15 Underrated Crime Series You Can Watch on Netflix

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Netflix is indeed a treasure trove for crime aficionados seeking gripping tales with a tantalizing blend of mystery, intrigue, and suspense. The streaming platform houses some of the biggest crime shows of the 21st Century after all. Despite the limelight enjoyed by big hits like The Blacklist, Peaky Blinders, and Mindhunters, there exist hidden gems waiting to be discovered. While these lesser-known narratives may not bask in the same recognition, it does not make them any less enthralling or less deserving of more recognition and acclaim.

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Florida Man is one of such underrated crime series, and it debuted on Netflix in April 2023. Consisting of just seven episodes, this limited series weaves a fun storyline, encompassing a treasure hunt, romance, and crime, ensuring there’s never a dull moment. Though it received generally negative reviews from critics, many viewers enjoyed this delightful show. Of course, Florida Man is just one hidden gem; there are other shows on Netflix not as widely celebrated as other grand crime series.

Dive into the world of crime series on Netflix with this lineup of 15 underrated shows.

15 Florida Man (2023)

Florida Man works perfectly as a romantic crime thriller that skillfully incorporates entertaining father/son drama and unforeseen twists to keep many hooked. Centered on Mike Valentine, a former Philadelphia cop who has hit a rough patch due to gambling problems, the plot takes an intriguing turn when he ventures to Florida to find a local mobster’s girlfriend and gets entangled in a hunt for gold.

What Makes It Great

While on the surface Florida Man may seem like yet another comedy series with no substance, it unveils a realistic depiction of a landscape hidden behind picturesque vacation scenes that many do not get to see. Against the backdrop of palm trees and serene oceans, there lie underground crimes, familial issues, treasure hunts, and loads of action and drama that unfold nicely with a spot-on cast boosting the plot with terrific performances.

14 The Sinner (2017-2021)

the sinner
The Sinner

Release Date
August 9, 2017
Cast
Bill Pullman , Jessica Hecht , Michael Mosley , Alice Kremelberg , Cindy Cheung , Neal Huff

Seasons
2

The Sinner is a psychological TV anthology series that follows a unique narrative structure, wherein each season solves a different case. The series follows as Detective Harry Ambrose investigates often-violent and senseless crimes, unraveling the mystery behind the motives and the individual(s) responsible.

What Makes It Great

Though the series has received positive reviews for its gripping narratives, strong performances, depiction of complex characters, and exploration of dark, gritty subject matter, The Sinner is not talked about enough. Nevertheless, it is just the show for anyone who enjoys police procedural mysteries and well-crafted psychological thrillers. This underrated series is a disturbing, dark, and slow-burn experience, yet strangely addictive.

13 Alias Grace (2017)

Directed by Mary Heron and penned by Sarah Polley, inspired by Margaret Atwood’s powerful 1996 novel, this thought-provoking Canadian miniseries follows the story of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant maid entangled in the murder of her employer. The narrative takes a compelling twist when a psychologist takes an interest in her case.

What Makes It Great

Despite being a superbly-made true crime story and an excellent period piece teeming with human drama and intrigue, this six-hour miniseries is vastly underrated. Spanning a crisp six episodes, Heron’s incisive direction reveals the harrowing and painful facets of Grace’s story, offering a glimpse into the challenges faced by women during this era. Sarah Gadon’s performance as Grace is exceptional, as she embodies the character with a blend of purity and fierceness.

Related: 40 Best Netflix Original Movies to Watch Right Now

12 Marcella (2016-2021)

Anna Friel as Marcella in Marcella
Netflix

A British Nordic noir crime series, Marcella follows the life and investigations of Marcella Brackland (Anna Friel), a former London detective who returns to work in order to investigate a series of murders. As she digs into these cases, she grapples with personal demons, and finds the cases are somehow connected with her past.

What Makes It Great

Marcella is a well-crafted psychological drama with a suspenseful and intricate plotline that keeps viewers engrossed in its crime-solving mysteries. The characters, particularly Marcella, are well-developed, and their personal struggles add much-needed emotional layers to the plot. What makes the underrated show stand out is its nuanced approach, not only unraveling the intriguing and dark crimes Marcella solves, but also brilliantly delving into her mental state and her connection to the crimes. Marcella is a compelling watch for viewers who enjoy well-written and well-acted mystery shows.

