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Universal acclaim- based on 157 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 157

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  1. Jun 18, 2014
    The show is good, Idris Elba is fantastic. One of my main gripes in this show is that it seems like London is almost a barren wasteland, with no life in it besides the actors. I know it's t.v. but can't they hire some more extras to occupy some of the sets to give a sense of more people around, seriously!!! My second main gripe is the sociopath Alice, she's seriously an annoying and unrealistically un-touchable character. She's not even that interesting and should have been in jail if some of the characters weren't such **** and stood up to her for breaking an entering. Expand
  2. Jun 11, 2014
    Fantastic show with wonderful acting and tons of stuff that just makes you go "there's no way he should be allowed to do that". Idris Elba is awesome as Luther, even if more than half his lines come out as mumbles, and the rest of the cast is excellent, most notably Ruth Wilson as Alice. I have honestly never seen a show like this before that's not afraid to show the dark side to humanity and how they accomplish it. In almost every episode, you know who did the crime at the beginning and it's the journey to find them that separates this show from the rest of the pack. I love it and I can't recommend it enough. Expand
  3. May 26, 2014
    Luther is the best show I've seen since Breaking Bad. Awesome story telling, all 3 seasons are excellent. I was really impressed by the acting and the pacing of everything. Worth a watch.
  4. Jan 28, 2014
    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
    Overall 10/10
  5. Oct 14, 2013
    This show is amazing flat out. I'm familiar with psychological principles, and like any show it takes liberties, but only in what is probable, not possible, creating realistic serial killers, and cops alike. The effects of stress, and creating a intuitive genius like John Luther, who is most definitely not infallible, but a "whirlwind". In a description he might seem cliche, a cop who's reached near legendary status, but can't quite grip onto his home life. In other shows the execution is textbook, with he audience knowing the solution and the only tension coming from waiting for them to happen. With Luther even if you get a vibe of what's to come not only does it deviate from the norm, it's near unpredictability leaves you with a nervous feeling in your stomach until the story reaches the climax. The greatest thing is that yes, it shocks you, but that's not the reason it was played out like that. Some of the elements introduced are unlikely, but how they interact are completely realistic, with some outcomes being good are bad relative to the protagonist, but not twisted to make us feel sad, but told as it should be, because a show with good understanding of realistic human behavior in fantastic or unrealistic situation, specifically the stress inducing ones favored by the show, are enough to elicit emotion. It's the premise and good writing that make the show, with amazing execution by the actor, chief among them Idris Elba.
    He shows how Luther puts the weight of the world on his shoulders, he's not a, sorry to say this about batman, unrealistic moralist, refusing to kill like our favorite caped crusader, but he does share an extraordinary ability to go in the direction no one agrees with, because it's the right one. In this he is like a modern batman, he carries a presence of greatness, and even though his moral code does not quite align with the dark knight's he adheres to it. He is also plagued by tragedy, and is consumed by his sense of justice. Overall he's one of the most original and interesting detectives ever created. His ability to see through others is uncanny, added with his intuitive understanding of the human condition, make him a mental powerhouse. Though unlike other formulaic detectives he doesn't pull a magic plan out of his ass, he's limited by the real world, but he uses his mental and physical resources to their fullest, a realistic mental giant. All this is coming from a guy who's read most every batman comic, or at least the synopsis if I couldn't get my hands on the real thing, every sherlock holmes short story, nearly every batman or sherlock form of media, Hercule Poirot (some books and episodes), Death Note, and to many Detective shows to list. I can tell you that coming across something original after wading through a sea of is something that is hard to forget, and after all my exposure, an unlikely find that I'm grateful for. John Luther Rates up their with Batman, Holmes, L, and other,
    Now for his villians, or perps, call them what you like. Alice Morgan is also one of my favorite character period, and his "enemies" are just as interesting even if they don't get enough screen time. i can't wait for the movie
  6. Sep 25, 2013
    Great show.. I began watching it last year and loved it from the beginning. Alice is a great character and brings a lot to the show. I am glad they finally got session 3 off the ground. I was anxiously waiting for it. It's edgy, he's sexy, Alice and sexy and menacing but you have to love her. Luther is troubled but he and Alice have a special relationship. I watched the 1st 2 seasons more than one and was jonesing for more. Expand
  7. Sep 20, 2013
    Wow. Wow. Wow. Love the storyline between Luther and Alice. I'm constantly watching to see if and when she will come back! If you aren't watching this series, you're truly missing out. Luther is a pensive character with a talented supporting cast that only enhances and elevates the writing. The cinematography is a bit off, and feels really uncomfortable, but you get use to it, and after watching it, I find that it that artistic choice suits the stories and the characters well. Expand
  8. Sep 3, 2013
    Brilliant acting, brilliant writing, brilliant show. Think of it as Sherlock's darker, grittier, more realistic cousin. Quite possibly the best British drama ever made.
  9. Sep 1, 2013
    This show is slept on. I just decided to try it last night and watched the whole first season in 1 night. It's like that book you can't put down or trying to only eat 1 of your favorite potato chips. All the characters have chemistry and the writers do such a great job of tying in the personal and professional. I have always been a fan of Idris Alba but with this show I've found a even greater appreciation of
    his work. I will be telling every one I know about Luther. Count the
    On-Demand views since we have to catch-up.
  10. Jul 19, 2013
    one of the best individual seasons of television, i think ive ever seen. its not a wire type show, its more of a dexter meets the killing type show. the backdrop is the city of london, and the realisation is incredible.

