15 Best Crime Dramas On Netflix – Explore The Dark Side

Richard Williamson

Best Crime Dramas On Netflix

Are you in the mood for a thrilling and suspenseful binge-watching session? Look no further than Netflix’s collection of crime dramas that will take you on a journey into the dark side.

From gripping mysteries to intense investigations, these shows are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

In this article, I will be sharing with you the 15 best crime dramas available on Netflix right now.

As someone who has always been fascinated by the world of crime and detective work, I have personally handpicked these shows based on their compelling storylines, talented cast members, and overall entertainment value.

So get ready to dive deep into the world of criminals and detectives as we explore the darker side of human nature together.

15 Best Crime Dramas On Netflix – Explore The Dark Side

If you’re a fan of crime dramas, then Netflix has got you covered with some of the best shows that explore the dark side.

One standout series is ‘American Vandal,’ which takes a mockumentary approach to investigating high school crimes.

Another gripping show is ‘The Sinner,’ where a detective uncovers the disturbing motives behind seemingly senseless acts.

And if you’re looking for something more scandalous, ‘Anatomy Of A Scandal’ delves into the world of politics and power.

But let’s not forget about classics like ‘Breaking Bad’ and the chilling true-story adaptation of ‘Dirty John.’

With these thrilling options at your fingertips, get ready to dive into the twisted world of crime on Netflix.

1. American Vandal

Unbelievably, ‘American Vandal‘ manages to hilariously parody the true-crime genre while keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering who is behind the high school pranks. The show’s creators, Dan Perrault and Tony Yacenda have crafted a brilliant satire that not only captures the essence of popular true-crime series but also adds its own unique twist.

From the very first episode, I was hooked by the clever writing and captivating performances.

The mockumentary style of ‘American Vandal lends itself perfectly to the comedic exploration of high school pranks. 

Aspiring student documentarian Peter Maldonado takes it upon himself to investigate these cases with his friend Sam Ecklund, and their dedication to uncovering the truth is both admirable and hilarious.

Each episode delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding these pranks, utilizing interviews, surveillance footage, and even social media posts to piece together what really happened.

Not only does ‘American Vandal’ succeed in making audiences laugh out loud with its clever humor, but it also keeps them engaged through its expertly crafted storytelling. 

With each new prank they investigate, Peter and Sam uncover more layers of deception and intrigue.

The show’s ability to maintain suspense while simultaneously delivering comedy is a testament to its brilliance.

Movie Information

  • Creators: Dan Perrault, Tony Yacenda
  • Starring: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Travis Tope, Taylor Dearden, Melvin Gregg
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: Sep 15th 2017
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Executive producers: Tony Yacenda, Dan Perrault, Dan Lagana, Joe Farrell, Ari Lubet, Josh Lieberman, Michael Rotenberg

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2. The Sinner

The Sinner captivates viewers with its thought-provoking blend of murder investigation and intense character exploration, showcasing the exceptional talent of its cast.

As Detective Harry Ambrose delves into each chilling homicide case, we are drawn into a world that is both thrilling and deeply unsettling. Bill Pullman delivers a masterful performance as Ambrose, embodying the character’s unconventional methods and unwavering dedication to solving the mysteries at hand. 

His ability to empathize with suspects on a profound level creates an intimate bond that adds another layer of complexity to the storytelling.

What sets The Sinner apart from other crime dramas is its raw and unflinching portrayal of human nature. Each season delves deep into the psychology of both the victims and perpetrators, exploring their motivations, fears, and desires. This exploration not only keeps viewers on the edge of their seats but also prompts us to question our own capacity for darkness.

The show’s decision to shift locations from Germany to Upstate New York adds an intriguing element to the storytelling, as it allows for a unique blend of cultures and perspectives.

Movie Information

  • Starring: Bill Pullman, Jessica Hecht, Frances Fisher, Alice Kremelberg, Neal Huff
  • TV Network: USA
  • Premiere Date: August 2nd, 2017
  • Genre: Crime
  • Executive producers: Derek Simonds, Jessica Biel, Charlie Gogolak, Michelle Purple, Adam Bernstein, Nina Braddock

3. Anatomy Of A Scandal

Immerse yourself in the intricate web of political scandal and personal betrayal as you witness the devastating consequences unfold in Anatomy Of A Scandal

This gripping crime drama takes you on a thrilling journey as it unravels the dark secrets hidden beneath the surface of parliamentary minister James Whitehouse’s seemingly perfect life.

