Last Updated: March 30th
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 George Clooney looking pensively at legal documents. 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.
Jackie Brown (1997)
After earning acclaim with Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino made his subtlest feature with Jackie Brown, an Elmore Leonard adaptation that the director still makes very much his own. After middle-aged stewardess Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is picked up by the FBI, she’s pulled between her arms-dealing boss (Samuel L. Jackson), the feds that are after him, and saving her own skin. With an all-star ensemble that includes Robert De Niro and Robert Forster (who earned an Oscar nomination), Jackie Brown is a throwback to the blaxploitation genre that started in the ’70s, of which Grier was a big part of. It’s a tense, sexy, and desperate story, with a wonderful soundtrack to boot.
Michael Clayton (2007)
Tony Gilroy’s directorial debut focuses on the titular Michael Clayton (George Clooney), a down-and-out “fixer” trying to reign in a lawyer (Tom Wilkinson) who’s had a psychotic break while working a pharmaceutical case. As Clayton learns more about the drug company, he’s put in the crosshairs of the desperate, cutthroat general counsel (Tilda Swinton) looking to keep it all quiet. The characters are pushed to their respective edges and forced to decide what kind of people they want to be. It involves a lot of talking about legal documents and pensive looks at legal documents, but it’s powered by the Oscar-nominated performances of its three leads and a thrilling script, most of which were overshadowed by a particularly outstanding awards year (although Swinton went home with a win).