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4.6 out of 5 stars838
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2014
This has been the most exhilarating experience on television this year. 'True Detective' is is crime drama like nothing you have seen before. Yes, perhaps one can see facets of other highly-rated series we may have watched over the years but no other series has come close to what 'True Detective' has achieved. It gets under your skin. Period.

The acting from all players is is sterling but Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are just too good, especially McConaughey but then his character is more layered and his dialogue, especially his philosophizing, is just so rich. The story is gothic, wrapped in the now familiar hunt for a serial killer but never done like this before to this extent. The storytelling is detailed, the conversations authentic, the acting intense and the dreariness, the futility of peoples lives and the inevitability of death just oozes of the screen and slaps you right in the face.

The story is essentially the hunt for a serial killer across seventeen years but the horror is only part of the tale. The relationship between the detectives, their individual world-view and their relationship with those around them takes center-stage. The setting is Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina and the multiple time-lines show the initial investigation in 1995 which then forms the background to the present day where a new killing is being investigated by two other detectives but where the m.o. points to the same killer. All of the episodes are excellent but the brief glimpse of the killer in Episode 3 and the sustained tension towards the end of Episode 4 stand out as does the climatic action sequence.

I encourage you to buy and watch this series in two sittings over a long weekend on balmy nights. You will not be disappointed. The blu-ray set has plenty of special features including commentaries and interviews and more besides.
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Right from the stylish opening credits and the excellent soundtrack that accompanies them I was hooked on this brilliant murder mystery thriller.

Woody Harrelson and Matthew Mcconaughey are on career best form as Marty and Rust, two New Orleans detectives investigating a ritualistic murder from 1995. The story and the case plays out in various time frames - the original investigation in 95 as well as 2002 and the present day. The murder itself and the identity of the killer or killers is almost secondary at times, it's the issue that drives the plot but True Detective is as much about the men doing the hunting, their lives and relationships etc.

It may not be for everyone as it's not told at a breakneck pace and Mcconaugheys character does love a good philosophical debate/rant. It's more of a slower, steady, tense build to a dramatic conclusion. I found it to be gripping and enthralling, it really gets under your skin. Like much of the best tv stuff these days it plays out almost like a 7/8 hour movie. The cast, director and production values are all of the highest standard - as well as the aforementioned lead roles, Michelle Monaghan is also excellent as Marty's wife and there's strong support across the board.

I'd recommend it very highly, especially to fans of The Wire or David Finchers Zodiac.
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on 14 June 2014
Far more cinematic, powerfully acted, beautifully written (with the most quotable dialogue ever) and filmed than any movie I've seen in the last 10 years. And I'm quite the cinephile.

The dynamic pairing of McConaughey and Harrelson shows what film chemistry is all about. Harrelson has never, ever been better (and this work reminds you of just how great he can be), but McConaughey blows the roof off and, adding to his exemplary run of intense, devastating recent performances (Dallas Buyers Club, Mud, Killer Joe, etc.), he makes an easy-to-defend case for his being the greatest actor working today.

Less a serial killer thriller or police procedural than a psychological study of two broken men, True Detective adroitly mixes noir, Southern Gothic horror, drama and black comedy to come up with an original formula that is bound to be much copied, but never equalled.

You'll never get Rust Cohle out of your head though. You have been warned. The musical score is to die for, brilliantly compiled by T. Bone Burnett.
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on 13 January 2016
The first season of True Detective is one of the most gripping crime thrillers I have ever had the pleasure to see. Ever since I saw it on HBO, I was looking for a great physical release to add to my collection, and I am happy I waited for this steelbook release before I got one.

The steelbook itself is one of my most favourite ones ever since I purchased it around it's release date. The artwork is mesmerizing, wicked and crazy just like the show. I generally love embossed steelbooks and this one doesn't have any emboss on it, but the paint work is done perfectly as it can be seen from the close-up photo I am posting. It's one of the few cases where I believe embossing would actually ruin the final artwork rather than improve on it.

It is great that the steelbook has it's own slipcover to keep it safe from dust and scratches, even though I would love it more if there wasn't a huge blue Blu-ray logo on the front of the slipcover, since the whole artwork concept is created with black and white with red for an accent. The blue logo could be easily omitted or included as a separate cardboard sheet that could be removed from the final concept.

Ever since I purchased this steelbook, I am waiting for more Mondo artwork releases and can't wait to see some great movies or TV shows released with such steelbooks. I hope Amazon would continue to release these with such awesome artwork.
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on 30 November 2014
Well, HBO have done it again. Their trademark production values, attention to detail, masterful casting and world-class writing have yet again combined to bring us an astonishing bit of TV drama.

The mood is set from the outset by the brilliant opening credits accompanied by the perfect country murder ballad (Far From Any Road by the Handsome Family) and throughout the show the music sets the tenor perfectly. The score and cinematography combine to conjure an atmosphere densely grim, grimy and oppressive, redolent with Louisiana heat and humidity as the plot flows from one run-down ramshackle backwoods hovel to another.

