• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 25, 2014
  • Season #: 1
Black Sails Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 167 Ratings

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  • Starring: Mark Ryan, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Toby Stephens
  • Summary: Created by creator Jonathan Steinberg as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island set in 1715, pirate Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his crew prepare to fight the British Royal Navy over New Providence Island with the help of Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), a daughter of a local smuggling kingpin. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure
  • Creator: Jonathan E. Steinberg, Robert Levine (I)
  • Show Type: Between Seasons
  • Season 1 premiere date: Jan 25, 2014
  • Episode Length: 60
  • Air Time: 09:00 PM
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Jan 17, 2014
    Not even a guilty pleasure, Black Sails is arrrrrr-estingly good. [24 Jan 2014, p.65]
  2. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 21, 2014
    A winsome opportunist (Luke Arnold), a ruthless captain (Toby Stephens) and a tough-talking tavern owner (Hannah New) are just a few of the colorful characters involved in a brutal power grab in the 18th century Bahamas.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Jan 24, 2014
    Alliances are made and broken, power shifts go this way and that, blood is spilled, and wenches keep wenching. It’s oddly addictive, and the cast--made up mostly of British, Australian and Canadian actors--is as sharp as you’d expect from pay cable.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 23, 2014
    Like most of [Starz's] shows, though, it's all flash and no substance, and the flash fades pretty quickly, no doubt right around the point the production accountant realized just how much it costs to film extended sequences with ships in water.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Mar 27, 2014
    The drama is nothing more than a video game, with a story secondary to the blood and sex.
  6. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jan 24, 2014
    The cast is stunning, the music enticing. Yet Black Sails lands too quickly on an island (shot in Cape Town) and the best parts of the spectacle--the open sea vistas and the claustrophobic shipboard scenes--run aground.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 23, 2014
    What's mystifying is why Starz and the creators of Black Sails seem to think that, given the expanding array of options available to consumers, any content creators can get away with peddling fare that can't even manage to be consistently mediocre.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 46
  2. Negative: 6 out of 46
  1. Mar 14, 2014
    If you loved Spartacus then this by far a show you must watch !!!! Love the plots , characters, action ....great story line ....cant wait for a season II Expand
  2. Mar 2, 2014
    Excellent show! Historically accurate and highly enjoyable escapist entertainment. Costumes and sets are amazing, I hope it returns for further seasons. Expand
  3. Jan 27, 2014
    This is really a decent pirate show... If you like the style and atmosphere of Starz's Spartacus series you'll certainly fall in love with this too - raw and real experience of a pirate's everyday life including brutality, violence, sex and nudity. Cast seems to be fine and especially Toby Stephens works quite well as Captain Flint. Visuals, music and costumes are amazing both on sea during the action as well as on the land. Big budget works pretty good and I have to admit that this shows looks very promising after the first episode.
    Hint: Don't take mainstream (full of unsound and empty arguments filled with "political correctness") reviews too seriously
  4. Feb 23, 2014
    Really surprised me, i was expecting an R-rated pirates of the Caribbean but i got so much more, when you look past the sex and violence (a huge part of pirate culture i admit) you still get an intricate web of plot twists and deep storytelling. The characters are well written and you really get the feel of an anti-hero with captain Flint not unlike Walter White from the breaking bad series. Expand
  5. Sep 23, 2014
    This is a bit removed as a toss up between Crossbones. This is a more lighthearted approach to the democratic- or meritocracy that was Pirate Society (tm). Expand
  6. Feb 18, 2014
    Great D.A.A show. but i wish there more to it. along with love the first episode pack w/ violence,sex,raw,and real experience and more. still,I wish there more stuff in. :) Expand
  7. Sep 12, 2014
    As other reviews have said, The production values are great but the poorly written dialogue is painfully boring and makes this show dead in the water. Couldn't even stomach watching the full first episode before I quit. It's just too slow. Expand

See all 46 User Reviews