15 Must-Watch Movies Similar to True Detective

"True Detective" takes viewers on a thrilling journey through the dark underbelly of crime and mystery. In this blog post, we've curated a list of 15 must-watch movies that capture the same captivating essence. From twisted plots to gripping suspense, these films will keep you on the edge of your seat, just like "True Detective." Get ready for a cinematic experience that will leave you craving for more.

1) Mindhunter

Mindhunter is reminiscent of True Detective because both shows delve into the dark and twisted world of murder investigations. However, while True Detective takes a Southern Gothic approach and focuses on the personal and professional secrets of those involved, Mindhunter explores the psychology behind murder and the FBI agents' journey into the minds of real-life monsters. Both shows captivate the audience with their brilliant performances, but Mindhunter stands out with its meticulous attention to detail in every aspect, from acting to directing to writing. So, if you're a fan of True Detective and want to explore the psychological depths of criminal science, Mindhunter is a must-watch.

Release date: October, 2017
IMDB Rating: 8.6
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2) Dublin Murders

Dublin Murders. In the Dublin Murder Squad, Garda detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox investigate murder cases that tap into Ireland's past and also touch on their own personal lives. While True Detective has a Southern Gothic vibe, Dublin Murders takes us to the gloomy streets of Dublin, Ireland. Both series delve into police investigations and the dark secrets of those involved, but Dublin Murders brings its own distinct flavor with its unique setting and characters. The story starts off slow, but don't be fooled, it's anything but a simple whodunnit. The flawed characters and their dark pasts interweave beautifully with the main plot, leading you down a twisted path of breadcrumbs. Just when you think you have it all figured out, another clue appears, and you can't help but follow along, like Hansel and Gretel.

Release date: April, 2020
IMDB Rating: 7.1

3) Sherlock

If you loved True Detective, then Sherlock is the perfect series for you. While True Detective takes you on a dark and brooding journey through the American South, Sherlock adds a quirky and modern twist to the iconic character of Sherlock Holmes. Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Holmes as a "high-functioning sociopath" is both captivating and hilarious, and Martin Freeman shines as his trusty sidekick, Dr. John Watson. Just like True Detective, Sherlock is filled with intriguing murder mysteries and police investigations, but it brings them into the 21st century with a modernized setting in London. The writing is brilliant, the acting is top-notch, and the story will have you hooked from the very beginning. So, if you're looking for a series that combines intelligence, humor, and suspense, give Sherlock a try. You won't be disappointed.

Release date: July, 2010
IMDB Rating: 9.1
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4) Ridley

Ridley, the similar movie, takes us on a thrilling journey with retired Detective Alex Ridley as he is pulled back into the world of crime-solving. Just like in True Detective, the main movie, this series revolves around a murder investigation and the complexities it brings. However, while True Detective delves into the dark and brooding world of the Southern Gothic, Ridley offers a refreshing change with its British charm. The jazz club setting adds a unique touch, and who would have thought that Adrian Dunbar could sing? The beautiful scenery, featuring fog, snow, rain, and autumn colors, is a bonus that enhances the visual experience. Unlike the graphic violence often seen in detective shows, Ridley focuses on delivering a gripping story without relying on shock value. This series keeps you guessing until the end, making it a must-watch for any armchair sleuth.

Release date: August, 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.6

5) Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise, like True Detective, takes viewers on a thrilling journey of police investigations and murder mysteries. However, Death in Paradise adds a twist by transporting the action to the picturesque Caribbean island of Saint-Marie. The show is not just about solving crimes; it's about immersing oneself in the vibrant Caribbean culture and enjoying the interplay of the quirky characters, led by the brilliant DI Poole. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, making every episode a delight to watch. The beautiful setting of the show adds an extra layer of charm, making it a visual treat for the audience. While True Detective is known for its dark, brooding atmosphere and intense performances, Death in Paradise offers a lighter, more comedic take on the crime genre, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a fun and addictive detective show.