11 Fauda (2015-Present)

Fauda is the perfect watch for anyone who enjoys intense, character-driven drama set against geopolitical conflicts. This brutal and brilliant, though surprisingly underrated, series features multi-faceted characters, and offers an immersive and realistic depiction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Set against this highly volatile political landscape, it centers on the activities of an undercover Israeli counter-terrorism unit.

What Makes It Great

Fauda isn’t just a thrilling crime show, it is also a roller-coaster of chaos, love, fear, hope, excitement, betrayal, and unwavering loyalty to one’s nation. As the plot progresses, many viewers will find themselves laughing, crying, and even falling in love with the richly-crafted characters. Excellently made, Fauda features an incredibly realistic and suspenseful plot with a mix of drama, espionage, and psychological thriller and amazing performances. Packed with action and adventure, it is a nail-biting experience that deserves a spot among the giants of crime shows on Netflix.

10 The Stranger (2020)

With a plethora of crime series on Netflix, many may not know or even rave about the eight-part British miniseries, The Stranger. Notwithstanding, this engrossing mix of crime, drama, and mystery unfolds the story of a happily married man whose life takes a dark turn when a stranger appears and reveals shocking secrets about his family. This revelation sets off a chain of events, exposing more dark secrets and interconnected mysteries.

What Makes It Great

The Stranger has its share of fans who appreciate its gripping plot twists, suspenseful atmosphere, and the interconnected nature of the mysteries therein. Despite the occasional far-fetched twists and plot holes, the Netflix series still manages to entertain. It has also received praise for its mystery-packed storytelling, exciting action sequences, and intriguing characters.

Related: 10 International Crime Movies That Inspired American Remakes

9 Giri/Haji (2019)

Co-Produced by BBC and Netflix, and renowned for its cultural depth, the brilliant crime series, Giri/Haji takes place in both London and Tokyo. It follows the story of Kenzo, a Tokyo detective sent to London to deliver his wayward brother, suspected of murdering a Yakuza member and triggering a gang war in Tokyo.

What Makes It Great

Giri/Haji distinguishes itself from the crowd of police procedural shows by dedicating ample time to meticulously crafting each character. It takes a deliberate approach in slowly divulging the backgrounds and motivations of its morally gray characters. Despite dealing with bleak subject matter, Giri/Haji weaves in genuinely funny moments. The stunning cinematography and gripping soundtrack enhance the overall immersive experience, while Takehiro Hiraganas provides an outstanding performance as the well-defined character, Kenzo. For those unfamiliar with this underrated gem, this is an opportune time to dive into this crime masterpiece.

8 Get Shorty (2017-2019)

Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel and the 1995 film adaptation of the same, Get Shorty offers an entertaining and satirical exploration of the intersection between crime and Hollywood. Chris O’Dowd takes on the lead role as Miles, a hitman who is tired of his criminal life and decides to venture into Hollywood as a producer.

What Makes It Great

Get Shorty is often praised for its witty and darkly humorous take on the entertainment industry, deftly juxtaposing crime with Hollywood as Miles uses his criminal skills to gain an edge in the industry, providing a unique and entertaining perspective on how one can achieve one’s goals. The show successfully combines comedy, crime, and drama to keep viewers wholly engaged in its violent scenes, occasional comedic situations, and character-driven narrative. It is an underrated gem on Netflix, brimming with superb performances and no dull moments.

7 Ferry (2023-Present)

Serving as a follow-up to the 2021 movie of the same name, Ferry stars Frank Lammers as an up-and-coming drug dealer in desperate need of money, showcasing his rise from obscurity to becoming one of the most notorious drug lords in Babrant.

What Makes It Great

Ferry caters to crime story enthusiasts, particularly those drawn to narratives centered on gangsters, much like Narcos, Top Boy, and Breaking Bad, which are popular crime shows available on Netflix. While it may be underrated by comparison, Ferry stands as an exciting and unique crime series, introducing a tough protagonist unafraid of anything or anyone. The show also boasts commendable performances and a well-written and unpredictable plot that will have many coming back for more.

6 The Valhalla Murders (2019-2020)

The Valhalla Murders stands as an intriguing crime series on Netflix, often overlooked despite being an impressive and gripping Nordic noir series right from the start. Set in Iceland, this murder mystery series follows as a police profiler is sent back home to investigate Iceland’s first serial killer case. He teams up with a local cop, Kata, to catch the murderer.