As his scandalous secret comes to light, we are drawn into a world where trust is shattered, alliances are tested, and lives are forever changed.

Anatomy Of A Scandal explores themes of power, corruption, and manipulation within the political landscape. The show delves deep into the complex dynamics between characters, highlighting their motivations and choices that lead to this cataclysmic event.

With its compelling storyline and talented ensemble cast including Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott, and Josette Simon, this series keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with each twist and turn.

As you watch Anatomy Of A Scandal, prepare to be captivated by its intense atmosphere and thought-provoking narrative. It serves as a reminder that even those in positions of authority can have hidden sides that can cause irreparable damage. So sit back, relax, and allow yourself to be immersed in this enthralling tale of deception and betrayal.

Movie Information

  • Creators: David E. Kelley, Melissa James Gibson
  • Starring: Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott, Josette Simon
  • TV Network: Netflix

4. Breaking Bad

Prepare to witness a gripping tale of transformation and moral decay as Breaking Bad takes you on a thrilling journey into the depths of one man’s desperate pursuit for financial security.

In this critically acclaimed crime drama, we follow the life of Walter White, a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher who turns to the dark side when he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer. Faced with mounting medical bills and the fear of leaving his family in financial ruin, Walter decides to use his knowledge of chemistry to cook and sell methamphetamine.

As the series unfolds, we see Walter evolve from a meek and law-abiding citizen into a ruthless drug lord known as Heisenberg. With his former student turned partner Jesse Pinkman by his side, they embark on an intense journey filled with danger, violence, and deception.

Breaking Bad delves deep into the moral complexities of its characters as they navigate through a world driven by greed and desperation.

With its captivating storytelling and brilliant performances by Bryan Cranston as Walter White and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad has become one of television’s most iconic shows. It explores themes of identity, morality, and the consequences of one’s actions. 

This gripping crime drama keeps viewers on edge with its unpredictable plot twists and intense character development.

Movie Information

  • Creator: Vince Gilligan
  • Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
  • TV Network: AMC
  • Premiere Date: January 20th, 2008
  • Genre: Crime
  • Executive Producers: Vince Gilligan, Mark Johnson

5. Dirty John

Now that we’ve explored the thrilling and intense world of ‘Breaking Bad,’ let’s dive into another gripping crime drama on Netflix: ‘Dirty John.’

This true-crime anthology series takes us on a journey through love gone wrong, set against the backdrop of sunny Southern California. As viewers, we get to witness relationships go from promising beginnings to catastrophic ends, raising the unsettling question of whether it’s truly possible to know someone, even the person we love most.

‘Dirty John’ delves into well-known cases and reframes their narratives, reminding us that there are always two sides to every story. 

The series explores the nuanced complexities of human behavior and how people often aren’t quite as they seem. With an all-star cast including Amanda Peet, Christian Slater, Rachel Keller, Connie Britton, and Eric Bana, this show grips you from the very first episode.

So buckle up for a rollercoaster ride filled with twists and turns as ‘Dirty John’ uncovers the dark side of love. Get ready to be captivated by its suspenseful storytelling and compelling characters as you unravel shocking secrets along with them.

Movie Information

  • Creator: Alexandra Cunningham
  • Starring: Amanda Peet, Christian Slater, Rachel Keller, Connie Britton, Eric Bana
  • TV Network: Bravo
  • Premiere Date: November 25th, 2018
  • Genre: Crime
  • Executive Producers: Alexandra Cunningham, Jeffrey Reiner, Richard Suckle, Charles Roven, Mark Herzog, Christopher G. Cowen, Connie Britton, Eric Bana, Chris Argentieri

6. Pieces Of Her

Uncover the hidden secrets and unravel the twisted mysteries of a small town in ‘Pieces Of Her,’ as a woman’s search for truth leads her down a treacherous path she never expected.

In this gripping crime drama on Netflix, we’re introduced to a woman who must confront her mother’s dark past after a violent attack shakes their seemingly quiet community to its core. As she delves deeper into her mother’s history, she discovers hidden threats and deadly secrets that have been carefully concealed for years.

The story follows our protagonist as she pieces together fragments of her mother’s past, desperately trying to make sense of the chaos surrounding them. With each revelation, the tension escalates, leaving us on the edge of our seats as we witness an intricate web of deceit being unraveled before our eyes.

The performances by Toni Collette, Bella Heathcote, Jessica Barden, David Wenham, and Joe Dempsie bring depth and intensity to their characters, making every moment all the more captivating.

