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  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 28, 2005
Season #: 1, 2
Rome Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 109 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: "Rome" is the saga of two ordinary Roman soldiers and their families. An intimate drama of love and betrayal, masters and slaves, and husbands and wives, it chronicles epic times that saw the fall of a republic and the creation of an empire. The series begins in 52 BC, as Gaius Julius Caesar"Rome" is the saga of two ordinary Roman soldiers and their families. An intimate drama of love and betrayal, masters and slaves, and husbands and wives, it chronicles epic times that saw the fall of a republic and the creation of an empire. The series begins in 52 BC, as Gaius Julius Caesar has completed his masterful conquest of Gaul after eight years of war, and is preparing to return to Rome. He heads home with thousands of loyal battle-hardened men, huge amounts of loot in gold and slaves, and a populist agenda for radical social change. Terrified, the aristocracy threatens to prosecute Caesar for war crimes as soon as he sets foot in Rome. Caesar's old friend and mentor, Pompey Magnus, attempts to foment mutiny in order to maintain the balance of power. Two of Caesar's soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, thwart Pompey's plan and in the process, win the eternal gratitude of Caesar and the Julian clan, affording the two plebian officers an intimate view of the ruling class. The fates of Pullo and Vorenus become entwined with those of Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra and the boy Octavian, a strange and awkward child who, by political guile and bloody force, will become the first emperor of Rome.(Source: HBO Press Release) Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 28, 2014
    100
    As good as Rome is -- and it's an epic, multilayered thing of beauty -- it's still not on the level of "The Sopranos" or "The Wire" or "Deadwood." That's almost an unfair comparison, but it's also true. On the other hand, "Rome" unfolds like a marvelously shot big-screen movie, each scene (filmed on location in Italy) dripping with money well spent and a meticulous grandeur that rewards you for paying extra for HBO.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 28, 2014
    90
    Rome wasn't built in a day, the saying goes, and that applies to this show, too. It's a slow build that requires some effort on the part of viewers, but after the first three episodes, I was hooked. [28 Aug 2005, p.TV-3]
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 28, 2014
    88
    As extravagant, enticing and chaotic as Rome itself, HBO's latest series boasts all the opulent pleasures that lavish expenditures of time and money can buy. Every detail in its re-creation of ancient Rome may not be correct, but the spirit and the overall picture ring true -- and the entertainment value resounds.
  4. Reviewed by: Gillian Flynn
    Jun 18, 2013
    75
    Rome is most entertaining when it laces its wild, ancient antics with winks of the pedestrian.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 28, 2014
    75
    Less perverse than ``I, Claudius,'' more entertaining than ABC's toga twister ``Empire,'' Rome gets off to an uneven start. [25 Aug 2005, p.47]
  6. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Jan 28, 2014
    63
    After watching six episodes, I'm still not sold on the overall worth of this ambitious period drama.
  7. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jan 28, 2014
    20
    Calling Rome a crushing disappointment would be accurate but too forgiving of its sordidly cockamamy fixations. Brutality and nudity rise in direct proportion to unpersuasive storytelling. Finding someone, anyone, to care about amid all this shock-value Sturm und Drang swiftly becomes an enervating chore. [26 Aug 2005, p.B33]

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    Rome was completely thrilling to watch, their representation of the historic events was compelling and the story surrounding their charactersRome was completely thrilling to watch, their representation of the historic events was compelling and the story surrounding their characters Vorenus and Pullo were pretty capturing. Some of the sexual scenes felt like they were inserted for no real purpose but they were excusable. The finale was amazingly well done and it was really easy to get captured by the show and watch numerous episodes on end. Expand
  2. Nov 14, 2013
    10
    The first season of Rome is one of the best individual seasons I've ever seen. The acting is top notch, the set pieces and scenary areThe first season of Rome is one of the best individual seasons I've ever seen. The acting is top notch, the set pieces and scenary are incredible, and the story is incredibly interesting. That story is driven by characters that feel realistic the entire time. The depth and emotion they convey feels so genuine. Hands down, Rome is amazing. Expand
  3. Nov 17, 2010
    10
    My favorite drama of all time... Historically acurate, brilliant acting, set and costume design were both top notch and more drama and greatMy favorite drama of all time... Historically acurate, brilliant acting, set and costume design were both top notch and more drama and great characters than you can ask for! Expand
  4. Feb 10, 2013
    9
    Excellent show depicting the intrigues and lives of Roman citizens. Not entirely historically accurate but that can be forgiven given theExcellent show depicting the intrigues and lives of Roman citizens. Not entirely historically accurate but that can be forgiven given the excellent acting, cinematography and character development. Expand
  5. Dec 16, 2012
    9
    I was leaning very close to giving this an 8, but dammit, this show is just too amazing to downgrade. The sets, costumes, and all other periodI was leaning very close to giving this an 8, but dammit, this show is just too amazing to downgrade. The sets, costumes, and all other period pieces are just utterly fantastical. Plot is very interesting, acting is great, writing is very well done, and for being a show about history, there were several solid plot twists. My only issue with this season is that to a point, it does get slow, and I cant put my finger on it, but there is some missing element somewhere. Overall, amazing show, completely worth watching. Expand
  6. Oct 8, 2014
    9
    I would only put 'The Wire, 'Breaking Bad' and maybe 'Game of Thrones' above this for being the Greatest TV Series of All Time.

    A fantastic
    I would only put 'The Wire, 'Breaking Bad' and maybe 'Game of Thrones' above this for being the Greatest TV Series of All Time.

    A fantastic cast, as historically accurate as it can be and they nail the atmosphere and clothing of the era perfectly.

    The ending in Season 2 is rushed (you can tell they'd had their funding pulled and must have been told to wrap it up), but even so this is an unsung, under-rated and unmissable gem of a show!
    Expand
  7. Sep 10, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The series got off to such a great start, Caesar has a great actor and is a pleasure to watch and Octavian was interesting. All of the political intrigue was done quite well. The soldiers were carried along quite well, no problems. Then Caesar died and the whole series came crashing down
    The two soldiers became a soap opera story and the series began to devote more and more time to their tiny tales of tiny people. The actually interesting part of the story, the intrigue, began to falter when Augustus Caesar was introduced. The actor just couldn't carry the man and he was no where near a replacement for Julius. Then they show the Egyptians as freeky deeky. I know they are a 3000 year old civilization by this stage but come on. Cleopatra is neither likable nor manipulative, at least in how the show portrays it. They simply say she is manipulative and cut to her getting what she wants, but as they say; the thrill is in the chase, never in the capture.
    The faltering second season just soured the whole thing for me. It became so slow and monotonous, it was just unbearable, I had to skip most of the soldiers sections for being so irrelevant. I'm watching Rome here, I want to see the Senate and the great family's. I don't need the producers creating some plebeians to try and relate to me. I can relate to other human beings just fine thanks, I don't care what their social status is.
    Expand

See all 16 User Reviews