The microstructure, electronic structure, and chemical bonding of chromium carbide thin films with different carbon contents have been investigated with high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy and soft x-ray absorption-emission spectroscopies. Most of the films can be described as amorphous nanocomposites with non-crystalline CrCx in an amorphous carbon matrix. At high carbon contents, graphene-like structures are formed in the amorphous carbon matrix. At 47 at% carbon content, randomly oriented nanocrystallites are formed creating a complex microstructure of three components. The soft x-ray absorption-emission study shows additional peak structures exhibiting non-octahedral coordination and bonding.