It’s almost the weekend, and that means you should book in another Gizmodo movie night. This week, pull on your balaclava and leather gloves, or strap on your gun belt and badge, and sit down with some instructional videos — these are the best crime TV shows and movies streaming online right now.
We’ve re-jigged our existing Netflix Movie Night series, and brought in Australia’s other popular streaming video on demand services — Stan and Presto — to give you a broader selection of movies and TV shows to enjoy. On all three services, you can watch from your tablet or smartphone, on your PC or laptop, through your Smart TV, or through a media streaming dongle like the Google Chromecast, although specifics can vary.
Not what you’re after? Check out some other Gizmodo Movie Night suggestions:
A Walk Among the Tombstones follows grizzled, washed-up ex-detective Matthew Scudder, now working as a private investigator and living as a recovering alcoholic. Scudder is confronted by a drug dealer with a pitiful story, of his kidnapped and murdered wife — despite playing by the rules and paying a ransom of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Through his investigation, Scudder finds that this is not an isolated incident; the abductors have done this many times before. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: When a private investigator reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, he learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime.
The Following is a classic cops-versus-bad-guys TV series, with ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy (played by Kevin Bacon) on the trail of a psychotic serial killer. There are shades of Charles Manson in the charismatic Joe Carroll, a man who has drawn together a fanatical cult following from his time in prison — and when Carroll escapes, it’s Hardy’s ex-wife and child that suffer most. Three seasons of The Following develop an eery, gripping story that will keep you intrigued without dragging on. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: When notorious serial killer Joe Carroll escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree, the FBI calls former agent Ryan Hardy, a psychologically scarred veteran who captured Carroll nine years earlier.
Sherlock takes that most storied of 19th century “consulting detective” investigators, Sherlock Holmes, and recreates its world and its characters in the modern day. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are inimitable as Holmes and Watson, and the crimes they solve are every bit as exciting and confounding as The Hound of the Baskervilles or A Study In Scarlet. There’s a reason that this is the UK’s most-watched drama series and has won a swathe of Emmys and BAFTAs. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: Sherlock Holmes was always a modern man -– it’s the world that got old. Now he’s back as he should be in this award-winning BBC series: edgy, contemporary, difficult and dangerous, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a crime movie at its most base — a long-unsolved disappearance, an old and powerful and secretive family, and unchecked intrigue. An investigative journalist, on the back foot after a harsh judgment from an aggrieved company, takes on a mission from reclusive industrialist Henrik Vanger to discover what happened to his long-lost niece. If you think you’ll prefer David Fincher’s Hollywood remake — no subtitles — Stan has that too. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Forty years on, her uncle employs a disgraced journalist and a ruthless tattooed computer hacker to investigate her disappearance.
Dexter is great because it gives you an idea of crime from two perspectives — both the investigator that helps solve gruesome and unexplained deaths, and the killer himself. But it’s OK, because Dexter only straight-up-murders the guys that he thinks are guilty. This long-running series actually gives a good amount of insight into the mind of a murderer, as well as the frustration faced by any detective and police team hunting an elusive and mysteriously effective serial killer. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: Dexter Morgan is a Miami-based blood splatter expert who doesn’t just solve murders; he commits them too. In fact, he’s a serial killer — but he only murders the guilty, so he feels justified with his lifestyle choices.
Ocean’s Eleven is a crime movie that shows just how fun it can be as a criminal. Unreasonably charismatic conman and movie-title-namesake Danny Ocean leads a crew of seasoned safe-crackers, security experts and all-round bad guys on a mission to rob not one but three Las Vegas casinos of their riches, simultaneously, to get back at an old adversary. Bonus: watch for all the snacks that Brad Pitt gets to eat in every single scene. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: Less than 24 hours into his parole, charismatic Danny Ocean is already rolling out his next plan: stealing more than $150 million from three casinos.
Luther is the height of British crime drama just like Sherlock is; a genius detective uses his brilliant mind to solve horrid murders, but at the same time he’s tortured by the things that he sees on the job. Idris Elba is in his element as Luther; it’s all the best parts of the gritty reality of The Wire and the intellect and brilliant police work of Sherlock, in a visceral and real London beset by crime and criminals, and with detectives just trying to keep up. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: A dedicated urban detective tries to keep a grip on his personal life while dealing with the psychological factors underlying the crimes he solves.
