Criminal Minds is a police crime drama created and produced by Jeff Davis (Wolf Pack). The series revolves around the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit), an elite FBI squad based in Quantico, Virginia.
The series ran for 15 seasons from 2005 until 2020. It was then canceled but revived in 2022 for a 16th season under the title Criminal Minds: Evolution.
If you spent the vast majority of the noughties watching the BAU catch one sadistic serial killer after another, then you're going to want a few suggestions for shows like Criminal Minds until the show returns with season 17.
I haven't bothered to include the major network prime-time shows, as most of us know all of them already. Instead, I'm going to throw out a few curve balls for shows you may not have already considered!
Movies and Shows Like Criminal Minds
If you like crime series full of action and suspense, and you're looking for new entertainment for the evenings, you've reached the right place.
We have compiled a list of ten equally thrilling shows like Criminal Minds that you won't want to miss.
Meet a detective working for the Philadelphia homicide department who has been assigned to the “dead files” section. With her team, she investigates crimes committed long ago that have gone unsolved. She now has to rethink them, interview people involved with the victims and find some connection that leads her to the killer in Cold Case.
Join a team of special agents whose mission is to investigate any crime that has evidence linked to people from the Navy without regard to rank and position. From murder and espionage to terrorist attacks and stolen submarines, these agents will travel the world to investigate all Navy-related crimes in NCIS.
Also, follow the difficult daily life of a group of judicial investigators in the city of Las Vegas, analysing the places where crimes have been committed in CSI.
Check out those suggestions above or follow our list of shows like Criminal Minds below for more options.
OUR LIST OF SHOWS LIKE CRIMINAL MINDS
What Is Criminal Minds About?
When no other leads exist for a serial crime case or a case of an extremely violent nature, the FBI immediately calls on the Quantico Behavioural Analysis Unit for help.
While regular detectives study the evidence of a crime, this unit analyses the criminal's behaviour to develop a list of suspects. The team examines the country's criminals through their modus operandi and victimology in an attempt to anticipate their next moves before they act again.
They investigate crime from the inside out rather than examining the evidence in the lab. Instead, they observe offenders' conduct at crime scenes or where they live or work, using profiling and conducting analysis to determine their thoughts.
Through their encyclopaedic knowledge of the human mind and behavioural patterns, along with cutting-edge technology, they get inside the minds of killers to anticipate their next moves.
The team is led by Special Agent Jason Gideon, the founder of the BAU and the FBI's top behavioural analyst.
The experts on Gideon's team include Special Agent Dr Spencer Reid, a typical genius with a high IQ and little social life specialising in geographic profiling, Special Agent Aaron Hotch, a family man able to gain people's trust and uncover their secrets and Special Agent Derek Morgan, a former Chicago police officer specialising in obsessive crimes.
Also part of the team is Elle Greenaway, an agent who is motivated by the unsolved assault she suffered in the past, Jennifer Jarreau, the team's communications liaison who later becomes a profiler, Stephen Walker, a counterintelligence specialist and Matt Simmons, an expert profiler who joins the team from the FBI's International Response Team.
Each team member brings their unique specialities together as they target the motivations of predators and identify their emotional triggers in an attempt to stop them.
Is Criminal Minds Worth Watching?
Criminal Minds premiered in September 2005 and has sixteen seasons with 334 episodes.
With a positive critical and worldwide fan reception, it has become a ratings success for the network, regularly featuring as one of the most watched programmes over its fifteen years.
Its success generated a media franchise, the spinoffs Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, a South Korean adaptation and even a video game.
Like most good crime dramas, this long-running show offers detective stories full of exciting details and plenty of suspense. Alongside the intensely horrific crimes are positive messages, and the central characters show teamwork, perseverance, communication, kindness and respect.
Over the seasons, Criminal Minds portrays more racial diversity among the main cast and stronger female role models. The relationships within the team are central to the show, and there are moments of warmth and humour to break up the darker material.
But the show's longevity is mainly due to its compelling storytelling, and it has become a pop culture favourite thanks to the inclusion of notable quotes that sum up the meaning of each episode.
For those capable of enduring some frequent gory scenes, this is an intelligent, darkly funny and intriguing series worth watching.
Where To Watch Criminal Minds?
In the US, all 16 seasons of Criminal Minds are available on Paramount+.
However, in the rest of the world, the show is available to stream on Disney+, including the newest season.