Picture this: it’s Friday night. The pizza is ordered. The cushions on the couch are perfectly placed. Maybe there’s even some cookie dough or popcorn waiting in the kitchen. But wait: The movie. We forgot to pick the movie! These days, everyone knows the pain of endlessly scrolling through Netflix. When you're not feeling super-stoked about the streaming giant's selection, it can feel like it's nearly impossible to find something that everyone wants to watch. One easy way to avoid a case of Netflix fatigue—is to give a different streaming service a whirl for once. So, what Netflix alternatives are out there?
For the Family
It almost goes without saying that Disney Plus is a sound investment for anyone with kids. Parents can appease their kids with that 17th consecutive viewing of Frozen and introduce them to nostalgic favorites like 101 Dalmatians and The Lion King (the animated one, of course). If you're worried about sacrificing education for entertainment, don't fear. Disney Plus also offers a ton of zippy National Geographic documentaries including a show hosted by everyone's favorite weirdo Jeff Goldblum.
With all this kid-friendly content, Disney Plus is a child's dream come true. But fewer people realize that the streaming service is a great choice for adults too. With their entertaining catalogue of Star Wars movies and blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe entries, Disney Plus truly has something for everyone.
For the Film Buff
If you’re more into Black Orpheus than Black Panther, try out a subscription to the Criterion Channel. Known for their tireless work restoring classic movies and their massive catalogue of critically-acclaimed films, the Criterion Channel offers an amazing array of masterpieces through their streaming service. Cinephiles will rejoice at finding works by auteurs like Jean-Luc Godard and Alfred Hitchcock alongside recent releases by esteemed filmmakers like Khalik Allah, Olivier Assayas, Céline Sciamma, and more.
Plus, there’s a bonus. Anyone in the USA or Canada can subscribe to the Criterion Channel's streaming service for a fee, but many film buffs can access their catalogue for free. If your local library offers the Kanopy service, you're in luck: That means you also have all the titles of the Criterion Channel at your fingertips too. Enjoy finding your new favorite classic!
For the Tightwad
It's like Arthur taught us: Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card. For some, a library card doesn't just unlock the Criterion Collection. It can also provide access to the Hoopla streaming service. This platform lets you borrow a wide variety of titles like Good Will Hunting and What We Do in the Shadows for free through your local library. If your library doesn't let you use these streaming services, don't fret. There's more than one way to access free flicks. Services like Crackle and Tubi require you to watch a few ads to access their otherwise-free titles. There are also tons of apps available through Roku that will let viewers watch public domain films.
For the Picky Viewer
Some people just can’t deal with having their choices limited by the offerings of a single app...or multiple apps combined. When you need easy access to just about every movie out there, iTunes has your back. It’s come a long way since its early days (I’m looking at you, that time it took four hours to download Spice World) and it’s easier to use than ever. Sure, you’re paying for each individual movie you buy or rent, instead of getting charged for a blanket service.
But hey, iTunes has big perks for the price. When you know exactly what you want and simply won’t settle for second choice, it’s a lifesaver. Virtually any movie is magically at your fingertips, usually for $5 per rental. And hot tip: If you go for Standard Definition instead of High Definition, you can usually save a dollar!
The Bottom Line
It’s truly never been a better time to be a movie lover. Instead of taking a trip to the video store or shelling out a bunch of money to watch a new release at the theater, we don’t even have to leave our couch to find the perfect flick. Whether you're hankering for comedy, drama, action, or romance on a Friday night, streaming services are here to help. To find what your cinephile heart desires, all it takes is a short browse through these aforementioned streaming services. So pop that popcorn , dim the lights, and get ready for a great night at the (home) movies!