iPhone and iPad

Crackle: An App For Free Movies & TV Shows (And It’s Completely Legal)

Joshua Lockhart 05-03-2013

crackle appThe iPhone – as small as it is – can be a great platform for watching video on the go or while out of the house. However, most videos available for the little device are through the user-generated YouTube or paid subscription media services 6 of the Best Streaming Media Services Compared Streaming media has become the way of the future for many consumers, and as a result there’s no shortage of services to pick from. Let’s compare five of the best streaming media services to see... Read More . Rarely will you find something good to watch for free.


That’s where the Crackle app comes in, a handy little app with free Hollywood video content available to watch. No, we aren’t kidding. The app has partnered with several big name companies to bring high quality content to your pocket for absolutely zero cost. While there may be ads and a more limited selection than paid services, the app is sure to be a hit wherever you go.

The Selections

The Crackle app offers a range of popular movies and shows that you likely have heard of before. Included were even A Knight’s Tale and Married With Children among other titles that most people would be familiar with. What is peculiar about this is the fact that the app is free – entirely, utterly free. You really can’t argue with that. (Oh, and it’s legal, too!)

With that said, unlike Hulu Plus for iPhone or Netflix for iPhone Netflix For iPhone: One Of The Best Apps For Movies & Shows On The Go [iPhone] Having movies and television shows on your iPhone isn't anything new, but with Netflix, it's a whole lot easier. Whether you're with friends, on the road, or having to wait somewhere, the app is perfect... Read More , you will run into a few video ads while using the app. However, since Hulu Plus and Netflix cost money, this is highly forgivable. Somebody has to pay for all this goodness! Even still, the two video content services outweigh Crackle as far as title selections go.

crackle app

In short, you will likely find what you are wanting to watch using Hulu and Netflix. This is as opposed to Crackle, which is good for browsing and discovering something to watch. The app pulls all of its content from Columbia Pictures, Tri-Star, Screen Gems, and Sony Pictures Classics, so you are limited in this aspect.


The Interface

Everything is in a sleek black and orange design, and while browsing, an ad bar runs across the bottom of the screen. You’re able to separately browse both a movie library and a TV show library, which display the selections like any old video rental store shelf.

One thing that I didnt like was the fact that the app initially showcases its featured titles whenever you go to these libraries. There is a browse all option, but if I’m already headed to these libraries, I intended to browse everything available anyway. It’s just another (petty) hoop to jump through.

crackle free movies

Despite this one minor issue, I’d sum the app’s interface up in one word: functional. There isn’t a legitimate reason to complain, and generally speaking, everything works. You’d be hard pressed to find a reason to dislike the look of this app.


The Reliability

Overall, the reliability of the app is great! Videos play as they should, and the quality is just what you would expect out of an app like this. I encountered no problems or errors while watching the films and TV shows. I would compare its functionality to the Netflix app, for the virtually operate in the same exact manner. With a free Crackle account, you can even set up watchlists.

crackle free movies

Honestly, I couldn’t really find any issues with the Crackle app. It does what it says it will do, and you can’t complain too much whenever an app does that. As a note, the app’s titles are updated monthly with occasional changes, and it works over Airplay for those of you wanting to use the big screen.


That’s it for Crackle, a great app for watching all kinds of movies and television shows. It may not have an advantage over the competition as far as content goes, but with its price tag, it’s likely to stick around a bit longer. The ad-supported model of content sharing has typically been successful in the past, so I see Crackle evolving in the future. More titles are added every month, so who knows what the app will offer in the future?


crackle app

Let’s turn things to you, though.

What do you think about the Crackle app? For those of you already using the app, do you enjoy the selections that are currently available? Do you wish that the app would add any more titles? How do you feel about ads instead of paid subscriptions? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

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  1. Keith S
    May 27, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Crackle cracles! Pretty nice app!

  2. Keith Swartz
    March 21, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Gonna' cut that Cable line yet! Thanks for info!

  3. klu9
    March 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    using the Crackle website on my laptop, I do notice a little bit of delay in the audio, about 0.5 - 1 second behind the video.

    Generally not a problem, but when watching an action movie, it really reduced the impact of... impacts. e.g. a man (falling from a great height) suddenly hitting the ground soundlessly, with a loud crash a second later.

    Not sure if that's a problem with Crackle, my computer or my internet connection.

  4. Rudi Niemand
    March 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

    What's the catch? There's always a catch to things like this. Will give it a try nonetheless. Until it disappears alongside all previous similar apps and services.

    • Tina Sieber
      March 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      An experiment by the copyright owners? Maybe they are trying to figure out how they can monetize streaming services. In Europe, private satellite TV is free and ad-financed. There is very little pay TV, at least in Germany...except for the public TV stations, but that's a different story.

    • Donovan
      May 22, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      It's owned and run by Sony, and my guess is that they're running it as a kind of extension of the Playstation Network. Also it just maybe cheaper to rotate things from the back catalogue and archive than to put them out on DVD.

  5. Anonymous
    March 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I have crackle on my iphone and I recently downloaded it on my samsung smart tv. I don't mind watching the commercials, I understand why they are there. But as for selection, I think their selection is pretty good.

  6. Garris Rago
    March 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    As an app, I think these adverts are completely acceptable for high quality LEGAL movies for free.

  7. Pax
    March 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I used this app the other day to watch 'Chosen' - a Crackle Original TV Series. It felt like Hulu on the Desktop where a portion is streamed and then another portion is accessed from the server (piecemeal). Occasionally it would lose the connection completely. I'd have to keep backing up (sometimes closing the app) and re-access the episode again. The good thing is that in every instance, it allowed me to resume but it would get a little frustrating.

    Odd... you mention ads but during my time with Crackle, I didn't see any ads at all. (I may be mis-reading this)

    In contrast, I also used MovieTube (link to Youtube Player) to watch Carrie 2 (2002, Angela Bettis) and ATM (2012) without streaming issues at all.

    Not a bad app overall with a decent collection of Films and TV shows. They just need to work on the streaming issues.

    • Donovan
      May 22, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      I've found that movies have the most ads (about the same time rotation as network tv), popular live action shows like sitcoms (ie Seinfeld) are either played at the start or in the original ad breaks, and some more obscure things like shorts or anime (Fist of the North Star) might not have any at all. This is all on roku by the way.

  8. Dave Bakker
    March 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I've used Crackle a few times. Its actually not bad for a free app. The selection is pretty decent, and this would be a great free alternative to Netflix if you are not fussy with what to watch and dont watch enough to justify the 8 dollars a month. There are alot of older movies and there are commercials which you get used to quick enough.

  9. Junil Maharjan
    March 5, 2013 at 6:56 am

    It is a great app and many websites have said it one of the best apps to have but unfortunately it is region restricted.