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The 25 Best Crime Dramas Streaming Now on Netflix [Spring 2021]

The 25 Best Crime Dramas Streaming Now on Netflix [Spring 2021]

When it comes to watching television, there’s plenty of content to pick from. Comedies, soap operas, teen drama—there’s no shortage of what you can find on Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, and traditional cable television. One of our favorite genres, for better or worse, is the crime drama. It’s no secret that TV loves a good crime drama, and Netflix has a lot of good ones on offer.

Of course, the genre’s popularity begs the question: why do we love them? Are we obsessed with death? Is it a rubbernecking effect, like passing an accident site on the highway? We know we shouldn’t watch, but we can’t look away. Or maybe it’s the armchair detective in us, the one who wants to be the first to guess whodunit. Whatever your reason for watching, sit back and enjoy these offerings from Netflix. These are the best crime dramas on Netflix for spring 2021.

Paranoid

Paranoid

By Bill Gallagher

star 6.6/10

by IMDb Rating

Paranoid is a television mini-series created by Bill Gallagher for ITV and Netflix. After a doctor is killed in a playground, someone called the “Ghost Detective” is gathering boxes of clues and secretly interviewing witnesses. The investigation leads to a pharmaceutical company in Dusseldorf, and the detectives seek help from their German colleagues. Indira Varma plays D.S. Nina Suresh, Robert Glenister is DC Bobby Day, and Dino Fetscher is DC Alec Wayfield.

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

By Mark Frost

star 8.8/10

by IMDb Rating
The Code

The Code

By Shelley Birse

star 7.3/10

by IMDb Rating

The Code was created by Shelley Birse and stars Dan Spielman and Ashley Zukerman as two Canberra-based brothers entangled in a cover-up that involves a remote outback community and key members of the Australian Government. Ned is the older brother, who is conflicted about caring for his autistic younger brother, Jesse. Jesse has been in trouble with the law and is no longer allowed to use the internet unsupervised. When the brothers are sent a video of a murder, they investigate despite the fact that it places them both in serious danger, and there are many people involved who don’t ever want the truth to come out.

Longmire

Longmire

By Hunt Baldwin

star 8.3/10

by IMDb Rating

Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is the dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Widowed only a year, he is a man in psychic repair who buries his pain behind a brave face, unassuming grin, and dry wit. Longmire is a hybrid cowboy western and police procedural. Series creators John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin based the series on the books written by Craig Johnson.

Spotless

Spotless

By Corinne Marrinan

star 7.7/10

by IMDb Rating

Jean Bastiere (Marc-Andre Grondin) and his family live in London, where Jean runs a crime scene cleaning business. When his brother Martin (Denis Menochet) resurfaces after many years, he brings with him not only a dead body hidden in his van, but the memories and trauma that Jean hoped would stay buried forever. According to Heidi Patalano of TheWrap, “The show has the potential to become an export as beloved as shows like Wallander and The Fall—too smart for the mainstream and pleasing for those of us who consider ourselves above watching Bones.” This Franco-British television series was co-created by Ed MccArdie and Corinne Marrinan, and premiered in France in 2015. It was renewed for a second season by Esquire.

Ripper Street

Ripper Street

By Richard Warlow

star 8.1/10

by IMDb Rating

Ripper Street takes place in the poor Whitechapel section of London, 1889, just six months after the unsolved Jack the Ripper murders. When more mutilated victims turn up, it’s up to DI Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) and his partner, DS Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn), to discover whether the Ripper is at it again. Reid and his wife Emily (Amanda Hale) have suffered their own tragedy surrounding the death of their only daughter, Mathilda. There is some mystery surrounding the girl that only slowly emerges through the season, but causes a rift between Reid and Emily. Filmed in Dublin, the show has recreated the period in London very convincingly.

