Arts + Culture

5 Movies You Can Stream for Free with Your Library Card (Plus 26K More)

Did you know that your Columbus Metropolitan Library system just partnered with a video streaming service to offer you access to more than 26,000 movies? That means that while Netflix is jacking their prices up again, your 100% free CML card is opening up the world of fine film from the comfort of your home.

The service is called Kanopy and it is like Netflix for people who seriously love film– think foreign films, documentaries, indie films, the ones that win awards. The ones that make you think. Plus some of the Blockbusters too. Furthermore, you can access Kanopy from your iPhone, Android, AppleTV, Roku, or Chromecast.

Here are 5 of the thousands of movies available on the service:

The Witness

You may remember learning about Kitty Genovese in your high school psychology class, more specifically about the phenomenon of many people witnessing a crime and assuming that everyone else is doing something about it. This documentary, lead by Kitty’s younger brother, explores the facts behind the mythologized murder and  gets to the bottom of the real story.

Watch the trailer for The Witness


Claire in Motion

This film, set in Athens, OH, follows the wife of an OU academic who goes missing in the Hocking Hills region. After police abandon the search, Claire takes it up and starts to uncover clues that make everything fuzzier. (Their son is played by Athens native Zev Haworth, whom I used to babysit.)

Watch the trailer for Claire in Motion


This is, without a doubt, one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever seen. Definitely not for the faint of heart. This Greek dark comedy (emphasis on the dark) earned an Oscar Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. A controlling father tells outlandish lies in order to keep his adult children from leaving their family compound. The resulting behavior is as jarring, occasionally comical, and deeply disturbing as you can expect.  (If you liked The Lobster, this is up your alley. )

Watch the trailer for Dogtooth (or maybe don’t)

House on Haunted Hill

This 1959 classic “horror” film is based on the book by Shirley Jackson. An eccentric millionaire invites five people to stay the night in his haunted mansion– whoever makes it through will win $10,000. Starring Vincent Price, the patron saint of horror camp, tons of XL cobwebs, at least one clearly-made-of-wax decapitated head, and all the shrieking ladies you can handle.  

Watch the trailer for  House on Haunted Hill


The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

A French musical masterpiece presented in dazzling colors as only possible in 1960’s celluloid. Catherine Deneuve works in an umbrella shop where she meets her love. The rest is beautiful, cult, history.

Watch the trailer for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Header photo by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash

Staff writer, editor, and producer for 1812 Columbus. Creative Community Director for SEEN Digital Media and