• (L–R) Broadchurch, Cardinal, The Bridge, Dublin Murders (SBS)Source: SBS
Slow-burn mysteries, red herrings, complex characters and twists you don't see coming. We can't get enough of all the TV noir from around the world at SBS On Demand.
Ally Caracatsanis

12 Jun 2020 - 11:53 AM  UPDATED 16 Oct 2020 - 8:52 AM

Nordic Noir 

There is no denying that we are obsessed with Scandi crime dramas at SBS On Demand (and we know that you feel the same!). We have them in abundance, and there is even a full section dedicated to our Nordic Noir shows, which is available to browse here.

Initially a hugely popular crime fiction genre, Nordic Noir made the leap to the screen and hooked audiences in with chilling landscapes, unguessable plot twists, slow-burn mysteries and believable and flawed characters. Leading the way were Sarah Lund in the Danish The Killing (who else really wanted to buy a Sarah Lund Fair isle knit jumper?) and Saga Norén in the Danish/Swedish co-production The Bridge.

So, put on that Scandi sweater, cosy up on the couch and:

  • travel to Norway for a US/Norway mash-up with serial-killer thriller Wisting
  • jump over to Sweden with two seasons of the Stockholm detective under-cover thriller Before We Die
  • really feel that icy chill with season 2 of the Icelandic crime drama Trapped
  • or keep it classic and settle in for the four complete seasons of The Bridge

The Bridge seasons 1-4 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Canadian Noir

Let's keep it chilly and head round to Canada. When you think of Canadians you might immediately think of funny and heart-warming shows like Schitt's Creek or Brad Pitt's favourite Letterkenny, but these nice guys have enough snow, grit and crime to compete with the Scandinavian series. 


  • Tim Roth as the recovering alcoholic police chief dealing with organised crime in Tin Star 
  • Caroline Dhavernas as Dr. Mary Harris who moonlights as an underground angel of death in Mary Kills People
  • The definitive Canadian Noir, the award-winning hit show Cardinal

Based on the best-selling books, the show has all the elements you want for a perfect noir crime drama. There's our charismatic detective duo John Cardinal (Billy Campbell - also a lover of Nordic noir) who has a haunted and complex history and his partner Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) who is secretly investigating him. The murder cases are complex, full of mysteries and twists and turns. Plus there is the incredible cold and beautiful Canadian landscapes as a back drop. Cardinal is all the best parts of the genre, but it makes it all its own.

Read more about 'Cardinal'
Everything you need to know before the chilling final season of 'Cardinal'
Our favourite Canadian detectives are back, and they've got a very cold case on their hands.

Cardinal seasons 1-4 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Celtic Noir

Don't take off your Sarah Lund jumper just yet! It's still going to be a little chilly as we continue to Ireland. A place of undeniable beauty and rolling green hills, but perhaps these gritty crime dramas prove the grass isn't always greener on the other side?

  • Taken Down exposes the seedy underbelly of Dublin as the police investigate the murder of a young Nigerian immigrant girl
  • The psychological thriller Blood moves us away from our usual detective leads and over two seasons focuses on the lies, secrets and betrayals of the Hogan family in rural Ireland
  • If you want dark and gritty noir then you can't go past the psychological mystery Dublin Murders.

Based on the best-selling books by Tana French, Dublin Murders follows the ambitious and charismatic detectives Rob Reilly (Killian Scott) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene) as they delve into two murder investigations. To add to the intrigue the bodies are found in the same woods where three young boys went missing 20 years ago - only one was found alive and that child was Rob Reilly. 

Read more about 'Dublin Murders'
‘Dublin Murders’ is a slow-burn mystery that won’t let you go
A young woman is found dead in a forest outside Dublin; what follows will change the lives of two detectives.

Dublin Murders is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Brit Noir

Let's sail across the Irish sea to the streets of South East London and a small windy beachside town in Dorset to see how the Brits do it. From the award-winning producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, Save Me is written by and stars Lennie James as our unlikely hero Nelly. Nelly's estranged 13-year-old daughter is kidnapped and when it's discovered the last three phone calls she made were to his phone he becomes prime suspect. This is a redemption story for Nelly as he searches for his daughter and tries to mend past relationships. Save Me is full of your usual noir twists, turns and red herrings all set against the streets of London.

The Brits are also huge fans of the Scandi noir programs, so it only made sense that they would step in, and they did it first with Broadchurch. Probably still one of the most popular series to come out of the genre, the show is based in a small beachside town with wind and cliffs aplenty. In season 1 when the body of 11-year-old Danny Latimer is found on the sand in Broadchurch, local police officers DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) are called to investigate a case that will change the small Dorset community forever. This slow-burn murder mystery hooked viewers in and the performances from the incredible cast meant we couldn't stop watching.

