‘The Last Panthers’ debuts on SundanceTV to rave reviews: From BAFTA nominee to Emmys?

the last panthers john hurt samantha morton

SundanceTV scored an Emmy nomination for Best Limited Series last year with “The Honorable Woman.” And the net could enjoy similar success this year with another international thriller, “The Last Panthers,” which debuts tonight (April 13). Inspired by the true story of a gang of real-life jewel thieves known as the Pink Panthers, this six-part program stars Oscar-nominees John Hurt and Samantha Morton, as well as Tahar Rahim and Goran Bogdan. It has already been nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Series. Now the critics stateside have weighed in:

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Dorothy Rabinowitz (Wall Street Journal): “Unrelenting in its tension, rich — sometimes dauntingly so — in its complexity, ‘The Last Panthers’ concerns itself with a criminal world of diamond thieves and arms smugglers, and the forces of law in hot pursuit, among them the police and two exceptionally dedicated insurance agents. But that’s just the surface tale—the immediate cause of the sizzling action, the seething suspicions and the anticipation of betrayal that weighs on everyone involved, and not just on the criminal side.”

Maureen Ryan (Variety): “A dark cloud hangs over “The Last Panthers,” literally and figuratively. Though scenes in this ambitious French drama are set all over Europe, the sun rarely comes out, whether the characters are in a Belgrade apartment complex, a ramshackle camp in Hungary or a busy intersection in London. But the overcast skies help set the mood for this worthy six-part series, in which the seedy underbelly of Marseilles serves as the hub of a complex web of crime and corruption … it’s a credible and illuminating look at the movement of cash, guns and lucrative contracts in the interconnected Europe of today. It may be fiction, but a scan of the headlines makes it feel like a distillation of the facts.”

Neil Genzlinger (New York Times): “The series, much of it subtitled, is inspired by the real crime ring known as the Pink Panthers, which has been linked to hundreds of robberies and whose name invoked the ‘Pink Panther’ movies. But ‘The Last Panthers’ is no Peter Sellers comedy. It’s a grim study of Europe’s underworld, showing us a version of the continent where the sun never shines … it will reward those who like their television dense and brooding.”

Rob Lowman (Los Angeles Daily News): “‘The Last Panthers,’ written by Jack Thorne, then grimly plays out its complex crime story against the messiest of Europe’s immigrant situations, something ever more apparent with recent terrorist bombings. Marseille has always been something of a criminal crossroads. Remember ‘The French Connection’? The series can be pretty dark, but it’s worth investigating.”

‘The Last Panthers’: SundanceTV’s crime thriller looks like strong Emmy contender (Trailer)

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