• Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 6, 2012
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 5 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Apr 6, 2012
    80
    Creator-executive producer Mitch Glazer draws a loving and critical portrait of the awesome and awful fantasyland that actually existed in that time and place.
  2. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Apr 6, 2012
    70
    The performances and the writing in the pilot don't quite reach the bar set by those predecessors [Mad Men and The Sopranos], but Glazer stakes his claim to his own little corner of the beach, and we're hopeful the series will eventually produce similar magic.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 5, 2012
    83
    So far this is solid and very picturesque entertainment, with a strong sense of foreboding built in.
  4. 20
    The show is so enervating and undeservedly full of itself, and such an altogether depressing combination of brilliant production values and subpar drama, that I can't muster the necessary bile.
  5. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Apr 6, 2012
    20
    Everything about Magic City shows a lack of depth, and the pacing is almost glacial.
  6. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Apr 6, 2012
    50
    Magic City is a little slow at getting under our figurative skin.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Apr 6, 2012
    30
    The writing telegraphs every trite and derivative twist, whether violent or sexual or some combination of the two to remind us this is pay cable and not some musty rerun.
  8. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Apr 6, 2012
    75
    The acting for the most part, is first rate....Too bad the writing isn't better.
  9. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Apr 6, 2012
    80
    After an episode or two, when you sort out the characters and how their lives bang together in the dark, elegant shadows of late-1950s Miami Beach, you'll find rich drama, well written and beautifully styled.
  10. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Apr 6, 2012
    40
    Glazer has built a beautiful edifice here, but he still needs to get some life into the place.
  11. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 6, 2012
    60
    While some aspects of the Magic City characters and their relationships are handled sloppily, others are too on the nose.
  12. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 6, 2012
    58
    Like the look of the ladies, the show is gorgeous, but it needs to reveal some substance.
  13. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Apr 6, 2012
    40
    What's really disappointing about Magic City is that if it weren't so desperate to be "Mad Men" in Miami Beach or The Jewish Godfather it could be an energetic, escapist hour of television.
  14. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Apr 5, 2012
    75
    Although you've tasted many of the ingredients before (in "The Sopranos," "Mad Men," "The Godfather" movies), creator Mitch Glazer mixes in enough new elements to keep things tasty.
  15. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 5, 2012
    42
    As a narrative achievement, though, Magic City is a mess, filled with paper-thin characters and clichéd dialogue and storylines. If not for the appealing lead performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Ike, large stretches of the series would be unwatchable, even with all the lovely visuals.
  16. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Apr 5, 2012
    30
    Magic City suffers from endless predictability and a lack of creative storytelling.
  17. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Apr 5, 2012
    50
    This glossy tribute is enjoyable; it is just not memorable.
  18. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Apr 5, 2012
    50
    It may be possible that, after The Sopranos, the Godfather films and the collected works of Martin Scorsese, there is still more to say about mobsters. But nothing in Magic City would lead you to believe that's true. Looks good, though. If only that were magic enough.
  19. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    A big, sexy drama that doesn't take itself as seriously as "The Sopranos" or "Mad Men" and doesn't seem to expect us to, either.
  20. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Apr 4, 2012
    25
    The plot is one telegraphed event after another, so that the only enjoyment to be found in sitting through this thing is timing when a blatantly preordained event will actually occur.
  21. Through the early episodes, nothing really happens that you couldn't see coming. Still, the setting is so seductive, the period details so vivid and the acting so stellar, that it's as intoxicating as a potent mojito.
  22. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Apr 2, 2012
    80
    The sordid ugliness that festers inside Magic City's voluptuously beautiful wrappings makes irresistible television.
  23. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 30, 2012
    60
    While the big-finned Cadillacs and old pop songs create an aura of pre-"Mad Men" nostalgia, the show is conventional in most other respects.
  24. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 29, 2012
    70
    Early on, there's enough intrigue and style in Magic City to keep the viewer wanting more, but it's not as fully realized from the get-go as shows like Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.
  25. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Mar 29, 2012
    42
    Sleepy, listless, dull. But it has a great set; the beach and clouds on the horizon are alluring.
  26. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Apr 6, 2012
    67
    Magic City burns with ambition. [13 Apr 2012, p.74]
  27. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 30, 2012
    75
    The story is promising. [9 Apr 2012, p.42]
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Apr 30, 2012
    10
    I love this show. I live in Miami Beach and most of the residents here know about Magic City and like it. It has me captivated. Ben Diamond is my favorite character. This is the first show I've regularly watched since the Sopranos. I like the time period element a lot! Very surprised to see some negative reviews. Everyone I know loves it. Full Review »
  2. Apr 5, 2012
    5
    This show is OK. It's enjoyably splashy to look at, plenty of beautiful naked woman and other attractive romanticized images....

    Everything
    about the plot seems vaguely familiar: a little bit of Godfather 2, Hiram Roth; a lot of the recently cancelled LUCK from HBO and a lot of Boardwalk Empire...

    Bottom line is that STARZ doesn't seem able to get it right. Their shows are too broad, not subtle enough, and not as smart as AMC or HBO. Maybe they cater to a less sophisticated audience but they don't seem able to produce a smart or original product.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 31, 2012
    8
    It's a good show with a lot of promise... The depiction of the era is as spot on as your gonna get, from the Cadillacs to the great musical score, from the style to the setting, everything seems to come together nicely to form a solid idea of what it was like to live in the late 1950's. The acting is as good as your gonna get and the premise of Mad Men meets Sopranos is compelling. Unfortunately, though, critics and viewers will probably not be able to get past the Mad Men comparisons, since everyone seems to be one sided when it comes to period dramas. Its a shame cause it really is a great show, but i'm almost certain that it's dead on arrival. Full Review »