Broadchurch seasons 1-3 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Tropical Noir

It's time to take off the woolly knit because it's about to get humid as we move to a very different climate in Florida. Let's step away from the snow and moodiness and immerse ourselves in the colourful pastels of the early '90s with On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Even though it's aesthetically colourful, this show is still dark and twisted and full of noir sensibilities.

Kirsten Dunst stars in this dark comedy as Krystal Stubbs, a minimum-wage water park employee, who lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of the cultish, multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme that drove her family to ruin in the first place. With a dash of Coen brothers, noir and David Lynch style mixed up with amazing performances and original storytelling we hope this is the first of many tropical noirs.

On Becoming a God in Central Florida is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Neo Noir

The colour dial is being turned up to 11 as we stay in the United States for the revenge thriller Reprisal. The show follows one woman's journey of vengeance against the powerful gang that tried to kill her. After being left for dead, Doris (Abigail Spencer) has re-emerged years later and many miles away into a new, quaint life in Detroit. Armed with the expected inheritance from the impending death of her husband, Doris embarks on a vengeful mission to destroy the gang.

As mysterious connections are revealed and secrets uncovered, Reprisal packs intense action and graphic violence into Doris' story of rescue and retribution. You may not be able to pinpoint what era it's set in, but that's what makes this rockabilly neo noir so original, stylish and enjoyable. 

Read more about 'Reprisal'
Prepare to get hooked on the pulpy intrigue of revenge-thriller ‘Reprisal’
Vengeance and violence, formidable women who defy expectations, references to a gone-too-soon Hollywood heartthrob – this new rockabilly noir series has it all.

Reprisal is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Australian Noir

We couldn't miss out on the noir action, and this 1995 mini-series, now touted as one of the best Australian dramas ever produced, is a landmark example of Australian noir. Set in 1980's Sydney, the acclaimed mini series Blue Murder  tells the true story of the relationship between corrupt Detective Roger Rogerson (Richard Roxburgh) and one of Australia's most infamous criminals Neddy Smith (Tony Martin). Originally banned in NSW when it aired in 1995 due to an ongoing court case against Neddy Smith for two counts of murder, it didn't air until 6 years later in 2001 (no way to stream back then either).

Extensively researched the thrilling program shows the gritty, corrupt and extremely violent side of 1980's Sydney. It is also a who's who of 90's Australian acting talent featuring Richard Roxburgh, Tony Martin, Bill Hunter, Steve Bastoni, Alex Dimitriades and Loene Carmen (to name a few). Get ready for some twists and turns as this eye-catching thriller delves into corruption within the NSW Police Force during the 70's and 80's.

Read more about 'Blue Murder'
‘Blue Murder’ takes us on a pub crawl of Sydney’s explosive criminal past
Billed as the most controversial series ever on its release in 1995, this landmark two-part series is based on the brutal, frightening and fascinating true story of the alliance between members of Sydney’s criminal underworld and a group of corrupt police during the late 1970s and ’80s.

Blue Murder is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Desert Noir

We couldn't be further away from the icy fjords and chilling landscapes of Scandinavia now. Baghdad Central immerses us in the warm tones and hot sun of Iraq. We are in Baghdad 2003, Saddam Hussein has been thrown out of power and the US-led Coalition forces now occupy Iraq. Muhsin Al-Khafaji (Waleed Zuaiter), a care-worn but resilient ex-Iraqi Police Inspector no longer recognises the country that surrounds him. When his eldest and recently estranged daughter Sawsan (Leem Lubany) goes missing, he makes it his sole aim to track her down and bring her home. 

Al-Khafaji is a perfect noir detective/inspector – he has a dark past, a small drinking problem, his detective skills are top-notch and he is also extremely charismatic. The landscape while changed up from the Nordic Noir, completely adds to the tension, because what is more stressful than toeing the line between the new local Iraqi-led police and the US military police while searching for your missing daughter?

Read more about 'Baghdad Central'
'Baghdad Central' is noir in the desert
Searching for your missing daughter is a tough job anywhere, but on the streets of Baghdad after the US invasion? It’s enough to get you killed.

Baghdad Central is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Moscow Noir 

Technically, this can live under the Nordic Noir banner but these writers and producers knew the power of the 'noir' and they went just that little bit further and put it in the title of the show. 

Moscow, 1999. The height of the Wild East. A risky deal plunges Swedish investment banker Tom Blixen (Adam Pålsson) into a battle between millionaires, oligarchs and their private armies. Enemies and killers reveal themselves one within another like a series of Babushka dolls, and the bodies and lies pile up.

Read more about 'Moscow Noir'
Who can you trust amid the murder in 'Moscow Noir'?
Life is looking good for ambitious banker Tom Blixen. And then it very suddenly isn't, as he strays into the world of Moscow's shadowy powerbrokers.

Moscow Noir is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


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