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23 best crime shows to watch on Netflix

Love crime dramas and documentaries? Here are our favourites...

crime shows netflix
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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If you love nothing more than getting stuck into a true crime documentary, or trying to solve a murder mystery in a gripping series, then we have the perfect list for you. Netflix has some of the very best fiction and non-fiction shows all centred around crime for you to enjoy. So where to begin?! Here are our recommendations…

WATCH: Unsolved Mysteries Official Trailer

Unsolved Mysteries

This reboot of an eighties classic was a big hit when it first landed – so it's obviously a good one. The series explores many different cases over its two seasons that are, unsurprisingly, unsolved – but the examination of new evidence and interviews shed new light on each crime committed. The show even announced recently that it has re-opened one of the cases. This is must watch.

Fear City New York vs The Mafia

Find the New York City Mafia scene fascinating? Us too. This investigative series explores just that, looking at the harrowing and shocking realities behind five families who ruled New York in the 1970s and 80s, until federal agents stepped in to bring them down.

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Fear City explores the Mafia in New York

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

It's the case that has gripped the world ever since little Madeleine McCann went missing from her family's apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. While there have been plenty of programmes and films about the case, the Netflix doc delves into the immediate aftermath of the case, exploring the movements of the Portuguese police and more.

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Madeleine McCann's case is explored in the Netflix doc

The Business of Drugs

A former CIA analyst investigates the economics and intricacies of six illicit substances to understand the impact they have on the globe in terms of crime, health and power. Eye-opening and shocking, this one is not to be missed.

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The Business of Drugs is a fascinating watch

The Sinner

Crime thriller The Sinner recently arrived on the streaming platform for its third series, and immediately fans were asking for a fourth – so it's clearly a popular show! The series, starring Bill Pullman as police detective Harry Ambrose, Jessica Hecht, Chris Messina and more, tells a new story for Harry Ambrose to investigate. This time, Ambrose is looking to uncover the truth regarding a tragic car crash in New York, and in true The Sinner style, there's more to the story than initially thought.

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The Sinner recently returned for series three


Sherlock was hugely popular when it aired on the BBC from 2010 until 2017. If you missed the show, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character and Martin Freeman as his side-kick Watson, when it aired on TV, then you're in luck as all four series are available on Netflix now! We're off to binge…

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Series one to four of Sherlock are available on Netflix

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

True crime is hugely popular at the moment, and if you're a fan then this is the one that everyone is talking about. When eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was brutally murdered by his mother and her partner in 2013, the trials that followed were crucial in determining the system's protection of vulnerable children and bringing the perpetrators to justice. The six-part series examines how the social services failed to act despite the warning signs that he was in a dangerous situation – this is not one to be missed.

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Gabriel Fernandez was brutally killed by his parents


This is drama series based on true events. After one woman's account of sexual assault and her experience of being accused of lying went viral, this Netflix drama was made – with her permission – starring Toni Collette and Merritt Wever. The series follows Marie Adler as she copes with the fallout of being accused of lying, as well as two detectives who are determined to bring down the perpetrator of a number of similar attack. 

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Toni Collette and Merritt Wever star in this drama based on true events


This gripping series stars Michael C. Hall as a widowed surgeon desperate to find his daughter after she goes missing. As time goes on, dark and previously unknown secrets begin unearthing. This one is full of suspense and from the same author as The Stranger, Harlan Coben. Give it a try!

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Watch Safe on Netflix

Who killed Malcom X?

As the name suggests, this crime documentary series is all about the 1965 assassination of Civil Rights Activist Malcom X. A deep dive into the mystery around his murder is conducted by a fellow activist, as he embarks on a mission to find the truth once and for all.

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Netflix's documentary looks at Malcolm X's death

The Stranger

After a stranger appears out of nowhere and makes a shocking claim about his wife, Adam Price's family becomes entwined in a mystery he's desperate to solve - particularly when his wife mysteriously goes missing. Richard Armitage and Jennifer Saunders star.

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This series has had everyone hooked since it landed in 2018. Penn Badgley plays a dangerously charming man who goes to desperate lengths to follow and pursue those he is transfixed by. Based on the book of the same name.

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Penn Badgley stars in You

Don't F*ck With Cats

After a twisted individual starts to document his heinous crimes, a group of amateur detectives rally together to attempt to pull off a manhunt to track him down and bring him to justice. This true crime documentary will make your jaw drop.

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Don't F*ck with Cats is available to watch Netflix

Peaky Blinders

Originally aired on the BBC, this hugely popular drama all about a gang in Birmingham called the Peaky Blinders is a real fan favourite and is now available to watch on Netflix. Cillian Murphy stars and that should be enough to convince you to watch. The new series has just wrapped on BBC, so there's never been a better excuse to watch.

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Cillian Murphy stars as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is one of those shows that got everyone talking and it seemed that the whole world was gripped. It tells the story of a chemistry teacher who teams up with a former student to manufacture drugs to secure financial stability for his family. It won 16 Emmy Awards so that should be enough to prove it's worth a watch. All five seasons available to watch now, so get bingeing!

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Aaron Paul featured in Breaking Bad

How to Get Away with Murder

Viola Davis stars in this as impressive criminal defence attorney and law professor Annalise Keating who finds herself, along with a group of her students, involved in a twisted murder case. Fortunately for them all, she is the leading expert on how to avoid being implicated in a crime...

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Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder

The Pharmacist

After his son Danny was brutally shot when getting involved in drug gangs, pharmacist Dan launches a mission to stop at nothing to get justice for his son. While doing so, however, he discovers the issue is much bigger than he initially thought. Eventually, Dan realises that an opioid epidemic is on the brink in his town in New Orleans at the hands of other prescription doctors and pharmacists, and he's desperate to try and stop it before it's too late.

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The Pharmacist tells the story of one man's journey to justice for his son

The Assassination of Gianna Versace

The true crime series from Ryan Murphy is about Andrew Cunanan, the psychopathic serial killer who gunned down hailed fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997 outside his home in Miami. Darren Criss plays the lead and his hauntingly good portrayal as the killer won him a Golden Globe. Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz also star.

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Darren won a Golden Globe for his portrayal as serial killer Andrew Cunanan

Top Boy (and Top Boy Summerhouse)

Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson (also known as Kano) star in this gritty crime drama series all about life on an estate in Hackney, East London. The first two series were broadcast on Channel 4 before Drake and Netflix took over the show for the following two series. Watch Top Boy Summerhouse for the originals, and then Top Boy for the latest part of the story.

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Rapper Kano appears as Sully in Top Boy

Cold Case Files

Detectives use modern-day forensic science and criminal psychology to re-examine long-standing and unresolved cases, from missing persons to murder.

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Cold Case Files focuses on unresolved crimes

The Staircase

Did he or didn't he? That's the question people still ask after watching this true crime documentary. After the mysterious death of his wife, author Michael Peterson's life is put under intense investigation as detectives seek to unveil the truth once and for all.

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The Staircase is a gripping watch

The Devil Next Door

This true crime documentary is all about a father from Cleveland who is accused of being the infamous Nazi death camp guard, Ivan the Terrible. The Devil Next Door will have you hooked.

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Will you watch The Devil Next Door?


Mindhunter is a 1970s-set chilling thriller all about two FBI agents as they delve into the mindset behind murder. Both seasons will have you on the edge of your seat - and we still think that it's a crime it was cancelled!

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Mindhunter is a chilling watch

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