• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 19, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 193 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 193

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  1. Sep 17, 2012
    Good first episode of the season. I'm one of the few who had gotten tired of the character Jimmy so it's nice to see the show start afresh. It's hard to see where things will go this season just from this first episode but the writing, characters and acting is all still top notch.
  2. Dec 3, 2012
    Bobby Cannavale is AWESOME from start to the last episode! Great season, great scenario, great acting, breathtaking quality. HBO at it's best. Hope it's not even close to the end!
  3. Dec 3, 2012
    With the death of young Jimmy threatening to leave a void, Season 3 was under pressure to deliver. It was clear to me within the first 4 episodes the show had made a clear decision to creatively move on pass Jimmy. If anything, his death showed us that anything is possible on The Boardwalk and no one is safe from judgement or execution. Season 4 showcased the flexing muscles of a beautiful ensemble cast. Steve Buscemi's star shine brighter in this season than previous ones in episodes like "The Milkmaid's Lot" & "Two Imposters." Boardwalk is a slow burning oven, it may take a while to get there but you always arrive at a pleasant surprise that rewards the patient viewer. Expand
  4. Dec 19, 2012
    Wow, why is season 3 rated so low? I thought it was the pinnacle of TV in 2012. Anything can happen in this show! And does. And not absurdly(ahem, Homeland...) The acting, direction, writing is all top notch, and the plot is the best there is. Richard, Capone, Chalky, Rothstein, all side characters, but so full and amazing. Any character can do anything (or be killed) at any moment. This is the top show on TV. Expand
  5. Nov 7, 2012
    Steve Buscemi as the unflappable Nucky Thompson has to be the coolest ganster I've ever seen on any screen. Many people find the pace of the show a bit pedantic. Personally I love the writers attention to detail and character development.
  6. Sep 17, 2012
    The show experienced a slight drop in quality last season, but I'm glad to see that the stories are changing along with the characters and I'm excited to see what direction the series will go from here. One of the best television shows on the air.
  7. Jun 19, 2013
    After a great season 1 but a disappointing season 2, season 3 steps it back up. Great story, great characters, great ending. For Season 3 not to win best TV Drama vs Homeland was awful. This season was much better than season 2 of homeland. Next to Game of Thrones, best show on TV right now.
  8. Sep 17, 2012
    Great first episode! The costumes were stunning, the music was fun as always. I'm so excited for Margaret's story and Harrow's story this season. That hopeful look on Margaret's face at the end as she climbed up the beach dune brought me to tears. I didn't understand why Harrow killed Munya but I'll stay tuned to find out...
  9. Nov 30, 2012
    i always thought that BE was great show but season 3 kind of astonished me. The already good developed characters even get more fascinating with their stories on their own, always managing the split between extremely brutal and beautiful, Besides Breaking Bad the only (running) show that really grips. Kelly McDonalds the icing on the cake....
  10. Apr 18, 2014
    Good lord! Bobby Cannavale is so AWESOME. He is the greatest bad guy since the man who shot Bambi's mom...This season was so great, full of nail-biting suspense, a better use of the supporting characters and heart-pumping action! HBO rocks!!!
  11. Sep 18, 2012
    Hard to follow but a good show. Hard to follow but a good show. Hard to follow but a good show. Hard to follow but a good show. Hard to follow but a good show.
  12. Dec 3, 2012
    Great production as always with the show. Not as high as a score as last season, since I thought the writing and scenes just didn't have that intense feeling as last season that kept me as hooked. Overall, still going strong and anxiously anticipating next season.
  13. Dec 22, 2012
    Starting with the positives, Boardwalk Empire's third season is it's greatest so far. In a similar manner to the previous seasons, it builds slowly from the start but accelerates to top gear by the fourth episode and while there are some slight dips in between, the momentum is largely maintained, sometime single handedly by Rosetti, to the final four episodes, from which point on the season is outstanding.

    Season three probably featured more of Rothstein, Luciano, Lansky (at a cost to Chalky White and van Alden) and Capone than before, and with the additions of Rosetti and NY boss Joe Masseria, meant the season had a truly mob feel to it. In my eyes this was greatly needed as Nucky and his Atlantic City team of politicians and bootleggers just don't have the cool factor and threat of the Italian Americans. In part this is down to Steve Buscemi, after three seasons you would think I would have made my mind up about his casting as the Atlantic City crime boss but I still can't quite decide. The tagline of the season is 'You Can't Be Half A Gangster' but it still feels like Nucky is just that, especially in comparison with the representatives of New York and Chicago. The dips in momentum during the season are usually due to Nucky's relationship with his new mistress, actress Billie, or his political scheming. These distractions serve a purpose, in the first instance to Nucky's mindset after the attempt on his life at Bebette's, and in the second in giving Nucky options other than violence but they don't half leave you craving for a scene where someone upsets Rosetti.

