Sony Crackle Review

This is our experience watching free movies and shows at Sony Crackle

Screenshot of the movie Blankman on Sony Crackle
The Movie "Blankman".

Below is our review of Sony Crackle, which is a website that lets you stream free movies online and watch free TV shows.

Sony Crackle may not have the best video quality, and it's true that you must watch advertisements during videos, but it's still the best website for watching both older and newer movies and TV shows.

Note: Sony Crackle used to be called Crackle, and Grouper before that.

Excellent Free Movie Selection

We've used several different websites to watch free movies and TV shows, and Sony Crackle certainly has many more newer videos than those you may find on similar sites.

Sony Crackle usually has over 100 full-length movies and full episodes from over 50 different TV series. Ones that were released in the 1960's all the way up to more recent years are freely available, which is much better than similar websites that only have older movies.

Finding these movies and shows couldn't be easier because you can use the genre or alphabetical list to see all the movies on one page. There's also a section for just recently added videos, so you can check back as often as you want to see what they've been including in their free selection.

Sony Crackle keeps videos during a particular time frame and then removes them. This means if you watch part of a movie one day, it's quite possible it could be gone the next before you can finish it. While this isn't ideal, it's still fine for most people since you probably usually watch a movie from beginning to end. Plus, the movies are free, so it's hard to complain.

Video Quality Is Good, but Not Great

You can easily adjust the quality of movies and TV shows at Sony Crackle to work best with your internet speed. Video resolutions cap out at 480p, though, which is too bad if you’re looking for super high-quality videos. 

If viewing movies and TV shows on a very large, high definition screen, this relatively low quality will surely be noticed. However, the movies we tested seemed about as clear as a regular DVD on a normal computer screen.

Video Player Options

Screenshot of the video caption options on a free movie at Sony Crackle

The closed captioning settings in Sony Crackle's video player is very handy, and they let you truly customize the way subtitles appear for any video you’re watching. In the video player, you can open the CC/SUB options and change the language, adjust the font type and size, alter the foreground, background, and border color, as well as adjust the opacity of the text.

Adjusting the subtitles like this may simply be preferred if you're watching a movie that's primarily dark or light so you can apply the opposite effect to make the text readable. Unfortunately, the closed captions settings you configure do not apply to any video but the one you're watching. 

We also like that Sony Crackle's movies and TV shows can be displayed in full-screen mode to get that theater-like experience at home.

Screenshot of the options below a video at Sony Crackle

Something else worth noting about the video player is that you can see when ads will be displayed. Below the video are other things like a Watch Later button, rate buttons, video description, social media sharing buttons, and more.

Lots of Ads, but They're Worth the Trouble

Because Sony Crackle is free, it uses advertising in both movies and TV shows. One appears at the beginning of every video and then more will appear as you watch more of the video. The shorter the video you’re watching, the fewer advertisements you’ll see, which seems appropriate.

For example, a 20-minute episode of a TV show has three advertisements whereas a movie that’s an hour and a half may have as many as nine.

You can clearly see where the advertisements are at in a video. If you put your mouse into the video player and attempt to fast forward, you’ll notice small gray lines, which indicate advertisements. It's fortunate these are there so you know how far you can progress the video without having to watch another ad.

Advertisements might tend to be longer than you'd expect. As you skip forward in the video, multiple ads might play back to back. In these circumstances, the ads might only last a total of a minute, so they're still tolerable.

Smooth Video Streams

As for buffering, we had absolutely no hiccups or stalls when watching several TV shows and movies. From the moment a video started to the point that an advertisement would show, were no delays due to buffering. There were also no delays when starting a video midway — it would begin to play just moments later from wherever it was clicked.

There are lots of comments on many movies on Sony Crackle where someone states that the video is too hard to watch because it takes too long to buffer. Again, this was not our experience, but whether or not it's yours depends entirely on your own internet and computer speed.

Fantastic Mobile App

Sony Crackle's has a really nice free movie app. The main page shows featured movies and shows, and the next two sections of the app separate movies and TV shows into their own categories. As you move down the app in either section, you can find the most popular videos, those that were recently added, and then all the videos in their own genre.

It's super simple to use the app because while it shows all of Sony Crackle's content, it's all organized very well to prevent clutter. You can move left to right in each genre to find all the movies and shows that belong in it. When you choose a video, you can find all the details you can see on Sony Crackle's desktop site, such as the cast, description of the video, and rating.

You can also share the video over social networks, SMS, or email. The CC/SUB settings mentioned above in the "Player Options" section is also available in Sony Crackle's mobile app.

Final Thoughts

Sony Crackle is a great website for watching free movies and TV shows online. The video quality is decent, advertisements aren’t too terrible, and we had no issues with a video pausing while buffering.

Whether you're looking at movies or TV shows, the menus at the top make it extremely easy and quick to change the genre. You can, of course, view all the genres together if you want, as well as sort alphabetically or by release date.

We also like the social sharing abilities of Sony Crackle. If you like to share what you're watching, like, comment on, rate, etc., you can have these detailed shared on Facebook automatically while you use Sony Crackle.