is much more than a historical footnote.

  • Starring: Natalya Varley, Vadim Zakharchenko, G. Sochevko
  • Director: Konstantin Yershov, Georgi Kropachyov
  • Year: 1967
  • Runtime: 78 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

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%