The Godfather is, well, the godfather of all crime movies. An organised crime family, with deep roots in Sicily and in the heart of New York, are rocked by an attempt upon the life of their patriarch Don, Vito Corleone. A family outsider must take up the reigns of the organisation and steer it through difficult times. I’m not going to spoil any more of it for you — if you haven’t watched this movie, stop what you’re doing, drop everything, and make time for it. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: When an organized-crime family patriarch barely survives an attempt on his life, his youngest son steps in to take care of the would-be killers.
Broadchurch is genuinely hard to watch; it covers a difficult topic, and it doesn’t pull any punches. As the small resort town of Broadchurch in Dorset prepares for its holiday season, a young boy goes missing. When his body is found on the beach, new detective Alec Hardy and his unfriendly partner Ellie Miller must solve the crime as it becomes national news and as it affects the entire community of Broadchurch — including the detectives themselves. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: After a young boy is murdered in the small seaside town of Broadchurch, local detectives Ellie Miller and Alec Hardy are assigned the mysterious case.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an incredibly funny series from the twisted mind and comedic timing of Andy Samberg, following the police of the fictional 99th Precinct in New York’s Brooklyn. When their comfortable life is shaken up by the arrival of a new police captain with difficult goals and a lot to prove, the detectives have to prove they deserve to stick around — and that means performing at their best, solving crimes, and catching all the bad guys. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: When tightly wound Capt. Holt takes over the precinct, carefree Det. Jake Peralta and his dysfunctional coworkers’ lives get demanding.
The Sopranos was the show that threw US cable video giant HBO into the spotlight and made shows like Game of Thrones possible, and that’s thanks to its darkly realistic portrayal of the world of crime and of the evolution of the Mafia in the United States. If The Godfather is the best crime movie ever made, then The Sopranos takes that crown for TV. Not only that, but it’s one of the greatest TV series of all time, hands down. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: A realistic, darkly humorous, often-poignant look at members of a suburban New Jersey family, whose patriarch happens to be a mob boss.
Die Hard is the archetypal cops versus robbers movie. Even though the movie is set in Los Angeles, it stars a New York police officer — the unsurprisingly off-duty Bruce Willis — as he finds himself stuck in the middle of a grand heist pulled off by a highly organised group of criminals, operating under the guise of terrorism. Willis’ John McClane puts all his unconventional skills to the test to stop the criminals from pulling off their audacious plan. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: High above the city of L.A., a team of terrorists has seized a building, taken hostages, and declared war. But one man has managed to escape detection – an off duty cop with only a service revolver.
Rake is great — Richard Roxburgh at his best as Cleaver Greene, the utterly antiheroic attorney at law apparently based loosely upon the real life of Charles Waterstreet, himself one of the series’ producers. It’s smart, funny, witty and gloriously irreverent, and it’s one of the best shows about crime in Australia. It’s a look at what happens if you’re a criminal lawyer, but you’re not so squeaky clean and above reproach yourself. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: Criminal lawyer Cleaver Greene defends the indefensible – from bigamists to cannibals and everything in between. He is champion of the lost cause, both in the court room and in the bedroom.
Pulp Fiction is an absolute classic within the crime-and-criminals genre. Quentin Tarantino’s best work is a cinematic masterpiece, and the intricately interwoven characters and narratives all masterfully combine in a fantastic — but completely nonlinear — finale. Crime has never looked so good as John Travolta’s Vincent Vega and Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace dancing together at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. (And yes, this is still Tarantino’s best work.) Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: In a black comedy about small-time hoods and big-time criminals, the lives of seemingly unrelated people are woven together in a wildly entertaining and exhilarating adventure that thrills and amuses.
Aquarius takes a bit of artistic license with the story of Charles Manson — the infamous and infamously charismatic cult leader arguably responsible for the “Helter Skelter” murders — and turns it into an in-depth and ongoing story. Undercover cops Sam Hodiak and Brian Shafe ingratiate themselves with Manson and The Family, and what they discover continues to disturb them. Gethin Anthony’s alluring, animally-magnetic portrayal of Manson is utterly chilling. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: LAPD Detective Sam Hodiak begins the search for a missing girl who has fallen under the spell of infamous cult leader Charles Manson.
Disclosure: Stan is a 50/50 joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Allure Media, the company which publishes Gizmodo Australia, is also owned by Fairfax.