Top 7 Must-See Crime/Thriller Shows on Netflix

This post is kindly sponsored by Panasonic and my Netflix obsession. You can check out the flashy new Panasonic Oled TV here.

One of my favourite things to do when I get in from work during these chillier times is to pop on my slippers, grab a cup of tea, snuggle up in a blanket and get stuck in to a corker of a show on TV. I know, that makes me sound like I am approaching 80 years old, but cosy nights in are just the best when it is freezing outside! In my family, we all seem to love a good whodunnit series or murder documentary; anything within the crime and/or thriller is right up our street and luckily my boyfriend is of the same thinking. As each week passes we finish another TV series and start the never-ending quest of finding yet another one to watch. I seem to spend so much time trawling the internet for recommendations, so I thought I'd share some of the best shows, documentaries and films of this genre (and trust me, we've seen a lot) for you to save for a rainy day.

Making A Murderer

OK, I know I'm starting with the obvious, but this is an absolute must-see. This ten-part docuseries follows the story of Steven Avery and the twists and turns surrounding his conviction in the murder of Teresa Halbach. From the very first episode, this documentary has you hooked, and the series is constantly makes you question every small detail around the real-life case. From injustices against numerous parties to police corruption, this show is a complete rollercoaster which leaves you both feeling angry and conflicted as there is still so much opinion about whether Avery is guilty or not. Apparently this series actually leaves out a lot of the evidence which perhaps shows Avery in a more guilty light, but nonetheless, it's a total eye-opener and a story that will stick with you for a very long time.


We watched this one recently after Stewart's parents recommended it and we completely loved it! Each episode leaves you desperately wanting to watch the next and it is so gripping whilst being strangely funny. Set in Minnesota and inspired by the Coen brothers' 1996 film, the first series follows Lester Nygaard (excellently played by Martin Freeman) and his chance meeting with a mysterious stranger Lorne Malvo, and the snowball-esque consequences their actions have on a small, snowy community. There's murder, deception, detectives and a story line which makes you both detest Lester and feel sorry for him at the same time. Whilst I couldn't get as stuck in to the second series (there are now three!), the first is definitely one to give a go!

The Sinner

I actually finished this one last week- it's one of those series that you just want to binge-watch as the cliffhangers at the end of each episode tease you into wanting to know what happens next. Starring Jessica Biel as Cora Tanetti, it all kicks off in the first episode with a very (seemingly) random and spontaneous public act of violence (great for those who hate waiting for something to actually happen in a TV series!).  Detective Harry Ambrose then takes it upon himself to dig deeper into the life of Cora Tanetti to figure out why this crime was committed, and it unravels bit by bit as her memories slowly come back to her. It's dark, gripping, and a bit unnecessarily strange at times, but has all the good bits of a classic crime drama that leaves you wanting more. It only came out in August this year too so it's something new to watch!

How To Get Away With Murder

I don't think I have enough words to describe how much I love this show. Annalise Keating (played by the incredibly gorgeous and talented Viola Davis) is a university professor and badass criminal defence lawyer who takes five students under her wing to work for her as part of a legal clinic. Things go horribly wrong and the show follows the group figuring out how to get away with murder (clever, eh). There are so many other mini story-lines going on between the characters amongst the main murder one that you often forget about that main story and get more involved in their own personal goings on, but they all tie in beautifully to create a show that's dramatic, twisted and often a bit saucy (ooh er). Series 1 and 2 are currently on Netflix- give yourself a whole week off as this is one to binge-watch.

Gerald's Game

So, this one is a Netflix film as opposed to a series, but I just had to include it. Although it doesn't so much fit the crime genre, this is a thriller and a half (with a little bit of horror mixed in). I actually had nightmares about the Midnight Man afterwards. Based on Stephen King's novel and released in September this year, the film sees a couple head to the middle of nowhere for a weekend alone to try and rekindle their relationship. The handcuffs come out and Jessie is soon tied to the bed before things take a shocking turn for the worse. As she is left there alone, the film follows her terrifying battle to stay alive and fight to figure out what is real and what is a hallucination (with a disturbing twist at the end). It is such a tense film littered with clever insights- one of those you just can't take your eyes away from.

American Crime Story: The People V O J Simpson

If you haven't heard about this documentary, where have you been?! It has a 100% rating on rotten tomatoes, so that should tell you enough! It follows the infamous trial of O J Simpson from 1994-1995 after he was arrested on suspicion of the murder of his ex wife, Nicola Brown and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman. It follows the arrest, the discovery of evidence, the careful selection of O J's legal team and the tensions within it, that police chase and of course the 'trial of the century' which completely divided the American public. There are some top names featured and you are left feeling all sorts of emotions; it's a really fascinating watch.

West of Memphis

A real-life documentary which explores the conviction of three teenagers in the mid 1990s for the murder of three young boys. Apparently this is the fourth docufilm made about the murders, and after watching West of Memphis you can see why. The bodies of the three boys were found with horrific injuries and drowned in a nearby canal; three teenage boys were subsequently convicted after one of the trio confessed. The murders were purported to have links to a satanic cult which stole the attention of the media and community who turned these three young men into folk devils- a factor which secured them their conviction (and one the death penalty). The flimsy evidence, DNA links to another suspect and very suspect behaviour from others within the documentary lead you to see why there has been so much outrage surrounding this case. Much like the case of Steven Avery, this is another one which shows the injustices suffered by the teenagers and is initially quite difficult to watch, but well worth persevering.

Are there any Netflix shows you have loved recently? Please do chuck any recommendations my way as I'm always on the lookout for new things to watch! 

Follow me on Instagram at @prettyandpolishedblog 

Pretty and Polished



  1. Oh man, I love West of Memphis. My friend made me watch it and I have forced it on so many other people since then, haha. I have a weird obsession with Damien Echols' wife because I think it's so wild to quit your well-paying job in Manhattan and move to Arkansas to marry a death row convict... but I guess it all worked out! Damien did a Reddit AMA that was super interesting. Making a Murderer was good too but definitely a bit unbalanced. I think they're making a second season, which will be interesting since Brendan Dassey's conviction was overturned within the last year or so. HTGAWM is a guilty pleasure for me. The first two seasons were good but it gets progressively more ridiculous, which is kind of how Shonda Rhimes shows usually are, haha.

    I just finished the Netflix original series Mindhunter yesterday and I thought it was pretty good! I didn't love it as much as some people, but it's pretty fascinating. The interviews the FBI agents do with the serial killers are apparently taken word-for-word from the actual killers' interviews, which I can't help but find compelling.

    One I'd also recommend is the documentary The Impostor. It's pretty low-budget and the re-enactments are cringey, but the story itself is utterly insane and gripping. It's only secondarily about a violent crime, but the primary story is unlike anything I've ever heard.

    1. Yes, I've heard about the second series of Making a Murderer....I'm so excited for that to come out! I think the ridiculousness of HTGAWM is what I love about it now.

      I've tried watching a good few episodes of Mindhunter as so many people were recommending it and saying how good it was but I just couldn't get stuck in to it. Perhaps I'll have to give it another go!

      Thanks for the recommendation re The Impostor- that's definitely one to add to my list!


© Pretty and Polished. All rights reserved.