7 Shows Like Criminal You Must See

Netflix’s anthology crime series ‘Criminal’ is a pioneering take on the police procedural. Each episode of the show is a stand-alone drama in and of itself, entailing the intense interrogation by a team of police investigators. The setting of the show is confined to just three areas in a single location – a police interrogation room, a darkened viewing room looking into the interrogation room through a one-way mirror, and the hallway and stairwell leading outside the rooms – adding to the palpable claustrophobic tension in the air while also being theatrical in production.

Set in four countries: UK, France, Germany, and Spain, each of these four series consists of the local three-part criminal stories, written and performed in that country’s native language by native actors. Season 2 of ‘Criminal UK’ features four new sensational investigations featuring Kit Harington as a guest-star. If you’ve zipped through the entire season in a go, we have put together shows in the same vein for you to tuck into. You can watch most of these shows on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

7. Fargo (2014- )

Inspired by the eponymous 1996 movie, ‘Fargo’ is a crime drama anthology that slots straight into the same universe as the original Cohen Brothers film. Injected with sporadic dark humor, funny characterizations and suspense, the show features the dirtiest crimes done in the sleekest manner. Incredibly riveting writing and the gripping murder mystery make it a perfect crime drama to binge on if you loved ‘Criminal.’

6. The Night Of  (2016)

The HBO limited series ‘The Night Of’ tracks a young man, Nasir, whose perfect night out upends his entire life when he is charged with a murder of a woman he spent most of the evening with. A huge chunk of the series is devoted to the elaborate and tiresome investigation the protagonist is subjected to, in the light of the murder. The series highlights the vicious cycle one has to go through to prove their innocence while subtly showcasing the appalling state of the flawed justice system.

5. The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (2016- )

‘‘The People vs. O.J. Simpson’ marks the first season of the anthology criminal series ‘American Crime Story’ It explores the infamous trial of football player O.J. Simpson, who was charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, back in 1994. The series reenacts several historical and high-profile murder cases with proper factual evidence, official records, and background information that gives a different insight into the murders. Full of gripping performances by a slew of veteran actors such as Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown, David Schwimmer, Penelope Cruz, Beanie Feldstein, and more, the show has even won multiple Emmys.

4. Line of Duty (2012- )

Line of Duty’ is a procedural police drama that follows an anti-corruption unit as they attempt to look high and low for the corrupt cops in the brigade. Every successive season one-ups the one before, with season three including an adrenaline-charged 90-minutes finale and season four capping it by featuring Thandie Newton at the top of her form. It is as thrilling and tightly concocted as ‘Criminal.’

3. When They See Us (2019)

Based on a harrowing true story, ‘When They See Us’ revolves around five teens from Harlem who are falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park, New York. Set in 1989, the series spans a quarter of a century as we see the teens labeled the Central Park Five spend years fighting the convictions in the hope of getting exonerated. The show focuses on all the brutal ways legal accusations can alter the lives of people. Along with that, it has successfully shed light on the faulty justice system.

2. Mindhunter (2017- )

Mindhunter’ is a slow-burn drama that takes a closer look at the inception of the FBI’s criminal profiling department in the late 70s. The series follows two FBI agents from the bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit who set out to interview a laundry list of the most notorious serial killers to get a psychological glimpse of the motivators that tick them. We see high-profile nefarious killers of the likes of Ed Kemper, Charles Manson, Montie Rissell, and many more throughout the show that help them devise a way to map out and catch potential serial killers in the long run. It is an utterly fascinating must-watch show if you love ‘Criminal.’

1. Unbelievable (2019)

Based on terrifyingly true events, ‘Unbelievable’ follows a young woman (Kaitlyn Dever) who’s dealt a bad hand in life as she gets accused and persecuted for lying about a rape she, unfortunately, fell prey to. Years after the incident, two detectives (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) begin to get to the bottom of the case as they investigate a spate of similar attacks. The show is not an easy watch as you are given a realistic and heartbreaking window into the frustration and the mental toll sexual assault takes on its victims. The careful treatment of the story deserves all the love, and we highly recommend immersing in the show.

Read More: Is Criminal UK Real or Scripted?