    Such are the abundance of great characters in the show that it isn't until you stop and think about it that you realise how much Michael Williams' Chalky White and Michael Shannon's van Alden are underused and marginalised respectively. Thankfully both appear likely to continue into the next season, following changes for both in season three. The writers pen some fantastic lines, with Al Capone being given the line of the season when he turns up in Atlantic City, "I've been on the road for 18 hours. I need a bath, some chow, and then you and me sit down, and we talk about who dies."

    Season three really gets going in episode four, Blue Bell Boy, an episode which reminded me of The Soprano's episode Pine Barrens where Paulie and Chris end up lost in the woods (an episode written by Boardwalk creator Terence Winter and regular director Tim van Patten and directed by Steve Buscemi). Nucky and Owen are trapped in a cellar for the entire episode and Nucky's discomfort and jealousy in Owen's role in his operation becomes uncomfortably apparent. While trapped and out of the decision making process, Mickey delivers a shipment straight into Rosetti's ambush, Joe Masseria is introduced and Al Capone takes out his anger over his deaf son's bullying on a local rival. The final four episodes deal with alternated attempts on the lives of various characters, culminating in a Goodfellas style montage of a full scale gang war in Atlantic City at the beginning of the fantastic final episode Margate Sands.
  14. Sep 15, 2013
    Just not as fun without Kelly Macdonald. It's kinda flat now. Violence and racism and no interesting story line.
    You really want to sell it this way? B O R I N G
  15. Oct 8, 2012
    Okay, I get that the dim lighting on all the gangster scenes is to convey the dark, early 20's furtive environment of Prohibition, but for the sake of viewers --- could the producers PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE film with enough lighting so we can see WHO is talking, their FACIAL EXPRESSIONS (which matter greatly on film), and a sense of WHAT IS HAPPENING on the scene. Half the time, I'm only able to tell who is in the scene by recognizing their voices and left pondering what is happening as the lighting is too dim to make out the setting. Many of the gangster actors are so shrouded in darkness that it's very hard to know who they are or how they fit into the plot. So why does HBO waste money filming scenes when they expect viewers to only rely on voice recognition, background noise, to figure out what is happening? If HBO's lighting budget is that limited, why don't they just make an audiotape of the series? Expand
  16. Oct 16, 2012
    I always enjoyed Boardwalk Empire because of the style and writing. Season 3 has proved this HBO series has lost both. Focused too much on Nookie's personal problems it moves at a pace which has me looking at my watch anticipating the end so I can watch "Homeland". Shows don't usually crash and burn in the third season but if the lack of quality and writing, of the beginning episodes is any indication, this show is doomed. Expand
  17. Oct 26, 2012
    I'm still enthralled by this show, DVR it and watch it every Sunday but it has been taken over as a priority by Homeland, something I never would've guessed could've happened after the first 2 seasons. There is a lot of new character development going on this season, which has to happen when so many have fallen off in the first 2 years. It seems as though the new characters present Nucky with issues he never would've struggled to deal with in the past and maybe that is part of the frustration with this season for me - watching what was a formerly super powerful Nucky get pushed around by a Gyp Rosetti sucks. Season 1 you never would've expected Nucky to take what he does from Rosetti or others. Maybe it is my fault for not being prepared to deal with a weak Nucky or the necessary new character development. I also feel that there are so many plot lines now, some with little intersection or multiple degrees of separation that you just don't get enough out of each episode. Every week I hope for plot lines to come together but then there are weeks where a major development from the prior week is left untouched the next week. The muddled timeline and confusion around passage of time scene to scene and week to week is confusing too.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to give up. Just looking for a little more than I've been getting like we did in the past when every week I couldn't wait to see what happens next week. This year I'm assuming it will take much of the season to build to that point again.
  18. Nov 5, 2012
    I really like the first two seasons, but I find that season 3 is starting to come apart narratively. In season 1,2 Nucky corrupt but clever -- and charming in his own way. Now he's just a violent gangster and almost too disgusting to watch. Whose left to root for after they killed Jimmy? I don't know.
  19. Apr 18, 2013
    Gyp Rosetti is a gangster. I was starting to wonder if the writing staff on this show had forgotten how to write one decently. I believe that's how gangsters would be. He's menacing and ruthless, and I'm truly afraid to meet his kind in real life. His character distracts you from the painful ending of the last season. If he hadn't been done good, I would have stopped watching after episode 1. This season was a massive improvement over the last one, which had pacing issues and a visible lack of creativity concerning the plot. Quite frankly, Jimmy and Nucky's characters had run their courses and something like this had to be done to save the show. The season was at its best in the first four episodes, and then later in the last two. The rest became tiresome at times. Rosetti became downright comical, and I was amazed at myself how I could ever have been awestruck by someone who runs away with his tail between his legs in the wake of Harrow's fury. After all these fictional characters are killed off, or sidelined, it makes you think if chronicling just the progress of the Sicilian Mafia and Jewish Mafia in America would not have been a better idea. There's no way anyone can run out of ideas there. Expand
  20. Feb 3, 2013
    After the end of season 2 I was a little concerned about the direction that the third season would take, killing off Jimmy at the end of the previous season was a bold move. However, season 3 in my opinion was far better than season 2. The introduction of Bobby Cannavale's character was a masterful move as he provided many of the high points in the season. It was slow going to begin but towards the end was fantastic with the penultimate episode probably being the best of the entire series so far. The season was full of brilliant acting, brilliant writing and exciting twists. I can't wait for season 4. Expand
  21. Apr 5, 2013
    An excellent,beautifully written season of TV and arguably Boardwalk Empire's finest season thus far.The new antagonist Gyp Rosetti played by Bobby Connavale is astounding and is one of the finest villians to come around in a very long time.Alot of people thought that after Jimmy Darmody's death the show would cease being good but that is not the case.Every actor brings their A game and provides a dark,personal story for season 3.The cinematography is absolutely stunning as always and the atmosphere is darker and more visceral than it's ever been.Nucky Thompson is being haunted by Jimmy's murder and is now a full gangster.Al Capone has a bigger role this scene and though his scenes are limited,he steals the show.Richard Harrow is as awesome as ever and he ends the season with an unforgettable display of his weaponry skills.The show is very well-written,and acting is very strong.While there are some minor hiccups along the way and some boring scenes(Margaret is a drag) they're not enough to weighh the season down. 9/10. Expand
  22. Jul 19, 2013
    incredibly rich milieu of gangsters, politicians and players, from a bygone age, animated by genius and imbued with vitality and immediacy once more. simply a time portal to another world.

