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The Best Thriller Shows on Netflix

Need a little more excitement in your life? Fire up one of these thrillers from Netflix.
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Forget Netflix and chill. This is Netflix and thrill. From creeps to criminals, these shows will keep you on the edge of your seat.

One surprise? Several of the biggest thriller shows on Netflix aren’t in English. Nail-biting tension transcends language, I guess!

Without further ado, check out the best thriller shows on Netflix right now. This post is spoiler-free, so don’t worry that we’ll give away the twist before you watch.

Criminal Minds

Reid from 'Criminal Minds'
CBS

Criminal Minds is either a show that you love… or just haven’t seen yet. The long-running procedural is a perfectly portioned dose of adrenaline. For a certain type of person, shows about horrific murders are weirdly relaxing. Plus, Spencer Reid is the brainiac dreamboat of our collective dreams.

This show is perfect for leaving on in the background while you’re doing chores. Even if you miss a beat or two, you’ll still get the satisfaction of knowing that the bad guy gets justice by the end of the episode. The evolving relationships between the main cast make Criminal Minds a satisfying binge-watch, too. There are twelve seasons on Netflix to indulge your taste for criminal procedural thrillers.

Mindhunter

Mindhunter
Netflix

If you prefer your crime to be of the true variety, then Mindhunter needs to be at the top of your to-watch list on Netflix. This thriller was created by David Fincher, the director of Se7en, Zodiac, Gone Girl, Panic Room, Fight Club… basically all of the best thrillers of the last twenty years.

Mindhunter follows Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), and Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) as they pioneer the art of criminal profiling. The original Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI–the inspiration for Criminal Minds–studied real serial killers to understand what makes them tick. Cameron Britton is chilling as Edmund Kemper, a serial killer with a genius IQ who helped the BSU.

There are only two seasons of Mindhunter on Netflix. David Fincher put a third season on hold while he focuses on other projects, but he hasn’t ruled it out.

You

Soapy drama and a serial killer? There’s a reason that You is one of Netflix’s most popular shows. Penn Badgley stars as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager with some issues, to put it mildly. He’s an obsessive murderer who finally meets his match in Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) in season two.

Joe and Love are a divisive couple, and You fans are almost as obsessed with the characters as Joe is with the women in his life. Good times. Without giving too much away, the show is basically a rom-com with a body count. Netflix currently has three seasons ready for your binge-watching pleasure, but a fourth season is in the works.

Clickbait

Clickbait
Netflix

Clickbait examines cancel culture, social media obsession, and our fascination with true crime as entertainment. This limited series stars Adrian Grenier as Nick Brewer, a man who is abducted and then forced to star in a viral video. The message? If the video gets five million views, Nick dies.

The twists and turns in this eight-episode limited series will keep you guessing until the very last moment. The ending left viewers divided, but Clickbait is about the journey, not the destination. It was a huge hit for Netflix, topping the streamer’s charts for three consecutive weeks. If you missed Clickbait when the show premiered in August of this year, then watch it before you accidentally get spoiled.

Dirty John

Dirty John
Netflix

True crime podcasts are the entertainment of choice for many of us. This Netflix series is based on the hit podcast of the same name. If you were as obsessed with Dirty John as everyone else in 2017, then you’ll be happy to know that the adaptation (mostly) does the podcast proud.

The first season stars Connie Britton as Debra Newell, Eric Bana as John Meehan, Juno Temple as Veronica Newell, and Julia Garner as Terra Newell. The second season switches to a different true crime story and a new cast led by Amanda Peet as Betty Broderick and Christian Slater as Dan Broderick. If you like seeing the dark secrets of seemingly perfect families exposed, then you should check out this anthology series.

Behind Her Eyes

This miniseries is absolutely bonkers. You should watch it right now. Based on the novel by Sarah Pinborough, Behind Her Eyes is a twisted tale of obsession that takes a hard turn into left field. You will not guess the truth before the end of the final episode–and isn’t that the true test of a thriller?

