Mystery Marathon: The Best Crime Dramas on Netflix

Netflix is one of the best things to happen to home entertainment—and introverts—in recent memory. For just $9 a month, subscribers are spoiled with more television shows, movies and documentaries than they can watch in their lifetime, and there’s no greater pastime than discovering a show and binge-watching the entire series.

If you’re desperately in search of a new fix, these crime dramas are waiting.


The Fall

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A BBC original series, “The Fall” follows Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, a Detective Superintendent who’s sent to Belfast to oversee the investigation of an unsolved murder. Gibson begins to suspect the murder was the work of a serial killer, a killer that happens to be grief counselor Paul Spector, who plays the role of the perfect husband and father. As Gibson tracks the killer’s every move, a clash between her and Spector, played by Jamie Dornan, becomes inevitable.


The Blacklist

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“The Blacklist” is a series of never-ending questions. In the pilot episode, former Navy officer Raymond Reddington, portrayed by James Spader, who went rogue 20 years ago, walks into FBI headquarters and surrenders, offering to help the bureau capture the world’s most dangerous criminals, but only if he works with agent Elizabeth Keen, a rookie profiler. Each episode, Keen and her team tracks down a name off of Reddington’s blacklist while Keen’s own life falls apart around her and the audience is left wondering what exactly is the relationship between her and Raymond Reddington?


Criminal Minds

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One of the more macabre entries on this list, “Criminal Minds” is about a group of FBI profilers and their hacker-turned-FBI-agent tech whiz who travel the country helping local law enforcement officials solve crimes and track down murderers by analyzing data to develop an accurate profile of the criminal. The show features some seriously disturbing stories, which makes for great entertainment.


Sons of Anarchy

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At first glance, a motorcycle gang participating in gun trafficking for the IRA seems like an easy group of people to hate. With “Sons of Anarchy,” however, viewers are given a private glimpse into a world where loyalty, family, trust and honor are among the most important values of California’s Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club. This is one of those shows that make you love the criminals and detest the cops.



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The stories of Sherlock Holmes have been told and retold more times than anyone can count—and for good reason. An analyst with a Master’s in criminal justice says the famous detective’s exploits are what inspired him to pursue a career in criminal analysis. This latest TV version, however, is arguably one of the best imaginings to date. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the series features popular characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, including Jim Moriarty and Mrs. Hudson, Holmes’ landlady. The captivating performance by Cumberbatch, his chemistry with Freeman and the writing, with most episodes based at least in part on works by Doyle, all come together to make “Sherlock” one of the most enjoyable re-imaginations of Sherlock Holmes to date.

With the exception of “Criminal Minds,” all of the shows listed here have less than five seasons under their belt, which means it won’t be long before you’ll need an updated list. If you want to play detective from your couch, these shows are the first you should turn to.

Emma Sturgis

Emma is a writer living in Boston. When not writing or spending too much time on the computer, she enjoys tabletop games, comics (DC), and baking.

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