10 Best Movies on Xumo Play (Available for Free)

Updated June 14, 2024 • Staff
Originally only offered through their smart TVs, Xumo has made the jump to streaming through its free, ad-supported television and video on-demand service Xumo Play. The joint venture of Charter Communications and Comcast has made it entirely possible for casual streamers to watch both great channels and great movies for free through the site. Along with their original content and exclusive streams, Xumo Play has a number of masterpieces hidden in their library that viewers might be surprised to find, such as Melancholia, Lady Bird, and Bad Genius. So for viewers curious about Xumo, or for viewers that want to watch quality films at no cost, here are the top 50 titles on Xumo Play that you can watch for free.
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10.

The Long Walk Home (1990)

When it comes to films depicting America’s history of racism, many white produced films tend to be centered on a white savior. At best, this is just patting each other on the back for actions done a generation or two ago. At worst, it tends to be outright historical revisionism. The difference between these and The Long Walk is that, while clearly made for a white audience, the film doesn’t crown Sissy Spacek’s character as a messiah, but her choice to help the boycott anyway is a message worth depicting, even if it’s small, even if it isn’t the typical, single-handed salvation Hollywood is used to doling out. While the white narrator adds unnecessary distance, and while it would have been better to see more of Whoopi Goldberg in the non-comic role of Odessa Cotter, The Long Walk cares about the everyday, and that’s what makes it mostly work.

Our staff rating: 7/10
Genre: Drama, History
Actor: Afemo Omilami, Chelcie Ross, Cherene Snow, Dan Butler, Dwight Schultz, Dylan Baker, Erika Alexander, Graham Timbes, Haynes Brooke, Jason Weaver, Kevin Thigpen, Lexi Randall, Mary Steenburgen, Nancy Moore Atchison, Norman Matlock, Philip Sterling, Rebecca Wackler, Richard Habersham, Schuyler Fisk, Sissy Spacek, Ving Rhames, Whoopi Goldberg
Director: Richard Pearce
Rating: PG
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9.

Bent (1997)

In this day and age, it thankfully has become less risky to come out as gay, due to the struggle of many LGBTQ+ people from the past. However, this struggle was hard won– while gay people were persecuted in the Nazi regime, it was only until decades later people started to discuss it, and one reason why research and education about it increased was due to the play Bent, depicted in film in 1997. The screen version admittedly falters compared to the West End original, with static staging and focus on the dialogue over action, but the performances are fairly decent, with an unexpected collection of cast members that maximize each moment they’re in. It’s quite depressing, and sometimes heavy handed, but Bent is a needed perspective.

Our staff rating: 7/10
Genre: Drama, History, Romance
Actor: Brian Webber, Clive Owen, Crispian Belfrage, David Meyer, David Phelan, Gresby Nash, Holly Davidson, Ian McKellen, Johanna Kirby, Jude Law, Lothaire Bluteau, Lou Gish, Mick Jagger, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Paul Bettany, Rachel Weisz, Richard Laing, Rupert Graves, Rupert Penry-Jones, Sadie Frost, Suzanne Bertish
Director: Sean Mathias
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8.

Some Kind of Heaven (2020)

By all outward appearances, The Villages—a massive and manicured retirement community in Florida—looks like it does offer paradise to its aging residents, as promised. The list of activities is endless, the seniors are all partnered up. “It’s like going back to college,” as one of them puts it, where people from all over the country come together to create a new life with each other. 

But of course, nothing comes that easy, not even death. Some Kind of Heaven follows certain residents (and one committed trespasser) as they grapple with the slipperiness of fulfillment in their later years. It gets very eerie when the film's bleak messages are contrasted with the home's vibrant Floridian colors and the residents' plastered smiles. But the eeriness adds to the overall intrigue and pull of the documentary. Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) co-produces this fascinating film.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Documentary, Drama
Director: Lance Oppenheim
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7.