    the season starts pretty episodic, but rolls into an insane conclusion.

    this show has had some criticism with regards to plausibility and cliches, but the thing is a
    painting of depravity on a backdrop of londons neverending cultural lava lamp. its not so much about good v evil, as it is about the thirst to understand vs the need to kill whatever gets in your way.

    this season is mentally ill, deranged, poetic, and beautiful.
  11. Jul 3, 2013
    For me, this is one of the best english shows (Dark Mirror is the other) in emission actually.
    Elba is awesome, so as the other actors. The writing is extremely deep and smart and the tension in every case is quite well implemented.
  12. Apr 2, 2013
    A show about a brilliant yet troubled detective may not at first sound like a particularly interesting or original concept and it is not until I learnt that the fantastic Idris Elba, most famous for his role in The Wire, was involved that I even considered giving it a watch. The first few episodes are certainly competent even if they do fall into some of the usual problems of the procedural crime drama with the odd ‘leap in logic’ required to wrap everything up within the fifty minute running time.

    Fortunately, with the second half of the six episode season focusing more on the motivations of the killers and cops, Luther soon develops into something far more interesting. In fact, in an usual twist on the formula, several episodes reveal the identity of the killer within the opening minutes all the while maintaining the shows tension and intensity thanks the some excellent writing.

    Elba is of course superb throughout as John Luther but Ruth Wilson’s performance as Alice is also certainly worthy of note. Encountered early in the season (for reasons I won’t spoil here) her character development in such a short series is very well handled and by the end of this opening season she becomes integral in making the show as good as it is.

