The Killing (TV Series 2007–2012) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
72 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
EXTRAORDINARY - TV writing at its most superior
suzie-miller328 February 2011
This is the most incredible series - i am on ep 13 awaiting the rest, but the script is sensational. So clever and completely absorbing. The direction and acting is also sublime, as is the art direction. I don't believe you will get better TV than this series. I have watched so many box kits of Sopranos, Dexter, In Treatment, Mad Men etc.. yet this series tops them all. I am overwhelmed by the quality and as someone who works in theatre and film i can highly recommend this to anyone who just wants to see how it is done best!

The way the series covers both the police investigation and the victim's family's turmoil is unique in crime dramas, the nature of grief and its effects on families, the emerging information in its many guises, ie things the family discover that were kept secret, and the slow and intelligent police case, coupled with subtle insights into all of the relationships. A show that never falls into cliché or stereotypes, and is shot with such beautiful lighting and moodiness that it is visually arresting. You are completely taken on a journey, cannot live in the real world while this world unfolds, and i dare you to watch one ep and not watch another - i think that would be virtually impossible.
121 out of 129 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very absorbing
pawebster20 February 2011
There aren't many programmes where I feel I mustn't leave the room for a moment for fear of missing something - but this is one of them. As I write, the serial is around the middle of its run on BBC4 (so there are no ad breaks), with two episodes back-to-back each week. I can't remember the last time I saw a twenty-part serial. I didn't think anyone still made them. If they can be this good, there should definitely be more of them.

I don't yet know where the story is going. So far suspicion is falling on one person after another and there is a lot of (not always completely believable) politicking at City Hall. It doesn't sound much, but the direction and acting put this into a very superior category.

Sarah Lund, the main investigator is an obsessive, but a very believable one. I don't know how her more impulsive colleague Jan Meyer avoids strangling her out of frustration with the way she treats him. Her family and boyfriend likewise. Perhaps these are plot developments still to come!

One unusual feature is the focus on the reactions of the family of the murdered girl. The actress playing her mother deserves every award going.

