See All Movie Streaming

Crackle

Free
Reviewed
March 2014
by ConsumerSearch
Crackle

Free movie streaming

Pros
  • Good hardware support
  • Original programs
  • It's free
Cons
  • Limited number of streaming movies and TV shows
  • Commercials

Bottom line

If it required a paid subscription, Crackle would fall to the bottom among streaming movie providers. However, it's free, and very much worth checking out if your hardware supports it.

Movie library

All Sony, all the time. Crackle is owned by Sony, and streams movies and TV shows produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment. That limits the library, and at last look it showed just more than 200 films available. Most are older titles, although a few released in the last few years are also offered. Even among older films, few award winners can be found, but content covering most major genres is included. Aside from the nuisance of commercials, most are pretty good popcorn fare, especially considering the (lack of) price.

TV library

Small library, big hits. Once again, content is limited to Sony-produced and -owned fare, just more than 60 series at last look. On the plus side, the lineup includes some long-running favorites such as "Seinfeld" and "Rescue Me," as well as some short-lived flops. No current series are included, but you will find a handful of Crackle original series, mostly of the short webisode variety.

Hardware support

Lots of ways to view. Crackle is available on a pretty good selection of home electronics gear. That includes smart TVs and Blu-ray players from most makers, with Panasonic being one obvious omission. It's also available on Sony and Microsoft game consoles, but not Nintendo. Set-top box support is available on Roku and Apple TV devices.

Our Sources

1. TomsGuide.com

Crackle is among the top online streaming video services according to this article at Tom's Guide. "If you crave pop cinema, Crackle could be the best thing to happen to your TV since afternoon basic cable," Marshall Honorof says.

Review: Top 10 Online Streaming Video Services, Marshall Honorof, Jan. 1, 2014

2. CNET

CNET reviews Crackle on Android mobile devices, although many of the comments apply to the service on any platform. Jaymar Cabebe notes that you won't find anything beyond basic cable fare and programs are interrupted on occasion by commercials, but Crackle is still worthwhile as "one of the few legit apps on the market that provides completely free streaming of television shows, movies, and other video content."

Review: Crackle for Android Review: Stream Movies and TV Shows for Free, Jaymar Cabebe, May 7, 2013

3. The New York Times

Mike Hale looks at the original programming on Crackle. "As perfectly competent, occasionally inspired B-grade genre entertainment, they stand up well alongside the second tier of basic-cable drama: History, Hallmark, Lifetime," he says.

Review: Taking Killers and Thrillers to the Web, Mike Hale, Oct. 14, 2013

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