You can see relatively recent movies for free easily by checking them out from your local library. Here in San Antonio, it's even easier than simply roaming the shelves: by going to the local public library website, choosing its search function and limiting that to "VHS/DVD" results, you can review the entirety of the city's film library from your chair.
Once found, put a hold on the selections and choose your closest branch. The library system will bring the various selections to your branch, no matter how scattered they may be in the county. Once they are corraled at the branch of your choice, you pick 'em up, watch 'em, return 'em. Free.
How current is the local library's selection? Well, I couldn't find recent releases as shown on RottenTomatoes.com -- but I could find Sideways as well as the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, both Academy Award nominees for 2004. Not bad.