Drama

Once Upon a Time They Solved a Crime

INTRODUCTION

When I was a kid, I read and watched a lot of crime/investigation novels and TV shows. However, starting teenager, my preferred genre changed. After coming home from a long day at school or work, I prefer watching a drama that I don’t need to rack my brain, like romance, comedy, or action. But after a while, I’m thinking of moving back to the dark side. So I compiled a list of crime/investigation dramas and movies, mainly for my future reference, but also to share it with you. 

Another reason for writing this article is I observed that few MDLers write recap articles about crime dramas/movies. In fact, no one has written an editorial article compiling them! Therefore, I sincerely thanked fellow MDLer Tokabu who commented on my article The Big 10 Chinese Dramas on MDL. Her inquiry about crime/detective drama articles gave me an idea to write this editorial.


LIMITATIONS

Although I tried to collect nearly all crime dramas/movies, I was faced with the challenge of not making the article too long to read. Therefore, this article has some limitations, as stated below:

  • Since initially this effort is to make a personal guide, besides pure crime dramas/movies, I also collected combinations of crime-comedy and crime-romance ones. I think the mixes are also favorable for beginners in crime shows, and make the shows enjoyable with lighter crime plots.
  • The compilation is based on advanced filter features on MDL search engine: crime/romance/comedy/historical genres, investigation/Chinese Republican Era tags, 2010 – 2021 release dates, and 8.0 to 10.00 ratings. I understand that there are many good crime shows that may be underrated, the minimum rating of 8.0 is set only to limit the overflowing result. Please recommend us crime dramas/movies that you think are under appreciated on this site.
  • Some dramas/movies I thought as crime shows but the genre doesn’t indicate so. This is especially for historical/costume dramas/movies that fall under mystery/thriller genre, or other shows with plots not involving illegal activities deemed by modern laws from a specific country. Therefore, I also collected the data using investigation tags. Since there are numerous investigation dramas/movies, I put them in boxes with links to the search results.
  • For a disclaimer, all data are taken from a search result on November 6, 2021. When you read this article, you may see a slightly different changes in the data, because of the time span from article editing to publishing date.

SOUTH KOREA

CRIME KDRAMAS

Crime KDramas with Comedy

Vincenzo
The Fiery Priest 
Live
Good Manager
Psychopath Diary 
Leverage
History of the Salaryman
38 Task Force 
☆ There may be romantic relationships developed in some of these dramas, although it’s not the plot. Please check the tags, the romance depicted usually uses ‘slight romance’ tag.
☆ There are upcoming sequels for The Fiery Priest and Live.

Crime KDramas with Romance

Flower of Evil is remade to an upcoming Filipino drama with the same title Flower of Evil.

 That Winter, The Wind Blows is a remake of Japanese drama I Don’t Need Love. The Kmovie version is Love Me Not.
☆ SPOILERS: Cruel City and That Winter, The Wind Blows have endings up to the viewer’s interpretations.
Flower of Evil 
Cruel City
That Winter, The Wind Blows

Crime KDramas (No Romance/Comedy)

The Devil Judge 
My Name

Law School 

Children of Nobody
Bad Guys
Vagabond Memorist Doctor Prisoner City Hunter The Veil

More… 

  • South Korea has the most crime dramas produced among the countries in MDL. Click the word ‘More…’ above to see the complete list of non-romance/non-comedy crime Kdramas.
  • The Bad Guys has a Kmovie sequel The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos, and an upcoming Thai remake: Bad Guy
  • Doctor Prisoner has an upcoming sequel, Doctor Prisoner 2.
  • City Hunter is adapted from a Japanese manga with the same title, and there are several adaptations have been made. The next one is the upcoming Cmovie City Hunter.

INVESTIGATION KDRAMAS

Sageuk Investigation Dramas Investigation KDramas with Comedy Investigation KDramas with Romance Investigation KDramas (No Romance/  Comedy)
Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.

CRIME KMOVIES

Crime KMovies with Comedy

Extreme Job Secretly Greatly 
The Con Artists Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River  Luck-Key 
☆  Extreme Job is adapted from Cmovie Lobster Cop.
Luck-Key is adapted from Jmovie Key of Life.
☆  The Accidental Detective has a sequel The Accidental Detective 2: In Action.
The Outlaws has an upcoming sequel: The Outlaws 2.
The Accidental Detective The Outlaws Lost Dogs

Crime KMovies (No Romance/Comedy)

The Man from Nowhere Innocent Witness
The Negotiation

My Paparotti 

Fabricated City

Tazza: The Hidden Card The Merciless

The New World

Assassination

The Swindlers

More… 

  • Click the word ‘More…’ above to see the complete list of non-romance/non-comedy crime Kmovies.
  • There is no crime Kmovie with romance only.
  • Tazza: The Hidden Card is one of several movies on tazza (타짜), a Korean slang term on professional gamblers. The franchise is an adaptation of a manhwa, and started with Tazza: The High Rollers that is made into Kdrama Tazza. This movie is a sequel of the parent movie and it follows with the newest movie Tazza: One-Eyed Jacks. Each movie is independent and has its own main characters, therefore no need to watch one after another in sequence.

INVESTIGATION KMOVIES

Investigation KMovies with Comedy Investigation KMovies with Romance Investigation KMovies (No Romance/ Comedy)
Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.


CHINA

CRIME CDRAMAS

Crime CDramas with Romance

Bureau of Transformer also has the comedy genre.
☆ The Memory Lost series also comprises Memory Lost and Memory Lost 3. I’m not sure why there is no crime genre in the two other dramas although they’re related. All three have the same main characters played by the same actors.
Bureau of Transformer

When a Snail Falls in Love

Memory Lost 2

Crime CDramas (No Romance/Comedy)

S.C.I Never Say Never Hunter Inside Man
Black Lighthouse

More… 

There are more on the list but although they are available on the official platforms like iQiyi, etc., they are not subbed. The ones I listed above have English sub. If you’re interested to see the complete list of non-romance/non-comedy crime Cdramas, click the word ‘More…’ above to see the rest of the list.

Republican Era Crime CDramas

Killer And Healer

The Disguiser

The Rebel

☆ It’s a given for Republican Era dramas to have crime genre, as in that time period China is unstable with constant warfare between different group of interests. However, these dramas are the ones that are subbed, as this subgenre is not popular internationally.
☆ SPOILER: Killer and Healer ends with the death of one of the main characters.

INVESTIGATION CDRAMAS

☆ Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.
☆ Investigation Cdramas comprise all investigative works mostly by laymen.
☆ Historical investigation Cdramas comprise true historical/period, costume (not true historical), and Republican Era dramas.
☆ Most offense in historical investigation drama plots can be considered crimes by nature, but since the deeds are not under modern law constitution, the dramas are not considered crime genre.
Modern  Investigation CDramas with Comedy
Modern  Investigation CDramas with Romance
Modern  Investigation CDramas (No Romance/ Comedy)
Historical  Investigation CDramas with Comedy Historical Investigation CDramas with Romance Historical Investigation CDramas (No Romance/ Comedy)

CRIME CMOVIES

Crime CMovies with Comedy

Dying to Survive

Detective Chinatown 3

Kung Fu Boys

Detective Chinatown 3 is a sequel of the Detective Chinatown series. Although each movie is not closely related to each other, the first installment Detective Chinatown tells how the detective duo meet. There is also a Cdrama remake Detective Chinatown. This movie series is so popular that upcoming sequel Detective Chinatown 4 is filmed, and Detective Chinatown 5 is planned.
Crime CMovies (Romance)
Crime CMovies (No Romance/Comedy)

Mountain Cry

The Writing’s On The Wall 

Ultimate Thief Gang: A Game of Thieves

Summer Is the Coldest Season

12 Citizens

More…

  • Those two subsections are combined as I cannot find more subbed crime Cmovies than those above.
  • If you want to find more non-romance/non-comedy crime Cmovies, click the word ‘More…’ on the top right to see the complete list.

INVESTIGATION CMOVIES

Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.