Update 27 March: it ended last night on BBC4. Whew! Saturday nights won't be the same. I stand by what I wrote above, but, if you see it, be prepared to be a bit frustrated with a lot of unanswered questions at the end, and you may be wondering at one or two coincidences. Still, my enjoyment of the serial did not really come from its being a whodunit. The characters and the atmosphere were what really made it.
66 out of 75 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Immensely absorbing and brilliant series about the aftermath of a crime
robert-temple-119 September 2011
This amazing Danish series is even more absorbing than MAD MEN (2007, see my review), and may be the most compelling drama series ever made for television. It keeps you on the edge of your seat for 20 hours. (My review is of the complete Series One only, as Series Two is not yet released on DVD and Series Three is being shot as I write.) It is a pity that the title of the series has been mistranslated as THE KILLING, for that gives a false impression of some seedy cop caper, full of violence and murder, sirens and car chases. The Danish title FORBRYDELSEN means 'The Crime'. The crime of this 20-hour marathon takes place before the series begins, and is the mysterious murder of a 19 year-old girl named Nanna Birk Larsen. We never see her except in photos and one video clip. The series is about the incredibly complex and breathtakingly dramatic aftermath, much of which concerns political intrigue and corruption in Copenhagen's town hall. The crime is seen to be much more than just a killing, which is another reason why the English title is wholly inadequate. (It is typical of the inferior nonentities who now run the BBC that they want to sensationalize everything and inject sex and murder into everything they can because they think it will be 'popular'; there are many instances of this. The BBC has no business trying to be 'popular' and aim for high ratings because it is funded by a tax on every TV set in Britain and audience size is not needed for advertisers, as there are none.) The acting and direction for this series are so brilliant there are simply no words strong enough to praise the persons involved. First of all, one must praise the writer Soren Sveistrup and his three co-writers for coming up with the most complex murder mystery plot imaginable, and with fascinating and convincing character studies. Even the smallest parts are of interest, and no attention to detail is overlooked. Five different directors made this series, the chief being Kristoffer Nyholm, and it ties together seamlessly as if all made by the same person. That indicates highly superior producing by the team of three producers. The series also has haunting and highly effective music, composed by Frans Bak. These are all highly talented people, and they are matched by the first class acting of everyone in the series. The acting is rather different from what we are used to outside Scandinavia. The Danes are obviously specialists in silent communication by means of significant looks, both focused and unfocused. The specialists in this art of communicating by non-communication are Bjarne Henriksen and Ann Eleonora Jorgensen, who play the married couple Theis and Pernille Birk Larsen. Henriksen rarely speaks at all, but his silences are enormously communicative, and as for Jorgensen, she conveys much by a manic staring into space as her personality disintegrates and she slowly goes to pieces in the aftermath of her daughter's murder. Her waves of hysteria are like tsunamis of silence. All of this is extremely powerful stuff. The strangest of all the silent characters in the film is the police chief Brix, played with eerie composure, tinged with mute menace, by Morten Suurballe. It is impossible to overemphasize the power of these silent figures in the story, who tower over the action like censorious megaliths. Many Scandinavians have a code of formal politeness like a veneer over their personal conflicts. This is seen in heightened fashion between the urbane scoundrel Poul Bremer, the Mayor of Copenhagen, played with extreme cunning and finesse by Bent Majding, and the young politician who opposes him, Troels Hartmann, played in a breathtaking bravura performance of determined rectitude by Lars Mikkelsen. These two repeatedly insult each other throughout the entire 20 hours in the politest way imaginable, despite the fact that the insults are so vicious and extreme that in any 'normal' culture, the men would be hitting each other with their fists and shouting vitriolic abuse. Scandinavian self-control really has to be seen and heard to be believed. Another amazing performance in the series is delivered by Nicolaj Kopernikus (Yes! Nicholas Copernicus! Can you believe that?) as Vagn. But the series is dominated by the female lead, Sofie Grabol, playing the detective Sarah Lund. Her mastery of significant looks extends to showing in her face and eyes the very formation of thoughts! When she notices something or thinks of something, it is as if a chorus has begun to sing the Magnificat, but we hear nothing because it is all inside her head. She is magnificently supported by Soren Malling as Jan Meyer, her fellow-detective. Their constant bickerings and disagreements overlay a profound sympathy and mutual respect. Grabol reminds me very strongly indeed of Caroline Proust, who plays the female lead detective in the French series ENGRENAGES, known in English as SPIRAL (2005, see my review of the first two series). The choice of the right actress to play the lead female detective can make or break a detective series, and both the Danes and the French got it right. (Various examples of getting it catastrophically wrong can be seen in several British series.) Every actor and actress in this series seems to be perfectly cast and to deliver a perfect performance. It is really an astonishing achievement, and one did not realize that such a mass of perfection existed in Denmark. How do they do it? They really are a strangely introverted and mannered breed. Watching this series is an education in just how different peoples of different countries can be from one another, invisible as that may be on the surface. One should not neglect Marie Askehave as Rie, Michael Moritzen as Morten Weber, Laura Drasbaek as Charlotte, and Jesper Lohmann as Jens Holck, all of whom are excellent. A true masterpiece!
62 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
State of Play meets Wallender
l-leask3 March 2011
This is series is a little like 24, in that each episode is a day, not one hour.

Its pace is slow and like Wallander its based on characters and relationships.

The plot is complex and detailed.

If you liked the BBC series State of Play, you will love this!

All the actors are very convincing and its so realistic.

Theis Birk Larsen and his wife are convincing and at times make it seem like a documentary.

Its worthwhile watching and once pass episode 3 you will be hooked.

Well done BBC for showing it!
57 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Character-driven crime
paul2001sw-127 March 2011
Often once can criticise mainstream film an television for falling into the standard conventions of genre. Danish drama 'The Killing', for example, is only pseudo-naturalistic: it's highly manipulative, and, if you take all of its plot twists together, as risible as any other story where one death magically leads to a chain of others to keep the story alive. But it's also the best thing I've seen on TV for years. Over twenty episodes, those plot twists actually come pretty slowly; the drama treats its audience like adults; there's some highly absorbing interplay between a police investigation and political circles (as in the later series of 'The Wire'); and above all else, there are some of the best characters I've ever seen in a TV drama. The lead parts, Lund (Sofie Grabol) and Hartmann (Lare Mikkelsen), are especially good (and in a strange way, not altogether unlike each other): neither is a conventional hero (or villain), neither is even particularly personally likable, but you still will them on. But the lesser characters are no less absorbing; and even the guilty man is still plainly human, although as episode twenty throws up a new and surprising twist, one can't be altogether certain what he is guilty of. Few other programs have left me so entranced; if the second series keeps this up, it will be a true great.
35 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Andy Bolstridge26 March 2011
I've just finished watching all the episodes and I've not been so engrossed in a series since 24 (the original series) was on TV many years ago. In many respects it does remind me of 24.. 20 episodes spread over 20 days, many twists and turns, the main characters stumble from one wrong turn to another until the final denouement.

