21 Best Police and Detective Movies on Netflix (Feb 2024)

The police and detective genre in movies is one of the most popular, and thanks to the emergence of OTT platforms, it has reached new heights of fame. Movies like ‘Laura’ (1944), ‘Vertigo’ (1958), ‘Serpico,’ ‘Die Hard’ (1988), ‘Fargo’ (1996), ‘The Departed’ (2006), ‘Se7en’ (1995) have proved just how enthralling and diverse one single genre can be in its treatment. Keeping this in mind, we bring you the best police and detective movies that are available on Netflix.

21. K-9 (1989)

‘K-9’ is a comedy-drama directed by Rod Daniel and explores the unusual camaraderie between policeman Michael Dooley (Jim Belushi) and his k-9 partner Jerry Lee, a German Shepherd. With a heightened sense of smell, Jerry helps Dooley trace drugs while giving us a supply of sweet and funny moments as they try to “talk” things about between themselves. The rest of the K-9 cast includes Mel Harris, James Handy, and Kevin Tighe. You can watch the movie here.

20. Murder Mystery (2019)

Starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, ‘Murder Mystery’ is a murder comedy flick directed by Kyle Newacheck. Sandler plays the role of NYPD officer Nick Spitz, and his wife Audrey is played by Aniston. While onboard their flight to a much-awaited trip to Europe to rekindle their love life, they are invited to a party by a billionaire Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans), who is also onboard that flight, to his family yacht. While on the yacht, Nick and Audrey get themselves acquainted with everyone present. Things soon take a wrong turn when one of the family members, Cavendish’s uncle/party host Malcolm Quince (Terence Stamp), ends up dead. Now, it is up to Nick to look into the matter that requires his wife’s assistance. Propelled to hilarity by the comic timing of Sandler and Aniston, ‘Murder Mystery’ is a binge-watch-worthy movie. You can watch it right here.

19. Spenser Confidential (2020)

Dirty cops. Big cartels. Powerful politicians. Bringing down a vicious circle that connects these three is no easy feat. This is what Boston police Officer Spenser was trying to do when he was framed and sent to prison. But now that he is out, he plans to do the same again, not by going undercover or having a silent approach but by going big and blowing it all up. In the endeavor, he is joined by his new roommate, Hawk. But first, they will have to learn to work together. How tough can that be? This is what we find out in this buddy-cop action comedy. Directed by Peter Berg, the movie stars Mark Wahlberg as Spenser and Winston Duke as Hawk. You can watch ‘Spenser Confidential’ right here.

18. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Starring Eddie Murphy as Detroit Police Department detective Axel Foley, ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ is a beloved cop comedy-drama that kickstarted the popular franchise. Directed by Martin Brest, the movie follows Foley, who arrives in Beverly Hills, LA, to look into the murder of his best friend. His unorthodox investigative skills and his over-the-top nature as a cop, much to the fun of the viewers, get him involved with kingpin Victor Maitland, and he even uncovers a conspiracy within the police department. How he takes care of it is what follows in this laughter riot of a police movie. You can watch it here.

17. God’s Crooked Lines (2022)

Is insanity really the fastest way to find what we are looking for? This is the question that Oriol Paulo’s ‘God’s Crooked Lines’ poses. The psychological drama, based on Torcuato Luca de Tena’s 1979 novel of the same name, follows private investigator Alice Gould de Almenara (Bárbara Lennie), who consciously admits herself into a psychiatric ward to look into a murder that occurred under mysterious circumstances. But getting in is not as easy as getting out. As she tries to search for clues, her sanity is tested in ways she never expected. Sedated, electro-shocked, and worn out, Alice finds herself on the verge of insanity. Will she become someone like the person she is looking for? The answer lies within ‘God’s Crooked Lines.’ You can watch it here.

16. Infiesto (2023)

A dog killer, a demon, and a prophet. These are what detectives Samuel Garcia (Isak Ferriz) and Marta Castro (Iria del Rio) have to deal with while looking into the abduction of a female teenager who has just been found after three months and sent to the hospital. Saioa is in shock and unable to speak. Thus, with zero clues at their disposal, Garcia and Castro are on their own as they try to find who’s behind the kidnapping of not just this girl but many more. Soon, it is revealed that the abductions are a part of a ritual. What makes their investigation even tougher is the COVID-19 lockdown. Will the duo find a connection between Saio and the sinister trio we mentioned in the beginning? To find out, you can watch ‘Infiesto,’ directed by Patxi Amezcua, right here.