As ‘Pieces Of Her’ takes us through its dark and gripping narrative, it explores themes of identity, family bonds, and the lengths people will go to protect those they love. It keeps us engaged with its unpredictable twists and turns while subtly reminding us of our own need for safety in an increasingly uncertain world.

So buckle up and get ready for a thrilling ride filled with suspenseful moments that’ll leave you questioning everything you thought you knew.

Movie Information

  • Creator: Charlotte Stoudt
  • Starring: Toni Collette, Bella Heathcote, Jessica Barden, David Wenham, Joe Dempsie
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: Mar 4th, 2022
  • Genre: Drama
  • Executive producers: Charlotte Stoudt, Bruna Papandrea, Casey Haver, Steve Hutensky, Lesli Linka Glatter, Karin Slaughter, Janice Williams, Minkie Spiro

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7. Death Note

Intertwining supernatural elements with a high school student’s dark descent into power, ‘Death Note‘ grips viewers like a sinister spider spinning its web. 

The premise of a supernatural notebook that grants the power to kill anyone just by writing their name is both intriguing and chilling.

As we follow the protagonist’s journey, we are drawn into his twisted mindset and conflicting emotions. It becomes a gripping exploration of morality and the consequences of playing god.

The film keeps us on the edge of our seats with its suspenseful storyline and unexpected twists. We witness the protagonist’s transformation from an ordinary high school student to a manipulative killer, fueled by his newfound power. As he eliminates those he deems unworthy of life, we are left questioning our own moral compasses.

In addition to its engaging plot, ‘Death Note’ boasts impressive performances from its cast, particularly in bringing out the complex characters. 

The direction by Adam Wingard effectively creates a dark and eerie atmosphere that enhances the tension throughout the film. The use of Dolby Atmos sound mix adds another layer of intensity to the viewing experience.

Movie Information

  • Rating: TVMA
  • Genre: Horror, Mystery & thriller
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Adam Wingard
  • Producer: Jason Hoffs, Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Masi Oka
  • Writer: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides, Jeremy Slater
  • Release Date (Streaming): Aug 25, 2017
  • Runtime: 1h 41m
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Atmos

8. Making a Murderer

With its gripping storytelling and thought-provoking examination of the justice system, Making a Murderer captivates viewers from start to finish. The docuseries delves into the harrowing story of Steven Avery, a man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, only to find himself implicated in another heinous murder.

As we follow Avery’s journey through the criminal justice system, we are confronted with profound questions about truth, corruption, and the flaws within our legal system. 

Making a Murderer presents us with a compelling narrative that raises important issues surrounding wrongful convictions and police misconduct. Through extensive interviews and archival footage, the series meticulously pieces together evidence and testimonies to challenge our preconceived notions of guilt and innocence.

It exposes the immense power imbalance between law enforcement officials and individuals accused of crimes, forcing us to confront uncomfortable truths about how easily someone can be manipulated or coerced into confessing.

As I watched Making a Murderer, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of unease. The series serves as a stark reminder that even in a society built on principles of justice and fairness, there are grave injustices that can occur. It is both unsettling and eye-opening to witness how easily lives can be shattered by flawed investigations and biased judgments.

Movie Information

  • Creators: Laura Ricciardi, Moira Demos
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: Dec 18, 2015
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Executive producers: Laura Ricciardi, Moira Demos

9. Inventing Anna

Step into the captivating world of “Inventing Anna,”where ambition and artifice collide in a whirlwind of glamour and deception. 

This gripping crime drama, brought to life by the brilliant mind of Shonda Rhimes, takes us on a thrilling journey through the scandalous life of Anna Delvey. Played impeccably by Julia Garner, Anna is an enigmatic character who manages to charm her way into the hearts and wallets of New York’s elite.

As the story unfolds, we are drawn into Anna’s web of lies and manipulation as she poses as a wealthy German heiress. With each episode, we are left questioning her motives and wondering just how far she will go to maintain her charade. The show brilliantly explores themes of identity, class privilege, and the lengths people will go to achieve their dreams.

“Inventing Anna”is not just a gripping crime drama; it is also an exposé on society’s obsession with wealth and status. Through its compelling storytelling and stellar performances from Anna Chlumsky, Laverne Cox, Katie Lowes, and Alexis Floyd, the series delves deep into the dark underbelly of New York City’s social scene. 

It forces us to confront our own desires for power and recognition while also highlighting the dangers that lie beneath a glamorous façade.