Investigation CMovies with Comedy Investigation CMovies with Romance Investigation Modern 
CMovies 
(No Romance/
Comedy)
Investigation Historical 
CMovies 
(No Romance/
Comedy)

JAPAN

CRIME JDRAMAS

Crime JDramas with Comedy

The Confidence Man JP

 Yamaneko the Phantom Thief Grim Reaper  Prison Princesses 

Iron Grandma

  • To list the titles of Japanese dramas/movies, I use the alternative English names. Here are the native titles used on MDL: Yamaneko the Phantom Thief‘s native title is Kaitou Yamaneko. Grim Reaper‘s native title is Shinigami San. Prison Princesses‘ native title is Kangoku no Ohimesama.
  • The Confidence Man JP has several sequel movies listed in the Jmovie section.
  • Iron Grandma has a sequel, Iron Grandma 2.

Crime JDramas (No Romance/Comedy)

Ouroboros

BORDER

Cold Case: Door of Truth Season 3   Hokuto War of Lies 

More…

  • There is no crime Jdramas with romance only.
  • The Cold Case native title is Cold Case: Shinjitsu no Tobira 3. It’s a remake from American TV show Cold Case. This drama is a sequel to Cold Case: Shinjitsu no Tobira and Cold Case: Shinjitsu no Tobira 2. As this is case-by-case series, there is no connection between the dramas but the introduction of the main characters in the first installment.
  • Click the word ‘More…’ above to see the complete list of non-romance/non-comedy crime Jdramas.

INVESTIGATION JDRAMAS

Investigation JDramas with Comedy Investigation JDramas with Romance Investigation JDramas (No Romance/ Comedy)
Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.

CRIME JMOVIES

Crime JMovies with Comedy

 The Confidence Man JP Jdrama is the origin of these two movies. The sequel sequence is: movie The Confidence Man JP: Romance (2019), drama special The Confidence Man JP Special (2019), movie The Confidence Man JP: Princess (2020), and the upcoming movie The Confidence Man JP: Episode of the Hero (2022).
☆ There is no crime Jmovie with romance.

The Confidence Man JP: Romance
The Confidence Man JP: Princess

Crime JMovies (No Romance/Comedy)

Shoplifters
HiGH&LOW The Movie
The Blood of Wolves Level 2 

Red and White Investigation FileThe Movie Stray Dogz 8

More…

  • The High&Low franchise has three dramas, one drama special and several movies. All movies have crime genre in them. I listed above the first movie above. The origin of the franchise is Jdrama HiGH&LOW. If you’re interested to know more about the franchise, read this article: High & Low Overview.
  • The Blood of Wolves Level 2 is a sequel of The Blood of Wolves (2018) and there will be a sequel movie The Blood of Wolves 3. All three movies have the same actor as the Male Lead.
  • Movie Red and White Investigation File native title is ST Aka to Shiro no Sousa File The Movie. It’s a sequel of Jdramas ST Aka to Shiro no Sousa File and ST Keishichou Kagaku Tokusou-han
  • There are nine movies of Stray Dogz (native title Yamikin Dogguzu) series, all have crime genre but only this one is rated 8.0. However, rating doesn’t really matter. If you like this movie, you can check out the rest.
  • Click the word ‘More…’ above to see the complete list of non-romance/non-comedy crime Jmovies.

INVESTIGATION JMOVIES

Investigation JMovies with Comedy Investigation JMovies 
(No Romance/ Comedy)
☆  Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.
☆  There is no investigation Jmovies with romance.

THAILAND

CRIME THDRAMAS

Crime ThDramas with Romance

They Asked Her To Be A Spy 
Heart of Stone  Gentleman Thief Series 2  The Brothers  The Wand Warrior
  • They Asked Her To Be A Spy (native title Kao Waan Hai Noo Pen Sai Lub) is a crime romcom Thai drama (further refer to Thdramas). The rest dramas on the list don’t have comedy genre.
  • MDL listed the native titles for the following dramas: Heart of Stone is Hua Jai Sila, Gentleman Thief is Suparburoot Jorm Jon: Maturot Lohgan, and The Brothers is Tawun Thud Burapah.
  • The prequel for Gentleman Thief Series 2 is Suparburoot Jorm Jon: Duang Jai Kabot. The series tells about stories of twin brothers.