But that isn't its main appeal, I'd even go so far to say that it detracted slightly from the series as a whole. The absolute best part of this is just the sublime acting. The whole thing is about characters wrapped up in a mild cliffhanger plot, its how they react to each other and developments that really makes the difference from what we usually get on TV.

The filming is very good, and little touches abound in it - my favourite is still how Sarah Lund can breeze along with her eyes shut, yet Jan Meyer cannot follow behind her without stepping in something. That's a double act that Hollywood will never be able to match.

There are faults with it though. Unless the Danish police are really well funded I found forensics turning up at a snap of Sarah's fingers in the middle of the night to be somewhat unrealistic (they must have good overtime payments in Denmark), similarly a DNA sample would be tested and the results back in less than an hour, and its nearly always dark too - maybe they all sleep during the day. Either way, these are things you just live with as its a TV show and reality has to be strained.

In short - watch it, even with subtitles, you won't miss the developing characters and their reactions to their changing lives.
32 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best of the 3 seasons: a combination of highly charged politics and a murder thriller
tomboers8 December 2012
This is the third and final season of Forbrydelsen (The Killing). It combines all the best elements of the Nordics thriller tradition: a very good written storyline, superb acting and very good art direction and filming. The main character - Sara Lund - has some way to get back to her rather unorthodox way of policing but gets in her stride after several episodes. The story is an intriguing triangle of murder, politics and business and reveals several corrupting involvements that we so-called sophisticated Europeans (I'm Dutch) think mainly exist in the USA etc.

Highly commendable, both entertaining and something that makes you think about the world at the same time.
38 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Two Words
alpha_omega_alpha23 March 2011
Excellent, Excellent ! Without a doubt a series that captures the true feelings of ordinary people caught up in tragic circumstances.I was amazed to see it on mainstream TV in the UK, a rare pleasure for someone who lived in Denmark for an extended period of time.

The plot and the manner in which it is given to the viewer gives a great insight to life in that country and the way they deal with such events. The characters are vivid and not glamourised, the way they interact is genuine and the flow of the series is very believable.

I have recommended this series to all of my friends, and have heard nothing but praise for it, even though they had never thought to watch a subtitled series before in their lives.

Again : Two Words explain everything about this wonderful series : Excellent, excellent!
35 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
With enough pressure you can get a diamond
G_R_Davies10 August 2010
I'm not a fan of series. I seldomly download stuff and don't want to watch on fixed times (did anyone say commitment issues? ;) ), so i prefer to watch movies instead. And if i would watch a series, i never imagined that i would watch a detective series out of free will. Chills go down my spine if i think about my mothers addiction of these kind of series, like Columbo, Agatha Christies franchises, Bergerac and the like. But friends lent this one to me with the message that it's very thrilling to watch. My mother's stuff is most of the time, 1 ending story per episode. But this is a roller coaster ride for 20 episodes, at least the first 12 ~ 14 episodes they feed new clues so an other person of the fixed cast becomes the main suspect. Later on it's still thrilling but it's more of a wrap up, but by that time your hooked and want to watch the rest.

Of course the murder it's thrilling on itself, but my main appreciation can be summarized with one word: pressure. I don't want to give away anything, but you'll understand if you watch the series and as Superman have shown with enough pressure you can get a diamond, Forbrydelsen is a nice one at that.
47 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Go and see it!
paulvanurkdam16 August 2010
I've seen The Killing I / Forbrydelsen I, and I liked it a lot. Good script, good filming and excellent acting, especially by Sarah Lund, the main character, and by the mother of the murdered girl the story begins with - she really performs brilliantly! There are many characters in the movie, and that was about the only thing I didn't like much - I sometimes had to think hard where I'd seen him or her before...

