Vudu review

Vudu highlights

Vudu review

Vudu made its name as a platform where you can digitally buy or rent movies and shows. But recently, its free ad-supported streaming service has been getting some attention. This service offers access to thousands of movies and TV shows free of charge, with the main catch being the presence of ads.

In spite of the ads, Vudu manages to attract a significant subscriber base, mainly because of its expansive content library and free access. And by 2018, two years after its launch, the free streaming service had garnered over 25 million registered users.

Vudu has even expanded its horizons to include a slate of original shows to its content lineup to catch up with some of the leading free streaming services.

Vudu plan

Monthly priceFree
Free trial lengthN/A
Number of titles10,000+
Number of simultaneous streamsN/A
Cloud DVR storageNo
Ad-free experienceNo
Parental controlsYes

Vudu add-ons

At the time of writing this review, Vudu doesn’t have any add-on services or features for its free, ad-supported tier. However, you have the option to buy or rent movies and shows from the Vudu digital video store and add them to your account.

What to watch on Vudu

With over 10,000 titles to choose from, Vudu has an impressive lineup of content for every type of viewer. The service also claims to add new movies and shows to its free library every week, so you can expect to see an ever-expanding content slate. Not to mention its growing list of informative documentaries and original shows.

Popular movies

The Vudu streaming library has an extensive selection of popular movies from mainstream media. This section features titles like Ella Enchanted, Encino Man, Good Morning Vietnam, The Devil’s Rejects, The Founder, The Usual Suspects and Train to Busan.

Iconic TV shows

You can also use your free Vudu subscription to access some of the most iconic TV shows of all time. This includes 21 Jump Street, Forensic Files, Kitchen Nightmares, Merlin, Roseanne, Shameless and The Addams Family.

Classic cinema

Vudu also lets you watch well-loved classics, especially those nostalgia-inducing movies from the eighties featuring stars like Jamie Lee Curtis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Patrick Swayze, Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon. Some of the top titles from this section include Bloodsport, Bull Durham, Child’s Play, Prom Night, Rain Man, Road House and The Boy Who Could Fly.

Family-friendly content

For households with kids, Vudu offers an expansive library of animated adventures and family-friendly movies. Its slate of animated movies and shows includes fascinating kid-friendly stories like All Dogs Go to Heaven, Heidi’s Song, Igor, Puss in Boots, The Fearless Four, The Scarecrow and The Secret of the Hunchback.

Plus, you can find several titles for everyone in the family to enjoy. That includes Black Beauty, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Houdini, Oddball and Pinocchio, to name a few.

Foreign films

If you love foreign cinema, you’ll love Vudu’s collection of movies from around the world. Some of the top-rated titles in the Vudu foreign drama lineup include Embrace of the Serpent, Hara-Kiri, La Terra Trema, Shoeshine, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, The Intouchables, The Rocket and Truman.

High-profile anime

For anime fans, Vudu has a handful of high-profile shows in its lineup. So you can binge on your favorite anime shows like Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Naruto and Pokemon.

Indie flicks

Vudu also caters to cinephiles with a decent selection of titles from indie filmmakers. Get access to both classic and contemporary indie flicks such as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, His Girl Friday, Mermaids, Philomena, The Birdcage and Tortilla Soup.

Critically-acclaimed documentaries

For those who love to learn, Vudu has an excellent lineup of informative and educational documentaries in various categories. Watch some of the most captivating, critically-acclaimed documentaries such as G-Dog, Nas: Time is Illmatic, Songs from the North, Sound City, The Babushkas of Chernobyl, The Waiting Room, They Call It Myanmar and War Don Don.

Original content

Vudu debuted its first original show in 2019 called Mr. Mom, based on the 1983 movie of the same name. Although this section of the library is still barebones, Vudu has announced plans to expand its original content slate. Some of the upcoming original titles include Albedo, Friends in Strange Places and Turning Point with Randy Jackson.

