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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
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Top customer reviews
Luther is the best at what he does and he pays a price for it. His marriage is heading for the rocks; his wife feels that he is consumed by his work and thinking about the killers even when he is with her.
Luther's first call, after a harrowing scene on a high-rise under construction with a child rapist, is to an alleged home invasion where the father, mother, and dog are shot dead. The daughter, Alice, played brilliantly by Ruth Wilson, is a young woman who entered college as a mathematician at the age of 13. Luther is sure she is the killer but there is no proof.
As the show goes on, they become entangled in an eerie web of intrigue. A twisted game of cat and mouse ensues. A serial cop-killer whose father is in prison enters the fray and one of the detectives has plans of his own.
As it says on the cover, "What if you were on the Devil's side without knowing it?"
A tense, six episode show. Idris Elba is at his best. Brilliant!
In addition, each week there are interesting, and complex criminals who John has to track down; most of the criminals he hunts are serial killers who are on the prowl and John has to try to stop before they strike again...
This series manages to steer clear of typical cliches, and unlike most American crime shows is very gritty, and doesn't water anything down...
While John Luther is nothing like Gregory House from the US series "House" they remind me of each other just b/c they are both such complex, fascinating, and well written characters...
Luther is to police what House is to doctors. I strongly recommend this series!
There is nothing too exceptional about the first episode but everything that happens is the set up for the rest of the series. Layers build upon layers, each piece, each character is part of a large puzzle. It all falls into place in episode 5 when Luther is confronted with his biggest life-changing event. The writer has created a fine mix of main and back stories that all rely on each other.
Luther is back on the force after a leave of absence for psychological stress and some questionable activities regarding a dangerous criminal. Luther's marriage is destroyed and his wife has found a new love. These conflicts resound throughout Series One. A fourth person enters in the form of psychopath Alice, played the remarkably beautiful and talented Ruth Wilson. Luther knows she is guilty of murder but can't prove it. They form a most unusual relationship that touches on contempt, respect and a weird sexual attraction. Wilson plays her role remarkably well.,,a beautiful yet unstable killer who hold all the cards in her hands. In the end, Alice may be the only person that can save Luther.
Supposedly good cops can go wildly bad and start a chain reaction that jeaopardizes lives and careers. A truly good cop can break rules to save a friend being set up. Decisions and choices have to be made. The series ends with a tantalizing cliff hanger and a long wait for Series 2.
Most recent customer reviews
There are no false notes as the acting and stories are realistic and believable.Read more