In the Killing II / Forbrydelsen II that is no problem: there are still a lot of characters, but not as many as in the first movie and as they all logically fit into the story there's no problem there. I think number II is even better than number I: a bit more action, a little more speed, still very fine acting, an even better script and more tension make it a great movie to watch! Basically all you want to do after the first episode is to watch the other 9....
36 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Overwhelmed by incredible sub-plots
Slimxharpo18 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Echoing what an earlier reviewer said about this, while it is in many ways wonderful television, ultimately I came away quite disappointed. The sheer length, requiring numerous plot twists of increasing ridiculousness and decreasing relevance, blunted the efforts of a fantastic cast and production team.

The standard of acting and direction were top drawer. The atmosphere, the characters, the relationships between them and their interactions were brilliantly drawn and executed. There were tons of compelling scenes. And the ending was satisfying and made sense.

Unlike, it has to be said, huge wodges of the intervening plot. It twists, it turns, it doubles back, it double bluffs, and most of it is just an enormous shaggy dog story. As time passes, you realise that a lot of the plot has a real bolted-on, ad-hoc feel, to the extent that you suspect they're making it up as they go along. The Holck interlude in particular, including Nanna working in the pick up joint was completely unbelievable and had that feel to it, yet it was the hinge that linked the murder and political sub-plots together.

I started to get that "Lost" feeling around episode 8, and by the time Lund was banged up for shooting Meyer, I started throwing things at the television. That whole section was utterly incredible. There's something particularly enraging when fully-formed, totally believable and brilliantly acted characters in a realistic milieu get saddled with duff plot which makes no sense. It undermines the painstakingly built-up realism which is the ultimate strength of this drama.

Too often, particularly towards the end, I was uncomfortably reminded, not of the Wire, Six Feet Under, Mad Men or the Sopranos - which it aspired to and sometimes matched - but sophomoric, high gloss, high concept crap like 24, CSI or Murder One.

Among the many loose ends and inexplicable actions which the reams of plot threw up, here's a selection (spoilers)

Why was Holck going to kidnap Lund? And why did he kill Olav? Why did the paedophile hold the old lady hostage? Why didn't Morten do a proper clean-up job? How come Troels got a taxi to the cottage, but the black car was seen outside? Why did Meyer not just name Vagn instead of talk about his sweatshirt? From what completely different universe did the suicide bid wander in from - it didn't make sense in terms of what had already happened and what happened subsequently and was beyond out of character. What and who exactly was Buchard protecting? Who was watching Sara and for God's sake, why? Was it really just to add to the atmosphere of paranoia? And how many sleaze-balls and nut jobs can one girl run across in a few months, in order to fill out the cast of potential suspects?

I hate to say all this because for the first 7 or so episodes, I managed to suspend my disbelief, and before the whole thing was overwhelmed by its own plot, it was fantastic.
16 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Where the murder of a teenage girl uncovers the worst kind of dirt.
RJBurke194227 March 2011
I don't watch a lot of TV, but I'm quite partial to Danish thriller productions which I generally rate more highly than British, and even others well known for quality work – for example, Swedish, German and French.

This multilayered narrative, with three interwoven stories: the investigation of a grisly murder; a tough female police detective in the midst of marital problems; and the shenanigans of a local mayoral election – all merge, in different ways, in the process of discovering the identity of the murderer.

It's a long process, however, covering twenty episodes (which I saw on SBS TV). Viewer's interest is captured from the outset with the circumstances surrounding the murder crime scene which opens up the mystery. From my perspective, though, one of the most interesting aspects of the entire series is the slow, plodding work so well portrayed by the script, actors and director. To some extent, it reminded me of the excellent work the British did do with the series from mid-1960s to mid-1970s, called Softly, Softly, still one of the best TV cop shows ever made.

