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What Is Crackle? All You Need to Know About Free Streaming Service | Entertainment

Movies and end of the world TV shows galore, streaming for free? Yes, it’s true. Around since 2004, here’s what makes Crackle pop.

What is it?

One of the oldest streaming services, this former Sony property launched in 2004 and is currently owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. A broad range of movies and TV shows—more than 5,000!—are on offer.

How much does it cost?

It’s totally free! However, you do have to watch ads (did we mention it’s free?), and it’s only available in the United States.

What’s in the library?

The streamer’s eclectic assortment of films features all the usual genres (comedy, horror, thriller, drama, sci-fi, family). Some highlights: the moving 2018 drama Bel Canto, based on Ann Patchett’s award-winning novel; the 2013 airplane thriller Non-Stop; tons of galloping Westerns old and new, like 1939’s Stagecoach starring John Wayne or 1991’s tenderhearted My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys; and the funny 1983 sex romp Losin’ It (with a young Tom Cruise!).

Feeling nostalgic for TV from decades past?

You’re in luck. Sample titles include time-honored classics like beloved variety hit The Carol Burnett Show, spook-filled soap opera Dark Shadows, the shenanigans of Spanky and the gang in The Little Rascals, 1980s superhero fantasy The Greatest American Hero and more. On the newer side, check out Chris Rock’s hit 2005–09 comedy Everybody Hates Chris and the first four seasons of the British crime smash Line of Duty. Both series and movies are also grouped into eye-catching themes such as “Epic Disasters,” the concert films of “Now Touring” and even “Demons and Exorcisms”!

What else should I know?

Crackle delivers orig­inals and exclusives too. Think: sci-fi dramas (the alien invaders tale Spides, Casper Van Dien in Sal­vage Marines), comedies (New Zealand’s Funny Girls), sports docuseries (On Point, about high school hoops) and more. Recent arrivals include this summer’s advice-filled series At Home With Genevieve, hosted by interior designer and fan-fave HGTV alum Genevieve Gorder. In film, the rom-com Love for Starters stars Shadow­huntersStephanie Ben­nett as an interior designer try­ing to save her dad’s restaurant—and clashing with its hot chef (Jonathan Cherry).

How do I get started?

It’s as easy as going to You don’t need to create an account to watch, but if you do (no credit card necessary), you can access additional features, like adding favorites to your watchlist, enabling captions and setting up parental controls for the kids. You can also download the Crackle app to your Roku, Amazon Fire, iPad, Android, XBox Series 5 and PlayStation 5 and smart TVs.

Here’s what’s new and notable on the streaming service:


Lars von Trier’s award-winning 2011 film, added last month, stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as sisters in a dramatic tale of another planet colliding with Earth.

David J Nobel-'Warrior Taras'



In this exciting Ukrainian sword and sorcery series—a Crackle original from September—a young peasant (Yuriy Dyak) finds a magic earring.

What Doesn’t Kill You

Another recent arrival: The AvengersMark Ruffalo and Training Day’s Ethan Hawke headline a 2008 crime drama set in South Boston.

Highway to Heaven

More episodes of Michael Landon’s angel-on-the-road ’80s drama? Amen!

This is an excerpt from TV Insider‘s October issue. For more in-depth, reported coverage devoted to streaming shows from the publishers of TV Guide Magazine, pick up the issue, currently on newsstands, or purchase it online here. You can also subscribe to TV Insider Magazine here now.

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