Last Updated: September 12th
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.
Gangs of New York (2002)
Run Time: 167 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonard DiCaprio, and Cameron Diaz star in Martin Scorsese’s historical epic that re-imagines the birth of New York City. DiCaprio plays Amsterdam, an Irish immigrant who returns to the Five Points years following his father’s murder, looking for revenge. To get it, he infiltrates Bill the Butcher’s (Lewis) gang, a group of proud natives tired of the influx of foreigners in their city. Diaz plays a prostitute who forms a relationship with Amsterdam as he befriends Bill, then struggles to follow-through with his plan to kill the man who murdered his father and lead the Five Points in a rebellion against the city’s elite.
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Brad Pitt and Jason Statham star in this crime comedy from Guy Ritchie. One half of the story follows Benicio del Toro who plays a diamond thief trying to sell his stolen goods to some double-crossing gangsters. The other story follows Statham as small-time boxing promoter struggling to get out from under the thumb of a ruthless drug lord with a love for torture. Ritchie’s patented vibe is on full display here, which makes it a quintessentially fun British jaunt.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Run Time: 154 min | IMDb: 8.9/10
Possibly the most famous of Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces, Pulp Fiction stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman spitting out punchy dialogue, pop culture references, and committing some pretty violent crimes along the way. Tarantino’s love of non-linear storytelling is on full display here with three separate plots, all entwined in some way, take shape over the course of the film. Travolta plays Vincent, a hitman for a mob boss who, along with his partner Jules (Jackson), survives a couple of shootouts in the film as the two contemplate their life of crime, escort mob wives across town, help fix boxing matches, and dispose of dead bodies.
The Informant! (2009)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 6.5/10
Matt Damon stars in this comedy-crime flick from Steven Soderbergh playing an in-over-his-head whistleblower during the lysine price-fixing conspiracy of the mid-90s. Based on a true story, Damon stars as Mark Whitacre, an executive at Archer Daniels Midland who informs the FBI that his company is price-fixing a chemical used in the commercial livestock industry. He spends years gathering evidence in order to bring the criminals down, but, in a shocking turn of events, his bipolar disorder and increasing paranoia implicate him in a much larger embezzlement scheme. Most of the movie is Damon losing his sh*t over increasingly random events, which is as fun to watch as it sounds.
Panic Room (2002)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart play a mother-daughter duo stuck in a terrifying situation in this dramatic thriller. Foster’s Meg Altman is a recently divorced mother to a diabetic young daughter named Sarah (Stewart). The two move into a new home following the family split but have the most horrific of housewarmings when three men break into their home looking for a hidden fortune forcing them to lock themselves inside the home’s panic room.
In Bruges (2008)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
No one hates Bruges more than Colin Farrell. The actor plays a rookie hitman named Ray who’s stuck in the charming city after a hit gone wrong with his more experienced associate, Ken (Brendan Gleeson). The two pal around for a bit, hanging out with a cocaine-snorting dwarf on movie sets and a production-assistant-turned-drug-dealer before their pissed off boss catches up to them and things get bloody. Farrell does some of his best comedic work here and while the ending is a bit of a downer, getting there is wicked fun.
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.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Run Time: 128 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams lead this witty romp into Victorian Era England. Helmed by Guy Ritchie, this flick sees the titular investigator played by Downey teaming up with Dr. Watson (Law) to thwart a terrorist attack on London. Downey brings a bit of his Tony Stark vibe to the character, playing a genius ahead of his time, a womanizer, and a daredevil who will go to any length to solve a case, much to the dismay of his constantly-worried counterpart. It’s classic crime-solving fun with a bit of a punch and plenty of Ritchie’s signature flair.
Layer Cake (2004)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller star in this fast-paced crime drama from Matthew Vaughn. Craig plays a London-based drug dealer known simply as XXXX. His plans to retire from crime are interrupted when he’s given two impossible tasks by his boss: to recover a kidnapped woman and to sell some dirty pills stolen from a Serbian war lord. XXXX must navigate betrayals and criminal hierarchies to keep himself and his crew alive.
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.