Are you putting him down flat on his back? Maybe a wedge would help if he isn't used to laying flat (or putting a few books under the legs at the head of the crib). You could also try propping him on his side (with a receiving blanket behind him). My LO will sleep for 1-2 hours at a time in her crib, but never if she's flat on her back.
You could try to put a hot water bottle or a warm rice bag in the crib for awhile before you put him in there (I have a store-bought rice bag, but you could add rice (not instant) to a tube sock). I usually leave it in there, with a blanket over it to keep the heat in, for like 20 minutes before I lay her down. They like being warm, and sometimes the cold crib sheets are enough to wake them up.
One of my friends has also started swaddling her baby in the t-shirt she wore that day, and baby has done MUCH better in his crib/cradle since he can smell her.
Have you tried a noise machine? We have one with a heart beat that helps LO calm down.