    frankly, only the incredible and slightly unbelievable ending rescues this from the 7 iy condemned itself to, with the events of the lasts seasons ending. a bunch of old men talking politics, rescued
    by a sensational departure into narrative entertainment. Expand
  23. Feb 4, 2014
    Esta temporada bajo su calidad con respecto a las dos anteriores, se que tuvo uno de los villanos mas carismaticos que ha tenido la television, Gyp Rosetti es un loquillo, pero es que los primeros capitulos se me fueron eternos y algo tediosos. A partir del episodio 9 la serie vuelve a ser como era en sus dos primeras temporadas, esos ultimos episodios fueron muy buenos y con mucha tension, como no olvidar ese momento epico de Richard entrando en la mansion de Gillian y encargandose de los hombres de Rosetti simplemente genial. Expand
  24. Sep 16, 2013
    Cómo la web me pide un mínimo de 150 caracteres, y necesito hacer el review para poder tenerla archivada en mi perfil, pues suelto este rollo y mi votación es de 9. Un saludo.
  25. Jan 17, 2014
    I was a big fan of season's 1 and 2, although I was disappointed they would kill off the 2nd most popular character Jimmy, AND, his innocent wife. I guess it was a sign of the gratuitous violence to come.

    Season 3 has been a bummer, in general. Far too many innocent and/or non-threatening characters killed. Here's a list that comes to mind: The man with the dog who helps the idiot
    Gyp; the woman Gyp is having sex with; the paperboy; the fat sheriff; the young boy caught stealing from Nucky but then becomes friends with him; the brother-in-law who knew about rogue-waves; the man Gillian takes as a lover cos' he looks like her son Jimmy; and Nucky's mistress. Hell, she was headed for Hollywood and she could've been written out that way. They had to blow her to pieces?? I haven't seen eps 11 & 12, yet, so there could be more.... Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 17, 2012
    It's never a good sign when the main character is the least interesting player on the block. Fortunately, Empire's cast is rich enough for you to overlook that flaw.
  2. Reviewed by: Marisa LaScala
    Sep 17, 2012
    Just when it could've coasted off its accumulated good will and anticipation, Boardwalk Empire raised the stakes instead.
  3. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Sep 14, 2012
    When Boardwalk Empire is dealing with the consequences of the 18th Amendment, it plays like a sound and steady drama. When addressing the energy around the 19th, it begins to jazz things up.