Plex launched a new, free, ad-supported streaming service for movies and TV shows today, and here’s the kicker: There’s no way to not view ads. Even if you’re a Plex Pass subscriber, Plex’s premium offering, you’re still going to see ads when you watch anything on its streaming service. Are these minor annoyances worth it? Absolutely.
First off, there’s Plex’s scope. Plex, a free app, works on pretty much any device you can throw at it. I run the app my smart TV, my PlayStation 4, my iPad, and my ancient NAS box. I have yet to meet something that can’t run Plex, aside from obvious devices like a smart display that doesn’t support any third-party apps whatsoever. So, to that, you can access Plex’s streaming service nearly anywhere using nearly anything.
And then there’s the content. As Plex indicates on its site, it’s pulling in movies and TV shows from studios like Legendary, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., and MGM, to name a few. What does that mean in practice? Well, you get mostly B movies, but there are a number of diamonds in the rough that make Plex’s offering worth checking out. My favorites include:
- Apocalypse Now
- Lord of War
- The Terminator
- Ghost in the Shell
- Battle Royale
- Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
- Code of Honor, because it helped me remember that Steven Seagal is still alive and doing things
In general, is Plex’s lineup as good as what you’d find on, say, a Netflix, a Hulu, or an Amazon Prime Video? Not even close. But that’s what you get for the low price of free—a ton of films that are absolutely perfect for your next bad movie night, but not many titles you’ll want to throw into the mix for your next date night (unless Steven Seagal really gets you going).
If you need to add a little variety to your lineup, there are plenty of other services you can use to stream movies for free, typically with ads. I’m a fan of Tubi(for Kill Bill and Hell’s Kitchen); Hoopla (for everything your library offers); IMDb TV (for Gravity and Whiplash); Popcornflix (for Silence and The Dictator); and Sony’s Crackle service (for Sony stuff, like Die Hard or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Look hard enough, and you can find a pretty decent selection of free content.