Release date: October, 2011
IMDB Rating: 7.8

6) The Zodiac

The Zodiac: An elusive serial killer known as the Zodiac terrorizes the San Francisco Bay in the late 1960s, while detectives aim to stop him before he claims more victims. Based on a true story. Although David Finchers look at the infamous Zodiac Killer is due in a few months, Alexander Buckleys version need not be ashamed of comparison. That's what can be predicted in advance, since Buckleys film looks at the Zodiac killings from the perspective of one involved policeman's family; Fincher is hardly to repeat that. Buckleys approach, at first, is very realistic - not surprising, since the incidents he portrays are historic facts. Later on, he fuses facts and fictions, which weakens the picture a bit. But in general, he sticks to the facts and manages to fit them into interesting 92 minutes. No gore here, only a few harsh visuals, but still disturbing.

Release date: August, 2006
IMDB Rating: 5.3

7) In the Electric Mist

In the Electric Mist takes place in post-Katrina New Orleans and follows a detective who has surreal encounters with ghostly Confederate soldiers while investigating a series of serial killings. Just like True Detective, this movie has a dark and brooding atmosphere that draws you in. While the main movie is a series, In the Electric Mist is a feature film, allowing it to explore the story in a more condensed format. The performances in both movies are top-notch, with Tommy Lee Jones delivering a bitter and gritty portrayal similar to Matthew McConaughey's nihilistic character in True Detective. However, In the Electric Mist takes a different approach by incorporating elements of hallucination and the supernatural, making it a unique and intriguing crime thriller. So if you enjoyed the mesmerizing southern ambiance and character-driven storytelling of True Detective, In the Electric Mist is definitely worth a watch.

Release date: April, 2009
IMDB Rating: 6.1

8) Wonderland

Wonderland, released in 2003, shares some similarities with True Detective, which came out in 2014. Both movies fall within the genres of Crime, Drama, Mystery, and Thriller. However, the similarities between the two go beyond the shared genres. Both films explore the dark and gritty side of police investigations, delving into the personal and professional secrets of those involved. While True Detective is a series, Wonderland is a cinema movie, but both manage to captivate the audience with their intense storytelling. The performances in both films are exceptional, with talented actors like Vince Vaughn and Val Kilmer bringing their characters to life. Additionally, both movies touch on the topic of murder, showcasing the brutal and dramatic nature of these crimes. However, True Detective focuses on a larger investigation while Wonderland centers around the notorious porn star John Holmes. Overall, if you enjoyed the brooding atmosphere and fascinating characters of True Detective, Wonderland is a film that will surely keep you engaged.

Release date: October, 2003
IMDB Rating: 6.5

9) Dalgliesh

"Dalgliesh" takes us on a crime-fighting journey with the eponymous detective from 1970s England to the present day. While it may not immediately grab your attention like "True Detective," this series gradually grows on you as the episodes progress. The acting is mostly excellent, although one of the female officers may come across as a bit wooden. The first story feels rushed and muddled towards the end, but the subsequent two stories are much better.
In contrast to "True Detective," which immerses us in a dark, brooding world with a touch of psychedelia, "Dalgliesh" offers a different atmosphere. It takes us to a different time and place, capturing the essence of 1970s England and spanning multiple decades. If you're a fan of crime dramas and enjoy following a detective's career over time, "Dalgliesh" is worth a watch.

Release date: March, 2022
IMDB Rating: 7.5

10) Broadchurch

Broadchurch is reminiscent of True Detective in its gripping and intense storytelling, without resorting to over-dramatization. Both series revolve around murder investigations that have a profound impact on the communities they occur in. While True Detective explores the dark and brooding world of police investigations in the Southern Gothic setting, Broadchurch delves into the aftermath of a young boy's murder in a small coastal town. The characters in both shows are well-developed and play crucial roles in unraveling the mysteries. True Detective impresses with its mesmerizing performances by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, while Broadchurch captivates with the brilliant acting of David Tennant and Olivia Colman. Despite their similarities, Broadchurch stands out with its relatability and realism, offering a story that is both believable and surprising. So if you enjoyed True Detective's character-driven narrative and are looking for a realistic and relatable crime drama, Broadchurch is definitely worth watching.

