Must Watch Crime Thriller Movies On Netflix

The crime thriller genre of movies is one that can call for a special appreciation from the viewers. People flock to theatres to catch unravelling thrillers, crime hits and sensational plots. But now, due to the lockdown, it may be difficult for some viewers to watch these creations on the big screen. Thankfully, Netflix offers several upbeat and binge-worthy crime thriller movies that can be easily streamed at home.

Some of the must-watch crime thriller movies on Netflix include ‘Knives Out’, which follows the story of a renowned mystery writer whose last will and testament sparks a family feud. It features an ensemble cast and is a mind-boggling journey into the world of murder mysteries. Then there’s ‘The Gift’, an intense psychological thriller. It follows a married couple whose newly-forming bond is tested by an increasingly sinister series of “gifts” delivered by a seemingly disturbed individual.

If a fast-paced crime thriller is what your heart desires, ‘The Departed’ is certainly the movie for you. Set in South Boston, where Irish mafia are rampant, it follows two men from very different worlds, who attempt to take the crime organisation down from the inside. Featuring an Oscar-winning dramatic performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, this Martin Scorsese classic is bound to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Yet another great option for an adrenaline rush is ‘The Perfection’. It follows two women who embark on a virtuoso musical career in pursuit of perfection, only to end up in terror when secrets and secrets of the viennese music school keep unravelling. It is by far one of the most unnerving movies on Netflix and will leave you wanting more.

For those who are looking for an action-packed flick, ‘Gangs of New York’ is the perfect pick. Uprooting classic gangster movie tropes, it follows an ex-convict’s rise to the upper echelons of the infamous Five Points Gang in 19th century New York City.

Rather than relying on a few big reveals and shocks, these movies offer an all-encompassing ride of crime, mystery, suspense and thrills. From fast-paced entanglements to plot twists and dark corners, crime thrillers on Netflix come equipped with all the necessary elements of a great movie.

Postmodern Crime Thrillers

When it comes to crime thrillers, viewers are spoilt for choice when it comes to Netflix. Postmodern crime thrillers such as ‘Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders’ and ‘The Keepers’ have taken the genre up a notch and offer an interesting take on crime and its various forms.

‘Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders’ follows the roller coaster ride of an celebrated detective trying to continue a serial killer’s investigation in order to stop future murders. In contrast, ‘The Keepers’ explores the mysterious kidnapping and murder of a nun and the subsequent cover up of the incident. Through scouring through mysteries and clues, viewers can take a thrilling ride into the woolly world of an unsolved crime.

In many cases, these crime thrillers on Netflix also create whole universes with their stories. With a focus on their protagonists and their inner struggles, these movies create complex characters with interesting backstories and twisted loyalties. They also allow for the exploration of controversial themes in a space where the universe’s ideological boundaries are challenged again and again.

Crime Thrillers with A Twist

For crime thrillers with an exciting twist, many viewers turn to ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘Zodiac’. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ follows the story of a hacker, whose investigation into a series of murders sparks a thrilling game of cat and mouse. On the other hand, ‘Zodiac’ offers a unique take on crime, with a serial killer in San Francisco leaving clues throughout his killing spree. It also delves into local police investigations and exposes deep-seated corruption in politics and the media.

Both stories are filled to the brim with thrilling performances, gripping storylines and fascinating characters. They are also thought-provoking and captivating in a way that teases viewers to keep guessing and searching for clues.

Top Rated Crime Thriller Movies on Netflix

For viewers who prefer to watch something a bit more mainstream and lighter than the usual crime thriller fare, Netflix offers several popular picks such as ‘Click’ and ‘Extraction’. ‘Click’ follows a family who, although facing financial and marital trouble, come together after a miraculous discovery. On the other hand, ‘Extraction’ is an action-packed thriller that follows the mission of an ex-soldier travelling to Bangladesh to rescue a kidnapped boy.

These high-octane crime thrillers offer viewers memorable moments, unique drama and an escape from the mundane. It works well for viewers looking for a short-term escape as well as for followers of the genre. With captivating characters and exciting plotlines, these films can be a great way to get that much needed break from reality.

Critically Acclaimed Crime Thrillers

For those searching for films that have a bit more depth and resonance, critically acclaimed crime thrillers such as ‘Prisoners’ and ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ are a must-watch. ‘Prisoners’ follows a father’s journey as he tries to find his daughter’s kidnapper, and goes to deadly lengths to ensure her safe return. Viewers can expect intense suspense and a gripping storyline in this movie.

On the other hand, the ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’ is a masterfully crafted take on the Batman universe. It penetrates deep into Bruce Wayne’s life and investigates the dark side of Gotham City. With strong performances from an all-star cast, the trilogy has resonated with viewers for its unique take on the superhero genre.

Comedic Crime Thrillers

Yet another exciting genre on Netflix is the comedic crime thriller. With hilarious one-liners and light-hearted interactions, these movies are a great way to unwind after a long day. ‘Game Night’, ‘Identity Thief’ and ‘The Heat’ are some must-watch comedic crime thrillers on Netflix. From wacky kidnappings to unbelievable crime capers, these movies offer viewers a laugh-filled yet thrilling experience.

Themes in Crime Thrillers

One of the reasons that makes crime thrillers so popular is the exploration of various themes. From questions of morality to ideals of justice and retribution, viewers can expect an entire range of these themes in movies such as ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.

‘Gone Girl’, for instance, explores notions of infidelity and lies, while ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is a deeply disturbing tale of a serial killer. Both movies provide thoughtful insight into issues of morality and humanity, and challenge the audience to think beyond the surface. Their stories are captivating and leave viewers with much-needed food for thought. In a time where it is easy to forget the depths of human depravity, these movies provide an important narrative of issues of injustice and horror.


Crime thriller movies are an incredibly versatile genre and viewers have the option of picking light-hearted thrillers or deeply aspiring tales, depending on their mood. From critically acclaimed pieces to comedies and even postmodern tales, Netflix has something for everyone. All in all, these movies provide viewers with a fantastic escape.

Vicki Strouth is a life-long film enthusiast, having grown up watching classic cinema in her childhood. She has since gone on to pursue writing about films and movie news, with her work being published on various online platforms. She is passionate about supporting independent filmmakers and highlighting important stories from around the world. She has also written a successful book about classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age era. Vicki currently lives in Seattle, where she continues to explore films of all genres and eras.

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