Gotham

Gotham

By Bruno Heller

star 7.8/10

by IMDb Rating

Gotham was created by Bruno Heller as a prelude to the Batman stories. It tells the story of Commissioner James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as he begins his career in Gotham and meets the young, newly orphaned Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). Gordon has his work cut out for him as the hard-working straight arrow in a corrupt (at worst) and lazy (at best) police department. Donal Logue plays Harvey Bullock, Gordon’s partner, who is willing to try it Gordon’s way as long as he doesn’t have to work too hard. Robin Lord Taylor is fabulous as Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot, as is Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney. Sam Perwee plays Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s fatherly butler.

American Crime

American Crime

By John Ridley

star 7.7/10

by IMDb Rating
Narcos

Narcos

By

star 8.8/10

by IMDb Rating
Broadchurch

Broadchurch

By Chris Chibnall

star 8.4/10

by IMDb Rating
Sherlock

Sherlock

By Mark Gatiss

star 9.1/10

by IMDb Rating
Alias Grace

Alias Grace

By

star 7.7/10

by IMDb Rating

Alias Grace is yet another import sold as a Netflix original, though this time from our neighbors up north. At only six episodes and standing as a miniseries, Alias Grace is the type of content that might only take you a day or two to watch (it’s exactly six hours long, or 360 minutes). Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale, a series that garnered a lot of attention, both publicly and critically, for Hulu), Alias Grace follows Dr. Simon Jordan as he is asked to evaluate suspected murderer Grace Marks, who has been imprisoned for fifteen years for the crime. Though Grace has no memory of the crime, she tells Jordan the events of her life that led her from Ireland to Canada and how she ended up in prison. Unlike Handmaid’s Tale, which is a dystopian novel set in the future, Alias Grace is historical fiction based on real events, fictionalizing the 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery. The series was acclaimed upon release, both for its production values and social commentary and for Sarah Gadon’s performance as Grace.

Marcella

Marcella

By Hans Rosenfeldt

star 7.4/10

by IMDb Rating

Hans Rosenfeldt and Nicola Larder created this contemporary British police procedural for Netflix. Marcella (Anna Friel) is a Detective Sergeant who took a ten-year hiatus from her work to raise a family, leaving behind an unsolved serial killer case. When bodies start turning up killed in the same way, she returns to work. She mainly does a great job, except when she has blackouts–neither the audience nor the protagonist is sure that Marcella isn’t guilty of the murders she’s investigating. As the season unfolds, we learn more about Marcella’s personal history. The show is effective in keeping the audience guessing and not spelling out every occurrence, but trusting the audience to think for themselves. It’s emotionally accessible, well-plotted, and very high-quality viewing.

The Fall

The Fall

By Allan Cubitt

star 8.1/10

by IMDb Rating

This show was created by Allan Cubitt and stars Gillian Anderson (X-Files) as Stella Gibson, a competent, but very human police detective called in to help the Belfast police track a serial killer who’s been murdering young women. Jamie Dornan (50 Shades of Gray) plays Paul Spector, the serial killer who doubles as a grief counselor and hides behind the facade of a normal family he actually seems to love. You won’t believe how much compassion a ruthless killer can get by loving his little girl and doing a few husband-y things, while planning the unspeakable acts he commits without his family ever having a clue. The cat-and-mouse games with Stella are fascinating, and you’ll find yourself wondering if, even as she closes in, she’s falling for Paul’s stunning good looks and charm. The series is compelling, terrifying at times, and well worth binging on. Colin Morgan (Merlin) is memorable as D.S. Tom Anderson, a stand-in love interest for Stella who seems to see a similarity between himself and the killer she tracks.

iZombie

iZombie

By Diane Ruggiero-Wright

star 7.8/10

by IMDb Rating
Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders

By Steven Knight

star 8.8/10

by IMDb Rating
Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

By Vince Gilligan

star 9.5/10

by IMDb Rating
The Sinner

The Sinner

By Derek Simonds

star 7.9/10

by IMDb Rating

The Sinner was USA’s breakout hit in the summer of 2017, and it’s obvious to see why. The show is gorgeous to look at, with excellent cinematography and shot composition, the acting is phenomenal, and considering the show is an anthology series, each season both past and current will always tell a complete story from beginning to end. In The Sinner‘s first season, a woman admits to fatally stabbing a man at the beach, but she has no memory of why she may have performed such a crime. With a cast including Jessica Biel, Bill Pullman (who returns in both seasons two and three), and Christopher Abbott, The Sinner is perfect for anyone who enjoys anthology series and crime dramas. Two seasons are streaming.

