• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 19, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Boardwalk Empire Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 193 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third season opens with Nucky Thompson celebrating the countdown to 1923. However, trouble brews as Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale), a mobster from Brooklyn, who disagrees with some of Nucky's decisions.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 13, 2012
    A re-energized and immensely entertaining start to the third season.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Sep 13, 2012
    Put his [Bobby Cannavale's] floridness up against Buscemi's poker-faced acidity and you get fireworks. [24 Sep 2012, p.57]
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 12, 2012
    Simply put, the third season further confirms the show is as handsome, well cast and impeccably crafted as anything on TV.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 14, 2012
    Life is annoying Nucky Thompson as Boardwalk Empire starts its third season, and that gives this first-rate show just the push-off it needs.
  5. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Sep 13, 2012
    Flush with vivid characters, immaculate set design, and increasingly fluid storytelling, Boardwalk Empire keeps getting better, but still feels a few distinct steps short of greatness.
  6. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 14, 2012
    Though I sense the show is treading water a bit as Prohibition drags on and the operations of the black market become increasingly contentious, there's still plenty to see on the Boardwalk, thanks to the show's secondary characters.
  7. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Sep 14, 2012
    Strangely enough, the only scenes that aren't so dark that you need night-vision goggles to watch, are the ones with the naked ladies. Then, suddenly the lights are finally working properly. Still, there's something compelling about it all--maybe it's the era, or the clothes, or the hint that this could be something terrific.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. 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!!! Expand
  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! Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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.... Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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.
  7. 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

See all 25 User Reviews

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