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The best crime drama series on Netflix (October 2021)

Netflix crime dramas
Better Call Saul and Money Heist are crime dramas on Netflix. Pic credit: AMC/Netflix

When it comes to supplying intense crime drama series, Netflix has risen to the top of the streaming services.

The streaming giant has secured several hit crime dramas from network and cable television, from serial killer dramas like Hannibal and Dexter to network procedurals like How to Get Away with Murder.

Even when it loses many of those titles, it shouldn’t slow down Netflix, since it has been making its own original drama series for years now and has a nice library of its own content that fans can enjoy anytime they want.

Whether it is more police crime dramas, foreign-language masterpieces, or murder mysteries, Netflix has something for everyone.

Here is a look at the best crime drama series on Netflix as of this month.

Updated in October 2021: Every month, Netflix makes changes in its library. It removes certain shows and replaces them with others. Every month, we will go into the article and make the changes to ensure that the shows are updated and always available to view on Netflix.

We will also add shows as needed, growing the list, as noteworthy new crime drama series pop up on the streaming service.

Wentworth

Wentworth on Netflix
Wentworth on Netflix. Pic credit: Fox Showcase

Wentworth wrapped up its run with a two-part eighth season. The first half of the final season is already on Netflix, and the second half will arrive on October 27, 2021.

This crime drama is about a woman named Bea Smith who was put into prison after charges of attempted murder of her husband. She is sent to Wentworth Prison, where she awaited sentencing.

The show has her start at the bottom in Wentworth and had to survive. As she rose up the hierarchy in the prison, things started to change and then the final seasons focused more on several characters.

Giri/Haji

Giri Haji
A scene from the British series Giri/Haji. Pic credit: BBC

Giri/Haji is Japanese for Duty/Shame and is a British crime drama series that aired on BBC and Netflix in 2019-20.

The series stars Takehiro Hira as Kenzo Mori, a Tokyo detective who travels to London to search for his brother, who he initially thought was dead.

There is also the threat of a gang war that will escalate if it is true that his brother killed the nephew of a Yakuza member.

While in London, he befriends a Metropolitan Police DC named Sarah (Kelly Macdonald) and ends up facing the criminal underworld in London.

Young Wallander

Young Wallander on Netflix
Young Wallander on Netflix. Pic credit: Netflix

Netflix released an adaptation of the character Kurt Wallander from the Henning Mankell novel series in 2020.

There is a second season coming and that is good news for fans of both Wallander and the Netflix TV series that brought him to life.

The series takes the iconic detective Kurt Wallander, a Swedish police inspector, and takes him back to the start, showing him investigating his first case.

This is mostly an origin story, as he builds his professional and personal experiences to become the experienced detective fans grew to love over the years.

Ozark

Ozark
Jason Bateman and Laura Linney on Ozark. Pic credit: Netflix

When one thinks about the career of Jason Bateman before the past few years, they would never think of the terms “dark” or “violent.” But with Ozark, that’s where his character is forced to go.

This crime drama series on Netflix centers on Marty Byrde and his family, forced to launder money for a drug cartel at the Lake of the Ozarks.

And no matter how grim or sadistic their world becomes, somehow Marty and his wife Wendy manage to smooth talk their way out of death at every turn.

There is a reason why this series is so popular. With the show coming to an end with Season 4, now is the time to catch up.

Lupin

Lupin Season 2 release date and cast latest
Omar Sy in Lupin. Pic credit: Netflix

Lupin is a French series based on the beloved French character Arsène Lupin, created by writer Maurice Leblanc in 1905.

French actor Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop, a con man with a heart of gold able to turn his outsized presence into an uncatchable master of deception. He is a huge fan of Arsène Lupin.

His father Babakar (Fargass Assandé), an immigrant from Senegal was framed for stealing the necklace. His dad died by suicide while in prison, leaving an orphaned Assane with a copy of the classic Lupin stories and a desire for vengeance.

Assane starts off trying to steal Marie Antoinette’s necklace, lost for 25 years, from the Louvre. There are only five episodes in Season 1 at 43 minutes each.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad. Pic credit: AMC

Netflix subscribers get two of the best AMC dramas in history, with Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, a prequel to Breaking Bad.

However, for fans who want to catch and binge-watch a fully formed story, from beginning to end, Breaking Bad is a complete series, while Better Call Saul is still in production.

Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as a high school science teacher with lung cancer who decides to start making and selling meth to secure his family’s future before he dies.

Aaron Paul co-stars as a former student named Jesse Pinkman, and the two end up spiraling into a pit of danger in the criminal underworld as their lives fall apart.

The Sinner

The Sinner
Jessica Biel in The Sinner. Pic credit: USA Network

The Sinner is a USA Network series that is based on the novel by Petra Hamemrsfahr.

It ended up with three seasons so far, the first two currently available on Netflix.

Bill Pullman is the one connective tissue as a police detective named Harry Ambrose who investigates crimes that often have an obviously guilty party, but too many questions about why they committed the murder.

The first season saw Biel’s Cora murder a man on the beach, but with no idea why she did it. The second season sees a couple poisoned to death and a young boy confessing to the murder.

Blacklist

liz keen raymond reddington on the blacklist
Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen and James Spader as Reddington in The Blacklist. Pic credit: NBC

There are seven seasons of the hit crime drama Blacklist on Netflix for subscribers to enjoy.