Behind Her Eyes stars Eve Hewson. Her name probably isn’t familiar, but if her face reminds you of someone, it might be because her dad is U2’s Bono. Tom Bateman and Simona Brown round out the cast of this psychological thriller with an unreal twist.

Squid Game

squid-game-netflix
Netflix

Either you’ve seen Squid Game by now, or you’ve missed out on one of the biggest pop-culture phenomena of the year. Get with it! The premise is simple: 456 desperate people enter a competition to win the grand prize. The challenges are inspired by a Korean kids’ game, but the consequences are deeply disturbing.

Squid Game unseated Bridgerton as the most-watched series on Netflix ever. Based on the overwhelming success of the show, writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk signed up for a second season. It took him twelve years to finally get his idea onscreen, but now he can write his own ticket.

Read More: Get a Behind the Scenes Look at this Epic Fan-Made ‘Squid Game’ Recreation

Ozark

If you only think of Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth from Arrested Development, then prepare to have your world shaken by Ozark. Batemen headlines the stellar cast of this thriller alongside Laura Linney and Julia Garner. For the past two years, Garner won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and her performance is truly riveting. You can also catch her in Dirty John and The Americans.

Ozark will wrap up with a two-part fourth season. The first batch of episodes arrives on January 21, so you’ve got just enough time to binge the first three seasons. Power might corrupt, but money destroys lives on this show.

Bodyguard

Bodyguard
Netflix

Bodyguard originally aired on BBC One in the UK, where it became one of the most-watched shows of the past ten years. It’s impossible to look away from the screen once you get sucked into this political thriller.

Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) is the bodyguard in question, a police sergeant coping with PTSD after his time in the army. He is assigned to protect Julia Montague, a high-ranking politician played by Keeley Hawes. She wants to be prime minister, but her loathsome politics have earned her plenty of enemies.

Dark

Dark
Netflix

Dark lives up to its name. This German-language thriller veers from family drama to missing kids to some peculiar sci-fi elements that will blow your mind. It’s hard to describe the show without giving too much away, but it’s so worth your time to get lost in the dark.

The series ran four three seasons and wrapped up in June 2020. It’s one of those shows that requires you to pay close attention–especially if you don’t speak German. Dark might not be a good show for background viewing, but you’ll be so riveted by the unfolding mystery and the gorgeous cinematography that you won’t mind.

Lupin

Lupin
Netflix

Lupin is the sexy French crime caper you’ve been searching for. Omar Sy is mesmerizing as Assane Diop, a man determined to avenge his father. Assane is inspired by the character Lupin, a French “gentleman thief” created in the early 1900s by writer Maurice Leblanc–hence the name of the show.

Twenty-five years ago, Assane’s father was framed for the theft of a diamond necklace by the wealthy family he worked for. Now, Assane is out to ruin the Pelligrini family by using the same bag of tricks as his childhood hero, Lupin. Yes, there are subtitles for this show, but it’s worth the extra effort.

Kingdom

So you’ve watched Squid Game, and now you want more Korean thrillers. Kingdom is Netflix’s first original Korean series. It’s an adaption of Kingdom of the Gods, a manga series by showrunner Kim Eun-hee. It combines political intrigue with historical drama and zombies. Don’t mistake the show for a ripoff of Game of Thrones, though. Kingdom is a captivating and original show that will get under your skin.

Right now, you can watch the first two seasons plus a prequel special called “Ashin of the North.” You won’t have to wait too long for season three if you get hooked on Kingdom.

Money Heist

Money Heist
Netflix

Money Heist is another massive non-English hit for Netflix. This time, the streaming giant bought the rights to a Spanish show that proved so popular in the US that they significantly boosted the budget for further seasons.

Originally aired as La Casa de Papel (“The House of Paper”), the show features a group of eight criminals led by a mysterious figure known as the “Professor.” The criminals wear cartoonish Salvador Dali masks to protect their identities, and they only use codenames based on cities from around the world. Netflix split the series into three seasons of two parts each, plus two behind-the-scenes specials called Money Heist: From Tokyo to Berlin and Money Heist: The Phenomenon. A Korean remake is also in the works and will premiere on Netflix in 2022.