It's the unrelenting search for the killer by Sarah Lund (Sofie Grabol) – despite internal police politics – that kept this viewer hooked, initially. That alone, in a lesser quality production, is often not sufficient, however. In The Killing, though, that initial hook just dug deeper into my psyche – with an imaginative and believable script that managed to shift suspicion from one character to another, week by week: a local school teacher, a mayoral candidate, a local political lobbyist, a small time criminal, among others – but all the while keeping the viewer guessing. Additional murders occur as the story unfolds, further muddying the waters.

If you are familiar with Danish productions, then you'll know that you won't be disappointed in the production standards, the acting, directing and photography; and the sound track, particularly, is appropriately haunting. My only criticism is that the good detective's marital problems, although a necessary plot device, are just a mite intrusive for my liking. However, without those complications, Sarah would not have stayed on the case. And, just as well...

As all good narratives should, the beginning foreshadows the ending, with sufficient – although oblique and ephemeral – clues along the way to point the viewer in the right direction. So, when watching this series, you really can't afford to miss one frame if you want to play detective – and get it right. While I vacillated between suspects, my choice for "the bad guy" (which I should not reveal, of course) ultimately proved correct. Overall, the story is an engaging, intelligent and all-too-believable mystery that will not disappoint.

And, to that extent, The Killing is equal to my personal favorite in TV whodunits: The Singing Detective (1986) which, although somewhat spoofy, is nevertheless a fascinating personal mystery and the most imaginative use of music in drama I've yet seen.

As a final note, I read recently that The Killing has been redone for American TV. One can only hope that the production is equal to the Danish.

(Update March, 2018: Recently, I re-watched this first series and found an interesting connection. In Episode 12 of The Killing, there appears Lars Simonsen - as Peter Larsen, a briefly potential suspect in the killing, but cleared. In Episode 18, Kim Bodnia - as Bulow, Internal Affairs Investigator -

enters the scene, hounding Sarah Lund. Both men appear as major characters in The Bridge, Series 1.)
20 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely brilliant!
TheLittleSongbird18 June 2011
I watched this because I love TV series of this genre, and although I was expecting it to be at least very good, I was not expecting something as brilliant as this. I do have a few favourites so far this year(Exile for example), but if I had to choose one TV programme that was my favourite so far this year, it would be this one, The Killing.

One outstanding example is the show's writing. Never does The Killing dissolve into cliché or stereotype territory(not always a bad thing, but it is dependent how the character or such is written and developed), instead it is complex and multi-layered. Not just in the always absorbing plots, but especially in the characters who are refreshingly realistic in that they are so well written and relateable while having their faults too.

The Killing is very well made too. I think the dark lighting further added to the atmosphere, and what an effective atmosphere it was too, and the photography and scenery are some of the best and most striking so far on TV airing this year in my opinion. I liked the pacing, I think it brought out of the complexities of the stories and characters this way, the series is adeptly directed and the acting across the board is one of those instances where nobody is bad.

In conclusion, brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox
13 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Unsurpassable excellence..
Greywolf9079 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It's hard to find superlatives about this second season of Forbrydelsen which eclipses the first story by some distance, and those of you who were gripped by Sarah Lund in the original Danish drama will welcome her back to Copenhagens homicide unit after spending a couple of years checking passports in Gedser.

Lund is back, along with Lennert Brix and a new partner Ulrich Strange as Forbrydelsen II centres on the ritualistic killing of a lawyer, The Danish army and of course the many corridors of power deep within the Danish Coalition government.

Once again, we are taken on a ride through a plot full of twists, turns and intrigue as Lund investigates a serial killer systematically bumping off ex members of an elite army unit.

It's brilliantly acted and scripted and I can offer you no better advice than to watch it!

