If there’s one genre we simply can’t get enough of when it comes to a solid binge-sesh, it’s crime. There’s just something addictive about riding shotgun with fictional detectives as they try to solve a mystery, or delving deep inside a criminal’s mind to see what makes them tick. We’re sickos we know, but if you’re reading this, chances are you are too.
From police dramas and series inspired by true stories to serial killer shows that will have you leaving the light on at night, here are 20 of Netflix’s best crime shows.
Anatomy Of A Scandal
If you’ve read the bestselling novel of the same name by Sarah Vaughn, you’ll know this is a big deal. A psychological thriller and gripping courtroom drama, the series infiltrates Britain's elite through a personal and political scandal. James and Sophie Whitehouse live in a blissful world. A Minister in Parliament, a loving family at home, James' trajectory appears without limits. Until a scandalous secret suddenly comes to light. Barrister Kate Woodcroft has a trajectory of her own, and her prosecution threatens to tear into Westminster and the Whitehouse marriage. This is a juicy series you can't afford to miss. Watch it here.
Pieces Of Her
The last time we saw Toni Collete grace our screens in a Netflix series was when Unbelievable dropped and we all lost our collective marbles. It was great, no? So it goes without saying her next show, Pieces Of Her, is an unmissable piece of content you need in your life. In a sleepy Georgia town, a random act of violence sets off an unexpected chain of events for 30-year-old Andy Oliver and her mother Laura. Desperate for answers, Andy embarks on a dangerous journey across America, drawing her towards the dark, hidden heart of her family. Watch Pieces Of Her here.
If you haven’t heard the story of convicted fraudster Anna Delvey (more notably known as the ‘Soho grifter’), you’re in for a treat. Inventing Anna, written by Shonda Rhimes, is based on the real life events of the aforementioned conwoman who basically went out and convinced all of New York’s high society and socialite scene that she was a German heiress. The truth? Her name was Anna Sorokin and was a con artist from Russia.
In Inventing Anna, a journalist with a lot to prove investigates the case of Anna Delvey, the Instagram-legendary German heiress who worked her way up the social ranks of New York and scammed hotels, banks, art dealers—the lot. Anna and the reporter form a dark, funny love-hate bond as Anna awaits trial and our reporter fights the clock to answer the biggest question in NYC: who is Anna Delvey?
This critically acclaimed drama is absolutely one of the best crime shows on Netflix. It follows FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) who probe further into the psyches of those who have done the unthinkable. With help from psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), they apply their groundbreaking behavioral analysis to hunting notorious serial killers. Oh and did we mention this series was inspired by true events? Binge it here.
Queen Of The South
If you demand bad ass feminist leads in your crime drama then Queen Of The South is for you. The series kicks off with a bang with leading lady Teresa fleeing her home in Mexico for the United States after her drug-dealing boyfriend is murdered by a cartel boss. Vowing to avenge her lover’s death, she lands in Texas and begins her journey to become a drug lord whose business rivals everyone around her. Watch the action unfold here.
This Spanish crime drama is totally addictive. It centres around a criminal mastermind going by the name "The Professor" who is aiming to pull off the biggest money heist of all time—printing billions of euros in the Royal Mint of Spain. But to help The Professor pull the gig off, he recruits a motley crew of eight crooks, all with specific abilities that make them the perfect criminal squad. Watch all four seasons here.
As the name suggests this thought-provoking anthology series is all about criminals and the people who put them away for good. Set in four countries (UK, France, Germany and Spain), each episode takes place in the interrogation room where you’ll ride shotgun with detectives who, tasked with little evidence, try to figure out if the suspect sitting in front of them really committed the crime they’re accused of. While we don’t like to play favourites, the UK spin off is a must watch. Catch Game Of Thrones star Kit Harrington as he tries to wriggle his way out of a conviction.
Tom (played by Dexter’s Michael C. Hall), a paediatric surgeon and single father to two teenage daughters, lives a good but simple life in a beautiful gated community in the British countryside. But when his eldest daughter disappears in mysterious circumstances and a neighbour winds up dead, he realises that in fact he knows nothing about the people closest to him. Dark secrets begin to rise to the surface and soon enough, his idyllic “safe” neighbourhood turns into a living nightmare. Get swept up in the drama here.
Currently filming its fourth season, this addictive crime drama has won a slew of major awards and for good reason—it’s seriously epic. It centres around Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), a financial planner who’s mundane life takes a nasty turn when his business partner gets them in trouble with a Mexican drug lord. In an effort to save his life, he relocates his family to a summer holiday town in the Ozarks where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease said drug lord. It’s highly addictive, watch it here.
Returning to London’s Murder Squad after a 12-year career break, Detective Marcella Backlund (Anna Friel) is determined to revive her career at all costs. On her first day back on the job she’s assigned to one of her old cases that she first worked on in 2003. After a spate of recent killings has occurred, all carrying the same hallmarks as those unsolved murders committed over a decade ago she must figure out if the killer has re-appeared or is it a copycat murderer? Watch it here.