    Season one could have perhaps done with a few more episodes to explain some characters motivations more effectively but with Luther the BBC have created one of the better British drama series of the recent years.
  13. Apr 2, 2012
    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. Expand
  14. Nov 2, 2011
    After a bit of a dodgy start with episode 1, the show picks up with its rogues gallery and the first series builds from simmering to boiling over and has a great finale. Series 2 was (ridiculously) cut short by the Beeb (and further short sightedness also means no blu ray release) and moves things on with new characters and settings and focuses on two arcs rather than the first series more episodic nature Expand
  15. Oct 17, 2011
    Great for a BBC effort, Elba is amazing as always. Well written and really conveys that sense of gritty realism you want from a British crime drama, doesn't drag its feet like a lot of BBC stuff. Short sharp episodes that get straight to the point with just enough story to keep you coming back. Great!
  16. Sep 5, 2011
    The show doesn't really contain anything new when it comes to the cop show format but that doesn't mean it isn't entertaining as hell. Idris Elba carries this show on his shoulders like a champ. I believe that this show is in the same league as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, and The Sopranos.
  17. Apr 12, 2011
    This show is quite frankly one of the top three most suspenseful shows of all time along with the Shield and Breaking Bad. And like those shoes (and Deadwood), it flips the idea of good and evil, right or wrong, and black and white on it's head. Every episode was heart pumping. Idris Ilba is a badass.
  18. Feb 18, 2011
    I haven't had much time for British cop dramas since my father religiously watched The Bill when I was in high school. But thanks to Luther and Red Riding I feel like I'm finding something that is at least good viewing. The basis for most of the stories are ridiculous, Americanised, csi criminal profiling **** but there are some good characters. The real redeeming feature for me is the juxtaposition of Luther's work live and home life. While most film and tv shows regarding cops or FBI agents, people heavily involved in their work etc. reference an inability to relate with loved ones and breakdown of relationships due to this overpowering tide of work, Luther lives it. I love watching Zoe getting all fraught about some emotional trash while Luther is out there the saving lives of real people. Expand
  19. Feb 13, 2011
    Unrealistic, almost silly in it's "Silence of the Lambs" concept, ludicrous in the detection part of the game (she didn't yawn after I did - she must a psychopathic murderer!), but mostly well acted and strangely watchable for yet another police procedural. However, for my money, the new Sherlock is a much better way to spend an hour in front of the telly chasing arch-villains through contemporary London. Expand
  20. Jan 22, 2011
    One of the best written shows on t.v. With emmy worthy acting by Idris Elba and the supporting cast, Luther never fails to surprise. Every episode ends with a shocking plot twist that leaves you begging for more. DCI John Luthger is one of the most dynamic, interesting characters on t.v. One minute youlove him, and the next you hate him. Its part of what makes Luther such a top notch show.
  21. Dec 22, 2010
    Truly an amazing show, The best television i've watched since The Wire. I've just watched the finale & all I can say is season 2 can't come soon enough...
  22. Nov 27, 2010
    "Luther" is one so unbelievably well-acted! The writing is perfect and is truely top-notch. The show really can give off a sense of suspense and urgency. "Luther" is one of the best new shows of the fall and must return.
  23. Nov 26, 2010
    Luther is one of those deceptive British shows which seems to have it's head on straight but which soon shows itself to be on a ludicrous spin through "never happen" land. To boot we get to see, if we so choose, the actors and Director dissect the series after each episode. Actors are the worst people to self dissect themselves, because they're seduced by the subjective pull of their characters, and rarely come up for air.

    Luther, a loose cannon of a detective has an ongoing relationship with a psychotic killer, played to the hilt of self satisfied smugness by Ruth Wilson, who has probably watched too much pulp fiction. Silence of the Lambs comes to Scotland Yard. He cottons to her sociopathy and guilt early on, but spends the rest of the series wearily trying to pull her off from dismantling his private life: wife, boyfriend, and various other people who get in her way. She's like a comics anti hero who is kept on for the "hell" of it. He should spank her, but he just sighs a lot in frustration.

    The real problem with the show is that the plot machinations are so poorly thought through that it presents itself as an adolescent's view of how Police work unfolds. In the final episode when Luther is being falsely pursued by half of London's police force he agrees to meet in a public square to talk to his partner, with snipers arrayed on every conceivable roof top. Does anyone consider just walking up and arresting him? Nope. It's this kind of faux drama that all too often brings down these shows. Idris Elba deserves better scripts. But then work like "The Wire" only comes every other decade.
  24. Nov 7, 2010
    I am not normally one for cop series, but this one really rocks. According to latest fashion, the series is a bit of a freak show: all cops are crooked, all villains are utter monsters. The main twist is in figuring out who is the biggest monstrosity out there. The plot is somewhat unrealistic, but it doesn't spoil the fun. Definitely worth watching.

    And Alice Morgan is the single hottest
    cold-blooded killer ever. Expand
  25. Oct 25, 2010
    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.
  26. Oct 24, 2010
    OK, so we've only seen the first episode. But it was dynamite. Idris Elba brings the same extraordinary acting talent to Luther that he brought to The Wire, and here his talent is showcased. The plotting is riveting too. Hints of Dexter, hints of the "Nicole Wallace" v. "Bobby Goren" plotline in Law & Order CI, all of it good. And like The Wire it's awfully hard to wait for the next week's episode. Expand
  27. Oct 21, 2010
    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. Expand
  28. Oct 17, 2010
    "Luffah" gets off to a somewhat shaky start, but by the third episode, the show finds its distinctive voice, and once you get past some of the absurdity of the Hannibal Lector-ish premise, Luther becomes something quite interesting. And Idris Elba is terrific, as always.

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. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Oct 22, 2010
    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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    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.