15. A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)

Starring Liam Neeson in yet another cop role, ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ is based on American crime writer Lawrence Block’s 1992 novel of the same name. Unlicensed private detective Matt Scudder (Neeson) is brought back into the game he once was a part of by Kenny Kristo (Dan Stevens), a drug trafficker. His wife was kidnapped and murdered despite his paying the ransom. While appearing like any other case of kidnapping for ransom, Scudder’s research reveals that the guys who did it have been doing it for a long time and follow the same pattern, i.e., targeting drug dealers and their loved ones. And when these guys, who live in the shadows, kidnap another girl, Scudder makes up his mind to rescue her before it’s too late. To give yourself another dose of Neeson-filled drama, you can watch the film here.

14. Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City (2019)

What can Detective Unai Lopez de Ayala (Javier Rey) do when he comes across a series of murders that are completely like the ones committed by a killer who has been in prison for 20 years and is about to be released? As Unai and his partner Estibaliz (Aura Garrido) look for clues in a race against time, we come across a most curious case wherein the victims (discovered in pairs) are stripped nude, properly arranged side-by-side in a sleeping position with their genital regions covered in florals cut in the shape of suns. Will Unai be able to track down the killer who is mimicking another killer? To find out, you can watch ‘Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City,’ directed by Daniel Calparsoro, right here.

13. Raat Akeli Hai (2020)

Directed by Honey Trehan, this Hindi crime thriller delves into an intriguing investigation by Inspector Jatil Yadav (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) into the murder of wealthy aristocrat Raghuveer Singh (Khalid Tyabji), who was killed on his wedding night. Within the circle of doubt, there is Singh’s much younger bride, Radha (Radhika Apte), along with Singh’s son, daughter, daughter’s husband, as well as Singh’s sister-in-law and her two children. After realizing that Radha is under suspicion by the rest of the family and the only one who seems to cooperate, Inspector Yadav tries to extract intel from her to figure out who the potential murderer can be. Amidst dark secrets and hidden truths underscored by a thrilling investigation, ‘Raat Akeli Hai’ offers a perfect binge-watch experience. You can stream the film here.

12. Shimmer Lake (2017)

Directed by Oren Uziel, this is an interesting neo-noir black comedy drama that is told backward day by day. Set in a small American town, ‘Shimmer Lake’ follows a bank heist planned by ex-convict Ed Burton (Wyatt Russell) and carried out by Andy Sikes (Rainn Wilson), a lawyer, and Chris (Mark Rendall), who is an imbecile. As humorous as the whole endeavor goes, a person ends up dead, establishing the film’s dark nature. Policemen Zeke (Benjamin Walker), who is Andy’s brother, and Reed Ethington (Adam Pally) are looking into the case along with FBI agents Kyle Walker (Ron Livingston) and Kurt Biltmore (Rob Corddry). ‘Shimmer Lake’ certainly makes for a great watch, especially due to its backward nature as well as the quality of the dark humor. You can check it out here.

11. The Stranger (2022)

Starring Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris in the leads, ‘The Stranger’ is a psychological cop drama that follows police officer Mark Frame (Edgerton) who goes undercover, as a member of a criminal organization, to interact with murder suspect Henry Teague (Harris) and get him to reveal information about the crime. As the plot moves ahead, we get to see just how complex things can get while extracting information and the elaborate plans that are set up to support all the lies that Frame tells Teague. Moreover, the extent to which Frame goes to earn Teague’s trust takes a toll on him. What makes the film interesting is the fact that Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris look somewhat similar from particular angles. This point is what the makers use to their advantage and adds to the effectiveness of the story. You can watch the film here.

10. HIT: The First Case (2022)

‘HIT: The First Case’ is an Indian Hindi-language flick directed by Sailesh Kolanu. Starring Rajkummar Rao, Ruhani Sharma, Vishwak Sen, Shilpa Shukla, and Sanya Malhotra, the film follows sharp-witted cop Vikram Jaisingh of the Homicide Intervention Team (HIT) who is a classic case of post-traumatic stress as a result of a shadowy past and is thus sent on a 6-months break. But then a confusing case of the kidnapping of an 18-year-old girl, followed by that of his girlfriend Neha, forces him to return to his department, lock his trauma away, put his skills to use, and find the two girls as soon as possible. Gripping, thrilling, and unnerving, ‘HIT: The First Case’ can be experienced right here.

9. Reptile (2023)

It is tough to ignore a film that has Benicio Del Toro in it, isn’t it? So we bring you ‘Reptile,’ a crime thriller directed by Grant Singer. It follows police detective Tom Nichols (Del Toro), who is looking into the murder of Summer Elswick (Matilda Lultz), wife of Will Grady (Justin Timberlake), whose family owns a real estate company. While at first, it seems that Summer’s ex-husband is the one who killed her, Nichols soon realizes that there is a deeper conspiracy at play, one that connects Summer with the Gradys and their shell company, White Fish, and last but not least, drugs. A complicated story that some might find too much, ‘Reptile’ is yet a captivating watch. You can check it out right here.

8. Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023)

Starring Idris Elba and Andy Serkis, ‘Luther: The Fallen Sun’ follows the popular series ‘Luther’ and shows Detective Chief Inspector John Luther (Elba) pinned against David Robey (Serkis), a millionaire psychopathic serial killer. After using information against Luther and sending him to prison, Robey taunts him by wreaking more havoc and even sending him a recording of a murder. What follows is how Luther plans his break out and tries to bring down Robey by overcoming the odds that dealing with a psychopath brings. You can watch ‘Luther: The Fallen Sun’ here.

7. The Highwaymen (2019)

The Highwaymen (2019)

Directed by John Lee Hancock, ‘The Highwaymen’ tells the true story of the manhunt of real-life criminals/outlaws Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, notoriously known as Bonnie and Clyde. With robberies in banks, funeral homes, and stores as well as multiple homicides to their name, the duo was shot to death by lawmen, led by former Texas Rangers Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, in 1934. Starring Kevin Costner as Hamer and Woody Harrelson as Maney, ‘The Highwaymen’ can be watched right here.

6. The Guilty (2021)

Jake Gyllenhaal masterfully showcases his skills as an actor in this gripping crime thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua. A remake of a Danish film of the same name, the film follows LAPD officer Joe Baylor, who works the night shift at a 911 call center. The events of the film take place over a single day and show Baylor in a race against time to send help to a distressed female caller who seems to have been kidnapped. Overwhelmed with conflicted emotions as a result of his past actions, Baylor desperately looks for a way to trace her position by piecing together information given by her and his own skills. Will he be able to save her? To find out, you can watch the film here.

5. Enola Holmes (2020)

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, ‘Enola Holmes’ is one of the best detective movies that Netflix has to offer. Based on Nancy Springer’s ‘The Enola Holmes Mysteries’ novel series, the film is set in the Victorian era and has Enola Holmes, played brilliantly by Millie Bobby Brown, as the protagonist. She is the youngest of the Holmes siblings, the others being Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin). The film follows Enola as she searches for her mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), who has disappeared but has left her clues. In her search, she encounters the young Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), who is running from people trying to kill him. As she tries to solve these two contrasting cases, we get ourselves a visually stunning 4th-wall-breaking experience unlike any other film. You can watch ‘Enola Holmes’ here.

4. A Wednesday (2008)

Directed by Neeraj Pandey, this powerful Bollywood thriller shows what happens after the Mumbai police receive a call from an anonymous “stupid, common man” who claims to have planted five bombs across the city of Mumbai. He names four terrorists whom he wants to be released within four hours. If this isn’t carried out, he will detonate the bombs. The police team looking into the matter is led by Commissioner Prakash Rathod (Anupam Kher), and the “common man,” whose name isn’t once revealed in the film, is played by Naseeruddin Shah. The rest of the cast includes Jimmy Sheirgill, Aamir Bashir, Rohitash Gaud, Kali Prasad Mukherjee, Mukesh S Bhatt, and Vije Bhatia. You can stream the film here.

3. The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

Directed by Scott Cooper, ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ follows detective Augustus Landor (Christian Bale), who is brought in by the United States Military Academy in 1830s West Point, New York, to look into a couple of murders where the victims have their hearts taken out of their bodies. Landor hires cadet Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling) to help solve the case by reaching out to places and people where/whom Landor can’t. Based on Louis Bayard’s 2006 novel of the same name, ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ is a thriller whose eerie elements up the ante of the titular genre. Pulled off authentically in terms of direction, production, or acting, ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ can be seen right here.

2. L.A. Confidential (1997)

Directed by Curtis Hanson, ‘L.A. Confidential’ is an Oscar-winning movie starring Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell and Danny DeVito. Based on James Ellroy’s 1990 novel of the same name, the film is set against the backdrop of 1950s Los Angeles and brings together police corruption and Hollywood glitterati in an impeccable manner. It follows three LAPD policemen, namely Bud White, the muscle-meets-justice guy; Ed Exley, the anti-corrupt by-the-books guy; and Jack Vincennes, a guy with a lust for glamor. How the lives of these three cops intertwine makes for a thrilling and unforgettable neo-noir experience. You can watch the film here.

1. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is the standalone sequel to ‘Knives Out’ (2019) and is directed by Rian Johnson. It shows the return of famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) who arrives at tech billionaire Miles Bron’s (Edward Norton) private island in Greece along with Miles’ closest friends. They are politician Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.) who is the head scientist of Miles tech company Alpha, supermodel Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), Birdie’s assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), gamer/men’s rights activist Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), and Miles’ ex-business partner Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe).

The catch is that Miles didn’t invite Blanc, and no one seems to know who did. However, his arrival turns fruitful after Duke dies from what seems to be poisoning, as only Benoit can find the killer, who is one among the handful present. Interesting, intriguing, and visually appealing, you can watch ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ here.

Read More: Best Detective TV Series on Netflix

SPONSORED LINKS