Ten great films streaming free on ABC and SBS right now

From The Quiet Girl to Run Lola Run, these excellent films will keep you entertained at home for free.

With so many streaming services it can be easy to forget that – on ABC iview and SBS On Demand – Australia has a great range of films, documentaries and TV shows available to watch any time you like, for free. Don’t know where to start? The following should keep you going for a little while:

ABC iview

Limbo (2023)

Limbo. Image: Bunya Productions.

Classification: MA 15+

About: Travis Hurley, a jaded detective, arrives in the remote outback town of Limbo to investigate the cold case murder of local Indigenous girl Charlotte Hayes 20 years ago.

Stars: Simon Baker, Rob Collins, Natasha Wanganeen, Nicholas Hope.

Director: Ivan Sen.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 96%.

Watch now.

Read: Ivan Sen on sitting in silence with new feature Limbo

Judy (2019)

Judy. Image: 20th Century Fox.

Classification: M.

About: Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts, in an attempt to reclaim her popularity and reputation.

Stars: Renee Zellweger, Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley.

Director: Rupert Goold.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 82%

Watch now.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Strictly Ballroom. Image: Ronin Films.

Classification: PG.

About: When 21-year-old ballroom champion Scott Hastings commits the cardinal sin of dancing his own steps and not those of the all-powerful Dance Federation, the retribution is swift.

Stars: Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter, Pat Thomson, Gia Carides.

Director: Baz Luhrmann.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 88%.

Watch now.

Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash. Image: Sony Pictures Classics.

Classification: MA 15+.

About: Andrew Neiman is a young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to be at the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers to become one of the greats.

Stars: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser.

Director: Damien Chazelle.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 94%.

Watch now.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

If Beale Street Could Talk. Image: Annapurna Pictures.

Classification: MA 15+.

About: In early 1970s Harlem, Tish is in love with a sculptor, Fonny, the father of her unborn child. When Fonny is falsely accused of rape and imprisoned, Tish and their families race to clear his name before the baby is born.

Stars: KiKi Layne, Stephan James.

Director: Barry Jenkins.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 95%.

Watch now.

SBS On Demand

Drive (2011)

Drive. Image: FilmDistrict.

Classification: MA 15+.

About: A Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for thieves finds that a price has been put on his head after a failed robbery.

Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 93%.

Watch now.

Read: Barbie review – this Barbie will bust the block

Nymphomaniac (Volume One, 2013, and Two, 2014)

Nymphomaniac. Image: Nordisk Film.

Classification: R 18+.

About: Self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe is discovered badly beaten in an alley by older bachelor Seligman, who takes her into his home. As he tends to her wounds, she recounts the erotic story of her adolescence and young adulthood.

Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman.

Director: Lars von Trier.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 76%.

Watch now.

The Quiet Girl (2022)

The Quiet Girl. Image: Break Out Pictures.

Classification: M.

About: A nine-year-old girl is sent to live with distant relatives for the summer. Staying with the middle-aged farm couple, she discovers a new way of living.

Stars: Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett, Michael Patric.

Director: Colm Bairéad.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 96%.

Watch now.

Read: Why are so many Irish films and filmmakers nominated for Oscars?

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

This is Spinal Tap. Image: Embassy Pictures.

Rating: M.

About: An American film-maker records the demise of a fictitious band of ageing British metalheads in this mock `rockumentary’.

Stars: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, R.J. Parnell.

Director: Rob Reiner.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 95%.

Watch now.

Run Lola Run (1999)

Run Lola Run. Image: Prokino Filmverleih.

Classification: M.

About: Lola is given 20 minutes to save her lover, an errand boy for a local criminal, from the wrath of his boss after losing 100,000 Deutsche Mark.

Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Armin Rohde.

Director: Tom Tykwer.

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 93%.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites