Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. With the tormented Luther, it's sometimes tough even to identify who is the cat and who is the mouse. Writing and acting come together to produce characters, more than stories, who are powerful, surprising, ambiguous, and all that other stuff.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    100
    This bold British import is among the best TV I've seen in a mediocre (on network TV, anyway) fall season. Fast-paced, constantly surprising and darkly entertaining, Luther is about as far as you can get from a cookie-cutter procedural.
  3. Luther avoids some genre cliches--we know the killer's identity from the get-go, which sidesteps the time-stamp predictability of a Law & Order episode--but plunges headfirst into others.
  4. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Oct 22, 2010
    80
    Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), whose braininess extends to an expertise in physics and an acute ability to help Luther unravel the most advanced criminal minds. The two circle each other dangerously, their chemistry both bizarre and addicting.
  5. Luther, the story of an impulsive, very intelligent London cop, manages to be an excellent showcase for Idris Elba (The Wire) and an increasingly impressive character drama that goes to some dark and absorbing places.
  6. 80
    Summon your patience and settle in for the long haul. By its end, the series' exploration of how ordinary human fallibility is transformed into shocking human depravity is compellingly inventive.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    There's also a procedural element in the middle hours, with Luther focusing on individual cases in each installment, that doesn't hold up quite as well. Even those installments, however, have their chilling moments, before the final two episodes take off and regain the premiere's momentum.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Timberg
    80
    Finally! A cop show devoted fully to the investigation and to the characters doing the investigating. It's not just all about the lab work.
  9. The series offers strong, striking cop stories to accompany the intense thrills of the Luther-Alice cat-and-mouse game. But it is that back-and-forth and the sexual tension that develops between the pair that makes Luther stand apart.
  10. 75
    We are led to believe there is something faintly honorable about these characters, and that their extreme intelligence justifies their slaughter of those who are "beneath" them. There's something distasteful about this archetype, but Wilson, a canny actress, rises above the material. Together they make Luther the most absurd and enjoyable police show to come along in a while.
  11. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    70
    So long as Elba's on the screen, I'm interested, and even more when he and Wilson are sharing it. But ultimately, Luther turned out to be more average than I thought at first, regardless of its country of origin.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 141 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Oct 25, 2010
    10
    Fantastic show. Idris Elba is obviously fantastic, as usual, but the writing is top-notch, and the sense of urgency in each episode is palpable. It's good to know that it's a "min-series" and not an open-ended serial. Full Review »
  2. Oct 21, 2010
    3
    I watched the first two episodes of this in the UK then gave up as it was completely devoid of realism. I loved The Wire but if you tune into this merely because it stars Idris Elba you should be very disappointed unless you accept it for its unrealistic content and because its British made and offers views of London which you don't normally get to see in the US. The Luther character is constantly bubbling under the surface and is barely able to exercise control of his anger, often resorting to physical violence. The reality is if he was a serving British police officer he would be sacked a long time before reaching the status of a DCI. If you want to see gritty, realistic crime drama I wouldn't place much faith in this show. I'm very surprised to see the BBC has commissioned 2 x two hour episodes in 2011. I wanton waste of taxpayers money. Full Review »
  3. Jan 28, 2014
    10
    From the opening scene I knew that this show would bring something special to the table, and it has. Comprised of some of the best acting I've seen in a long time, with very realistic and believable characters throughout the series, each episode leaves you craving more. As the more dark and disturbing plots unfold, it is obvious you know you're in for a very exciting and captivating experience, which is so eloquently dished up to the audience.
    Outstanding acting from the entire cast and a beautifully written, down right gritty script isn't the only thing that 'Luther' is comprised of however, the music throughout the series has been something incredible to hear, especially when you're wading through all the drama and demons (metaphorically) Luther has to face. The small things really add to the show also. I know they saying, 'never to judge a book by it's front cover' but when you first hear the song 'Paradise Circus' by Massive Attack you can tell they haven't skimped on the budget at all. Even the presentation of showing you a few clips of next week episode, spliced with the credits at the end of the show with gripping music is so accurately portrayed exquisitely presented.
    I found, at least for the first season, there was one main story ark, with two or three sub-plots interwoven into the episodes, which was completely the perfect amount for the 58 minutes (which fly past) you spend watching the show.
    Luther really is a hidden gem that people are only just starting to even hear about, especially the more famous Idris Elba, becomes, who is so refreshingly brilliant.

    Acting 10/10
    Script 10/10
    Music 10/10
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    Overall 10/10
    Full Review »