Follow Genre: Crime Drama
Created by Chris Mundy
Distributors: eOne
Duration: 10 episode, 50 min. each

Low Winter Sun (DVD) – Series Review

Site Score
Good: Intresting, dark, great atmosphere
Bad: Dark, some plot twists feel forced
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Ever since Robocop was released, Detroit has had a reputation of being *the* crime city of all crime cities. Since then, the city has evolved more and more into the state that was depicted in the movie. Of course, this means it is the perfect setting for a good old fashioned cop gone bad story. Low Winter Sun is one of these stories.

low-winter-sun-bannerLow Winter Sun follows Detroit police detective Frank Agnew (Mark Strong). He finds out that his colleague, Brendan McCann, killed his girlfriend Katia in a drunken rage and is determined to avenge her murder. Helping him is Joe Geddes (Lennie James), who is also a part of the Detroit homicide squad. The two of them, with their years of experience as detectives, attempt to make the murder seem like a suicide, by drowning McCann and then driving him into a river.

Things look badly however, when Internal Affairs officer Simon Boyd (David Costabile) shows up the next day. Apparently McCann was part of an ongoing investigation into corrupt cops. Geddes as it turns out was McCann’s partner, making him suspicious to the IA officer.

Meanwhile, upcoming gangster Damon Callis (James Ransone) is attempting to rob the local drug lord Alexander Skelos (Alon Moni Aboutboul) out of a hefty load of cocaine. By doing so, he hopes he can rise through the ranks and make life better for himself and his wife Maya Callis (Sprague Grayden).

Matters get worse for Frank and Geddes when the suicide theory is quickly dismissed and the search for the one responsible receives the attention of the entire squad. Will the two detectives succeed in committing the perfect crime, or will the efforts of their team members do them in?

low-winter-sun-1Story-wise, Low Winter Sun is pretty entertaining. While it might start of confusingly, the layout of who’s against who soon becomes clear. Of course, this is a show of intrigue and mind games, so these sides are constantly changing and evolving. Just by reading the little summary above (and having watched at least one thriller), you’ll realize that the alliance of Frank and Geddes will become a challenge. The show makes sure that everyone has their own unique motivations and that these motivations are also clear for the viewer. The characters also (well, mostly) behave in a logical matter to reach their goals, so you never have to shake your head in disbelieve as to why they thought such an action was a good idea.

There’s a decent amount of talent in the show. While Mark Strong is pretty limited in his range , he excels in the “quiet, stoic bad-ass”, which was exactly the requirement to play Frank Agnew. It’s a blessing that the creators were smart enough to divide the focus between him and Joe Geddes. Lennie James (of Jericho and Walking Dead fame) displays great skill, switching easily from family man to an unapologetic murderer. The commander of Frank’s and Geddes precinct in played by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who does a really dark version of the role he played in Castle. He’s also selling it perfectly.

David Costabile, known for his roles in Suits and Breaking Bad, is someone who can simply ooze arrogance. He is perfect for the role of unlikable IA officer, his little quirks and mannerisms really sell his persona as a spiteful little man. The city of Detroit must also be mentioned as a separate role. The state of the building and the hopelessness that is radiating from the ruined motor city weighs heavily on the series. Every shot of an abandoned house feels real, because it is real. The atmosphere created by these images really adds to the overall value of the show.

low-winter-sun-2The blues inspired soundtrack is very fitting and adds to the film noir vibe of the show. The further the shows progresses, the better the music becomes. Well, actually, the more the show progresses, the better it becomes, period. While the first half of the show takes just a bit too long to establish every player and storyline, the second half rewards your patience with a dramatic resolution.

Unfortunately, some story arcs get pretty far out there. People start acting really weird, without much foreshadowing. It would’ve been if certain character aspects got a bit of an insight, before they are taken far out of proportion. Now, it just feels like the writers needed some extra tension and added these parts in.

One last thing then. Low Winter Sun gets quite dark and won’t be one of these shows that you turn on after a long work day to cheer you up. It takes cues from the brilliant The Shield, which also revolved around corrupt cops and gritty city life. Viewers be warned and all that.


Low Winter Sun is a pretty depressed, albeit interesting and well put together show about police corruption and mind games in the ruined city of Detroit. The overall acting is good, but there are a few scenes that could’ve been done better. All in all, Low Winter Sun might not reach the overall level of The Shield, it’s still a fresh take on corruptness in a police department.


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Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Low Winter Sun (DVD) - Series Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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