Streaming movies is a godsend at the moment; even if you’re self-isolating, you can still lose yourself in a film on your phone. But it raises the question: which are the best movie streaming apps around?
Here we’ll run you down 10 of the best for Android devices. So whether you’re a cineaste into art house, or just looking for the latest blockbuster, this list will have you covered.
Sling TV might be best-known as a provider of live TV channels, but it also offers a sizeable library of on-demand movies. And this includes recent releases like comedy thriller Knives Out and drama Bombshell (about the women at Fox News subjected to sexual harassment from its former CEO Roger Ailes). The service works across all your devices, so you can watch on your Android TV as well.
Plex offers a wide range of movies, including Bollywood musicals, documentaries and more. You don’t need a subscription – just create an account and start watching. The UI is very user-friendly, and you can also stream your own library of films from a home media server, should you have one set up. This lets you stream them to anywhere in the world, as long as you have your phone with you.
Shudder is a niche streaming service, designed for fans of horror, suspense and thrillers. It claims to be the home of “the largest and fastest-growing human-curated selection of high-quality, spine-tingling, and provocative films, TV series, and originals”, which certainly ticks a lot of boxes. As well as classics such as Halloween and The Hills Have Eyes, Shudder has its own original series as well as a roster of exclusive flicks you won’t see anywhere else. Guest curators (such as Silicon Valley‘s Kumail Nanjiani) will also hand-pick a selection of films for your enjoyment.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon’s video streaming service has a pretty decent movie arm. Not only does it offer recent cinema fare such as Room, Booksmart and Blinded by the Light, it also serves up its own homemade movies such as The Aeronauts, The Professor and the Madman (with Mel Gibson) and Horrible Histories The Movie.
Of course, there are also Amazon Originals TV shows such as The Man in the High Castle and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to while away the hours. Not bad at all, considering it’s bundled in with your Amazon Prime subscription.
Amazon Fire TV
While we’re on Amazon, have you checked out the Amazon Fire TV app? While not strictly a movies app, it does enhance your film watching no end by letting you control your Fire TV device from your phone.
Voice search, navigation and playback are all at your fingertips, along with a handy on-screen keyboard for much faster typing than on a TV screen. Not only will this help you if you’ve lost your remote, it also means you don’t have to move from the sofa to get it.
The name Disney might conjure up images of twee animated films, but remember the entertainment behemoth also owns the Star Wars and Marvel properties. Which means its new streaming service has a lot to offer, including original movies and TV series.
And yes, there is plenty of animated fare for when you need it. We’ve got pages dedicated to everything you need to know about Disney Plus and the best films and TV shows you can watch on the service too.
You might have streaming options aplenty, but how do you choose what to watch? By consulting IMDb, the internet’s premier resource of all things movie-related, of course. As well as thousands of reviews of all kinds of films, you can look up trivia, quotes and cast and crew, and read the latest movie news so you know what’s coming soon and who’s working on what.
The Android app puts all this in your pocket, and lets you track what you want to watch next using a Watchlist. There are also exclusive behind-the-scenes IMDb videos, original featurettes, clips and more.
Rakuten offers a selection of movies for rent and purchase, plus plenty that you can watch free of charge. Lucky enough to have a TV to hand? You can beam all the movies to it using Google Chromecast – handy if you’re stuck in a single room for 14 days and are getting a little tired peering at a small screen.
You can also download movies to your device to watch offline, which could come in handy should your home’s wi-fi go down.
Tubi puts thousands of movies at your fingertips, and all without charge. These aren’t straight-to-video efforts, either – they include offerings from big-hitting studios such as Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM and more, plus a host of foreign films spanning genres such as anime and Korean drama. They might not all be the most recent movies around, but you can’t argue with free.
Another free app with a clean and simple layout, Vudu makes it easy to find the films you want by browsing by genre. It also lets you download movies to your Android device to watch offline – quite a rare feature among free streaming apps. And its Disc to Digital feature lets you scan a DVD’s barcode to search for a digital copy within the app. But beware: some movies cost money, so not everything you see is free…