With a majority of Australia’s east coast in lockdown till October, there’s no better time to make movie night a regular occurrence. But while some of us can enjoy the best Netflix films according to Rotten Tomatoes, others, who have had less work during lockdown and, ergo, less money to spend freely, might not be able to afford streaming services right now.
Cut to Aussie-made free platforms like SBS On Demand and Kanopy. A quick squiz through their catalogues and there’s a lot to love here, folks.
Cinephiles and cash-saving binge-watchers alike, here are the 22 best movies you can stream for free in Australia right now.
Due to the fact most films and TV series are only available on SBS On Demand for a set period of time, some films listed below may no longer be available for free beyond the time of publishing.
A First Nations man from the Northern Territory goes on the run after he kills a white man in self defence in the 1920s.
Sweet Country is available to watch for free on SBS On Demand.
Train to Busan
A South Korean man, his young daughter and fellow survivors catch a train to outrun a zombie horde. Chaos ensues. Easily one of the best zombie films of all time.
Train to Busan is available to watch for free on SBS On Demand.
Colin Farrell stars in this absurdist indie film about a man who must get into a romantic relationship with someone within 45 days or be turned into an animal.
The Lobster is one of the cleverest films you can watch for free in Australia right now on SBS On Demand.
A gambling and cigarette-smoking grandmother finds herself out of luck and in the middle of a Chinatown gang war in New York.
Lucky Grandma is available for free on SBS On Demand.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
A cheeky teen and his uncle go missing and try to survive all kinds of dangers in the New Zealand wild.
You can watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople for free on SBS On Demand.
Behind the Candelabra
The story of world-renowned musician Liberace and his lover Scott Thorson as their world falls apart from the pressures and temptations of fame, money and power.
Behind the Candelabra is available to watch for free on SBS On Demand.
A quirky film about the life of an innocently naïve woman in Paris named Amelie.
You can watch Amelie for free on SBS On Demand.
The Fifth Element
A taxi driver embarks on a space opera quest after a young girl who was sent by aliens to save the planet falls through the roof of his car.
The Fifth Element is available to watch for free on SBS On Demand.
A quirky black and white film about an aspiring ballet dancer in New York.
The Breaker Upperers
Two friends start a business breaking couples up for cash before one of them grows a moral compass — and starts dating a client.
The Breaker Upperers is one of the funniest films you can watch for free in Australia on SBS On Demand.
Dancer in the Dark
Icelandic singer Björk plays a mother suffering from a blindness disorder who learns to see things through her love for musicals. It’s quintessential Björk.
Dancer in the Dark is an indie film you can watch for free in Australia on Kanopy.
Dear White People
A film poking fun at the “post-racial” identity politics at a fictional Ivy League college from the perspective of a group of black students at a predominantly white university.
Dear White People is another great addition to this list of movies you can watch for free in Australia on Kanopy.
A laugh-out-loud comedy action thriller about a video game developer, played by Daniel Radcliffe, who wakes up with a bounty on his head and guns for hands.
Guns Akimbo is available to watch for free on Kanopy.
My Friend Dahmer
The high school story of one of America’s most infamous serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys over 13 years.
This gripping film based on a true story is just one of many movies you can watch for free in Australia over on Kanopy.
The harrowing story of three young Indigenous girls’ journey back home to country in 1930s Australia after the government separates them from their family and sends them 1600kms across the country.
Rabbit-Proof Fence is one of the best films in Australian cinema, essential viewing to learn the impacts of the Stolen Generation, and another movie you can watch for free on SBS On Demand.
Dev Patel stars as an Indian-born, Australian-raised man in his twenties as he retraces his lost family in India.
The original Italian horror classic about a haunted prestigious dance academy in Europe.
Suspiria (1977) is one of the many amazing movies you can watch for free in Australia on Kanopy.
Another camp Italian horror film by the director of the original Suspiria, this one is about a girl who can communicate with insects and visits a haunted boarding school.
Phenomena is free to stream on Kanopy.
Wake in Fright
An Aussie film about a British schoolteacher who loses sight of his personal morals after meeting crooks in a small town in outback Australia.
Wake in Fright is another classic Aussie movie to add to this list of movies you can watch for free in Australia on Kanopy.
Searching for Sugar Man
Two South African men try to uncover the mystery of the missing 1970s rockstar Rodriguez.
Searching for Sugar Man is free to stream on Kanopy.
Loving Vincent follows the life of the tragic yet talented artist Vincent Van Gogh and is the world’s first fully painted feature film.
Catch this visually stunning and moving piece for free on Kanopy.
Nicolas Cage stars in this red-tinted, savage thriller about a man who murders his way through a violent hellscape to save his wife.
Mandy is free to stream on Kanopy.