The initial plot folllows the present day review of an old 1995 murder case with interviews with the two main protagonists (`Rust' Cohle - Matthew McConaughey and Marty Hart - Woody Harrelson) with flashback sequences detailing the action. This engrossing format continues as the case unfolds following murder and child abduction deep into the seedy underbelly of the American Deep South. The tension and pace are deftly managed as the relationship between Rust and Marty unravels during the investigation with Rust's obsessive, almost Aspberger's-like behaviour and Marty's philandering adding personal strains to an already overbearingly tense investigation.

Both lead actors play their parts perfectly; McConaughey is absolutely astonishing while Harrelson, by no means one of our favourite actors, is actually perfectly cast, despite all of the chin-out pouting hard-face thing that he does. They both play deeply flawed, utterly plausible characters to perfection and the supporting cast dovetail perfectly with their performance.

It is hard to heap too much praise on this incredible production. On the surface it is only a TV cop-buddy show but there is so much depth and atmosphere that you're dragged into its steamy, swampy depth from the first note of the opening credits. Fantastic stuff and there's another season (although not with the same cast - this time starring Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn) currently in production.
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on 1 June 2015
awesome show and really nice looking steelbook
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 April 2014
"The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door."
- Detective Rust Cohle.

After the demise of Walt in "Breaking Bad" I really needed a new fix. Nothing could fill the void after that superb series ended.

Then I found this.

This is an often dark and brooding series. It does not have some of the black humour of "Breaking Bad". Set in the Deep South in Louisiana, the stagnant waters of the bayou hint at a moral decay and long buried crimes. The opening theme music is haunting. It gets under your skin and stays in your head for days.

The series co-stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. It is a thoughtful pairing. They play two detectives working on a case that begins in 1995. Both deliver unforgettable performances. Indeed it is really the dynamic interaction between this pair that makes the series so watchable.

Detective Rust Cohle, played by McConaughey, is the weird but fiercely intelligent driver of the main investigation. He lives and breathes the case. Detective Marty Hart, a Southern Good ol' Boy, is his partner. Despite appearing the upstanding family man, Hart also has some character flaws of his own to contend with.

The two detectives begin with an investigation of what appears to be a ritualistic murder of former prostitute Dora Kelly Lange. The corpse, found in the woods, is crowned with deer antlers. It has a strange spiral symbol painted on its back. Sickos in the woods.

Detective Cohle is convinced that there is more to this case than meets the eye. He can never really let it go.

Of course Matthew McConaughey gives a great performance as the alcoholic Cohle. That goes without saying. But I enjoyed Harrelson's more measured performance even more. This acting duo complement each other very nicely.

This Season One has just 8 episodes. It would have been great to have double that amount.

Word is that the writer Nic Pizzolato is already at work on Season Two. This time it's to be set in California.

Amazon Update 26th August 2014: True Detective wins an Emmy for "Outstanding Direction for a Drama Series"
- "Who Goes There?", directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2015
Here’s the thing: I could summarise the plot of HBO’s True Detective in 200 words and you’d probably stop me before the end. “Yeah, yeah,” you’d say, “tell me something I don’t know.” And it would be true – the description would sound like a thousand police dramas you’ve seen before: the mismatched cop partners, the baffling murder case that has dragged on for many years without being solved, strange symbols with hints of devil worship, endless witness tracking and interrogations, chases and shootings, opposition from within the police hierarchy closing ranks, plus the endless misery of personal lives… need I go on?

But this description does not begin to scratch the surface here. True Detective is in fact one of the most powerful slow-burn dramas you will find anywhere, its attention to detail immense, its script taut, its acting painfully intense, its music as atmospheric as its camerawork, its direction neat and thoughtful. This is unquestionably very high class drama, as much about the complex and smouldering relationship between the two principle protagonists, played with a deceptively casual precision by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, both changing in appearance and demeanour subtly over the lengthy time span covered by the series. Were this a movie, you could expect both to be up for Best Actor, though both were nominated for a host of TV awards.

Taken from my review on my website (copyright Andy Millward)
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on 2 November 2014
Amazing. Slow, thoughtful, and wonderfully engaging. It draws you in slow and deadly. There's no getting around it - these guys rock. I love the pacing of this show. It's so refreshing to have some character study for a change. Roll on season 2!
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on 8 January 2016
Coming back to this after the messy 2nd season really just highlights how fantastic season 1 really is. It has that deep south swampy feel to it which works so well with the murder investigation that is taking place. It's murky, it's dark and it's complex. This certainly isn't for a casual television viewer who wants something on in the background while they're doing something else. This show demands your attention and you owe it to yourself to give it that, because it is such a rewarding experience. The acting is truly brilliant. It's my favourite Matthew McConaughey performance ever, better than Dallas Buyers Club I think. As stated, the look and tone of this show enhances the story; it really is shot beautifully. The narrative and structure of the story is also very original, with complex monologues and dream like images present. The idea of the two main characters being interviewed in the recent present and recounting the details of a case they worked in 1995 worked wonderfully. All in all, this series is one of the best I've watched and I'd go so far as to say it's the best police based drama I've ever seen.
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