A good mystery or a captivating case may pique your interest, but what about real life? We’ll look after you. Netflix has a plethora of excellent crime and mystery shows—here are some of our favorites, as well as some of the most recent additions to the collection. Check out our graded lists of the greatest Netflix True Crime and mystery Documentaries and Netflix TV programs.
Leonard and Hap
Hap and Leonard do so many things that set them apart from other shows on television today. The series based on Joe R. Lansdale’s books accurately portrays southern culture, capturing the tone and cadences of its setting with delicacy. As a “blue-collar drama,” it’s also about how desperation shapes every part of this humorous yet heartbreaking East Texas series. Despite their enormous differences, the two men at the center of the show, a straight white hippy and a black, gay, and conservative, support, joke, and fight like brothers.
Following a tumultuous first season, Hap and Leonard’s second and third seasons were both dramatic and painful. Season after season of a different villain (as Hap and Leonard are unwittingly lured into their path) is handled with a mix of humor and emotion, never losing sight of the region’s history of racial strife. In this program about the implications of not finding common ground, people with seemingly opposing opinions may find common ground or at least courteous ground. In this unjustly underappreciated comedy, two performers who can effectively (but not cartoonishly) pull off a Texas drawl are among the series’ outstanding cast.
Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill feature in this rock ‘n’ roll gangster drama set in 1919 Birmingham, West Midlands (music from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey and the White Stripes add a modern touch to the period proceedings). Murphy, the ambitious boss of the Shelby crime family, is a former soldier turned mobster. Neill is a tough inspector who hires a gorgeous mole (Annabelle Wallis, also of Fleming) to assist him in dismantling his organization. Season two introduces a new character, Tom Hardy. Murphy plays Tommy Shelby, a steely, azure-eyed antihero, with his typical calm intensity, one of several nuanced characterizations in the Shelby clan. Imagine razor blades sewed into the headwear of Peaky Blinders fans to get a sense of the gang’s head-butting, eye-gouging cruelty.
Giri / Haji, a Netflix original series that debuted in the United States earlier this year, is already one of the year’s best finds. After being hired by a notorious Yakuza family to find his long-missing brother Yuto (Yosuke Kubozuka), Tokyo detective Kenzo Mori (Takehiro Hira) embarks on a global quest in London. That’s what some believe will happen if Yuto is resurrected, a plan he helped begin. Giri /Haji, like Kenzo’s investigation into Yuto’s kidnapping and supposed murder, is full of unexpected twists and turns in both story and structure. At moments, it’s dark and gory, yet it’s also amusing and touching. The story is around two brothers, but it’s also about becoming a family and realizing who you truly are.
When They See Us
When They See Us is a stark reality that cannot be avoided. On April 19, 1989, while jogging in Central Park, Trisha Meli, 28, was killed. Meli had been in a coma for 12 days and had no recall of what had happened. She was also unaware of who or what had attacked her. Meli’s personal tragedies are addressed openly in the series. The realization that a successful white woman had been left for dead did not sit well in New York City’s most visible public space. Assailants from the mayor’s office, the district attorney’s office, and the police department were all on the lookout for them. There was a period when both Manhattan District Attorney Linda Fairstein (Felicity Huffman, making her acting debut following the scandal) and NYPD investigators were more concerned with discovering the actual culprit than with finding a solution that worked for everyone.
Only Sharon Salaam (Aunjanue Ellis) was able to prevent her son from signing a fake confession. In this film, no one is raised to sainthood by DuVernay. They all make heinous mistakes and bad decisions. It’s impossible to refute their affection and commitment to their children. The film “When They See Us” is a difficult one to watch. I was knocked for a loop. I’m convinced you’ll feel the same way when you see it. Amanda Amatangelo is the author of this essay.
Margaret Atwood’s historical novel was adapted for the screen by Sarah Polley, and Mary Harron, a master of psychological suspense, directed this great Canadian miniseries. Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) and Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) meet for an interview in Canada in 1859, and their conversation reveals a pattern of violence and trauma that Alias Grace spins into an intricate mystery, a biographical portrait of the character, a lushly appointed period drama, and an unflinching examination of the gap between what “the world at large” considers harm and what Grace herself considers an act of self-defense. Hello, Matt and Brendan!
On Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave Jed Mercurio’s superb action flick a 93 percent rating. The suspense in this six-part series is provided by a cautious pace and watchful camerawork, and it is because of this level of control that Bodyguard deserves to be your next TV obsession: It resists shortcuts and ellipses until it achieves the effect of real-time. Instead of rejecting the tactic, actors Richard Madden Thomas Vincent, and John Strickland use it to convey vivid echoes of protagonist David Budd’s and the nation’s terrible attentiveness.
Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes) is a rising political star who aspires to be the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister. David, a military veteran, is tasked with defending her.
One common criticism is that Narcos romanticizes the violence and filth associated with Colombian drug battles (and drug culture in general), and I agree that Wagner Moura plays kingpin Pablo Escobar so well that he becomes a Walter White-Esque antihero. The documentary’s fast-paced rhythms, reminiscent of Guy Ritchie, drive us along at breakneck speed. When leveling this type of legitimate criticism, it’s vital to remember that we’re watching fiction based on real people, not documentary footage. Narcos was one of the best series on television when it came to presenting dark people and a complex story with urgency and clarity. It falls short of the hyper-realistic drugs fiction of films like Traffic or even 2015’s Sicario as a piece of conflict entertainment.
Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), an FBI agent who arrives in Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of a young woman, is a detective story at its core. This show, on the other hand, turned out to be so much more because it was based on David Lynch’s strange and remarkable views. In this psychosexual soap opera, The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) and agoraphobic Harold Smith, like its predecessor Blue Velvet, explore beyond the surface of Anytown, USA (Lenny Von Dohlen). In the fantastical beginnings of this drama, Bob, an extraterrestrial force, is said to have slain Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).
Better Call Saul
Bob Odenkirk’s emergence as unethical lawyer Saul Goodman near the end of Breaking Bad’s second season startled fans who had long admired his work as a writer and comic actor on shows such as Saturday Night Live and Mr. Show, among others. We had no idea at the time that this was just the start of a tragic and humorous story that would eventually grow to the size of an epic Russian novel! This prequel to Vince Gilligan’s drug drama has done with interesting and dreadful effects that appeared impossible by expanding on the basic material of Breaking Bad. Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, and Jonathan Banks (together with Odenkirk) deserve full credit for demonstrating how a person’s morality may shift, especially when faced with large sums of money.
Some claim that The Wire is the greatest television drama of all time, while others argue that Mad Men or The Sopranos, both of which are historically significant, are superior. Breaking Bad, on the other hand, made its mark fast, openly, and fearlessly. With a few episodes of tonally uncomfortable swaying—an ambitious acrobat’s hunt for the tightrope’s center—it premiered on television and continued for the following five seasons. Does it matter if the Season 1 DVD packaging described it as “dramedy”? Even though we didn’t know where it was headed, we were aware of its existence in the United States from the start. Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a former science teacher turned meth dealer, has had a dreadful life story. If the current TV landscape is any indication, it’s a proud grandfather who looks down on his offspring with the same pride and kindly judgment as to any overachieving patriarch.
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