Best crime shows to watch on Netflix right now
- Julia Kajdi
- 18 March 2020
Into crime series, serial killers and cool investigations? Netflix has you covered with mainstream thrillers, hidden international gems and real life docu-series to watch at home
Stuck at home and no idea what to watch on streaming sites? Let us help you. Here are our recommendations for the best crime series on Netflix at the moment.
American Crime Story 1 & 2
Both the American Crime Story season following the O.J. Simpson case and the next one unfolding the assassination of Gianni Versace earned high praises alongside critical acclaim and for good reason. With outstanding performances, suspenseful scenes and a desire to reflect what happened in real life, both seasons are a must-watch for those interested in courtroom dramas, manhunts and the general notion of injustice.
A visually captivating retelling of the story of Hannibal Lecter with mystery, suspense and strong performances. With Mads Mikkelsen in the leading role joined by Hugh Dancy's FBI profiler character, the series is a unique take on Thomas Harris' novels. By putting their relationship at the main core of the show, creator Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Pushing Daisies) turns the hunt for a serial killer formula into a deeper psychological cat-and-mouse game that challenges right and wrong in every human being.
Idris Elba shines as a troubled detective who tends to get obsessive and even aggressive in his line of duty but his solve rates justify his actions. This is until he comes across Alice Morgan, a psychopath killer who he is unable to arrest. Their peculiar relationship evolves into an unconventional friendship and partnership but can they ever really trust each other? A tense, dramatic and heavy show which features London as a character on its own.
Ted Kaczynski was a domestic terrorist sending bombs to various people in the 1990s until the FBI caught him; and while the story of a Maths professor-turned killer sounds interesting on its own, it was the method the FBI used to catch him that makes the series an unmissable piece. Though the bureau already used profiling at this time, turning to language studies and semantics to catch the bomber seemed like a long shot. Needless to say that's exactly how Kacynski was caught because he sent letters and his manifest to newspaper agencies which then got analysed, building an accurate profile of him.
Narcos & Narcos: Mexico
Drugs, violence, corruption and power plays; the war on drugs in Columbia and Mexico made Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel untouchable – at least for awhile. The three seasons of Narcos and two seasons of Narcos: Mexico depict a world far away from us where DEA agents risk their lives on a daily basis to investigate and hunt down some of biggest drug lords of our time. Though the fate of Escobar is well-known, the show is still full of surprises, with compelling storytelling and camera work. It does not fail to state the sad truth: you can win battles, but you can never win the war when it comes to drugs.
If anyone managed to miss Benedict Cumberbatch's ingenious depiction of the famous detective set in modern day London, now is the perfect time to make up for it. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat recreate the well-known stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a fascinatingly smart and innovative manner, taking full advantage of the technological era. The feature-length episodes stand alone with Moriarty lurking in the shadows almost all the time. Fast-paced, visually clever and funny while keeping Holmes' somewhat annoying yet admirable genius true to his original self.
The birth of criminal psychology and profiling is at the centre of the David Fincher led series that follows two FBI agents interviewing serial killers along their way to document their behavioural patterns and their social backgrounds. They look for answers to the big question: why would anyone do what they did? Incredibly suspenseful with nerve-racking scenes offering insight into the minds of the most notorious criminals of America.
Also recommended: Ozark, Peaky Blinders, Breaking Bad
It's a shame that the South Korean film industry only just recently made it into the spotlight with Parasite when they have made countless high quality works, one of which is this high-speed and action-packed crime series about a group of inmates temporarily let loose to help the police catch serial killers – no matter the means they use or the sacrifices they have to make.
In 2012, a young couple was abducted on a bus, assaulted and beaten by a gang of men in Delhi; the girl later died of her injuries. The case of such vicious gang rape shook India and the world, forcing the police and the state to change laws and regulation on crimes like this. The series follows a group of police members led by a female detective who worked literally day and night for almost a week to catch the men. Apart from it being shocking and eye-opening, the show also offers a glimpse into the social, cultural and traditional differences of the country. Not an easy watch but definitely a rewarding one.
One of the result of the #MeToo movement is the increase in the number of works dealing with sexual crimes and society's general attitude towards them. This miniseries led by the always amazing Toni Collette and the similarly captivating Merritt Wever. They investigate a series of break-ins and rapes while the series also shows what happens to the victims in an environment that questions the reality of their stories.
In an elite Spanish high school, the life of a group of wealthy and spoiled teenagers are turned upside down when three poorer kids show up as part of a scholarship programme. Tension, secrets, sex and betrayal in a highly entertaining setting with real, human characters who remain likeable despite their mistakes. The story is told in two timelines, unfolding a murder while showing us piece-by-piece how the relationships changed among the group.
Also recommended: Top of the Lake, When They See Us, Wallander
There are also a vast number of true crime documentaries on Netflix for those looking for a more realistic version of a real life murder or investigation. Our recommendations are the Ted Bundy Tapes, Making a Murderer, Don't F**k with Cats, and Who Killed Little Gregory?.
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