The series stars James Spader as a high-profile criminal who surrenders to the FBI after he had been on the run for decades. However, he had a deal for the FBI.

Red had a list of the most dangerous criminals in the world and he agreed to help inform their operations in catching these criminals if he could avoid prosecution.

They team him with a rookie FBI profiler (Megan Boone) and the two work together to bring in some of the world’s worst criminals, although there is a hidden agenda for Red hidden under the surface.

How to Get Away with Murder

How to Get Away with Murder
The cast of How to Get Away with Murder. Pic credit: ABC

One of the most popular crime dramas on Netflix is How to Get Away with Murder.

That is likely because it was a network hit on ABC for six seasons and 90 total episodes. Unlike other procedurals on Netflix like NCIS, How to Get Away with Murder played with a dramatic timeline throughout the series.

Viola Davis stars as a law professor at a university who becomes entangled in a murder plot with five of her students.

The crime drama series received a lot of critical praise, winning Viola Davis a Primetime Emmy Award in 2015 and a Screen Guild Actors Award in 2017.

Broadchurch

Broadchurch
David Tennant and Olivia Colman on Broadchurch. Pic credit: ITV

While David Tennant might always be known as one of the Doctors in Doctor Who, he also had a great crime drama series that fans can watch on Netflix.

The series is Broadcurch, and he stars in the series as a police detective in the fictional town of Broadchurch. Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman plays his partner.

The first season dealt with the death of an 11-year-old boy and bringing the killer to justice. The second season brings back a case from the past. The third season deals with the rape of a woman at a party.

The series initially aired on ITV for three seasons, and all three are available to stream on Netflix, with a total of 24 episodes.

Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders
Cillian Murphy on Peaky Blinders. Pic credit: BBC

Based on the true story of the Shelby crime family in Birmingham following World War II, Peaky Blinders initially aired on BBC Two and played out for five seasons.

The cast was terrific for a U.K. television series, with Cillian Murphy in the lead role as Tommy Shelby and Sam Neill as the Chief Inspector for the first two seasons. Tom Hardy also joined the cast in the second season.

All five seasons with a total of 30 episodes are available to stream right now on Netflix. The original music soundtrack from the BBC version is not available on the Netflix version.

Narcos

Narcos
The cast from the crime drama Narcos. Pic credit: Netflix

Produced by Netflix, Narcos is arguably the most successful drug lord crime drama on the streaming giant.

Based on a true story, the original Narcos told the story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and the DEA Agents (Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal) tasked with bringing him down.

That original crime drama series on Netflix lasted for three seasons and 30 episodes.

There was also a spin-off series called Narcos: Mexico that hit in 2018 and dealt with the illegal drug trade in Mexico. There have been two seasons and 20 episodes of that version.

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul
Bob Odenkirk on Better Call Saul. Pic credit: AMC

Breaking Bad was one of the best crime dramas in the history of television, and there seemed to be no way that anything could match up to it if a spin-off were considered.

Amazingly, the spin-off, Better Call Saul, has done just that. This series was based on small-time lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and starts with his career six years before he shows up in Breaking Bad.

This series shows how he transformed from the small-time lawyer into the criminal-for-hire Saul Goodman that fans got to know in Breaking Bad.

The first four seasons of Better Call Saul are available to stream on Netflix, and a fifth season will join them shortly.

Mindhunter

Mindhunter
David Fincher’s crime drama Mindhunter. Pic credit: Netflix

For fans of shows like Criminal Minds and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Netflix has a crime drama based on the real-life organization that started it all.

Created by Joe Penhall, produced by David Fincher, and based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, Mindhunter is about the creation of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit.

Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), create a new way to catch serial killers, and the first season focuses on the group interviewing serial killers to learn how they tick.

The second season delves into the Atlanta murders of 1979-1981.

Money Heist

Money Heist
Crime drama Money Heist. Pic credit: Netflix

Arguably the most popular foreign language series in Netflix history, Money Heist, is a crime drama from Spain.

Now with four parts released (two seasons) and 31 total episodes, Money Heist has eight people recruited by The Professor to steal €2.4 billion from the Royal Mint of Spain.

The first season deals with them taking 67 people hostage and then escaping with the money. The second season has a similar story, as the group targets the Bank of Spain.

Money Heist won the Best Drama Series award at the 2018 International Emmy Awards, where the first season was the most-watched foreign language series that year on Netflix.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published in Inside Sports Magazine, The Daily...read more

6 thoughts on “The best crime drama series on Netflix (October 2021)”

  1. i am getting sick and tired of the lack of variety of suspenseful crime dramas seems I have seen all the greats….some of the best were British…..is it time for me to quit watching Netflix?

    Reply
    • still feel the same way 5 months later!! SMH COME ON..LET’S GO…..some productions for intelligent people, PLEASE……!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      Reply
  2. disgusted with Netflix..very difficult to find a crime or spy series that is truly engaging and Netflix does not add very many b]new worthwhile series at ll…

    Reply
  3. Wtf kind of “sentences” are these:

    [Wentworth] “The show has her start at the bottom in Wentworth and had to survive. As she rose up the hierarchy in the prison, things started to change and then the final seasons focused more on several characters.”

    This seems to have been written by a not-too-bright grade-schooler. The catastrophic degradation of language in the U.S. is just beyond belief. And escalating. Do you not have an editor? Are you 10 years old? Watch more tv, you morons. It’s so depressing.

    Reply

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