What are the best crime movies on Netflix? The 12 titles below star Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Carey Mulligan, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Irrfan Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Oscar Isaac among others. And they come from directors such as Martin Scorsese, Joel and Ethan Coen, Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Bhardwaj, Meghna Gulzar, Abhishek Chaubey, Vetrimaaran, and Nicolas Winding Refn. A “⭐” marks an editors’ choice.
You might find more crime movies in our list of best movies. If you’re looking for more movies on Netflix, we’ve recommendations for some select other genres as well that you should check out.
- American Hustle (2013)In the late 1970s, two con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) are forced to work for an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) and set up a sting operation that plans to bring down several corrupt politicians and members of the Mafia. Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner star alongside.
- Black Friday (2007)Denied a release for nearly two years due to an ongoing court case, Anurag Kashyap’s second directorial venture — the first has never seen the (public) light of day — is based on S. Hussain Zaidi’s 2002 book of the same name and charts the events of the 1993 Bombay bombings, told through different perspectives: police, criminals, and victims.
- Casino (1995)Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro team up for the umpteenth time to depict the inner workings of a corrupt Las Vegas casino, as two best friends – a mafia guy and a casino executive – fight over money and a woman.
- Drive (2011)A stuntman moonlighting as a getaway driver (Ryan Gosling) grows fond of his neighbour (Carey Mulligan) and her young son, and then takes part in a botched heist to protect them from the debt-ridden husband (Oscar Isaac). Nicolas Winding Refn directs.
- Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)⭐Inspired by the 2008 Tamil-language film Subramaniapuram, Anurag Kashyap concocts a gangster epic that blends politics, vengeance, and romance as it looks at the power struggles between three crime families in and around the Jharkhand city of Dhanbad, the epicentre of the coal mafia.
- GoodFellas (1990)Considered one of the best gangster films of all time, it brought Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro together for the sixth time. Based on Nicholas Pilegg’s 1985 non-fiction book Wiseguy, it tells the rise and fall story of mob associate Henry Hill, his friends and family between 1955 and 1980.
- Haider (2014)Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean trilogy concluded with this modern-day adaptation of Hamlet, that is also based on Basharat Peer’s 1990s-Kashmir memoir Curfewed Night. Follows a young man (Shahid Kapoor) who returns home to investigate his father’s disappearance and finds himself embroiled in the ongoing violent insurgency.
- Infernal Affairs (2002)Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed is a remake of this original Hong Kongian film, in which a police officer is working undercover in a Triad, while a Triad member is secretly working for the police. Both have the same objective: find the mole.
- The Irishman (2019)Based on Charles Brandt’s 2004 book “I Heard You Paint Houses”, Martin Scorsese offers an indulgent, overlong look at the life of a truck driver (Robert De Niro) who becomes a hitman working for the Bufalino crime family and labour union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). A Netflix original.
- Paan Singh Tomar (2012)A true story of the eponymous soldier and athlete (Irrfan Khan) who won gold at the National Games, and later turned into a dacoit to resolve a land dispute. Won top honours for film and actor (Khan) at National Awards.
- Udta Punjab (2016)With the eponymous Indian state’s drug crisis as the backdrop, this black comedy crime film depicts the interwoven lives of a junior policeman (Diljit Dosanjh), an activist doctor (Kareena Kapoor), a migrant worker (Alia Bhatt), and a rock star (Shahid Kapoor). Abhishek Chaubey directs.
- Visaranai [Interrogation] (2015)Winner of three National Awards and based on M. Chandrakumar’s novel Lock Up, the story of four Tamil laborers who are framed and tortured by politically-motivated cops in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh. Vetrimaaran writes and directs.