True Detective

(series)
Trailer 1
Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
USA, (2014–2025), 31 h 7 min (Length: 54–86 min)

Cast:

Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Kelly Reilly, Vince Vaughn, Michael Potts (more)
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Seasons(5) / Episodes(31)

Plots(1)

Touch darkness and darkness touches you. From HBO and creator/executive producer Nic Pizzolatto comes this searing crime drama series that follows troubled cops and the intense investigations that drive them to the edge. Each season features a star-studded new cast involved in cases that will have you on the edge of your seat. In Season 1, it was Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two polar opposite cops on the hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. In Season 2, a bizarre murder case brings together three law-enforcement officers (Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch) and a career criminal (Vince Vaughn). (HBO Nordic)

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Trailer 1

Reviews (10)

EvilPhoEniX 

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English I'm probably the only one, but for me, this is possibly the biggest disappointment in a TV series in the past ten years. This is definitely not another Chernobyl, Mindhunter, Queen’s Gambit, or Money Heist. I haven't seen such an overhyped series in a long time. Maybe if I had watched it in 2014, I would have rated it differently, but in terms of Crime, Mindhunter and Night Stalker are on a completely different level of quality. Even the French crime drama from the same year, SK1, is much more intense. The only thing that can be praised are Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, who do a really good job in their roles, and the craftsmanship is also at a high level, but is that enough? Not for me. The most shocking thing is that there is only one murder throughout the series, and the introduction of the killer happens twenty minutes before the end, which is unforgivable in the crime genre. Ironically, the series should have begun where it ends. You hope for ritual occult murders that would add darkness, brutality, discomfort, and instead, they deal with typical family relationships, who's sleeping with whom, character development, and similar matters that absolutely didn't interest me. The only memorable scene in the whole eight hours is Daddario's breasts, and that is unfortunately shameful. In the end, the investigation and evidence collection play a supporting role (most of the time the series takes place at a station, in a car, or in someone's bed), and if someone finds rainy weather darker than mutilated corpses, then I must be living in a different world. Not to mention the slow and uninteresting pace. As a drama, I would be willing to give it a 7, but in terms of crime and thriller, it's a 4 for me, so a compromise somewhere around 5. ()

Isherwood 

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English Rather than a genre revolt, it’s more so a surgically precise analysis that dilutes the classic detective story with a metaphysical overlay and skillfully leads the viewer by the nose. This works in 1995, whereas the events of the new millennium follow established principles. My true detectives continue to swim against the tide of The Wire. ()

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DaViD´82 

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English The Louisiana season: Or how existential crime series à la Dürrenmatt dealt with a Scandi overlap thriller à la Larsson in a Deep Southern (and thanks to Rusty, nihilistic, and thanks to Marty hypocritical) way, with the essence of Southern noire. Which resulted in a (pan)genre movie with inimitable genius loci which is extremely existential, very symbolic, not literally reading the unspoken between the lines, very dismal, very subliminally disturbing, very mosaic-like in terms of narrative and primarily very (but really very) good. The Arkansas season: After the second, conceptually boldly different (however not completely successful) season, the third “yellow-bellied" season returns to what worked first time. And it works again. Again we have an oppressive and disturbing atmosphere-oozing masterpiece of cinema where the genre plot takes the back seat and serves purely as a catalyst for in depth character study of ambiguous, unbalanced animate characters across time. For its casting, performances, camerawork, production design, easy to follow despite three timelines... All of this is worthy of one of the current flagships of quality TV. The bigtime problem storyline is the one connected with the present which, thanks to paper rustling games with a problematic memory, serves as a carrot on a stick leading us toward gradual and final (non)revelation. And to make it worse, this becomes the central storyline of the last episodes. It doesn’t help that the creators are constantly would-be mysteriously hinting “just wait, you’ll see". While, to the attentive viewer, it becomes immediately clear where things are headed. In a purely crime genre where the case and (not)solving it play first fiddle, this would probably work on a scale of a few episodes. But not as the connecting thread of an eight hour movie “about characters and relationships", which season three tries to be. P.S.: Even HBO itself jumped on the bandwagon with the creators by beating about the bush with the description “frightful case of child murders". But this is like saying that the Red Sox won, but when you look at the results you find out that not only did the Red Sox not play, but the game ended in a tie. | S1: 5/5 | S3: 3/5 | ()

3DD!3 

all reviews of this user (in this series)

