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4.7 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Golden Globe Winner Idris Elba (The Wire, American Gangster) stars as Detective John Luther in this thrilling new crime series from BBC America. A self-destructive near-genius, Luther might just be as dangerous as the depraved criminals he hunts. Luther follows his own moral code as much as the rules of criminal law. But he quickly becomes locked in a lethal battle of wits with Alice (Ruth Wilson, The Prisoner, Jane Eyre), a beautiful, highly intelligent mass murderer, and his decision-making process becomes increasingly murky. The strain begins to tell as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into a series of horrific murders, and the shadow of a former case threatens to bring him down. Forced to face his own capacity for violence, he struggles with why his wife left him and what draws him to Alice. As the stakes get higher and more personal, Luther’s lonely path pulls him towards the very edge of temptation. Is he a force for good or a man hell bent on self-destruction?

Idris Elba is the magnetic star of the thrilling BBC police series Luther, a gritty, captivating drama that will impress fans of British TV, police procedurals, and knotty character studies. Elba (The Wire, The Big C, The Office, 28 Days Later) is a nuanced, tortured presence as DCI John Luther, a detective focused on understanding the most horrifying criminal mind. Luther also has sacrificed a normal personal life for his work, and Luther focuses on his back-story as much as on the plot at hand. The supporting cast is as brilliant as Elba, especially Indira Varma as his estranged wife, Zoe, and Ruth Wilson as the fragile-seeming but only marginally sane Alice, with whom Luther has been having a secret affair. The episodes are fairly straightforward police procedurals, including serial killers and other creepy bad guys. But what keeps Luther extra engaging is the superior writing, direction, and production design--making watching Luther an immersive experience for the viewer. And it's not always a comfortable one--this is not the cleaned-up New York of Law & Order, where most bad things happen off screen. Luther's bad guys (and gals) commit their evil deeds on camera and sometimes in slow motion--which only heightens the suspense and deep feeling of immersion. Luther and its focus on its leading character's personal life owes a lot to Helen Mirren's Prime Suspect, but Elba and the supporting cast of Luther do even more to make the viewer feel a part of the imperfect British law-enforcement system. The boxed set includes an excellent documentary with interviews with series creator Neil Cross and the directors and cast members discussing how they deliberately designed the series to be more "impressionistic" than "realistic" in terms of plot. (The interviews would have more impact if they weren't streamed onto a computer screen, but that's a small quibble.) Catch Luther while he tries to catch the bad blokes, and enjoy every twisted step of the journey. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

Luther: The World of a True Maverick

Product Details

  • Actors: Idris Elba, Steven Mackintosh, Warren Brown, Indira Varma, Paul McGann
  • Writers: Neil Cross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041QSZFG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,889 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Luther" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By phantomfan on September 11, 2010
Format: DVD
I bought this DVD from the UK sight unseen, based on customer reviews. And after watching the first episode I thought I had made a mistake - it was not bad, but not as good as I had hoped, and I didn't particularly like Luther himself.

But, on a rainy Saturday afternoon a few weeks later, I finally decided to watch the next episode ... and ended up watching to the end, on the edge of my seat.

The episodes look gorgeous, as BBC productions generally do, and the stories are dark and gritty and very intense. Not for the squeamish. But perfect for anyone who appreciates an emotional, finely-crafted drama that will suck you in and surprise you at every turn.

While it is not necessarily as unique as it claims - in many ways, it is a fairly standard police drama, with a damaged detective with personal problems and all the people who have to put up with him - there are always ways to make the old genre feel new, and Luther does this brilliantly. The uniqueness of this series hinges on the characters, especially Alice, and on the twists and turns in the last two episodes that will take your breath away.

I haven't heard yet if this series has been renewed for a second season, but even if it isn't (and I sincerely hope it is), there is enough greatness here to make it one of those legendary shows that you never forget.
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Format: DVD
I was originally turned on to BBC's crime procedural "Luther" with some pretty strong sentiments. It was supposed to be "wild," "unpredictable," and "unlike anything else on TV." I'm not sure, ultimately, that "Luther" lives up to such effusive hyperbole--but that doesn't mean that it isn't thoroughly entertaining and compelling in its own right. While "Luther" can certainly be wild and unpredictable, it is not breaking the mold of many other rogue cop hero shows that have populated the modern TV landscape. As the titular Detective John Luther, Idris Elba brings much passion, conviction, and gusto to the standard role of a cop who must sometimes cross the line to do what's right. But to the program's credit, Elba can be extremely erratic as well and does push the notion of a "good" cop to an uncomfortable, and at times, violent level.

Elba, though magnetic, is not the show's primary asset in my estimation. Nor are the actual crimes, for that matter. It's all about presentation. One story line revolving around a cop killer had some quite unexpected and shocking violence. One thing lacking from most TV procedurals are a palpable feeling of tension--of "anything can happen"--and "Luther" can leave you effectively unsettled. And as the season progresses, that latter episodes become progressively more unhinged. Another routine abduction case was brought to vivid life with a diabolical, super creepy villain and notorious face licker. But my favorite element of the show, by far, is that "Luther has managed to cast a psychotic murderess in its leading lady role. Ruth Wilson provides a fantastic foil for Elba and I loved every moment of their interactions!
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By R. Sheth on November 13, 2010
Format: DVD
Simply an amazing series. Never have I seen such a complete and fulfilling story brought to life in just 6 episodes. I've watched all 6 episodes in their entirety three times now. The acting is top notch and the story is well written and brought to life.

I can't recommend this enough. Do yourself a favor and watch this series. It will stay with you for months to come.
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Format: DVD
I can usually hold off on finishing a series in one go but not this one. This is simply brilliant. I thought nothing could keep me as engaged as Wallander, Wire in the Blood or Prime Suspect, but I finished all 6 episodes in less than 3 days. If I didn't have a job I'm sure I would have finished it in one sitting. I'm not one to talk to the television but this series had me screeching and wincing with excitement. Oh, the suspense! Why can't American television dramas be this golden? Why do they punish us with tripe like Real Housewives or Law & Order?! It's a travesty.

But I digress; now, back to Luther! Lastly, some people have pointed out the implausibility of the plots - well yeah... (Those people apparently haven't seen Wire in the Blood; talk about implausible). Plus, when have you seen a crime drama where the plots are all plausible? Most real life detectives would only have one (if that) of these cases during their entire careers; then they'd retire from the stress. This is why we have fiction people.

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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Luther" is an incredibly and fantastically written British detective/mystery series that kept me poised on the proverbial "edge of my seat" with its gritty and intense stories. In this season one (1) of BBC's "Luther" we are introduced to the character of a super and kind of violent detective Luther fantastically played by Idris Elba along with his estranged wife (that he remains madly in love with) wonderfully acted by Indira Varma, many very strong and well acted characters and side-kicks. Most unusual and, to me, what makes this program so VERY good is the "Nemeses-type" character of Alice which is brilliantly played by Ruth Wilson who is really a rather crazy psychopath that Luther is very strongly attracted to although he knows that she is well capable of murder. They really "play" each other very well not hiding that they have the knowledge of what each other is about plus the two actors that play Ruth and Luther are so very good together--the sparks do fly.

This series is indeed "new" to me reminding me alot of the series "Prime Suspect" because of its intensity. I am just very glad that I purchased it; I do hope that there are future seasons because I am hopelessly "hooked".

Please be advised that Episode five (5) is really really riveting, exciting and heartbreaking with all of the actors giving overwhelming performances especially Steven Mackintosh (of Our Mutual Friend. Better for Girls, etc) who is simply wonderful. What performances. This episode had me almost on the floor in total awe of its greatness.
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