True Crime Drama

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True Crime Drama

Continuing the previous research, a further list of movies and/or television series which have focused on real-life stories filled with drama, crime, violence, power, and the human condition over the past five years has been provided.


  • Set in the 1960s, Aquarius aired on NBC in 2015 and 2016. The series tells the story of LAPD detective Sam Hodiak who begins to deal with Charles Manson and his growing cult.
  • Though the main character of the show is purely fictional, the crimes he investigates in the show are based on real-life events.
  • The series is rated as a 7.1/10 on IMDb and a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Netflix has streaming rights to the series.

Law & Order True Crime

  • Law & Order True Crime debuted in 2017 under the famed Law & Order umbrella on NBC.
  • The first season of the anthology series presented the case of the Menendez brothers, who were convicted of murdering their parents in 1996.
  • To date, only one season of the show has aired and it received a 7.4/10 rating on IMDb and a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • The show received a Primtime Emmy Award nomination for Edie Falco as Best Actress.

The Moorside

  • Aired on BBC One, in 2017, The Moorside is based on a 2008 kidnapping case in West Yorkshire, England.
  • The mini-series is currently rated as a 7.2/10 on IMDb.
  • Amazon offers the show on its streaming service.
  • The Moorside was nominated for Best Mini-Series at the 2018 BAFTA Awards.

NSU German History X

The Pembrokeshire Murders

The Spy


  • An anthology crime series on the USA network, the first season of Unsolved portrayed the story of the murders of rappers Tupac and Biggie Smalls.
  • The show won an award for Outstanding Directing, TV Movie/Limited Series at the 2018 Black Reel Awards for Television.
  • Currently the series has a 7.9/10 rating on IMDb and 73% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Making of the Mob: Chicago

  • Aired on AMC in 2016, this eight-part series tells the story of the rise and fall of Al Capone in the Chicago Mob.
  • Narrated by actor Ray Liotta, the series has a rating of 7.9/10 on IMDb and 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.


  • Loosely inspired by the Salem Witch Trials, Salem aired on the WGN network through 2017.
  • The series has a rating of 7.1 on IMDb and 82% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • It is available for streaming on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and iTunes.


  • Spotlight is an Academy Award-winning movie from 2015 which portrayed the uncovering of a cover up of an unfrocked priest accused of molesting boys.
  • The movie has an 8.1 rating on IMDb and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • The film tells the story of the reporters brave enough to take on the Catholic Church in order to reveal the truth.

The Infiltrator

  • Starring Bryan Cranston, this film tells the story of a U.S. Customs special agent named Robert Mazur who helped to take town Pablo Escobar.
  • IMDb rates the movie with a 7/10 and Rotten Tomatoes rates at 70%.
  • The Infiltrator is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.


  • Detroit is a 2017 drama which is set during the 1967 Detroit riots.
  • Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film is a fact-based retelling of rogue police officers during the riots.
  • The film has a rating of 7.3/10 on IMDb and 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.


  • This Spike Lee directed film tells the true story of Ron Stallworth, a black detective who successfully infiltrated the KuKluxKlan in Colorado.
  • BlacKkKlansman received over 200 award nominations and won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2019 Oscars.
  • IMDb rates the movie with a 7.5/10 but Rotten Tomatoes rates with 96%.

The Mule

  • Clint Eastwood, both as a director and star, tells the true story of a Korean War veteran who became a drug mule for a Mexican cartel.
  • The film was released in 2018 and was inspired by a 2014 New York Times magazine article titled The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule by Sam Dolnick.
  • IMDb rates the film as a 7/10 and Rotten Tomatoes with a 70%.
  • Amazon Prime offers the film for streaming.

The Old Man & the Gun

  • The Old Man & the Gun stars Robert Redford and portrays the true story of Forest Tucker.
  • Tucker escaped from San Quentin prison at the age of 70 and embarked on a string of heists that stumped authorities and enchanted the public.
  • Though rated a 6.7/10 on IMDb, the film has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.