• Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 12, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Apr 11, 2013
    88
    The mystical mumbo jumbo nearly derails the proceedings, but Goyer reins in the hookum in favor of frolicking adventure that's more fun than fact.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Apr 10, 2013
    83
    Leonardo may not like what Starz has turned him into, but you probably won't mind this joy ride.
  3. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Apr 12, 2013
    75
    Its real appeal should be to viewers who like their TV history entertainingly out there.
  4. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    Apr 5, 2013
    75
    We see promise in Tom Riley's Leonardo da Vinci. [12 Apr 2013, p.68]
  5. Reviewed by: Geoff Berkshire
    Apr 15, 2013
    70
    While the first two episodes of "Da Vinci" are overly convoluted, the action moves at such a rapid pace and unfolds with such giddy enthusiasm that it's easy to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
  6. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Apr 12, 2013
    70
    It's all great fun, a feast of eye and mind candy into which a few shreds of leafy greens have been added for content.
  7. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Apr 12, 2013
    70
    No one should base a term paper on it, but Da Vinci's Demons is at least an entertaining lie.
  8. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Apr 11, 2013
    70
    The plot strands don’t always come together smoothly, some of da Vinci’s mystical, drug-addled visions are pretentious, and the CGI re-creating 15th-century Florence is spotty. And the general tone of the show will not satisfy anyone looking for a serious take on a historical figure or era. But Da Vinci’s Demons is an entertaining series with one huge factor working in its favor: Unlike so much of what we see on TV lineups, it aims to be different.
  9. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Apr 11, 2013
    70
    [The Renaissance and Leonardo] bring moments of transcendent beauty to the series, which was written by David S. Goyer, and is laced with aha moments of glorious invention and the scent of mysticism. The line between mystery and bafflement is a thin one, though, and at times it is impossible to tell what's going on or who's who in the flickering torchlight. There is also a distraction, at least initially, in the portrayal of Leonardo--who comes across as a weird amalgam of Peter Pan, MacGyver and a Chippendale.
  10. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Apr 11, 2013
    70
    Da Vinci’s Demons breezily and capably finds a balance between amusing wit and dour drama.
  11. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Apr 11, 2013
    70
    Suffice it to say Da Vinci's Demons (warning: it contains nudity, violence, and profanity) has a lot of balls in the air. But it manages this juggling act with aplomb.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    There’s a lot of material to mine here and Goyer, Starz and Da Vinci’s Demons are off to an entertaining start.
  13. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    Riley takes a bit of getting used to as Da Vinci, but once one adjusts to the program’s tone, it’s an entertaining serialized plot with plenty of twists, nudity and violence, but not the same grim streak or stuffiness of something like "The Borgias."
  14. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 3, 2013
    63
    To work, this overheated alchemy needs a magnetic Leo, but Tom Riley is miscast--too smart-alecky and brash. [13 May 2013, p.46]
  15. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Apr 10, 2013
    63
    Suspend disbelief and you’ll have fun, but believe and you’re in trouble.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Lechevallier
    Apr 9, 2013
    63
    When Da Vinci's Demons is barreling at top speed, unapologetically defiling history with its macabre absurdity, as in the surprisingly exciting second episode, "The Serpent," which ditches the disconnected structure of the pilot for a full-on detective yarn with an unexpected last-minute twist (think Sherlock Holmes set in the Renaissance), the show's faults, however obvious they may be, gradually fall by the wayside.
  17. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Apr 12, 2013
    60
    It feels at times like part “Da Vinci Code,” part “National Treasure,” part “Borgias” and part “Sherlock,” all with its own underlying tongue-in-cheek bemusement.
  18. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Apr 11, 2013
    60
    [A] glossy, silly, intermittently entertaining new series.
  19. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 12, 2013
    58
    Series creator, director and writer David S. Goyer (scribe for Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy) twists the already amazing life of the 15th century artist and inventor into something fantastical--but not altogether convincing.
  20. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 12, 2013
    58
    Ultimately, I found Da Vinci's Demons ridiculous but fairly amiable.
  21. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 10, 2013
    58
    Da Vinci’s Demons halfway succeeds on the strength of its vigorous, devil-may-care approach, even if it’s also almost thoroughly preposterous in terms of the central character’s deductive powers and abilities.
  22. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Apr 12, 2013
    50
    Da Vinci’s Demons [is] not a terrible show, nor a terribly good one, but a peculiar hybrid invention whose parts don’t match and that never quite takes flight.
  23. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Apr 9, 2013
    50
    Historical accuracy is only hit-and-miss in Da Vinci's Demons. And that describes how entertaining it is too: More miss than hit, but it does grow on you.
  24. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 8, 2013
    50
    If Mr. Goyer fumbles the pilot in introducing Leonardo's world, he salvages the endeavor in episode two with a good story about da Vinci's inventions for the Medicis.
  25. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Apr 12, 2013
    40
    Demons is possessed by pretentiousness when it tries to be serious and by silliness whenever Leonardo becomes an instant swashbuckler.
  26. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Apr 12, 2013
    30
    Sadly, the story is mystifyingly botched, failing as it tries too hard to be an action-packed mystery of secret societies and Dan Brown-esque intrigue with a strange penchant for geek humor.
  27. 30
    Series creator David S. Goyer seems to be going for exuberance; but Da Vinci’s Demons is never exuberant enough to overcome a crippling combination of leadenness, silliness, and mediocre storytelling.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 26
  2. Negative: 5 out of 26
  1. Apr 13, 2013
    8
    Da Vinci's Demons is exactly how I expected it to be. Stylish, well-written, humorous and suspenseful. The pilot wasn't too epic or awesome but I know the show will progress in the upcoming episodes, it has so much potential and as David S. Goyer is associated with it, he wouldn't ruin it. Tom Riley is as great as Leonardo Da Vinci's portrayal can be, he has a charming personality that can urge anyone to like him. Other characters are good, too but they were not used well in the pilot episode. Would like to see more of them in the next episodes. Art direction and cinematography are great, visual effects need more work, though. They seemed a bit too cliche at times. Anyway, the show is about Leonardo Da Vinci, so, let's focus on that. The pilot has given rise to so many mysteries and let's see how great it can be in the future and how the writers and the directors would deal with them. Full Review »
  2. Apr 14, 2013
    4
    Like many other shows, this one suffers of underbudget production problems, dubious acting, as well as a superficial approach that tries to please too many audiences. Full Review »
  3. May 31, 2013
    9
    Da Vinci's Demons is so refreshing, its quirky take on a historical great is just so entertaining. The Vlad epsiode is brilliantly scary and Tom Riley's performance is brilliantly charming and manic, and we look forward to each week's instalment and very much hope there will be further seasons to tune into Full Review »