• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 25, 2014
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
58

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

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 196 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • 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 ofCreated 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Jan 17, 2014
    83
    Not even a guilty pleasure, Black Sails is arrrrrr-estingly good. [24 Jan 2014, p.65]
  2. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 21, 2014
    75
    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: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 24, 2014
    75
    Filmed in South Africa, Sails is awash in lush scenery, bloody expensive sets and brutal action. You’ve probably never seen a sword fight like the one that caps tonight’s episode.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Black Sails is a handsome illusion at times, but it rarely finds its way beyond that.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Mar 27, 2014
    50
    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
    50
    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
    30
    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: 43 out of 54
  2. Negative: 8 out of 54
  1. Mar 16, 2014
    10
    The first scene of Chapter I introduces John Silver. The final scene of Chapter VIII introduces -- think about it. Again the "Critics" get itThe first scene of Chapter I introduces John Silver. The final scene of Chapter VIII introduces -- think about it. Again the "Critics" get it oh so wrong. This show doesn't just make the obvious literary allusions, but goes all in and captures the full spirit of the book. Expand
  2. Feb 21, 2014
    10
    First chapters a lot of plots, good plots, btw so just waiting to see naval wars but good cinematic, good actors, nudity, and that stuff...First chapters a lot of plots, good plots, btw so just waiting to see naval wars but good cinematic, good actors, nudity, and that stuff... just waiting to saw some of the great pirates of the history like black beard or something! Expand
  3. Jan 27, 2014
    10
    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 withThis 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
    Expand
  4. Feb 23, 2014
    9
    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 (aReally 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. Aug 1, 2014
    8
    I really like this show There are a few weaknesses. It loses focus around the middle. But the beginning and the end of the series wereI really like this show There are a few weaknesses. It loses focus around the middle. But the beginning and the end of the series were brilliant. However it was very annoying just how little seafaring we saw. They spent most of the season at nassau. They should have gone on a few little adventures. Exploring islands and other stuff. The story of nassau the character Eleanor Guthrie was a little irritating and in season 2 her storylines need serious work. But there were good moments too. Its a show that shows great promise. And needs a bit of work in the other storylines aside from the main quest. Expand
  6. Feb 6, 2014
    8
    Ive only seen the first 2 episodes so this review is based on that.I wasnt expecting much but to be frank this show isnt bad and well worthIve only seen the first 2 episodes so this review is based on that.I wasnt expecting much but to be frank this show isnt bad and well worth watching. Its certainly not for kids viewing with lots of violence and sex and nudity a plenty. Acting is decent and all the character seem believable. Dialogue is good too. Not sure about Anne Bonney she seems a bit too useful with her cutlasses. The lesbian relationship with Eleanor Gutherie(Hannah New) Max(Jessica Parker Kennedy) adds some pleasant eye candy to the mix as well. Clearly in there for ratings. But I am not complaining.
    If I had one criticism the CGI used for the ship scenes at sea could do with a little work. They look clearly fake almost computer game-like. However it dosnt distract from the show and looks like a cost cutting exercise in the production. Looking forward for the remaining episodes of the season.
    It will be interesting as this is a prequel to Treasure Island how they pace the show to events that occurred in that book. Especially if this get renewed for a few seasons.
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  7. Feb 25, 2015
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I sort of enjoyed this for a few episodes, but the recent writing is just awful. Richard Guthrie has an unbelievable metamorphosis from an ass to a caring father, not believable. And Captain Flint with a gay affair? Please. I know the writer must be gay, but does that mean everyone else in the world has to swing from your side of the plate. It was bad enough when Anne Bonney had to be a lesbian or bisexual or whatever. So I guess we just get one dimensional writing where every character has gender identity issues. Ms Barlow explains to us that Flint is a violent pirate blowing up the fort because he feels guilt about his gay affair? ROTFL. And then Rackham has to make a choice between Max and Anne because the crew can accept one but not two women? LOL - how contrived. Guess the writing room has writers block, so they are definitely mailing it in for season two. Didn't take long to jump the shark, just barely into season 2 and it is no longer worth watching. Expand

See all 54 User Reviews

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