The critical review discusses the most accurate methods for description of turbulent flows: the computationally very expensive direct numerical simulation (DNS) and slightly less accurate and slightly less expensive large eddy simulation (LES) methods. Both methods have found their way into nuclear thermal hydraulics as tools for studies of the fundamental mechanisms of turbulence and turbulent heat transfer. In the first section of this critical review, both methods are briefly introduced in parallel with the basic properties of the turbulent flows. The focus is on the DNS method, the so-called quasi-DNS approach, and the coarsest turbulence modeling approach discussed in this work, which is still on the very small-scale, wall-resolved LES. Other, coarser turbulence modeling approaches (such as wall-modeled LES, Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS)/LES hybrids, or RANS) are beyond the scope of the present work. Section II answers the question: “How do the DNS and LES methods work?” A short discussion of the computational requirements, numerical approaches, and computational tools is included. Section III is about the interpretation of the DNS and LES results and statistical uncertainties. Sections IV and V give some examples of the DNS and wall-resolved LES results relevant for nuclear thermal hydraulics. The last section lists the conclusions and some of the challenges that might be tackled with the most accurate techniques like DNS and LES.