Movie Information

  • Creator: Shonda Rhimes
  • Starring: Julia Garner, Anna Chlumsky, Laverne Cox, Katie Lowes, Alexis Floyd
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: Feb 11, 2022
  • Genre: Drama
  • Executive producers: Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Tom Verica, David Frankel

10. Dexter

Dexter Morgan, a charming blood splatter expert and secret serial killer, satisfies his psychological hunger for justice by targeting only the guilty in Miami. With his meticulous attention to detail and expert knowledge of forensic science, he’s able to carefully plan and execute his murders without leaving a trace.

It’s a unique brand of justice that not only satiates Dexter’s dark desires but also helps make the world a safer place.

Living a double life as both a respected member of society and a ruthless killer, Dexter maintains an air of normalcy around his friends, family, and co-workers. His policewoman sister Deb and fellow cops have no idea about his secret activities. 

Only Dexter’s adoptive father Harry knows the truth, having recognized Dexter’s inclination towards violence at an early age. Harry becomes Dexter’s mentor, teaching him how to channel his urges towards those who truly deserve it.

As viewers delve into the twisted mind of Dexter Morgan, they are drawn into a web of suspenseful storytelling that keeps them on the edge of their seats. 

The show explores themes of morality, redemption, and the blurred lines between good and evil. With its intricate plot twists and complex characters, ‘Dexter’ captivates audiences with its dark charm.

Movie Information

  • Starring: Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan
  • Other main cast members: Jennifer Carpenter as Deb Morgan, C.S. Lee as Vince Masuka, David Zayas as Angel Batista, James Remar as Harry Morgan
  • TV Network: Showtime
  • Premiere Date: October 1st, 2006
  • Genre: Crime Drama
  • Executive Producers: John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck, Manny Coto, Tim Schlattmann, Wendy West, Jace Richdale, Michael C. Hall

11. Collateral

Immerse yourself in the gripping world of Collateral, where Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie refuses to accept a murder as a random act of violence and becomes entangled in the darker underworld of London.

As she investigates the shooting of a pizza delivery driver in South London, Glaspie quickly realizes that there is more to this case than meets the eye. She’s determined to uncover the truth and bring justice to those involved.

The show delves into the complexities of crime and its far-reaching consequences, intertwining disparate worlds and characters along the way. 

From politician David Mars, whose rocky relationship with his ex-girlfriend puts him in the midst of the investigation, to a vicar struggling to keep her affair with the only witness under wraps, Collateral explores how these individuals are all connected through this one tragic event.

With an outstanding cast led by Carey Mulligan and John Simm, Collateral promises an intense and thought-provoking viewing experience. 

The series takes viewers on a journey through the dark side of London’s underworld, exposing corruption, secrets, and unexpected alliances. Prepare yourself for twists and turns as Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie uncovers hidden truths that’ll leave you questioning everything.

Movie Information

  • Starring: Carey Mulligan, John Simm
  • TV Network: BBC
  • Premiere Date: February 12th, 2018
  • Genre: Crime
  • Executive Producers: David Hare, S.J. Clarkson, Mark Pybus, Lucy Richer, George Faber

12. Mindhunter

Delve into the twisted minds of serial killers alongside FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench in Mindhunter, where you’ll uncover the chilling secrets lurking within the depths of human psychology. 

This crime drama takes you on a gripping journey as these agents attempt to understand and catch serial killers by studying their damaged psyches.

As they pioneer the development of modern serial killer profiling, you’ll be captivated by their relentless pursuit of justice and their unwavering determination to protect society from these dangerous individuals.

In Mindhunter, you’ll witness the meticulous methods employed by Ford and Tench as they interview some of the most notorious murderers in history. 

By getting inside these criminals’ minds, they hope to gain insights that will help them solve ongoing cases and prevent future tragedies.

With Oscar-nominated director David Fincher at the helm, this series delivers a dark and atmospheric tone that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Movie Information

  • Creator: Joe Penhall
  • Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Joe Tuttle, Stacey Roca
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: Oct 13, 2017
  • Genre: Crime
  • Executive producers: David Fincher, Joshua Donen, Charlize Theron, CeÃn Chaffin

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13. Good Girls

When it comes to compelling television, few shows can match the captivating and humorous tale of Good Girls on NBC. This crime drama follows the lives of three women, Beth, Annie, and Ruby, who are fed up with their circumstances and decide to take control by robbing a local grocery store.

The show explores the dark side of these characters’ lives as they navigate the world of crime while trying to balance their personal responsibilities. 

