Boardwalk Empire : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 19, 2010
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Boardwalk Empire Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 645 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Atlantic City in the 1920s is the setting for the series based on the book by Nelson Johnson about how the city turned into the infamous gambling locale.
  • Genre(s): Drama

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 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.
  2. 100
    The characters are unforgettable, and the history, of course, is more entertaining than fiction. The filming of Boardwalk Empire just may be more decadent than the decadence it's celebrating. It's not TV, and it's not really HBO. It's an event, not to be missed.
  3. Boardwalk Empire has everything you'd expect in an HBO drama--sharply drawn characters, large-scale stories intercut with intimate moments and a sense that you couldn't find something like it anywhere else on the guide. It's maybe the best new show HBO has launched in several years.
  4. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    90
    Like a good whiskey, it's rough and smooth in all the right ways. By a few episodes in, you'll want to order it by the case.
  5. 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.
  6. For some viewers, even fans of smart, high-quality TV, there may come a point when too many dark, layered television series become just as tiresome as too many look-alike procedurals. We haven't yet reached that point with Boardwalk Empire, but some episodes are more admirable than enjoyable.
  7. 60
    It's a big production-the first episode alone cost nearly twenty million dollars-and it looks authentic in a way that, paradoxically, seems lifeless. You're constantly aware that you're watching a period piece, albeit one with some vivid scenes and interesting details.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 73
  2. Negative: 12 out of 73
  1. Apr 19, 2014
    10
    This is just television at its best. Steve Buscemi gives the performance of a lifetime. Terrefic performances by the colorful cast, smoothThis is just television at its best. Steve Buscemi gives the performance of a lifetime. Terrefic performances by the colorful cast, smooth directing, gorgeous writing. A must-see for fans of the mafia genre! Expand
  2. Dec 13, 2012
    10
    Where the pacing slowed, I found myself immersed in the style. Jimmy Darmody grabbed my attention from the outset and kept me engaged throughWhere the pacing slowed, I found myself immersed in the style. Jimmy Darmody grabbed my attention from the outset and kept me engaged through to the end, even though he wasn't supposed to be the main character. I learnt a few things about the Mob. The plot was highly fictionalized and turned some real life gangsters into mere supporting characters, unable to hold their own against some upcoming politician. I guess that was to be expected if the show had to avoid becoming predictable. I think they should have cast someone more original and engaging for Al Capone, given that he was not a second rate hit-man but arguably the most successful crime boss in history. I liked the portrayals of Luciano, Rothstein and Nucky Thompson. Jimmy's sidekick is also someone to look out for. Expand
  3. Sep 22, 2010
    10
    As a fan of the mafia film genre I would say that Boardwalk Empire does not disapoint. The sets, cast and costume design give the series suchAs a fan of the mafia film genre I would say that Boardwalk Empire does not disapoint. The sets, cast and costume design give the series such an authentic look and feel. I would say that we are only seeing the beginning of what will be a historic series. Expand
  4. Sep 11, 2013
    9
    A wonderful new series by Martin Scorsese.I love the dialogs which are dramatic and thrilling.Based on a very good plot the first season isA wonderful new series by Martin Scorsese.I love the dialogs which are dramatic and thrilling.Based on a very good plot the first season is just awesome. Expand
  5. Oct 3, 2011
    8
    Even though it is at times, dull as hell, it still manages to attract me to my couch on Sunday nights. Mayeb it's the fact that there is someEven though it is at times, dull as hell, it still manages to attract me to my couch on Sunday nights. Mayeb it's the fact that there is some compelling ass stuff towards the end of each show. Or the marvelous acting and wonderful period flavor, It's just kick-ass Expand
  6. Apr 2, 2013
    6
    Coming from HBO Boardwalk Empire focuses on Atlantic City in the 1920s. Prohibition has just come into effect and the city's corrupt treasurerComing from HBO Boardwalk Empire focuses on Atlantic City in the 1920s. Prohibition has just come into effect and the city's corrupt treasurer Nucky Thompson, seeing a business opportunity, begins working to tighten his already firm grip on the city. Unfortunately for Nucky he will have to deal with equally violent rivals and determined FBI prohibition agents if he is to succeed.

    Being created by Terence Winter Boardwalk Empire is always going to be compared to masterpiece that was The Sopranos. In this regard the first season is certainly lacking in the emotional complexity and tight script that made The Sopranos the show it was with some of the violence and sexual scenes not always feeling essential to the plot. Despite this Boardwalk Empire does have enough going for it to forge its own identity and by the series end it was safe to say it that it had earned its early season 2 renewal. Being a character based drama it obviously relied heavily on its cast and it was here that this opening season excelled. Lead by the always excellent Steve Buscemi the supporting cast were equally as successful at bringing the interesting characters and plots to life and ensuring audiences stayed tuned in. While Boardwalk Empire hasn’t exactly reinvented the gangster genre it is has certainly shown enough potential to bring me back for another watch next year.
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  7. 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 aSo 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

See all 73 User Reviews

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