Black Dynamite (2009)

As the 1970s brought about the civil rights movement, as well as the abandonment of the American Hays Code, the blaxploitation genre (portmanteau of “Black” and “exploitation”) became popular, with black artists reclaiming their image, albeit with B-films centered around themes of violence, drugs, and sex. Black Dynamite is an homage and parody to the genre, with low budget mistakes, over-the-top dialogue, and Super 16 shooting all combining in the most hilarious of ways through the smooth timing of leading man (and co-writer) Michael Jai White. It’s silly, and stereotypical, but all the jokes poke fun from a clear love and nostalgia of the genre.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Action, Comedy
Actor: Arsenio Hall, Baron Vaughn, Bokeem Woodbine, Buddy Lewis, Byron Minns, Cedric Yarbrough, Charlotte Stokely, Charmane Star, Chris Spencer, Damion Poitier, Darrel Heath, Irwin Keyes, John Salley, JR, Kevin Chapman, Kym Whitley, Michael Jai White, Miguel A. Núñez, Miguel A. Núñez, Jr., Mike Starr, Mykelti Williamson, Nicole Ari Parker, Nicole Sullivan, Obba Babatundé, Phil Morris, Richard Edson, Roger Yuan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Stacy Adams, Tommy Davidson, Tucker Smallwood, William Bassett
Director: Scott Sanders
Rating: R
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6.

Wrestle (2018)

A portrait of an Alabama high school wrestling team springboards from a sports documentary into an encompassing exploration of the American working class and institutional racism. The film operates on both levels as it zooms in on the lives of four students and their friendly yet overbearing coach. From the opening moments, Coach Sribner makes it clear that the State Championship is about much more than sport. A failing and underfunded school system all but ensures that a sports scholarship is one of the few chances for these youth to have access to higher education and a path out of poverty. 

This is further exacerbated by the racial dynamics at play, as we watch these mostly Black youth experience casual racism as well as institutional harassment from the police. Even their well-meaning coach is not exempt, he at once can acknowledge his white privilege but is not above baselessly accusing one of the boys of stealing his sunglasses. Herbert’s up close and personal style is immersive and passionate and builds to an exciting sports film climax while maintaining a piercing awareness of the severe economic realities that hollow out any victory on the mat.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Documentary, Drama
Actor: Chris Scribner, Jailen Young, Jaquan Rhodes, Teague Berres
Director: Suzannah Herbert
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5.

Silverado (1985)

For skeptics of the western, Silverado might be too overstuffed with storylines that feel more appropriate for a series than a single film. But those willing to give it a chance should find a consistent level of entertainment with the movie's wide array of cowboys and sheriffs trying to outmaneuver each other. The action gets surprisingly intense, with impressive stunts and shootouts selling the idea that these characters could go at any time. And with the relatively young and fresh faces of Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner, John Cleese, and Jeff Goldblum popping up, it feels like a greatest hits of the '80s and '90s, with these charismatic actors all getting a turn playing in the sandbox.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Action, Action & Adventure, Drama, Western
Actor: Amanda Wyss, Autry Ward, Bill Thurman, Brad Leland, Brian Dennehy, Brion James, Danny Glover, Dick Durock, Earl Hindman, Gene Hartline, Jake Kasdan, James Gammon, Jeff Fahey, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Haynie, Joe Seneca, John Cleese, Jonathan Kasdan, Ken Farmer, Kenny Call, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Linda Hunt, Lois Geary, Lynn Whitfield, Marvin J. McIntyre, Meg Kasdan, Patricia Gaul, Ray Baker, Richard Jenkins, Rosanna Arquette, Rusty Meyers, Sam Gauny, Scott Glenn, Sheb Wooley, Thomas Wilson Brown, Todd Allen, Troy Ward, Zeke Davidson
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Rating: PG-13
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4.

Saint Frances (2019)

This fun comedy-drama is about Bridget, a 34-year-old who hasn't quite got it all figured out, but at least she’s trying: after terminating an accidental pregnancy, she gets herself a summer gig as a nanny for a fearless six-year-old by the name of Frances. 

Tackling a myriad of "taboo" topics including abortion, menstruation, and depression, the movie visually normalizes human experiences that remain underrepresented in mainstream cinema. And writer Kelly O’Sullivan, who also plays Bridget, has a screenplay that manages to do it all without feeling didactic.