13 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Brilliant, just brilliant
deewheatley17 December 2011
Just watched The Killing ll and felt that I just had to say how much I enjoyed it. Really fast moving with lots of political intrigue mixed into the plot. Very believable with excellent choice of actors, music and photography. Since I came across The Killing l by chance on BBC4 I've become and avid fan. I Like the update's at the beginning of each episode to remind you exactly where it left off last time though sometimes I just can' wait to get to the episode itself. I love the plots which are really well interconnected and only ever gave you glimpses of who it might have been. Both series have kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Let's hope the BBC get more of the same (do they exist?) Just excellent 10/10
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
not even close to being genius - don't believe the hype
dcipledude8 January 2012
I watched all episodes for 3 days in a row so you could say I was immersed in the story, unfortunately that's when the huge plot holes also become very apparent. I found myself saying quite often "why would they do/say that ? It makes no sense at all !" The 2 detectives wrongfully accuse someone almost every day based on nothing else but a hunch or "evidence" that could point to the whole population of Kopenhagen, I hope the real Danish police has more sense. I still don't understand some of the subplots, for example : why did the police chief have to leave, what was he covering up when there was nothing to cover up ? Why did the murderer do what he/she did ? He/she gives a sort of understandable explanation at first but why rape and beat the girl to dead ? Why take her to the woods, how did the murderer get home, how could the girl have lost so much blood, how much can a politician endure in 2 weeks without suing the whole police department, why why why .. Acting is not bad although the female investigator is a stubborn annoying woman, she sometimes pulls a face, the camera zooms in but for no apparent reason ? And what is up with those hideous woolen waved pulls she wears, I mean I haven't seen those since the eighties ? The mother of the dead girl also suddenly turns into a labile crazy woman, they probably needed a reason to show the grieving parents ? On day 19 one of the boys has a birthday and they are singing and everyone is kinda happy but only 3 weeks earlier their daughter of 19 was brutally killed .. I mean, if this were to happen to you I don't think the grieving would be over after 3 weeks right ? It could have been so much better if they'd cut the episodes in half, one of the other reviewers already said it : you can skip day 2 to day 14 because they have almost nothing to do with finding the real murderer, they are subplots of unlikely suspects. Surprisingly though I knew after the first episode who was the killer and where he/she kept the girl but that's because I suspected the most obvious person to be the killer, I'm certain that in real life the killer would have been caught the day after the killing .. I give it a 7.
17 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Red herrings and a lousy finale
steven-22216 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Watching this series was often exhilarating and involving, but around episode 6 I began to tire of so many gratuitous red herrings, which created a too-predictable pace. "Ah, now we suspect HIM...but there's too much time it can't be him!" It think the story would have been stronger if it had been shorter, or else less predictable.

And the ending...what can I say? Deeply, deeply disappointing in just about every way, all the more so because I just didn't buy all the cynicism, especially of the tycoon father, who could hardly just "forget" the man who just put him through total hell. Now he would just shut up and forget about it? Hmmmm, I don't think so. Nor did I really accept the behavior of the Prime Minister, or of our heroine. Too bad!

In every way, inferior to The Bridge, which was of equal length but totally brilliant, rigorously consistent, and painfully logical right up to the final moment.
19 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Easily as good as the first serial
pawebster15 December 2011
Absolutely gripping, just as the first serial was. Anyone who thought that a sequel couldn't be as good was wrong. Sophie G goes from strength to strength as Lund. I wish she was in every scene. Her trials and tribulations, her stubbornness, her penchant for rushing into scary situations in the dark - all these things are brilliant and keep me glued to the screen. I particularly love the moments when a little tinkle of music indicates that she has a brainwave. As for her scenes in the final half hour... I dare not say more for fear of spoilers.

In view of how excellent it is overall, perhaps it's curmudgeonly to mention a few negative points, but there are some. There are plot holes, some of them quite large, and there's a lot we never find out - just as was the case in Killing I. It's just as well that we don't watch this out of love of consistent realism or logic. Also, there is no real need for the long stretches of political stuff - except that Buch is such an original character (wonderfully played by Nicolas Bro). Moreover, a key aspect of Killing I was that we experienced something of the searing pain of the parents of the victim. There was none of that here. There is quite a list of victims, but they are more or less just names on a list.

Don't let any of that put you off - nor the subtitles. It's actually an advantage that we have to read them as it means we have to concentrate on all those double-edged nuances that we might otherwise miss.

Make sure you see it!
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Astonishingly good. A work of Art.
kiat-huang21 July 2012
Friends had told me about their surprising find of the Killing - people who don't normally talk about TV or movies with me. I should have realised then. I watched a bit of Series 2, was impressed, but wasn't really paying attention. Then with a free Netflix account, I found Series 1 and started watching it and just finished #20 a few days later (well I did have work to go to!). I've read many of the reviews on IMDb today and I agree with more of them than any other movie/show on here.

