All you need is a library card
Hoopla is a digital media streaming service offered by local libraries. You can borrow movies, music, ebooks, and audiobooks for free with just your library card. We’ve told you about Hoopla before, as one of the best places to get free audiobooks. But there’s more to Hoopla than just books—you can watch movies for free on Hoopla too.
We chose twenty-five of the best movies on Hoopla right now, one in each of the genres below.
Action & Adventure
- Apocalypse Now Redux: One of the most famous movies about the Vietnam War, this was filmed back when Laurence Fishburn went by Larry. This remastered version has 49 extra minutes of footage. Also starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen. This is one of the best movies on Hoopla right now.
Animation & Cartoons
- Star Wars Special: From Adult Swim and part of the Robot Chicken series, this is a double-length episode with a cameo by George Lucas himself.
- The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio: Julianne Moore stars in this biography of Evelyn Ryan, who supported her family by winning slogan-writing contests. Woody Harrelson co-stars as Evelyn’s husband, Kelly, who drinks too much and isn’t much help at all.
- Shaun The Sheep: Hoopla has a large children’s collection. Shaun the Sheep is a spin-off of the beloved Wallace and Gromit franchise, and parents might even enjoy this one as much as the kids.
- Glengarry Glen Ross: From playwright David Mamet, this film is star-studded with appearances from Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Jack Lemmon, and Kevin Spacey. Alec Baldwin appears in a single scene, and his monologue is widely regarded as a perfect performance.
- Fargo: Frances McDormand is hilarious in this comedy about Jerry Lundegaard, a car salesman in Minneapolis who hires two criminals to kidnap his own wife. Brace yourself for some outrageous Minnesota accents and one of the best comedies on Hoopla.
- Monster: You’ll barely recognize Charlize Theron as she portrays a serial killer. This film also stars Christina Ricci in a role about as far from Wednesday Addams as you can get.
- I Am Not Your Negro: Author James Baldwin was a genius, and this excellent documentary connects his writing about the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers to the #BlackLivesMatter movement of today.
- Thelma & Louise: Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon star in one of the best road trip movies of all time. Brad Pitt wasn’t even considered a sex symbol until his performance in this movie.
- An Introductory Guide To Wine: Learn what the sommelier is talking about. This movie will teach you what to look for when choosing a wine.
Faith & Inspiration
- Harriet Tubman | They Called Her Moses: In Spanish with English subtitles, this documentary features interviews with scholars and experts from the Smithsonian Institute and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
- Daddy Day Care: What would it be like to have Eddie Murphy as a babysitter? The whole family will get a kick out of this one.
Health & Fitness
- In Defense of Food: Food reporter Michael Pollan’s advice is, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Even knowing that, you’ll still get a lot out of this production. Pollan makes learning how to eat healthy fun and interesting.
- Good Night, And Good Luck: Directed by George Clooney, this historical drama highlights the conflict between revered TV journalist Edward R. Murrow and censured anti-Communist U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy amid hearings held by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
- Halloween: If you haven’t seen the original 1978 version of Halloween directed by John Carpenter, do yourself a favor and watch it tonight. This film made Jamie Lee Curtis a household name and set the stage for a franchise spanning eleven movies. It might be the best slasher film of all time and is certainly one of the best horror movies on Hoopla.
- The Professor And The Madman: Based on Simon Winchester’s best-selling novel, this movie stars Mel Gibson as William Chester Minor, a retired U.S. Army surgeon, patient at the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, and key contributor to the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary.
- Genghis Blues: This film is the fascinating story of blind singer Paul Pena who journeys to the Russian Republic of Tuva to learn about overtone singing. Tuvan throat singers essentially sing two notes at once. It’s wild.
- Across the Universe: Directed by Julie Taymor who brought The Lion King to Broadway, this film combines live action with 3D animation, with an all-Beatles soundtrack.
- Memento: Don’t read anything about this film before you watch it, and go watch it right now before someone ruins it for you.
- The Cutting Edge: This one definitely qualifies as a guilty pleasure. A brash hockey player and a stuck-up ice skater join forces and shoot for the Olympics. It’s just so ridiculous.
- Seed: As this documentary reveals, “Ten chemical companies control two-thirds of the seed market.” That’s terrifying, but there are some heroes defending the future of food. You’ll learn all about them in this award-winning documentary.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Sadly, author Douglas Adams died before this film was completed, but friends like Stephen Fry helped keep it true to the book.
- Raging Bull: Robert De Niro won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in this film. Some call it a masterpiece – director Martin Scorsese’s best work. In fact, the American Film Institute ranked it as the fourth-greatest American movie of all time.
- The Usual Suspects: This is another film where you’re better off avoiding reading anything about it before you watch. The cast is stellar, and the writing is tight.
- The Magnificent Seven: If you’ve ever heard of Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, or James Coburn, this movie is why. Watch it and you’ll see master gunmen vs. marauding bandits. If you’re a fan of westerns, it’s one of the best free movies on Hoopla right now.