Last Updated: March 2nd
Netflix has no shortage of great options for movie fans who enjoy a good crime story. It’s a genre that covers cops trying to solve a mystery, criminals looking to make a buck, and tasty burgers. They can be thrilling, hilarious, and/or action-packed. So enjoy a legally appropriate brush with danger and catch the best crime movies on Netflix right now.
Good Time (2017)
Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
This gritty crime drama hailing from the Safdie brothers transforms star Robert Pattinson into a bleach-blonde sh*t-stirrer from Queens who’s desperate to break his developmentally disabled brother out of prison. Pattinson plays Connie, a street hustler and bank robber with grand plans to break out of his urban hood while Benny Safdie plays his brother Nick, who gets roped into his schemes. When Nick is sent to Rikers Island for a job gone wrong, Connie goes on a downward spiral to get him back. Pattinson’s manic energy carries this thing, and there’s plenty of police run-ins, shootouts, and heists (however botched) to keep the adrenaline pumping.
The Irishman (2019)
Run Time: 209 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
Martin Scorsese delivers another cinematic triumph, this time for Netflix and with the help of some familiar faces. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team up (again) for this crime drama based on actual events. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran a World War II vet who finds work as a hitman for the mob. Pacino plays notorious Teamster Jimmy Hoffa, a man who frequently found himself on the wrong side of the law and the criminals he worked with. The film charts the pair’s partnership over the years while injecting some historical milestones for context. It’s heavy and impressively cast and everything you’d expect a Scorsese passion-project to be.
Run Time: 148 min | IMDb: 8.8/10
Christopher Nolan’s imaginative sci-fi adventure will most likely be remembered as one of the best genre films in cinematic history, and for good reason. The movie — which stars everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy to Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine — is the ultimate heist flick, following a group of thieves who must repurpose dream-sharing technology to plant an idea into the mind of a young CEO. DiCaprio pulls focus as Cobb, a troubled architect with a tragic past who attempts to pull off the impossible so that he can return to his family.
Run Time: 157 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo star in this mystery crime thriller directed by David Fincher. The manhunt for the Zodiac killer — a criminal who committed several murders in the Bay area in the late ’60s and early ’70s — has spawned decades and garnered plenty of media attention, but the film dives deeper into the cost of the search, particularly the toll it’s taken on the men and women reporting on it. Gyllenhaal plays a newspaper cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the case, decoding ciphers sent by the killer and targeting a man he believes could be the Zodiac. Downey Jr. plays a crime reporter who partners with Gyllenhaal on the case and leaks information to the police. It’s a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse fueled by some gripping performances by its male leads.
Sin City (2005)
Run Time: 124 min | IMDb: 8/10
Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez team up for this stylish crime thriller drowning in corruption, comic book references, and A-list actors playing varying degrees of anti-hero. Based on the first, third, and fourth books in Miller’s original series, the film jumps between three different stories all set in the seedy underworld of Basin City. Bruce Willis plays an aging police officer framed for crimes he didn’t commit who must protect a young woman he’s come to love. Clive Owen plays a vigilante protecting prostitutes from bad guys and preventing a war between the women and the police. And Mickey Rourke plays a man seeking revenge for the death of his lover. It’s a lot of action and bloodshed, all done in Miller’s signature tone and Rodriguez recognizable flair.
Blade Runner (1982)
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Harrison Ford’s lived long enough to see quite a few of his sci-fi franchises get the reboot treatment but this futuristic 80s flick still ranks as one of his best genre outings. Ford plays Rick Deckard, a blade runner charged with terminating four replicants — synthetic humans — who have escaped captivity and are plotting rebellion. Deckard treks across a dystopian Los Angeles, confronting ideas about humanity and morality while fighting off bioengineered humanoids and his fellow man.
The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)
Run Time: 140 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Ryan Gosling reteams with his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance for an episodic, multi-generational story of crime and consequences in upstate New York. Some sections work better than others, but the cast is terrific throughout and Cianfrance directs with a deep feel for the setting.
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
A stone-faced Ryan Gosling steers us through the criminal underworld created by director Nicolas Winding Refn in this high-speed thriller. Gosling plays a near-silent stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway man. When he gets involved with his next-door neighbor and her young son, his carefully cultivated life is thrown into chaos, forcing him to align with criminals and take on risky jobs to protect the pair and keep a firm grip on the wheel.
Run Time: 146 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta star in this crime drama from the always reliable Martin Scorcese. Liotta plays Henry Hill, a young kid enamored with the life of crime who eventually works his way up the ranks to become a certified bad guy. He reaps the rewards: money, cars, women, a ton of nose candy, but his life soon spirals out of control when his friends turn on him, the authorities close in on his business, and his drug addiction begins to feed his paranoia.
Hell or High Water (2016)
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges star in this neo-Western crime thriller about a pair of brothers who go on a bank-robbing spree to save their family’s ranch. Pine plays Toby, a down-on-his-luck father struggling to live right under mountains of inherited debt while Foster plays Tanner, his ex-con brother who has a wild streak that often endangers the two men on their jobs. Bridges is the aging sheriff tasked with bringing them to justice, but his job is made harder by the locals, who have no love for the bank chain the boys are stealing from. It’s a gritty, unapologetic tale of a forgotten America brought to life by some brilliant performances and an impressive script from Taylor Sheridan.