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The Best Free Crime Movies You Can Watch On YouTube Right Now

It's a fundamental truth that crime doesn't pay... unless you count the money that you get for committing a crime, or the even more substantial windfall that comes when your life rights get optioned by a streaming service. Putting aside all of that money, crime doesn't pay.

If you're a criminal, and as a result, live a life of quiet, considered frugality (having never once been paid), you'll be looking to stretch your entertainment dollar as far as possible. Rejoice, scofflaws: YouTube has a long list of movies, available to watch free of charge on the device of your choosing. What's more, they've got a killer selection of crime flicks to boot, all fresh off the back of the truck and just sitting there, waiting for someone to watch them. It'd be a shame to let them go to waste.

We combed through YouTube's list of free movies and handpicked some of the best crime stories, from murderous morticians to kids that love to stab. Here's a look at some of the best that the streaming service has to offer.


Director Richard Linklater is known for many things, including his love of painting over his actors in "A Scanner Darkly" and "Waking Life," as well as his stalwart refusal to let Ethan Hawke leave his kennel for 12 years while he finished making "Boyhood." He's also teamed up with Jack Black a handful of times, for 2003's "School of Rock," the upcoming animated feature "Apollo 10 ½," and — nestled between the two — "Bernie," the story of an affable, much-beloved Texas man named Bernie Tiede (Black) and his questionable 1996 decision to shoot his employer (Shirley MacLaine) in the back several times.

While "Bernie" received solid reviews, currently sitting at an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, that's not what makes it remarkable. The film was based on true events, and features talking head segments from people familiar with the story. Its success helped shine a light on the court case of the real Bernie Tiede, and even caught the attention of a new legal team for the convicted killer. While he wound up resentenced to 99 years in prison, he spent two years out on bond living in Linklater's apartment while he waited for his court date, according to Variety.

Dead End

"Dead End" stars Humphrey Bogart as Hugh "Baby Face" Martin at a point in history when people who looked like Humphrey Bogart were still called "Baby Face." Based on the play of the same name, it's a throwback to another era, when stark income inequality led to explosive outbursts of big city unrest, if you can imagine such a predicament.

Thick with melodrama, sex work in a world where penicillin hadn't found a wide audience, and more kids with knives than you see in most movies these days, "Dead End" was a big deal when it premiered in 1937. It racked up Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director nods, and — along with the 22 other movies that he made between 1937 and 1940 — helped to solidify Bogart's place as a Hollywood tough guy. Stark black and white footage combined with those old timey scenes where a guy gets shot, winces, and falls down make for an absolute classic.

Rob the Mob

A cast of characters with a giggling, Robin Hood-esque enthusiasm for robbing the corrupt and wealthy will only get you so far. You also need a star that crowds will connect with. Or, to put it another way, you need someone that everybody loves.

Ray Romano co-stars in "Rob the Mob," the story of a disillusioned young criminal (Michael Pitt) with a grudge against the mafia. The aspiring big shot gets a new burst of energy one day when he learns that mobsters don't allow guns in their communal meeting places, leaving them vulnerable to fiscal redistributions of the violently coerced variety. One shadilly procured uzi later, he's on the path to ill-gotten fortune and glory.

The plan is about as smart as it sounds, and starts a domino rally of criminal shenanigans involving gunplay, secret documents, and Andy Garcia. What's more, the story is based on true events — look up Thomas and Rosemarie Uva if you want the movie's gruesome ending spoiled.


If you like high-stakes poker, but find the ups and downs of lady luck to be a turn off, why not consider cheating to win? Alternately, if cheating at cards sounds like a good time but you don't want to have your fingers crushed with a large hammer, you might consider watching "Shade," the 2003 story of a little card shark in a big pond.

There's a stacked cast to consider — Sylvester Stallone, Gabriel Byrne, Thandiwe Newton, Jamie Foxx, and Hal Holbrook all play prominent roles, as does Stuart Townsend, back before he reached the heights of stardom thanks to the juggernaut of success that was the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" extended cinematic universe. As a bonus, YouTube is currently offering the TV edit, one where instead of re-dubbing the bad language words, the editors elected to cut them out entirely, inadvertently creating a surreal world where swearing causes a small vacuum to open in front of a person's mouth and swallow the noises that they make.


Starring and written by Joel Edgerton, the once and future Uncle Owen from the "Star Wars" prequels, "Felony" is an indie flick out of Australia with no compunctions about moral complications. The story revolves mainly around hero cop Malcolm Toohey who, after a night spent celebrating his most recent brush with death, drunkenly climbs behind the wheel of a car and destroys his entire life. No spoilers, but as panicked rearview mirror shots go, this one is right up there with the light post scene from "Hereditary." Also appearing: Jai Courtney, who would go on to join some sort of Suicide Squad through his boomarang expertise, and Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson.

The Washington Post gave "Felony" a glowing review, extolling lead actors who "excel in their roles, and director Matthew Saville gives additional insight into the men through small yet informative details," while The AV Club praised the script as "impressively pointed (...) regarding the code of silence that enables police corruption, even among fundamentally decent officers."