What Makes It Great

The Valhalla Murders is intriguing thanks to its atmospheric setting, complex characters, emotional depth, and the exploration of cultural and religious themes woven into an intriguing modern mystery that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. It is also often praised for its visually stunning cinematography and well-executed suspense that add to the overall gritty atmospher of the show. By seamlessly combining these elements, it creates a gripping and immersive experience that truly captivates viewers.

5 Seven Seconds (2018)

If you are drawn to slow, emotionally charged narratives, then the absorbing crime series, Seven Seconds, is tailor-made for you. Centered on the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident involving a Black teenager in the city of Jersey, the plot delves into the police department’s attempt to cover up the crime and the tumultuous trial that ensues.

What Makes It Great

Beyond its high production value, polished editing, well-written story, and excellent cast — including Emmy-winner Regina King, Claire-Hope Ashitey, and other talented actors — Seven Seconds excels in making viewers genuinely care for its characters. It’s a captivating show that hooks viewers from the start, leaving them glued to their screens and hungry for the next twists. Rooted in the exploration of racial tension, corruption, and a compelling story of justice, it strikes a realistic yet heartbreaking chord.

4 American Vandal (2017-2018)

American Vandal skillfully delivers a comedic take on true crime documentaries, making it a perfect fit for those who enjoy shows that playfully mock the genre’s conventions. The storyline revolves around high-school student filmmakers who investigate a series of pranks at their school, leading them to uncover a web of mysteries, secrets, motives and unexpected twists.

What Makes it Great

Despite being a well-crafted and entertaining show with plenty of humor and an engaging mystery, American Vandal remains one of the most underrated crime shows on Netflix. The show may seem superficial or silly at face value, but the stellar acting, directing, and writing transforms what appears to be a meaningless and immature act of vandalism into an engrossing mockumentary. It is hilarious and heartfelt, boasting great acting and beautiful cinematography, which makes it an excellent show to binge-watch.

3 Collateral (2018)

A concise eight-part miniseries set in London, Collateral serves as the perfect option for those seeking brief yet intriguing crime thrillers. Centered on Detective Kip Glapsie’s investigation into the shooting of a pizza delivery driver, the storyline eventually delves into the realm of organized crime, immigration issues, and political corruption.

What Makes It Great

Collateral stands as a brilliant British crime show that gets better with each episode. Despite being an underrated show, it offers a refreshing take on the crime genre by addressing broader societal issues, such as immigration and human trafficking. The well-developed characters are performed fantastically by the outstanding cast, led by Carey Mulligan. All the while, the show maintains an authentic feel and a strong pace that builds tension and keeps viewers invested.

2 Pieces of Her (2022)

Based on Karin Slaughter’s novel of the same title, Pieces of Her is a crime thriller that features Toni Collette in the lead role as Andrea. The series kicks off with a violent incident at a diner, which reveals the dark aspects of Andrea’s mother. As Andrea uncovers the truth, she’s drawn into a web of secrets and danger.

What Makes It Great

If you enjoy mystery thrillers with a focus on family dynamics and the uncovering hidden secrets, Pieces of Her is definitely worth a watch. The series captivates viewers with tantalizing hints of what lies ahead and features some intense action sequences. Given its engrossing and intriguing nature, it certainly merits more acclaim.

1 Safe (2018)

safe
safe

Release Date
May 10, 2018
Cast
Michael C. Hall , Audrey Fleurot , Marc Warren , Nigel Lindsay , Laila Rouass

Seasons
1

Created by crime author Harlan Coben and written by Danny Brocklehurst, this thrilling British crime series follows the story of Tom Deleaney (Michael C. Hall), a widowed surgeon living in a gated community. The plot unfolds as he searches for his missing teenage daughter, revealing a web of secrets about those around him.

What Makes It Great

Many viewers will find Safe intriguing due to its combination of a missing persons premise, complex characters that contribute to and drive the plot, and the unexpected twists that take viewers by surprise along the way. This underrated show is a must-watch for fans of thrillers, whodunits, and mysteries, and deserves more views and more people talking about it.

If you liked this article and are looking for intriguing movies to watch on Netflix, check out this awesome video that features the most-watched movies on the streaming platform.

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