10 Best Crime Shows on Netflix

Sherlock Watson

Fans of crime dramas with a Netflix subscription are lucky. The streaming service has a strong catalog of offerings from the genre. There are international detectives, procedural dramas, British favorites and series with a true crime twist. Some fans are invested in the cases. Others prefer learning more about the law enforcement officers solving them.

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There are series original to Netflix. There are shows available for streaming that you may have missed the first time they aired. If you're a mystery lover, you're likely to find something to whet your appetite in Netflix's offerings of crime dramas.

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Broadchurch - Olivia Coleman and David Tennant
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10 Broadchurch

Broadchurch - Olivia Coleman and David Tennant

Perhaps the draw of this series is the cast. Broadchurch stars quite a few familiar faces, (especially to Doctor Who fans), including David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, Olivia Colman, and Arthur Darvill.

Maybe it's the first case Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller solve together. It begins with the murder of a young boy, but that's just the beginning. One of the best parts of the series is that just because they move on to another case doesn't mean they forget about those who suffered due to a past crime.

Another highlight is Hardy and Miller's relationship, which avoids the will they/won't they cliché.

9 Mindhunter

Jonathan Groff in Netflix's Mindhunter

The series is based on John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker's Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit. Netflix's Mindhunter stars Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany and Anna Torv. They play the FBI agents and psychologist who start the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. By interviewing serial killers in prison, they begin to understand how murderers think. They hope to use that knowledge to solve open cases.

There's only one season streaming on Netflix so far, but Season 2 is expected to be released in 2019. Why not catch up and binge the first 10 episodes while you wait?

8 Luther

Idris Elba Luther Season 4

Idris Elba plays Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. If that's not enough to pique your interest, watching the way Luther works is a delight. There's also nothing quite like watching his relationship with psychopath and murderer Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) play out. This is a darker series than some of the other crime dramas out there, but don't let that turn you off from checking it out.

So far, there are four seasons, but Luther isn't quite over yet. Season 5 will premiere on June 2 on BBC America, and those episodes will likely be added to Netflix at a later date.

7 Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman bring Sherlock Holmes and John Watson to life in this British crime drama. There are few things as entertaining as watching Sherlock's mind work as he picks up clues through observation. Sometimes those are key to cases, while others are just amusing or informative tidbits about those around him.

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Sherlock and John are surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast, from Sherlock's brother Mycroft to Detective Inspector Lestrade to Mrs. Hudson to Molly Hooper. Sherlock fans will recognize the recurring villain, Moriarty. Lara Pulver's turn as Irene Adler and her and Sherlock's relationship are particularly memorable.

6 The Fall

The British-Irish series stars Gillian Anderson as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan as serial killer Paul Spector. For three seasons, fans watched Stella hunt Spector.

This is definitely the crime drama for those who prefer a darker story. Even better is the fact that while it may not have a happy ending in the true sense of the term, there at least isn't a cliffhanger.

For those looking to see Anderson solving cases again, but in a very different way from The X-Files' Dana Scully, this should do the trick.

5 Happy Valley

Happy Valley, Ramon Tikaram and Sarah Lancashire

This British crime drama stars Sarah Lancashire as police sergeant Catherine Cawood. In its two seasons, Catherine not only has to deal with tragedies at home (and the aftermath) but they also carry over into her professional life. It all traces back to the man who raped her daughter, leading to her suicide, and the first case of the series. That gives Catherine the chance to save another of his victims.

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Life doesn't get any easier for Catherine in season 2, at home or at work. A bonus is that the series is filmed where it takes place.

4 Collateral

Carey Mulligan stars as a detective inspector, Kip Glaspie, in this four-part series. She investigates the murder of a pizza delivery driver, who wasn't originally given the assignment during which he was killed. His manager made the change.

Related: Sherlock Co-Creator: Season 5 'Even Longer' Than Two Years Away

Given its short length, it's perfect for mystery lovers looking for something to binge in an afternoon. It's also worth checking out if you're looking for something that's a bit different from other police dramas. Creator David Hare described these character as "completely normal people, and there isn't any of that police attitudinizing" to The Telegraph.

3 Twin Peaks

Kyle MacLachlan in Twin Peaks

On Twin Peaks, there's one question everyone wants answered: Who killed Laura Palmer? The two seasons of the original series are available on Netflix (though the prequel film is not), and it's the perfect way to see why everyone's talked about it.

Kyle MacLachlan stars as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper whose job it is to solve the murder mystery in this strange small town. While it is a crime drama, there is more to it than that, which may appeal to fans who prefer something that's not a straight mystery.

2 Wallander

Kenneth Branagh in Wallander

Based on Henning Mankell's novels, Kenneth Branagh stars as the titular police inspector in this British series. Throughout the series, Wallander is the one to find connections between seemingly unconnected cases.

What's most interesting about the series is that, by the end of it, he continues to work cases, despite an Alzheimer's diagnosis. Detectives' minds are their superpower.

The series aired on PBS, but Netflix allows viewers who missed the broadcast to check it out. Branagh's performance was also well-received by critics, so that may be enough to convince some people to tune in.

1 Manhunt: Unabomber

Manhunt Unabomber Trailer Stars Paul Bettany

For those who prefer fictional accounts of real crimes, Manhunt: Unabomber is right up their alley. It stars Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany as Jim Fitzgerald and Ted Kaczynski, respectively.

The first season focuses on the FBI's search for the Unabomber and air3ed on the Discovery Channel. Future seasons may be part of Spectrum's cable systems, and season 2 could focus on Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber.

The real James Fitzgerald said that the series is mostly accurate in its portrayal of events, which may be a draw to some viewers.

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