Good Girls delves into the struggles faced by these women, highlighting their financial hardships and personal challenges.

Beth’s husband has put her family in financial ruin through his cheating and used car dealings. Ruby is happily married but struggles to afford medical bills for her daughter’s treatment. 

And Annie is caught in a custody battle with her ex-partner while raising her child alone. It is these desperate situations that drive them to commit this heist in hopes of easing their burdens.

The show not only provides an engaging storyline but also offers a unique blend of humor and suspense that keeps viewers hooked from start to finish. With its talented cast led by Christina Hendricks, Lidya Jewett, Matthew Lillard, Manny Montana, and Retta, Good Girls brings these complex characters to life with depth and authenticity.

Movie Information

  • Starring: Christina Hendricks, Lidya Jewett, Matthew Lillard, Manny Montana, Retta
  • TV Network: NBC
  • Premiere Date: Feb 26, 2018
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Executive producers: Jenna Bans, Dean Parisot, Jeannine Renshaw, Mark Wilding

14. Dead to Me

Despite their contrasting personalities, the unlikely friendship between Jen and Judy in Dead to Me brings forth a darkly comedic exploration of grief, loss, and forgiveness. Jen, played by Christina Applegate, is a sardonic widow determined to solve the hit-and-run crime that took her husband’s life. 

Her pessimistic outlook on life is countered by the optimistic free spirit Judy, portrayed by Linda Cardellini, who has also suffered a tragic loss of her own.

The two women meet at a support group and form an instant connection over bottles of wine and their shared love for ‘The Facts of Life.’

As they bond over their mutual pain and secrets, Judy tries to protect Jen from a shocking revelation that could shatter her world.

The show delves into the weirdly funny aspects of grief and loss while exploring themes of forgiveness and redemption.

With its dark comedy tone, Dead to Me offers a unique perspective on coping with tragedy.

Movie Information

  • Creator: Liz Feldman
  • Starring: Christina Applegate as Jen, Linda Cardellini as Judy
  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: May 3, 2019
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Executive producers: Liz Feldman, Jessica Elbaum, Christie Smith, Christina Applegate, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell

15. Queen Of The South

With its riveting storyline and powerful performances, Queen of the South takes viewers on a thrilling journey through the treacherous world of drug trafficking, serving as a cautionary tale about the consequences of ambition and betrayal. 

The show follows Teresa Mendoza, a young woman who goes from being a vulnerable barrio resident in Mexico to becoming one of the most influential and feared figures in the international drug trade. As she navigates this dangerous world, Teresa learns that trust is hard to come by and that survival often means making difficult choices.

Queen of the South stands out among other crime dramas with its strong female lead. Alice Braga delivers an incredible performance as Teresa Mendoza, capturing her strength, resilience, and determination. 

The show also boasts a talented ensemble cast, including Hemky Madera as Pote Galvez, David Andrews as Judge Lafayette Thomson, Ver0nica Falcan as Camila Vargas, and Peter Gadiot as James Valdez. Their chemistry on-screen adds depth to the complex relationships portrayed throughout the series.

The success of Queen of the South lies not only in its compelling characters but also in its intricate plotlines filled with unexpected twists and turns. 

Viewers are kept on the edge of their seats as they witness Teresa’s rise to power while constantly facing threats from rival cartels and law enforcement agencies. The show explores themes such as loyalty, redemption, and moral ambiguity, forcing viewers to question their own values along with those of the characters.

Movie Information

  • Starring: Alice Braga, Hemky Madera, David Andrews
  • TV Network: USA
  • Premiere Date: Jun 21, 2016
  • Genre: Crime
  • Executive producers: David T. Friendly, Dailyn Rodrigues, Benjamin Lobato


Netflix offers a wide range of gripping crime dramas that will keep you on the edge of your seat. From intense psychological thrillers to gritty police procedurals, there is something for every crime drama enthusiast.

With the convenience of streaming at our fingertips, we can easily dive into the dark side and explore the intricate world of criminal investigations.

One interesting statistic to note is that crime dramas have consistently ranked among the most popular genres on Netflix. According to recent data, these shows attract a large audience and have become a binge-watching favorite for many viewers.

This could suggest that people are intrigued by the complex narratives and suspenseful plots often found in crime dramas. It also highlights our fascination with exploring the darker aspects of human nature from the safety of our own living rooms.

So, if you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping viewing experience, don’t miss out on these top 15 crime dramas available on Netflix!

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