Wow! Right from the start I was 100% hooked.

* superb, twisting plot. I cannot think of better ever.

* strong characterisation : Lund, Meyer, Hartmann, Brix, Theis, Pernille, Morten, Rie, (normally I don't remember names - this is another good sign)

* memorable, atmospheric, dark, almost humourless, but not dour

* brilliant politics : tremendous subtle and powerful maneouvering

* Danish language. Beautiful in its lilting, minimalist, impenetrable (for me) way.

* never reminded me once of any US or UK series - all put down a peg or two

* no concession for adverts! so the flow kept going

Make no mistake, this is exceptionally high quality entertainment. The level of artistic work in the writing, acting, direction, editing is at an incredibly level, really at the top when compared with all the TV and Movies I've seen over the years. For that reason I think and will refer to it as fantastic work of art. For those that may think this absurd, how is this not better than, say, the Scream by Munch?
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
emer_murnane16 January 2012
This is one of the best series I have ever seen. No small feat with some superb TV series coming out of the US recently - Dexter, the Good Wife to name just a couple. The fact that this is a Danish subtitled series is no hindrance to enjoyment. It seems to add to the atmosphere, which never lags.

The acting is superb from all, with the actress playing Sarah Lund able to convey emotion without speaking. Indeed, all of the actors are fantastic. The dynamic between the main actors is superbly judged.

I love the fact that the main characters are far from perfect people. There is sometimes the temptation to make the main characters too good to be true. A huge strength in this series for me is that the characters are likable despite and because of their flaws. All round a great series and a solid 10 from me.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
PippinInOz9 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It is rare that I find myself lost for the written word, even rarer that am afraid to write, because can it possible that words will adequately express just how good this is?? Doubt it.

Suzie Miller and The Little Song Bird amongst others here hit the nail firmly on the head. Totally agree with you.

I had read about this production and was looking forwards to seeing it, hoping it would be okay. It was is so much more that that.

No Spoiler because if you have not seen this superb piece of Danish television, walk, run - get a copy.

When the final episode had been viewed I felt an unbelievable sense of pure emotion, not just because of the story (it is no secret that this is about the death of a young woman), not just because I was sad that it was finished, but because I was reminded of what a group of creative, talented human beings can achieve together.

This unfolds beautifully, drawing you in to another World. Everything about it is an example in how to create a three dimensional World in a drama. The acting, from all involved, puts the yearly Oscar Nominations into the joke category that it really is. No weak links here, all deliver award winning performances.

The interlinking worlds of the working class Birk Larsens, the police officers Jan and Sarah Lund, and the political creatures, Troels, Rie and Morten all draw together.

Particularly impressed by Bjarne Henriksen as Theis Birk Larsen, his wife Pernille and their adopted worker Vagn. I think Suzie Miller suggested it was almost like watching a documentary. So true. In fact these scenes which feature the family put me in mind of the best of Ken Loach, working class people as PEOPLE, not stereotypical two dimensional beings.

Kudos to everyone involved - thank you for this!

Sorry to rave so shamelessly, but rarely has a drama series touched me quite so deeply (The first series of Prime Suspect and Cracker spring to mind). It has been emotional.

Intelligent, dark, unrelenting. Can not recommend this highly enough.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The final case for Sarah Lund
Tweekums16 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
When the first series of 'The Killing' started on BBC4 nobody guessed that this Danish crime thriller would take off like it did; by the time the third series hit our screens we knew to expect something special; the question was; would it be able to deliver? This series opens with a death in the harbour; the investigation quickly leads to the discovery of more bodies aboard a ship moored offshore. It looks as if this will be the main plot line of the series but then the young daughter of the shipping company is kidnapped and held for ransom. As the series progresses it becomes clear that the kidnapper has an agenda other than just getting money; he is determined that those he believes were responsible for a cover-up involving the death of another girl must pay. As with the first series this takes place against the background of an election; this time the election will determine who will be the next prime minister. Inevitably the politicians find themselves linked to the case in many ways; the girl's father is a party donor and more than one politician is somehow connected to the case the kidnapper is interested in.