Created by best-selling crime author Harlan Coban, The Stranger is an absolute beauty. It follows Adam Price, a happily married father of two whose life is turned upside-down after a stranger tells him a secret about his wife. The revelation sets off a chain reaction of deadly events, as Adam desperately tries to seek out answers before realising very quickly that nothing in his postcard perfect life was as it seems. Catch this spine-tingling series here.
Inspired by true events, Unbelievable follows teenager Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) who files a police report claiming she's been sexually assaulted by an intruder in her home. Shockingly, the investigating detectives, as well as the people closest to her, come to doubt the truth of her story. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (Emmy winners Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) meet while investigating an eerily similar pair of intruder rapes and partner to catch a potential serial rapist. Grab the tissues, and binge it here.
Line Of Duty
Spanning five incredible seasons, this intense police drama is so freaking good, we’re actually jealous you haven’t watched it yet. It kicks off with Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott who, after being ostracised from his squad when he refuses to help cover-up an innocent man getting shot by police, is transferred to work in the anti-corruption unit. Once there he witnesses a whole new type of criminal investigation—this time interviewing and arresting corrupt cops whose crimes will leave your jaw on the floor. As with any excellent crime drama, absolutely nothing is as it seems. Work your way through all five seasons here.
This anthology crime series will shock you to your core as you try to untangle the twists and turns each season throws at you. In season one, the case centres around a young mother Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) who inexplicably stabs a stranger to death on a beach. Season two follows Julian who confesses to murdering both of his parents and the latest season is all about high school teacher Jamie (Matt Bomer) who survives a high-speed crash that kills an old college friend. Each storyline is linked together by the same investigating detective, Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman), whose own demons often entwine with his suspects. Watch all three seasons here.
Set in and around the corridors of power, Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Game Of Thrones Richard Madden), a heroic, but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague, Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat? Binge it here.
When the body of a legendary Manchester DJ is discovered twenty years after his mysterious disappearance in Ibiza, his sister returns to the beautiful Spanish island to find out what happened. Her investigation will lead her through a thrilling world of dance clubs, lies and cover-ups, forcing her to confront the darker sides of her own character in a place where people live life on the edge. Turn detective here.
This unflinching psychological thriller set amidst the underbelly of New York City’s “Gilded Age”, follows Laszlo Kreizler, a brilliant and obsessive “Alienist” in the controversial new field of treating mental pathologies, who holds the key to hunting down a never-before-seen ritualistic killer murdering young boys. The series also stars Dakota Fanning as Sara Howard, an ambitious secretary determined to become the city's first female police detective and Luke Evans as newspaper illustrator John Moore. Catch the series here.
This Netflix original series is a must-see. The plot goes like this: As a teenager, Assane Diop's life was turned upside down when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Fast forward 25 years later and Assane decides to use "Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar"—world-famous gentleman thief and master of disguise—as his inspiration to avenge his father. You may recognise lead actor Omar Sy from the glorious 2011 French film The Intouchables. Watch part one here.
While the original series wrapped up back in 2013; the reboot is a must watch. The 10 new eps pick up as Dushane (Ashley Walters) returns from exile to his home in London to reclaim his throne in the highly lucrative drug market. He teams up with Sully (Kane Robinson), his spiritual brother, partner and sometime rival who is also returning to the same streets after his own form of exile—prison—comes to an end. Awaiting them both is Jamie, the young, hungry and ruthless gang leader whose ambitions leave no place for Dushane and Sully. Watch both seasons here.
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace
If true crime is more of your vibe then you’ll want to plug into this mini-series stat. Packing an all-star cast including Edgar Ramírez, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz, the show chronicles the defining moments in Andrew Cunanan's life (played by Darren Criss), starting with his childhood and leading up to a 1997 murder spree that saw him kill five people, including fashion icon Gianni Versace. Watch it here.
Behind Her Eyes
Based on Sarah Pinborough’s best selling 2017 novel of the same name, the plot goes like this: Louise Barnsley, a young, single mum whose otherwise uneventful life takes a turn when she becomes romantically involved with her handsome—and married—boss, psychiatrist David (played by Tom Bateman). But things get extra messy when after a “chance” encounter with David’s wife, Adele, Louise befriends her and becomes entangled in a love triangle of secrecy and lies. On top of the guilt, she is often plagued by night terrors manifesting from past trauma. Watch this goose-bump inducing series here.
How To Get Away With Murder
Anything from the brilliant mind of Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland crew should go straight to the top of your must-see list and How To Get Away With Murder is absolutely worthy of the top spot. The show tells the story of Annalise Keating (played by Viola Davis), a take-no-prisoners criminal defence lawyer and professor, who mentors a group of aspiring law students. But when the teens get caught up in a murder themselves, they turn to Keating for help. Catch five seasons here.
Based on the characters from Thomas Harris' novels this truly terrifying series is probably better binged with company (or at the very least in the daytime). The show centres on FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) who is recruited by the FBI to help investigate a serial killer in Minnesota. Disturbed by the case, the FBI suggests Graham get checked out by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen)—yes that Hannibal Lecter—who is secretly a cannibalistic serial killer. Watch it here.
Up next, binge your way through Netflix's best political thrillers.
Image Credit: Netflix