Our staff rating: 7.6/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Bradley Grant Smith, Charin Alvarez, Chris Coats, Courtney Rioux, Danny Catlow, Francis Guinan, H.B. Ward, Hanna Dworkin, Jackson Evans, Jim True-Frost, Kelly O'Sullivan, Lily Mojekwu, Mary Beth Fisher, Max Lipchitz, Meighan Gerachis, Noah Williams, Ramona Edith Williams, Rebecca Buller, Rebecca Spence, Rebekah Ward, Roger Welp, Sophia Rubin
Director: Alex Thompson
Rating: N/A
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3.

Padre Pio (2023)

Abel Ferrara's protagonists have always searched for higher meaning in a flawed, messed-up world of pain and violence. If 1992's Bad Lieutenant took Harvey Keitel to church for one of American indie cinema's most spectacular endings, Padre Pio doesn't offer such solace. Ferrara (who's been living and working in Rome for years now) teamed up with Italian screenwriter Maurizio Braucci to direct a period piece that brings together the real life of a Catholic Church saint (the titular Padre Pio) and the rise of socialism after WWI. What seems like a straightforward historical approach turns first gruesome and then profound to capture the contradictions at the heart of Italy as a nation. A character study that breaks free of its biographical chains, Padre Pio shows that Ferrara has still got it, 50 films in. 

Our staff rating: 7.8/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Alessandro Cremona, Alessio Montagnani, Anna Ferrara, Asia Argento, Brando Pacitto, Cristina Chiriac, Ermanno De Biagi, Federico Majorana, Ignazio Oliva, Luca Lionello, Marco Leonardi, Martina Gatti, Michelangelo Dalisi, Roberta Mattei, Salvatore Ruocco, Shia LaBeouf, Stella Mastrantonio, Vincenzo Crea
Director: Abel Ferrara
Rating: R
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2.

Jab We Met (2007)

The manic pixie dream girl unexpectedly entering a young man’s life is the subject of plenty of romance films, to the point that this plot has become somewhat overdone, stereotypical, and overly unrealistic. However, there are moments in cinema when this archetype is portrayed well– Jab We Met is one of them. It’s joyful without being unrealistic, it’s realistic without being too jaded, and as two lost souls share the same train, writer-director Imtiaz Ali creates a feeling of freedom every time then-lovers Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor save each other from the prisons of their different, day-to-day lives. And it all comes with the song numbers as fun as the film’s leading lady.

Our staff rating: 8/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Actor: Asif Basra, Brijendra Kala, Dara Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kiran Juneja, Pavan Malhotra, Saumya Tandon, Shahid Kapoor, Tarun Arora, Wamiqa Gabbi
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Rating: PG-13
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1.

Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013)

Danish writer-director Lars von Trier concludes his so-called Depression trilogy with the two parts of Nymphomaniac, an elaborate retelling of the life of a young woman (played by Stacy Martin and then, by Charlotte Gainsbourg) lived from one libidinous pleasure to another. The film's elaborate subplots have a life of their own and flashbacks often take center stage in Joe's auto-narration. Nymphomaniac I introduces the audience to adolescence and early adulthood, through disappointments, adultery, death drive, and extreme ambivalence. Joe's process of self-actualization seems contested and inspiring at the same time, and Gainsbourg is really given the screen time to shine; even more so than in Trier's previous psycho-social drama, Antichrist. Typically for the rich treasury of cultural references, Bach, Edgar Allan Poe, and Fibonacci play crucial parts in reconstructing the symbolic planes in Joe's story. Oh, and Part One opens with Rammstein's "Führe mich", which in itself is an perfectly valid reason to give it a go.

Our staff rating: 8.3/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Ananya Berg, Anders Hove, Andreas Grötzinger, Charlie Hawkins, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Christian Slater, Christoph Jöde, Christoph Schechinger, Clayton Nemrow, Connie Nielsen, Cyron Melville, David Halina, George Dawson, Hugo Speer, James Northcote, Jamie Bell, Jeff Burrell, Jens Albinus, Jesper Christensen, Jesse Inman, Johannes Kienast, Jonas Baeck, Maja Arsovic, Markus Tomczyk, Mia Goth, Michael Pas, Nicolas Bro, Peter Gilbert Cotton, Saskia Reeves, Shia LaBeouf, Simon Böer, Sofie Kasten, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Stacy Martin, Stellan Skarsgård, Tomas Spencer, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe
Director: Lars von Trier
Rating: Not Rated, NR
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