With only ten episodes this series is only half the length of the original and that is probably a good thing as it meant the story was kept taut while still not feeling rushed. The suspense was even greater than the earlier series as the viewer is constantly wondering about the welfare of the kidnapped girl as well as trying to figure out who is guilty of what. Lead actress Sofie Gråbøl once again shows star quality as protagonist Sarah Lund; a character who is both believable as a policewoman and as a person in general. The mixture of crime and politics is nicely balanced and you don't have to understand the nuances of Danish politics to understand what is happening. The conclusion isn't the most upbeat imaginable but suited the story and it certainly wasn't as downbeat as it could have been.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
junk food?
sports727216 September 2011
The author of junk food (anonymous of course)should stick to watching so called reality TV,or maybe all those wonderful soap operas of anything with Ant and Dec.

So "The Killing" isn't a masterpiece,the greatest work of art ever made,but what else do we get for our licence fee?

All this nit-picking about camera angles etc.Who cares?

So the story was a bit far fetched,but this isn't a documentary.It is superior entertainment that keeps you hooked for 20 hours.

The quality of the acting and direction is so good it enables one to suspend disbelief.

I tried 5 minutes of the US version,but there were no subtitles and I couldn't understand a word.

The final word of the anonymous reviewer was "pathetic".That just sums up her review.
9 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great series, very compelling, but imperfect.
imdb-com-3193 April 2011
I'm writing here to balance the other submitters who are giving this series 9 or 10 stars out of 10.

When I downloaded and watched the first 10 episodes of "The Killing" from BBC iPlayer I mistakenly thought that was the entire series. I watched them back-to-back and found them *very* compelling - I watched them over the course of a weekend, because I honestly couldn't tear myself away from watching. If the series had concluded at that point, it would have been perfect.

"The Killing" is great - it grabs your attention right from the start, and it's full of plot twists and revelations from beginning to end, however 20 episodes is just too many.

During the second half of the series the novelty had worn off, and every piece of uncovered evidence leading the investigation in a new direction would just leave me thinking, "yes, that's great, but it's still too early in the series for it to be him". The twists were quite consistent in how long it took them to be undermined, so you'll know immediately that the guy who appears guilty in one episode will be cleared 2 or 3 episodes later. Sure, maybe some new evidence will maybe show him to be guilty later in the series, or in the end, but nevertheless, it does become a bit tame and predictable - for me, the excitement of "The Killing" had worn off about halfway through.

It is perhaps for this reason that the sequel series - aired in Denmark in 2009, but not yet in English - is only 10 episodes in length. That would have been the perfect length for the original, too - throughout the second half of the series it rather feels like the script-writers were trying too hard to be clever and to keep the viewer guessing.

One manifestation of this - perhaps the most important - is that the final plot twist occurs so late in the series that the ending doesn't really give closure. Yes, we find out who done it, but of course it's essential to the tension that the killer has not been apprehended as the final episode opens. Far too many questions have been raised in the proceeding 19 episodes (14+ hours!) of the show, however, and consequently they cannot be answered, at least not in a way that feels fully satisfying, in this last 45 minutes.

I will look forward to the the next series, but "The Killing" does not deserve the 10 out of 10 given by some reviewers here. Personally, I rate the series at about 7½ out of 10 - I will definitely watch the sequel, and look forward to it, but "The Killing" does not provide the entertainment value, per hour, of the BBC detective productions of "Wallander" or "Zen".
18 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Who killed The Killing?
bahzob17 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Hugely disappointing follow up. It is a whodunit, the question being who killed the originality, plotting and characterisation of the first series? The plot is absurd, a hackneyed conspiracy theory mash-up.

The players are utterly uninteresting, not one comes close to the depth of even the part time participants of the first series (e.g. Rama) let alone the main ones.

Sarah Lund seems to just sleepwalk through the whole show, some events seeming to be stage managed just so she can become a cliché of herself in series 1 (mother's wedding being the worst example).

The reveal at the end beggars belief. It requires superhuman feats of timing/energy/endurance from the killer while also requiring their stupidity to only be matched by their victims and all others involved.

I have to think the favourable reviews and awards given to this show are due to some sort of Emperor's Clothes effect due to it being Danish with "real" looking actors. If the exact same plot, translated word for word into English, been made an American company (complete with cover page actors), it would, rightly, have been ridiculed.
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed