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

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 501 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 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.
  2. Watching HBO's new Boardwalk Empire is like sitting in your favorite tavern and hearing someone say, "Drinks are on the house." Friends, it doesn't get much better.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    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. Reviewed by: Paul Bullock
    Writer Terence Winter (The Sopranos) delivers the most exciting new series in recent history with Boardwalk Empire, a sweeping Prohibition gangster saga that redefines the boundaries of television storytelling.
  6. 80
    The first six episodes (which I've watched, dutifully at times) draw you in but sometimes feel overstuffed, overproduced and weirdly gauzy where the series means to be an exercise in crisp, razor-sharp filmmaking.
  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 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 64
  2. Negative: 11 out of 64
  1. Sep 6, 2011
    Have you ever marinated or slow-roasted something to eat? Sure, it gets annoying that you have to wait longer, but it's always worth it at the end. It's practically the same with Boardwalk Empire: The show doesn't have build things up just to blow it off the end. They have on-going stories that build week after week and then finally get blown off at its apex. Granted this show isn't for people who have ADHD or cannot wait until things unfold, but for a patient viewer who like an interesting plot, intriguing sub-plots, excellent cliff-hangers, well-established characters, characters fitting into their roles, with a well-structured and writer, a great cast, and the best director to ever step foot into the movie business, this show is without question for you. Expand
  2. Dec 13, 2012
    Where 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
    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 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. Jan 8, 2011
    One of the best shows that came out this year. I think that the acting is just amazing, and the script is really interesting! The set and the clothes are really accurate, and the characters are really well structured. I think this show has everything to succed and be (even more) huge! Expand
  5. Jan 4, 2012
    The first season of Boardwalk Empire seemed to develop slowly and admittedly, I was a tad bored in the first few episodes. The pacing of this second season was also a bit uneven. Put that aside and the show has lush sets, increasingly worrisome behaviors on the part of the main characters, and an incredible finale. Definitely worth watching. Expand
  6. Feb 11, 2011
    The acting is great and the writing is great.

    I hated the first episode but it has grown on be to a great extent and I will be tuning in for
    the future episodes on Sky Atlantic! Expand
  7. Dec 3, 2010
    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

See all 64 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. 2013 Fall TV Preview: Our Comprehensive Guide to the Season's New and Returning Shows

    2013 Fall TV Preview: Our Comprehensive Guide to the Season's New and Returning Shows Image
    Published: August 28, 2013
    Get a detailed look at every new and returning show coming to broadcast and cable networks this fall, including Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, The Crazy Ones, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, and much more.
  2. Episode Review: Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Finale

    Episode Review: Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Finale Image
    Published: December 12, 2011
    Last night's shocking season-ending episode of "Boardwalk Empire" has critics and fans talking. Find a dozen reviews for the episode inside.
  3. 2011 Emmy Awards: Winners, Reactions, and Reviews

    2011 Emmy Awards: Winners, Reactions, and Reviews Image
    Published: September 19, 2011
    The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards are in the books. Get a list and analysis of last night's winners, and find out how critics are reacting to the broadcast hosted by Jane Lynch.
  4. 2011 Emmy Nominations: Who's In, Who's Out?

    2011 Emmy Nominations: Who's In, Who's Out? Image
    Published: July 14, 2011
    Find out who scored nominations -- and who was snubbed -- in our look at Thursday morning's announcement of nominees for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.
  5. 2010-11 TV Scorecard: The Best and Worst Shows and Networks

    2010-11 TV Scorecard: The Best and Worst Shows and Networks Image
    Published: May 3, 2011
    It's time for our annual look at the best and worst of the past television season. Find out which first-year broadcast and cable shows impressed critics and users the most, and see how the major networks compared.
  6. 2010 Television Critic Top Ten Lists [Updated Jan. 7]

    2010 Television Critic Top Ten Lists [Updated Jan. 7] Image
    Published: December 13, 2010
    Over the next month, we
  7. Fall 2010 TV Scorecard: The Best & Worst New Shows

    Fall 2010 TV Scorecard: The Best & Worst New Shows Image
    Published: November 2, 2010
    Now that all of the season's major new series have debuted, we reveal the fall television season's winners and losers.