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 154 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  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. Apr 2, 2012
    9
    With the release of Luther i was a bit skeptical. Sure, the BBC is on of the world's best detective-series makers if you look at their history, they made classics like 'A Touch of Frost' and the still playing 'Midsommer Murders', shortly after the release of Luther's season 1 another outstanding and great detective was released by the name of Sherlock, with this release the press and the viewers all stumbled upon this new and very great series, but what a lot of people tend to forget is that in that year another great series premiered; Luther. I'm not gonna say it's better than sherlock, simply because it's not, but it's different from Sherlock in many ways. One simple reason is the episode length, which is only for about an hour with Luther. Then there's the whole sphere in Luther, Luther seems to be more of a darker, rougher, in some episodes even sadistic series. That does not take away the fact that this series is very clever and very realistic. A series as Luther stand of falls with the acting, because the series is quite personality driven, for such a strong personality as DCI Luther, an outstanding actor is necessary, but even the less important roles have their own characteristics in this series, and thus needs a good actor. And that's where this series becomes outstanding, though the sphere and the script are good, it are the actors which makes this series so damn good. Idris Alba never loses it's charm as DCI Luther though Luther seems to be out of control, somehow he keeps it's charms. Definitely worth the Golden Globe he won this year. But it's not only Idris Alba, Warren Brown as DCI Ripley and Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgen both keep Luther, and thus the outstanding Idris Alba, on the right track and that is a real achievement. After 2 seasons, with only 10 episodes, i can't wait for the third season. I hope the BBC can keep the script makers and the actors on the right track, and this series may even become an instant detective classic. Full Review »