• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 19, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 503 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 503

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  1. Oct 12, 2010
    1
    A disappointment. The writing is certainly wooden and stilted, as is the plotting and character development. Not sure if better writing would help, but Buscemi seems miscast - too ambivalent a personality to inspire the sort of power and control his character demands. The sets are too sepia, as is the music - the show looks and sounds like a period picture one takes at an amusement park, artificial and without credibility. And while breasts are nice the show has even managed to make them tiresome - there seems to be a breast quota which each show must meet. Breasts cannot make up for the show's many deficiencies. Nice try HBO, but worry about their judgement since cutting off Deadwood for John from Cincinnati and ending Rome, which was excellent. They have had their hits but this is a miss. Collapse
  2. Sep 20, 2010
    1
    Colossal disappointment. Reeks of artificiality and purposelessness from its Greenpoint Disneyland set construction to its dry cleaned, unlived-in costumes, the actors look as if they are desperately unclear on not only the period but their lines. Buscemi is far more miscast than anything Giamatti was accused of in John Adams. Bizarre opening titles with music that seems to be the last survivor of a thousand meetings. And finally, Scorcese's direction looked more like something a film student fan would present to that director (as a clumsy hommage) than the work of the master himself. Those preposterous and pointless angles and abortive tracking shots! Really, I was shocked and I'm not someone who lives to write nasty appraisals in venues like this. But I was driven to make an exception for this, I and every one of my friends (6 people) who watched it with me thought exactly the same thing.
    We are MYSTIFIED at the professional critical score reflected here at Metacritic.
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  3. Sep 28, 2010
    1
    zero except for the acting. Scorcese should be fired! His gimmicks and the look of the subject matter is too staid and stale. Awful show!! And the Montages. Please!!!! And montage scene after montage scene. Oh really!!! Get a life and a little more inventiveness.
  4. Oct 5, 2010
    1
    It's deadly slow, has awful dialogue, and dull storytelling. Note to the directors and editors: Way too much screen time is devoted to the "meaningful stare". What a waste of acting talent and HBO money!
  5. Dec 3, 2010
    0
    So far I am not impressed with the show. It's very boring. The female characters have no personality or backbone. It's supposed to be a time period where women were trying to improve themselves and in this show they appear to be nothing more than sex objects. The gratuitous nudity takes away from the show. It's way too forced. I loved the Sopranos, which had a lot of nudity, but it was never forced like this show does. You don't need to show naked women just to show them. I'm going to give it a little more time to see if it gets better. Expand
  6. Feb 11, 2011
    3
    Corection to my earlier post, I think the show has been a big disappointment and Kelly McDonald is one of the woest actresses in recent time, I cringe everytime she opens her mouth.
  7. Aug 15, 2011
    1
    Disappointing. Uninteresting. Pointless. [Duplcate of previous post. I didn't notice I was submitting a rating. Show deserves a 1, not the 10 I inadvertently submitted.] What possible appeal does the show have? Sad that there are people who enjoy the show. The characters represent humanity's dregs. It's sole "good" quality is high production value. However, that hardly makes up for everything else. Expand
  8. Sep 28, 2012
    2
    This Boardwalk is no empire. I had great expectations for this series but I found it almost unwatchable. The introduction is so inappropriate it's laughable. The characters are vapid, contrived and poorly cast. The plot development is a boring, muddled mess filled with unconvincing scenarios. Far fetched scenes are exacerbated by unrealistic dialogue while the writers and producers engage in a politically correct tap dance. The whole thing comes off as unauthentic and self indulgent. Expand
  9. Feb 4, 2012
    2
    The plot moves so slowly that I will have reached old age before anything happens. Classic mistake: young characters look very similar so its impossible to tell who is doing what. Come on ... one of them needs blonde hair, a moustache, earings etc. Sex on every page : yawn Confusing story line, which goes into every detail whether you want it or not Bottom line : amazingly boring. It's like watching 1920 style Big Brother Expand
  10. Mar 31, 2012
    0
    The most boring thing I have ever seen on TV. I have no problem with shows which take a few episodes to really kick in, in fact it's good as the tension builds and you know it's about to get interesting. Bored-walk Empire just plods along and then... plods along some more and, well that's it actually. Nothing happens. The characters are so bland and dull that I just couldn't bring myself to give a toss about them. Nucky Thompson is supposed to be a respectable businessman with a vicious, ruthless side. The perfect cover for a mobster. I felt that he came across as neither though, the performance from Buscemi being uncharacteristically weak. In fact you get the feeling half the time that he doesn't really want to be there at all. Even the vaguely interesting characters are so dull (FBI man, Kelly MacDonald) that you just don't really care about them and lose interest. One season was one too many. Boardwalk Empire does have one saving grace: if you find it difficult to get to sleep at night, just put this show on and you'll be out like a light in no time! 0/10 Expand
  11. Aug 23, 2013
    0
    This show fell so far so fast that it almost seems like they want it to fail all of the interesting characters have been killed off, the new ones are uninteresting, Buscemi almost looks bored and the violence does nothing to move the narrative arch along at all, it's just become like something crapping all over itself before it dies. The only way this show was picked up for yet a 4th and maybe 5th season is because of the influence of the producers. Should be shown in film schools to demonstrate what NOT to do with potentially good material. Expand
  12. Oct 9, 2013
    4
    I can understand why people might enjoy this show, I can. But if you're like me, and you find it hard to watch a show about an entire cast of criminals and villains wherein the best thing they do still amounts to "not completely evil" as opposed to "good", then this show is not for you. It's about gangsters, and gangsters aren't the best people. Many people like interesting characters, but being a villain doesn't automatically make you interesting. I found this show very difficult to watch because nobody ever did anything that made me want to like them, and thus I saw no reason to continue watching it. TV series are about getting behind the characters you like and rooting for them. You want to find out what happens to them and see how they react to certain situations. Well, Boardwalk Empire has many characters, and many situations, but none of them are good. If you like the Soprano's and Son's of Anarchy, you'll enjoy Boardwalk Empire. Expand
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 90
    The show isn't easy to warm up to, to be honest; it's draped in--and at times stifled by--meticulous period detail and too-perfect lighting, especially in Scorsese's premiere. But in episode two, the characters and the script begin to prevail, and the drama becomes more emotionally distinct and fascinating.
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    100
    As with the best of these broad canvas series, the players and their allegiances become clear within an episode or two. And from that point on, Boardwalk Empire becomes everything that HBO (and I) had hoped for it.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew Wallenstein
    80
    Beautifully rendered as the series is, there's a high-concept conflation of the two shows here in the way it marries the mob melodrama of "Sopranos" with "Mad's" period fetishism. It's a savvy programming strategy but robs Boardwalk of a certain freshness that would otherwise elevate it to the same echelon as those TV classics.