Last Updated: May 20th
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good crime flick, from rooting for that grey area anti-hero to sitting on the edge of your seat as lovable masterminds pull off the ultimate heist. No matter what your law-breaking fix is, Netflix has it. Scorcese-directed gangster films? Yep. Anarchy-stirring classics? Of course. Safdie brothers-inspired mania? There’s a couple of those.
Here are the best crime movies on Netflix right now … but, uh don’t go getting any ideas.
The Departed (2006)
Run Time: 151 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
Leonard DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Alec Baldwin star in this crime thriller from Martin Scorsese about an undercover cop and a mole in the police department who attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in Boston. DiCaprio plays the good guy (or as close as) with Billy, a disturbed officer playing the part of a criminal to get close to Nicholson’s kingpin, Frank. Damon plays the rat, Sullivan, who serves as a police officer on the force, but really works for Frank. The two unknowingly thwart each other at every turn, playing a thrilling game of cat and mouse before their secrets eventually come out.
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.
The Invisible Guest (2016)
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
This Spanish crime thriller follows a successful businessman framed for the murder of his married lover. A seemingly straightforward plot, until a car accident, a dead body, fake witnesses, and a family out for revenge is thrown into the mix. Mario Casas stars as the man in question, a young husband and father with a bright future who takes part in a terrible crime and is forced to pay for it in the most twisted of ways. You won’t figure this thing out until the end, we guarantee it.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Run Time: 135 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
This adventurous mindf*ck starring Adam Sandler finally landed on Netflix, and our only advice before watching this criminally-good romp is this: prepare yourself for a wild, over-the-top ride. Sandler gives one of his best performances, and the Safdie Brothers prove they’ve got a knack for crafting thrillers textured with grit and a realness that just can’t be beaten.
The Devil All The Time (2020)
Run Time: 138 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
This time-hopping drama set in the backwoods of West Virginia is basically an excuse for director Antonio Campos to assemble his own Avengers-style squad of Hollywood A-listers. Seriously, everyone’s in this thing: Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Bill Skarsgård, Eliza Scanlen, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Haley Bennett, that kid who played Dudley in the Harry Potter franchise. The whole gang’s living in shacks and picking up hitchhikers only to murder them later and speaking in tongues and falling victim to generational trauma. It’s a heavy watch, and there’s not really a happy ending, but boy, does Pattinson deliver a batsh*t crazy turn as a perverted preacher.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Run Time: 136 min | IMDb:
Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian crime thriller A Clockwork Orange most certainly is not a breezy watch. The film, based on the classic novel by Anthony Burgess, follows the charismatic, completely unhinged Alex (Malcolm McDowell), leader of a gang of criminals who enjoy inciting chaos and committing horrific crimes. When Alex is captured, the Minister of the Interior suggests experimenting on him using rehabilitation techniques that psychologically condition him to become averse to violence and sex. They work, for a time, and to disastrous consequences, but Kubrick’s real goal with this film was to dive into the idea of free will and morality.
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this truly bonkers crime thriller from Dan Gilroy about a con-man who muscles his way into L.A.’s crime journalism scene and very quickly becomes the star of his own reporting. Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is a petty thief who stumbles his way into the stringer profession — photojournalists who chase crime scenes to sell the footage to local TV stations. As Lou begins to record more exciting crimes, demand for his work grows and he starts staging scenes, obstructing police investigations, and inserting himself in high-speed chases to get the best shot. It’s a twisted, depressing look at the ethics of journalism and the consequences of consumerism, and Gyllenhaal has never been better.
Training Day (2001)
Run Time: 122 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
One of the most famous roles in Denzel Washington’s impressive acting career came courtesy of this early aughts crime drama directed by Antoine Fuqua. Washington plays a smooth-talking rogue detective named Alonzo whose unit skims off the drug busts they make on the crime-ridden streets of L.A. When Ethan Hawke’s rookie cop joins their narcotics unit, he’s put in the tough position of letting those shady dealings slide or going against his own in order to do the right thing. This movie, especially Washington’s character, has been meme-d to death, that’s true. But, it’s still too damn good not to watch.
The Night Clerk (2020)
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 5.4/10
Tye Sheridan stars in this thriller, playing a night clerk named Bart who has Asperger’s syndrome and hides cameras in hotel rooms to study and mimick normal human interactions. While watching footage of one woman’s room, he sees her fighting with a man and rushes to help her. Later, the woman is found dead in her room with Bart the only suspect. The arrival of a new guest and a corrupt police force complicate the murder investigation — and Bart’s life.
Recent Changes Through May 2021:
Removed: Ocean’s Eleven
Added: Training Day