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Streaming sites to legally watch films for free in France

Some sites also host TV shows, one is even focused on providing English-language content

Many services can be accessed via phone, TV, and computer Pic: Stock-Asso / Shutterstock

The price of a number of popular streaming services – chief amongst them Netflix – recently increased, meaning that from November people are paying more for their packages. 

In response, a number of households have reduced the number of devices or accounts on the services to keep costs the same as before, or cancelled their subscriptions altogether. 

However, for TV lovers in France there are still a number of places to find legitimate, high quality – and free – content. 

Below, we cover a list of some popular alternatives – including some which provide content in English. 

Pluto TV 

Pluto TV is a service that offers a range of streaming content, ranging from French classics to children’s TV shows in English.

Alongside its fairly sizable catalogue of streaming on-demand programmes and films, it has ‘channels’ like a regular TV would.

This means if you are not sure what to watch you can find a theme that interests you and start watching that ‘channel’ – just like the good old days of television, but you will be able to put the show back to the beginning if you want.

You can get the app on many devices, and no sign-up is required. 

Although the content does not seem to depend on where you are, the language does, meaning those watching in France will have French language versions of shows. 

Subtitles are offered for some programmes – not all – and are in French if you are in France. 

Classix 

Classix is a streaming service that hosts American films and TV series. 

Ranging from westerns and Hollywood classics to sitcoms and prestige dramas, the programs are always shown in their original language (i.e, English). 

The service is free, however a premium subscription service at €8.99 per month allows you to access their TV channels and a wider selection of content, as well as download the shows and films to watch offline.

However only Apple users (either using an Apple phone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV) can use the service, as it has to be downloaded from the App store. 

RakutenTV 

RakutenTV is another streaming service that hosts thousands of films and series. It can be accessed both through a web browser and as an app. 

It also hosts a wide range of content, including French, American, and British shows and films, and has live ‘channels’ to watch alongside its catalogue.

Unlike other streaming services, instead of a monthly subscription you can buy newer pieces of media (such as those recently released on DVD or other media platforms) for a one-off fee.

YouTube 

YouTube surprisingly has the rights to show many films (including relatively new ones) on its platform, in full HD. 

These can include Hollywood blockbusters alongside French classics – just try your luck by typing the name into the search bar. 

Many other films can also be watched on pay per view; you may need an account. 

One thing to note as well is many channels – such as Arte (which produces Franco-German content) will upload TV programmes made by themselves, meaning you can find entire series (some with multiple seasons) on these channels. 

For programmes and films not in English – especially those not uploaded by YouTube but on private channels such as Arte – subtitles may not be available. 

Related articles 

Six French films and series for November to help your language skills

How to learn French through language acquisition

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