Most of us could never imagine living through a crime, or being the person tasked with solving the mystery. But it is an element of life that we are compelled to explore, and there are few better ways to do this than with a good crime movie or series.
Fans of the genre have probably already checked out our list of the ten best true crime documentaries on Netflix, and our eight favorite Scandinavian crime series on Netflix. But if you are looking for more, here are our top ten crime series that you can stream on Netflix right now.
The Alienist (2018-)
This is a period drama crime series based on the 1994 novel by Caleb Carr. Set in 1890s New York, an unusual team of investigators is set up to find a serial killer that is targeting children. Starring Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning, there are currently two seasons available on Netflix.
This popular show follows James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington, a high profile criminal who voluntarily surrenders to the FBI in order to help them identify and capture some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. But the master criminal clearly has his own agenda, some of which seem to relate to his handler, played by Megan Boone.
Manhunt: Unabomber (2017)
Created by Andrew Sodroski, this series tells a fictional version of the FBI’s hunt for the infamous Unabomber. Sam Worthington stars as the young agent using new techniques to identify the culprit, and Paul Bettany as the Unabomber himself. There is hope that this will become an anthology series that explores similar true crimes.
This British TV series takes on the Nordic-noir detective theme with Anna Friel playing Marcella, a cop very much in the mold of The Killing’s Sarah Lund. She is actually a retired cop wh returns when an old serial killer case is reopened. She must balance her new life and her old guilt as she seeks to find the killer, again.
This series follows the creation of the FBI’s profiling department in the late 1970s with agents interviewing serial killers to understand exactly how they tick. Starring Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv, there are currently two seasons available, and we don’t know how long we will be waiting for season three as it is currently on “indefinite hold, though it has not been cancelled.
The Sinner (2017-)
This is another series that made a big splash when it came out, and since then has been chugging along for three excellent seasons. Bill Pullman is a police detective known for investigating the more challenging and unusual crimes. Season one starts when a woman seems to kill a man for no reason, but he uncovers a small town with a dark secret.
The Stranger (2020)
This is an eight-part miniseries based on the 2015 novel by Harlan Coben. The action begins when a stranger tells a man a secret that unravels his life. But how much is true, and who is trying to manipulate him. There are excellent performances from Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, and Hanna John-Kamen.
This miniseries focuses on a young girl (Kaitlyn Dever) who reports a rape, but is not believed by police and must face the consequences of being branded a liar. But as two female police detectives (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) in other parts of the country investigate similar crimes, we are asked to question how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
The Valhalla Murders (2019)
This Icelandic series delivers exactly the kind of Scandinavian noir crims story that we love. It is based on a true crime from the 1940s, reimagined for the modern-day. It focuses on a state-run institution where young people are being abused, but their struggle is only revealed when a murder draws the attention of the police.
When They See Us (2019)
This miniseries is a dramatization of the events of the Central Park jogger case in 1989 which saw five male suspects, all black, falsely convicted of raping a white female jogger, who had no memory of the event due to head trauma. The series focuses on the miscarriage of justice, and the impact this had on the lives of everyone involved.
What To Watch Next?
While Netflix has a very good crime offering, it is not the only place to get your crime fix. If you are looking for something a bit different, check out the HBO crime docuseries I’ll be Gone in the Dark, or their new Polish crime thriller The Thaw.