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul

By Vince Gilligan

star 8.8/10

by IMDb Rating
Ozark

Ozark

By Bill Dubuque

star 8.5/10

by IMDb Rating

And now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one man who had no choice but to keep them all together. No, it’s not Arrested Development—it’s Ozark, a new crime drama from Netflix starring Jason Bateman. He plays Marty, a self-employed financial adviser who lives with his family in Chicago. While there, he and his partner begin laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. Marty is forced to relocate his family to the Missouri Ozarks after one of his money laundering schemes goes south. The show isn’t perfect, and has drawn its fair share of comparisons to Breaking Bad (especially with Bateman, a comedic actor, taking on a dark dramatic role, as Bryan Cranston did before him), but with some excellent performances and incredible cinematography, any fans of Bateman, Breaking Bad, or crime thrillers won’t want to pass up this excellent Netflix original. Three seasons are streaming.

Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds

By Jeff Davis

star 8.1/10

by IMDb Rating

One of CBS’s longest-running procedural dramas, Criminal Minds has aired for 14 full seasons on CBS, telling the story of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) based out of Quantico, Virginia. Unlike most crime shows, Criminal Minds focuses almost exclusively on the criminal rather than the crime, telling the story behind what they’re doing and focusing on psychoanalyzing the criminal at hand. The series has a long history of rotating actors and characters, making it difficult to pin down the exact lead of the series. Actors featured in the show have included Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, A.J. Cook, Paget Brewster, Joe Mantegna, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Aisha Tyler, and many more. With more than 300 episodes under its belt, the show has plenty for new and old viewers alike, with the first twelve seasons currently streaming on Netflix. The fifteenth and final season just wrapped up on CBS.

Narcos: Mexico

Narcos: Mexico

By Carlo Bernard

star 8.4/10

by IMDb Rating
Unbelievable

Unbelievable

By Susannah Grant

star 8.4/10

by IMDb Rating
Mindhunter

Mindhunter

By Joe Penhall

star 8.6/10

by IMDb Rating

If you’re into crime and serial killer dramas, Mindhunter just might be your newest obsession. This Netflix original series is based on the nonfiction book of the same title, detailing the profession of John Douglas, a legendary figure in the FBI’s Serial Crime Unit. Douglas was previously the model for Jack Crawford in Silence of the Lambs, and with Mindhunter on Netflix, we finally get to see some of his stories and tales adapted for the small screen. Jonathan Groff portrays Holden Ford, a special agent for the FBI in the 1970s working for that very same Serial Crime Unit, trying to solve serial killers by delving into the mind of some of the worst murderers in the United States. The cast also includes Anna Torv, previously seen on Fringe, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, and Colton Smith. Produced by Charlize Theron and David Fincher, the latter of whom also directed four episodes of the series, his second Netflix show after previously working on season one of House of Cards. Two seasons are currently streaming.

Good Girls

Good Girls

By Jenna Bans

star 7.7/10

by IMDb Rating

Good Girls is an unexpected hit for NBC, and with a fourth season now airing, it’s time to jump back into the show. The series follows three suburban Michigan mothers, two of whom are sisters, who are having a hard time trying to make ends meet. Beth’s the perfect wife and mother, but her used-car-dealing, cheating husband has sent her family into financial ruin; Ruby is happily married to a policeman but can’t afford the medical bills and experimental drugs to help her daughter; and Annie, a single mom, is caught in a nasty custody battle with her ex. In desperate need of money, the women plan the heist expecting to ease their financial burdens. But new to the game of crime, they get pulled in deeper than they ever imagined—and the only way out of this will be together.

Robert Hayes

Mar 2, 2021

144 Articles Published

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