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Best Roku channels for watching movies without a subscription

You can choose from a number of movie options on Roku even if you don't subscribe to a pay service.
You can choose from a number of movie options on Roku even if you don't subscribe to a pay service.
Photo by Ari Perilstein

Though many Roku users subscribe to one or more premium services such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, the Internet TV streaming devices offer a significant amount of quality non-subscription content. Some channels cost nothing, while some let you purchase movies and television shows a la carte.

The Moonlight Movies channel has various Tarzan movies from the 1930s through the 1950s, and you can also find these titles among their collection.

  • "A Star is Born" starring Judy Garland (1954)
  • "The Jackie Robinson Story" (1950)
  • "The Joe Louis Story" (1953)
  • "The Last of the Mohicans" (1936)
  • "Road to Bali" starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour (1952)
  • "A Farewell to Arms (1932)
  • "The General" starring Buster Keaton (1926)
  • "His Girl Friday" starring Cary Grant (1940)
  • "The Iron Mask" starring Douglas Fairbanks (1929)
  • "The Sheik" starring Rudolph Valentino (1921)
  • "Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1952)
  • "Thief of Baghdad" (1924)

The Crackle channel has various early Godzilla movies along with the following:

  • "And Now for Something Completely Different" with Monty Python (1972)
  • "Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams" (1981)
  • "The Gods Must be Crazy"(1984)
  • "Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip"
  • "Spring Break" (1983)
  • "Things are Tough All Over" (1982)
  • "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997)
  • "Starman" (1984)
  • "The Buddy Holly Story" (1978)
  • "La Bamba" (1987)

Some pay per view channels, such as M-GO, Target Ticket and VUDU, include movies still playing in second-run theaters along with recent episodes of popular television shows. Occasionally, a movie comes out in theaters and plays on a pay-per-view station at the same time, like "Veronica Mars" on M-GO.

You can choose to rent or purchase items, with TV shows renting for around $2 an episode and recent movie rentals setting you back around $5 or $6. Some older titles rent for $4.

The pay-per-view channels sometimes have free rental offers for first-time sign-ups, but you still need to enter a credit card number to take advantage of them. I recommend using either a Visa or MasterCard gift card or a temporary number from your financial institution, like you can get from Bank of America's Shop Safe program. Some services also require that you sign up for a free account with UltraViolet.

Amazon Instant Video offers a huge selection of old, new and everything-in-between films for rental or purchase even if you don't subscribe to Amazon Prime. HD movies cost as little as $4 for a three-day rental, while most services give you only 24 hours.

If this article helped you or if you have further suggestions, please feel free to comment below.