Release date: July, 2015
IMDB Rating: 8.4

11) Sniffer

Sniffer, huh? Well, if you're a fan of True Detective, then this show might just be up your alley. While True Detective takes us on a dark journey through the twisted minds of detectives, Sniffer offers a unique twist with its protagonist, aptly named "the Sniffer." With his extraordinary sense of smell, the Sniffer can uncover secrets that even the most guarded individuals would rather keep hidden. Just like True Detective, Sniffer is a crime drama that delves into investigations, but it adds a touch of action to the mix. While True Detective is set in the atmospheric American South, Sniffer takes us to the vibrant city of Kiev, showcasing the local color of Ukraine. So, if you're in the mood for a thrilling crime series with a twist of the senses and a dash of international flavor, give Sniffer a sniff.

Release date: November, 2013
IMDB Rating: 7.2

12) Interrogation

Interrogation takes you on a thrilling journey through a decades-old murder case, just like True Detective. While True Detective is known for its southern gothic atmosphere, Interrogation captivates you with its non-linear storytelling and intense interrogation scenes. Both shows excel in their respective genres, Crime and Drama, but Interrogation focuses solely on the interrogation process, which adds a unique twist to the narrative. The acting in both shows is top-notch, with True Detective featuring incredible performances from Harrelson and McConaughey, and Interrogation showcasing superb acting from its cast. Although True Detective has received numerous nominations and critical acclaim, Interrogation, unfortunately, flew under the radar. It's a shame because after watching the first episode, I was immediately hooked. So, if you're a fan of gripping crime series and want to experience a fresh take on the genre, don't miss out on Interrogation. It's a hidden gem that deserves more recognition.

Release date: February, 2020
IMDB Rating: 7.4

13) Dark Mountain

Dark Mountain, released in 1944, is reminiscent of True Detective. Both movies fall under the crime, drama, and mystery genres and involve police investigations and murder. However, while True Detective is a critically acclaimed series with a captivating storyline and dark, brooding atmosphere, Dark Mountain is a shorter and less impressive film. True Detective boasts amazing performances, especially from its leads, and an immersive southern ambiance, while Dark Mountain is a B-movie made on a tight budget. Despite their similarities in subject matter, True Detective stands out for its quality writing and character-driven story, making it a must-watch for fans of the genre.

Release date: September, 1944
IMDB Rating: 5.4

14) Criticsized

Criticsized: Imagine if "True Detective" took a wrong turn down a dark alley and stumbled upon a B-movie horror flick. That's the essence of "Criticsized". While "True Detective" is known for its incredible performances, gripping storytelling, and atmospheric cinematography, "Criticsized" takes a different route. It's a thrilling rollercoaster ride that gives you a bird's eye view of all the action, reminiscent of the wonder wheel at Coney Island. The director has a unique way of immersing you in the story, providing a brilliant point of view that takes you on a journey you'll really enjoy. It's like a glimpse into the world we live in, with the most vicious serial killer of the 21st-century just getting warmed up. So, if you're looking for a thrilling and chilling experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat, "Criticsized" is the ticket you need.

Release date: December, 2016
IMDB Rating: 3.7

15) Fargo

Fargo. "True Detective" and "Fargo" share a similar dark and brooding atmosphere, but where "True Detective" delves into the deep, twisted psyche of its characters, "Fargo" takes a more quirky and offbeat approach. Both shows are anthologies, exploring different stories within each season, but "Fargo" is set in frozen Minnesota and revolves around deception, murder, and intrigue that mysteriously leads back to Fargo, North Dakota. While "True Detective" focuses on police investigations and the personal and professional secrets of those involved, "Fargo" adds a touch of dark comedy and black humor to the mix. The characters in "Fargo" are equally captivating, and the performances by Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, and Allison Tolman are outstanding. So, if you enjoyed the atmospheric and character-driven storytelling of "True Detective," but crave a unique blend of crime, drama, and dark comedy, then "Fargo" is definitely worth watching.

Release date: July, 2014
IMDB Rating: 8.9
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