Next to a gut-busting comedy, a well-done crime thriller is always an enjoyable movie experience for me. Luckily, Netflix has a wide array of outstanding crime dramas and thrillers to stream if you’re looking for a movie that revels in darker side of life.
Like previous installments of our “Highest Rated Of Netflix” series, I looked at the crime movies with at least a million votes to ensure a truly sordid array of low-down cops, crooks and murderers. So without further hesitation, here are the highest rated crime thrillers and dramas currently streaming on Netflix.
The Usual Suspects 4.3 stars out of 4,314,773 ratings.
Arguably Stephen Baldwin’s greatest movie, The Usual Suspects is a perfect blueprint for the “mystery thriller.” A burned-out ship, multiple dead crooks and only one survivor to tell the twisted tale of how it all went down. Kevin Spacey’s layered story that he reveals to detectives keeps you guessing until the very end and provides one of the most enjoyable first viewings of any movie experience. Rotten Tomatoes 96, IMDB 8.7
Pulp Fiction 4.1 stars out of 9,950,613 ratings.
I can be kind of stingy with my five star Netflix reviews, but have no qualms about giving Pulp Fiction a perfect rating. The intersecting stories of two hitmen, a washed-up boxer and mob boss’ wife in seedy Los Angeles has equal parts humor and gritty violence. The movie revitalized John Travolta’s career and cemented itself into pop culture history. Rotten Tomatoes 96, IMDB 9.0
The Boondock Saints 4.1 stars out of 6,707,755 ratings.
A cult favorite embraced by audiences and loathed by critics, The Boondock Saints worked its way into Netflix’s top action movies and sits equally well in the crime drama category. The story of Irish twins out to rid their city of corruption with swift and unforgiving justice borrows from Tarantino, but goes over the top in a way that he did not with Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Rotten Tomatoes 92, IMDB 7.9
End Of Watch 4.1 stars out of 2,420,288 ratings.
While End Of Watch is similar to another great cop drama that didn’t make this list, Colors, it shows the perils of being a Los Angeles cop from an almost documentary point of view. It’s evident from the start that David Ayer’s story of two young cops who get caught up with the Los Angeles sect of the Mexican Cartel is not going to end happily, how everything plays out though is both a thrilling and affecting movie experience. Rotten Tomatoes 86, IMDB 7.7
Reservoir Dogs 4 stars out of 7,281,982 ratings.
Without a doubt, one of the coolest movies of the early 1990s, Reservoir Dogs ushered in Quentin Tarantino as the new superstar director of the decade and gave us a style of film-making that continues to be copied today. (It’s also got probably the only and best severed ear joke in cinema.) A group of identical suit-wearing crooks pull a heist, holds a cop hostage and slowly start to turn on each other with the belief that someone in the gang isn’t who they appear to be. Rotten Tomatoes 94, IMDB 8.4
The Untouchables 4 stars out of 3,186,371 ratings.
I’ve covered The Untouchables twice now with a post about its unusual facts, as well as including it in the best action/adventures movies streaming on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it yet, stop wasting time and stream this gangster classic, already.
Fargo 3.8 stars out of 9,274,430 ratings.
Joel and Ethan Coen are national treasures when it comes to filmmaking; alternating between comedy and crime dramas, usually with a bit of crossover in each. It’s a bit of a toss-up as to whether The Big Lewboski or Fargo is the ultimate Coen brothers movie — no disrespect to Raising Arizona or No Country For Old Men. The story of a ransom gone wrong in snowy North Dakota is worth watching for William H. Macy’s accent alone. Rotten Tomatoes 93, IMDB 8.2
Memento 3.8 stars out of 7,880,469 ratings.
The first time you watch Memento is one of the most confusing, yet enjoyable movie experiences you’ll ever have. Christopher Nolan’s story of a man without the ability to make new memories trying to find his wife’s killer takes non-linear storytelling to a completely new level. The entire movie is a brilliant neo-noir jigsaw puzzle unlike any revenge story before or since. Rotten Tomatoes 94, IMDB 8.6
Traffic 3.8 stars out of 3,166,555 ratings.
Steven Soderbergh’s film lays out the illegal drug trade from four different perspectives: users, pushers, enforcers and politicians. The overlapping stories show that the effects of the societal plague aren’t just black and white issues of right and wrong, but often gray with no clear winners. The movie also kicked off a string of perhaps equally good movies with intertwining stories like 21 Grams and Crash. Rotten Tomatoes 85, IMDB 7.7
Double Jeopardy 3.7 stars out of 9,296,993 ratings.
There’s no fury worse than a woman’s scorn — especially if you framed her for your murder and sent her to prison. I wouldn’t say Double Jeopardy is a bad movie, it’s a pretty decent crime thriller, maybe not quite as deserving of its place on this list as Netflix users have rated it, but it’s not bad. The movie didn’t boast well with critics for its implausible plot twists, but the story of a woman out to track down her husband that’s wronged her is worth a watch. C’mon, it’s got Tommy Lee Jones so it can’t be that bad! Rotten Tomatoes 62, IMDB 6.3
Along Came A Spider 3.7 stars out of 6,603,284 ratings.
It’s got Morgan Freeman, but it sure as hell ain’t Se7en. A follow-up to Kiss The Girls, Morgan Freeman plays detective Alex Cross who is trying to recover from the grief of his deceased partner, but must find a kidnapped girl before she becomes the next victim of a brutal psycho. Rotten Tomatoes 54, IMDB 6.3
American Psycho 3.7 stars out of 2,857,463 ratings.
Christian Bale is both incredibly fun and terrifying to watch as investment banker Patrick Bateman who when not obsessing over getting the perfect business card leads a double life as an axe murderer. The movie based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel is both a humorous satire on the image obsessed 1980s and chilling psychological thriller. Plus, no other movie on this list includes ATM machines with an appetite for cats. Rotten Tomatoes 85, IMDB 7.6