User experience

Besides the website, Vudu has an app that lets you access both the free streaming and the buying and rental services in one place. It offers a straightforward user interface both on the web and the app, neatly separating the free titles from paid options. Its free streaming section sorts titles based on what’s popular, what’s leaving soon and genre. It supports new content discovery while allowing viewers to find specific titles through the search bar.

To help you pick the right videos to watch, Vudu even offers a preview card offering valuable information about each title, such as Rotten Tomatoes and Vudu user ratings.

Of course, with Vudu being an ad-supported service, you’ll want to know all about the ad experience and whether it’s a complete deal-breaker. Without any sugar-coating, the ads on Vudu slightly lean towards the intrusive side though they’re not as bad as you might fear. You can expect about four commercials during a 20-minute show on average.

As for simultaneous streaming, Vudu doesn’t specify any screen limits for users, but it lets you link up to eight devices per account. But while it lacks certain things that could enhance the user experience such as offline viewing, it offers certain features not available with leading streaming services.

For instance, it comes with robust parental controls that help you prevent kids from accessing inappropriate content. Vudu also provides a personalized experience with the help of Lists, which you can create and customize as you need.

Device compatibility

Vudu works with most popular game consoles, phones, smart TVs and streaming devices. Besides accessing it through your web browser, you can stream free videos on Vudu using the following devices:

Vudu features you’ll love

Free access to popular movies and shows

The main highlight of the Vudu streaming service is that it’s free to access. You don’t have to pay anything to watch movies and shows in its free streaming library as the service makes money from the ads that play within the videos. Just create a Vudu account to start streaming any of the free movies and shows you want to watch.

Expansive content library

Boasting 10,000+ titles in its free content library, Vudu has an impressive collection of movies and shows for every type of viewer. The service sorts content into a wide variety of categories – from 80s classics and foreign films to top-rated anime shows and iconic sitcoms. It even curates content for specific occasions such as Memorial Day, so you get to watch the best selection of movies and shows to set the right mood.

Robust parental controls

The Vudu free streaming service may lack a few things such as offline viewing, but it makes up for that with robust parental controls. This allows you to set ratings on what users can watch on Vudu and make sure that kids won’t get access to inappropriate content. And you can turn the parental controls on or off using a pin.

But keep in mind that you won’t have access to these parental control settings on the web version of the service. Still, Vudu stands apart from the competition when it comes to making the service family-friendly — something many top streaming services can’t offer.

It even offers a Family Play feature that lets you watch certain titles without inappropriate scenes. This seamlessly mutes or skips scenes featuring sexuality, strong language, substance abuse and violence. So you no longer have to risk accidentally exposing kids to the inappropriate parts of a movie that you wanted to enjoy with them.

Create personalized lists

While most leading streaming services only let you create a single list to curate your favorite content, Vudu allows you to customize this experience with Lists. With Vudu Lists, you can create multiple personalized libraries of your favorite movies and shows. For example, you could have a list of the best coming-of-age films you watched growing up and a list of your favorite superhero movies.

Vudu lets you rename these lists so you can easily group your favorite titles in a way that makes sense to you. You can even reorder the titles under each list, making it easier to sort them based on your preference. 

The takeaway

Vudu offers an excellent option for those who want to stream movies and shows for free and are willing to sit through a few ads. Although it lacks a few functionalities such as offline viewing, the service comes with several features that enhance the user experience, such as parental controls and personalized lists.

So with all this considered, Vudu is definitely worth a try, especially for households with children. Create your free Vudu account today to start streaming.

Jacqueline Zote

Jacqueline Zote is a digital marketing and entertainment writer who makes regular contributions to Sprout Social and Recreation Insider. Her interests range from pop culture and mythology to social activism. When she’s not writing, she goes on food adventures and binges on crime drama. Her short fiction has been published by HarperCollins Publishers and Zubaan Books.