English This is something special, it has atmosphere that forces the viewer to watch and even though it’s no nerve-racking adventure, it forces you to “turn the page" and keep gulping down the True Detective. Pizzolatto is a cool writer and the stratification into two timelines and their gradual interlinking is a work of mastership. At least so far. The acting duo is a chapter for itself, Harrelson’s Marty is still a regular cop in the best sense, but McConaughey’s Rust is an awesomely twisted bastard. I can’t wait to see the next episode and it’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling. Season one: Flawless work with characters and the best possible care in terms of screenplay, direction and acting. A light in the darkness, a story that it one of the oldest ever told, but Pizzolatto managed to deliver it freshly and in his own way. The hallucination scenes just go to augment the mysterious, while very realistic atmosphere. Rust is McConaughey’s lifetime’s role and Woody Harrelson certainly doesn’t lag behind. I’m going to miss this pair. No one episode stands out, they all burn with a strong, eternal flame. Season two: Daddy Colin takes the baton and Nic Pizzolatto shows that he has ideas. This case isn’t so dark, but rather ruthlessly realistic. Erring characters, slowly untangling threads and several storylines. The first season was very up front... mainstream. Not this. This is an epicurean performance with the most layered of characters. Spiced with philosophizing about life. Vince Vaughn’s Frank demonstrates the qualities of an actor who spent half his life making faces in comedies, and here he grabs this cool character by the Adam’s apple. The same revitalizing water as McConaughey drank last year. Excellent music. Has to be watched more than once. A sophisticated masterpiece, I’m already looking forward to what Pizzolatto comes up with next time.Season three: Another case separated into three timelines. Pizzolatto already knows that one should not experiment too much and he writes a story more about partnership than cadavers. Two lost kids, lies and money in the leading roles. Ali’s Hayes is brilliantly acted and even better written. A tough guy who wanted nothing and this nothing drove him not to obsession, but to a life that he is slowly but surely forgetting. When the timelines meet it makes for the most powerful moments of the series (the Viet Cong in the bedroom!). Also quality conversations in the car and partner altercations that cut to the quick. For my taste it’s pushed a bit too far into the black, but that seems to be popular these days. The end is realistic again, but this time quite pleasantly. True Detective still means quality that is worth waiting for. ()

gudaulin 

all reviews of this user (in this series)

English It doesn't often happen that I feel excited from the first shots of an opening and the initial tones of a ballad song accompanying intertwining images. With a series that rewrites the idea of what the detective genre and its protagonists should be and how they should function. The prevailing feeling while watching the series is uncertainty. It is felt not only by the confused detectives, who let the case slip through their fingers but also by the viewers, who are deprived of the usual support. What and who to believe when one of the investigators has a colorful drug past and an equally colorful alcoholic present, and the other is a testosterone-filled macho man who is never far from violence and has no problem hurting even his loved ones? Additionally, both are saturated with dirty pragmatism, which can only sprout in the destructive environment of the underworld of crime. The viewer sees too many contradictions between the depiction of the former policemen and the flashbacks that reveal their professional failures as former legends of the police force. True Detective is characterized by a sinister atmosphere supported by shots of gloomy swampy landscapes around the Mississippi. The series represents top craftsmanship in every aspect, starting with excellent camera work, through meticulous direction, to the animalistic acting of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The series is not valuable for its plot, but for its sophisticated storytelling, playing with form, winking at the viewer, and openly playing with jokes in the seriousness of the situation, straddling genres - ultimately, it is more of an existential psychological drama than a crime story. Last but not least, the excellent portrayal of well-written characters - the cynical glosses of bitter Cole have the attractiveness of a black hole and the power of a supernova explosion. The series has an ideal length - it does not get lost in the narrative fog and does not lose its momentum in side plots like many genre-related projects do. Although it has a slow pace, it is able to incredibly intensify the tension. Perhaps only in the last two episodes, when evil begins to materialize and takes on a specific human face, does the overwhelming feeling disappear a bit. True Detective seemingly resembles the successful Scandinavian series, but those usually allow fo a certain scriptural construct. They take place in stabilized countries with functioning institutions and minimal crime rates. The clash of American detectives with human misery, the brutality of motorcycle gangs, and the slimy manipulativeness of sellers of religious phrases look uncomfortably realistic. I consider True Detective to be an absolute pinnacle in its genre category, a benchmark that Pizzolatto's followers and challengers will find very difficult to surpass. Overall impression: 95%. //// Season 2: When reviewing the first series, I wrote that it would be difficult for others, including Pizzolatto himself, to surpass it, and it doesn't make much sense to argue about which of the two previous seasons is better. The second one is completely different. Different protagonists, different crimes, different locations, and a different atmosphere. However, there are characteristics that connect both series and will likely be typical for future continuations, which we will undoubtedly see. We have the complicated psychology of the investigators, who are sometimes more preoccupied with battling their own demons than with fighting crime, and the intricately structured storytelling, in which the first season used different timeframes more, whereas this one focuses on different perspectives of multiple characters, who doubt and don't trust each other. Very interesting is the setting of the atmosphere, where the second season is dominated by sun-drenched California, where one can easily get lost in the desert and come to harm in the jungle of Los Angeles. Even the thousand-year-old sequoias play their role in the end. This change in atmosphere is best characterized by the opening scene, which is colorful, and sunny, and Cohen's rendition creates an atmosphere reminiscent of a city's erotic club. The most important thing is that the second season is just as good for me as the first one, and those who want to see a continuation of the first season with its protagonists and the Louisiana swamps may have a problem with it. Like in the first case, I feel like I'm watching one of the absolute peaks of genre television series creation. The performances are luxurious, and the actors are clearly happy to exceed the limits of the roles they have been cast in by casting agencies. Pizzolatto, just like the directors, clearly drew inspiration from the classic noir genre and did an excellent job. The central theme is ubiquitous corruption, the penetration of crime into government administration, and the tricky game with one's own conscience and coming to terms with one's own failures. The opening scene is one of the best ever created as an intro. Personally, I prefer it over the opening of the first season, although this is a matter of personal taste and choice. I don't need to change my overall impression. Keep up the good work, I'm looking forward to the third season. () (less) (more)

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