Crime Th Dramas (No Romance/Comedy)

☆ There is a slight romance in the Game of Outlaws
 The Comments is only 5 episodes of 45 minutes each, to reach youth audiences.
Game of Outlaws
The Comments

INVESTIGATION ThDRAMAS

Investigation ThDramas with Comedy Investigation ThDramas with Romance Investigation 
ThDramas 
(No Romance/
Comedy)
Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.

CRIME AND INVESTIGATION THAI MOVIES

Bad Genius
☆ There is only one subbed crime Thmovie that fits the post 2010 release date and 8.0+ rating. The popular and high-rated Bad Genius has been remade into Thdrama Bad Genius.
☆  There are no investigation Thmovies with romance.
☆  Click on the designated box on the right to take you to the specific list.
Investigation ThMovies with Comedy
Investigation
ThMovies
(No Romance/
Comedy)

TAIWAN

CRIME AND INVESTIGATION TwDRAMAS

The World Between Us Wacko at Law
☆ There are only two subbed crime Taiwanese dramas (referred to as Twdramas) that fit the post 2010 release date and 8.0+ rating.
Wacko at Law also has romance genre.
Investigation TwDramas (Overall)
☆ There are not many investigation Twdramas so I combined them overall. Click on the designated box on the top right to take you to the specific list.

CRIME AND INVESTIGATION TwMOVIES

Man In Love
☆ There is only one subbed crime Taiwanese movie that fits the post 2010 release date and 8.0+ rating. As the title shows, there is a romance genre in it. Man in Love is a Taiwanese remake of the Kmovie Man In Love.
Investigation TwMovies
(Overall)
☆ There are not many investigation Twdramas so I combined them overall. Click on the designated box on the top right to take you to the specific list.

HONG KONG

CRIME HKDRAMAS

Line Walker Line Walker: The Prelude

Ink at Tai Ping

☆ There are only three subbed crime Hong Kong dramas that fit the post 2010 release date and 8.0+ rating.
☆ No subbed crime or investigation HK movies that fit the filter.
☆ The sequence of the Line Walker drama series is: Line Walker: The Prelude (2017), Line Walker (2014), and Line Walker: Bull Fight (2020). The sequence of the movies is: Line Walker (2016), and Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy (2019).

PHILIPPINES

CRIME PDRAMAS

Crime PDramas with Romance

☆ There are no crime Pdramas with comedy.
When Love Burns Sandugo

Sherlock Jr.

Crime PhDramas (No Romance/Comedy)

Mea Culpa I Am U 24/7 Fight For It!
Some Pdramas are available at iWantTFC with English subs, but I don’t know which ones since it’s subscription- based.

Investigation PDramas (Overall)
☆ There are not many investigation Pdramas so I combined them overall. Click on the designated box to take you to the specific list.

CRIME PMOVIES

Crime Movies (No Romance/Comedy)

☆ These are some English subbed crime Pmovies.
☆ Click the word ‘More…’ below to see the complete list.
☆ There are no non-crime investigation Pdramas.
Honor Thy Father

Norte, the End of History The Road

Metro Manila

More…


CONCLUSION

That’s all, everyone, my comprehensive list of top modern and historical crime/investigation dramas and movies from different countries, released in 2010 and beyond, with ratings 8.0 and above on MDL. Hopefully, this article is comprehensive and useful enough for readers who are fans of crime shows and they who want to dip their toes in the murky water of fictional crime world!

As a bonus, here are two links for they who are crime aficionados and have checked out all the crime shows above: the upcoming crime dramas and the upcoming crime movies! One of them is the long-awaited upcoming crime Cdrama Being a Hero, starring Chen Xiao, as a famed murder suspect, and Wang Yi Bo, as a narcotic police officer. Wang Yi Bo’s character Chen Yu is depicted in the article’s feature image.

THANK YOU FOR READING AND HAPPY WATCHING!


Acknowledgement and creditsThank you to the editors who edited this article. I do not own any of the images; credits go to their respective owners. The drama/movie images are from official posters. Feature image is my modification of the original work of Finns at aminoapps.


Edited by: devitto (1st editor)

crime
investigation

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