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Crackle has carved out a solid niche in the world of streaming services. It won’t be overtaking Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon anytime soon, but it’s still worth your time—especially if you’re on a budget. Crackle movies change monthly, so flicks are constantly rotating in and out. That means there’s always something to fresh to watch, even if it won’t stick around for long.
The best part about Crackle movies is that they’re free. The only catch is that there are commercial breaks, but hey, those interruptions don’t have to be a bad thing. You can run to the bathroom or grab a snack. Make the breaks work for you. Here are our picks for the best free movies on Crackle for April 2019. Watch ’em while you can.
The best free Crackle movies in May 2019
1) Devil in a Blue Dress
The great Walter Mosley novel gets a worthy big-screen adaptation courtesy of writer-director Carl Franklin. Denzel Washington is note-perfect as Easy Rawlins, a World War ll vet turned private investigator. The story is set in the ‘50s, and the film captures the era well. Noir fans will feel at home roaming the streets with Easy. The film features observational social commentary that elevates it above typical genre fare.
2) Before Midnight
Midnight is probably the hardest film to watch in Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy, but it’s also the best. Released nine years after Before Sunset and 18 years after Before Sunrise, Before Midnight finds Celine and Jesse, the couple at the trilogy’s center, having moved past adolescent romance and youthful desire into middle-aged love—or something like it. The film suggests that ennui, complacency, and resentment are as much a part of growing old with someone as all that “happily ever after” stuff. Does the third installment’s edge take away from some of the sentiment and passion of the first two? Sure, but in making Celine and Jesse an actual couple, it also finds a surprising beauty in its realism. There’s no word yet on whether Linklater plans to make a fourth installment, but if we never check in with Celine and Jesse again, it will have been worth it for the sad, funny, poignant look at aging and love we got here. —Chris Osterndorf
3) Can’t Hardly Wait
Eighteen years’ worth of friendship, romance, bullying, hormones, and everything else associated with high school come to a head in this glorious ’90s time capsule. Preston Myers (Ethan Embry) is all set to confess his love to Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt) at the blowout graduation party, if only fate and his friends would get out of his way. Can’t Hardly Wait is hilarious and earnest in a way that only teenagers can be, but like most teen comedies, you kind of had to be there to maximize your enjoyment. Still, the movie has a certain universality and plenty of silliness for anyone to enjoy.
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Sacha Baron Cohen’s guerrilla comedy gives its subjects the rope and lets them do the rest. In Borat, Cohen sends his fictional Kazakhstanian character across America, ostensibly to declare his love for Pamela Anderson. Each stop allows new marks to spew ignorance and provide fodder for cringeworthy laughs. But there are enough people who show kindness to Borat to keep the film from feeling like it’s punching down. The element that raises Borat to classic status is the sense of danger running through numerous scenes. It heightens everything and makes the high-wire act all the more impressive. This is Cohen’s masterpiece.
5) Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser
If God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt, and God also made David Spade, does that mean Joe Dirt 2 is touched by the divine? You’re going to have to see for yourself to find out. But if you liked the original Joe Dirt, most likely you’ll be on onboard this goofy go-round too. Joe and his mullet transport back in time, and Joe has to make his way back to the present. Joe Dirt 2 is a Crackle exclusive, which made it the first movie sequel to be produced for a streaming outlet.
6) Wild Things
Every now and then a trashy movie is just what the doctor ordered, and Wild Things fits the bill. It’s a twisty tale of murder and betrayal set against a swampy, sweltering backdrop of Florida. And as Florida Man has taught us, nothing is too crazy or lurid to go down in the Sunshine State. By the end of the movie, you won’t know which way is up, but you’ll have fun getting there.
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7) Office Uprising
The corporate world meets the undead in Sony Crackle’s zombie comedy Office Uprising. Desmond (Brenton Thwaites) is a typical young 20s slacker type, whose corporate ineffectiveness comes in handy when his coworkers are turned into zombies. With the help of two friends Desmond have to fight their way throughout their building, taking on bosses, brown-nosers, jargon, and, of course, zombies along the way. The movie plays fast and loose with zombie tropes, generally for the movie’s benefit. Office Uprising is silly, very silly, but also quite entertaining.
A long time ago, before The Last Jedi was a beacon for online furor, Rian Johnson gifted the world this excellent sci-fi thriller about an assassin who must kill the older version of himself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the assassin, or Looper, Joe and Bruce Willis plays grizzled Old Joe. Despite the time-travel of it all, the plot is relatively easy to follow, which allows viewers to soak in everything about the movie that makes it great, from the performances (Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt in particular), to the dialogue, and inventive (and time-bending) setpieces.
New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, AMC, FX, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, FS1, TBS, Golf Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube.
Still not sure what to watch? Here are the best new comedies and documentaries you can stream right now, and the scariest movies of all time—and how to stream them, and the best serial killer movies of all time.
Eddie Strait is a member of the Austin Film Critic Association. His reviews focus primarily on streaming entertainment, with an emphasis on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other on-demand services.