User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 396 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 396

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  1. Oct 4, 2011
    the series starts of SLOW and on a VERY small budget but the story just gets better and better. so some of the actors may not be "hollywood" (whatever that is) level, but they never are in these things and to be honest i have no issues with it anyway as i have bonded to many of the characters in it with no probs. the ONE proper grumble i have is that they do need to tone down the nudity and bad language. i know i sound like a 90 year old there but its all a little overdone to the respect it losses its meaning SOMETIMES, a lot of the time its good though. its a crying shame one of the lady's (no spoiler) has to die so soon because she was HOT. any way the main reason i give this a 9 is because i have never felt so much about characters in a series, this has to be good because im engaged in the story. a story which gets very good later in the series. the episode "party favors" shocked me so much to the core i was just left speechless. no other tv series has had that effect on me so for that i think this is a WIN and i cant wait for the next one. Expand
  2. Aug 23, 2010
    After watching the first episode I wasn't sure what I was getting into. The second and third episodes didn't help much but I really found myself getting into the series and the characters as the series went along. I think some may have been a bit over-sensitive about the nudity and blood, yes they are a bit over done sure but some of it IS plot worthy, for example showing how the slaves were treated by those above them, and how the Romans viewed anyone who wasn't one of them as something to be poked, prodded and laughed at (or cheered as they are killed), the plots towards the end of the series are woven together strongly and the seriously evil Batiatus and Asher pull off some stunning moves. Perhaps some who want to compare this to gladiator and 300 should watch those and then watch again, style wise I can't argue, but overall they are very different beasts. I found myself caught up in the sorrow of the minor characters like Crixus and Barca, the sad Mira who is just abused over and over again, and the sad Varro and his wife who, in my opinion, has the best 'kill' scene ever put down on film. I hope they learn plenty from what they did with the first season and I look forwards to more. It's not perfect, but it's very enjoyable. Expand
  3. Sep 27, 2011
    Highly entertaining, well acted, controversial, bloody TV Viagra. The stories and the characters who portray them get more and more enticing, as the show goes on and on it thrills and makes you get down on your knees and beg for more.
  4. Aug 23, 2010
    The most rewarding series since the Wire. Slow start.. compelling middle.. brutal end. Without a shadow of a doubt the best new series to hit tv in the last decade.
  5. Aug 16, 2010
    Superb in every way, especially the amazing finale. The series started slowly, like a conjuring trick full of misdirection, and sped up to a ridiculous velocity by the end. I cannot wait for the second season. Absolutely gripping stuff indeed.
  6. Sep 13, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Spartacus is a well-executed show with an engaging central storyline. People tend to get hung up on the nudity (come on, we've all seen it before) and the violence (well it *is* about a gladiator - a pretty violent life), but there's also a lot going on besides that, from the central character's quest to gain freedom and rescue his wife, to Batiatus' political ambitions, to Crixus' affection for Naevia. Expand
  7. Oct 12, 2010
    The critics get it wrong... Zena - in rare form, orgies, blood, sex, drama, violence and treachery. What more could you ask for? And why would you want to?
  8. Oct 13, 2010
    Muy buena serie!!!!!, altamente recomendable. Mucha acción y drama, hiperrealismo. Muy buen vestuario. Buenas actuaciones. Pienso que la serie se acerca mucho a las costumbres de los romanos (o no?).
  9. Nov 17, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It should have been titled "Spartacus: Kill, Scheme, Have Sex

    Because that's what happens over and over again. Oh, and I forgot "Potty Mouth". Did the ancient Romans have no oaths other than "F**K!!!" and "Jupiter's C**K!"? For a highly advanced civilization, it would appear they had little imagination. Dialogue? Delivered in many cases with as much passion as the UPS driver requesting a signature. John Hannah is an exception; but he's a very fine actor. The man who plays Spartacus sleepwalks through most scenes, looking as if he's forgotten where he left his clothes. Even when his wife, his whole reason-for-being (we're told over and over again) lay dying in his arms, he showed all the emotion of a professional poker player with a good hand. He's the central character, and except for a few "AAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH"'s, mainly when he's about to run someone through or decapitate them - he's boring. Just....boring. Some of the other actors have accents that thin the illusion to the point of causing it to disappear entirely; for example the guy who announces the "fights" in the pits. Imagine a New York Cabbie spouting psuedo-Shakespearian dialogue and you'll get the idea. In spite of all these shortcomings, it's good, dirty fun, and definitely good for a laugh.
  10. CBZ
    Mar 8, 2011
    This is a thrilling show, with epic fights and intrigue. Many aspects of it are exaggerated but thats what it makes it unique and addicting. It reminds me of the movie 300. I encourage you to watch 2 or three episodes since it might take a little to get used to the characters and the plot, after that you wont regret it.
  11. Jan 26, 2011
    This series is totally unrealistic and full of historical mistakes, yes I know it is a fiction, but it should remain at least plausible, virtually the entire series is shot in computer graphics, spurts of blood every 5 minutes, the acting is really poor, you feel nothing real in this series, apart from the pretty girls who are often bare;-)) I do not really see anything else of interest...
  12. Aug 10, 2013
    Watching this show progress up until its fantastic finale has been a real treat. At first glance this show my come off as just a show that indulges itself in blood and sex simply to be nothing more than a guilty pleasure, but as it progresses you quickly see "Blood and Sand" for what it really is. It's a dark tale featuring many different characters all with their own goals and plans that they would do anything to see come into reality. Characters are driven by lust for power or vengeance, and would resort to lies, murder, backstabbing, blackmailing, and just all around treachery to achieve power, fortune, and glory. The show takes place in a time when slavery was around, and the lives of these slaves were looked at as nothing more than tools to be used to further their masters goals. It's a brutal show and one that its characters can be quickly loved or hated or both. The shows twists and turns will catch you off guard at times, and the whole thing comes down to one brutal and satisfying conclusion. "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" is unlike any show I have seen before. It's filled with heartbreaking moments, tense moments where I was one the edge of my seat, an moments where I just couldn't help roaring with the in show crowd when a gladiator fell in the arena. It's tense, brutal, satisfying, and one of the best shows I've ever watched. Expand
  13. Jan 14, 2011
    This show does take off slow but after a few episodes my husband and I were hooked. It does have a little to much nudity but if you can overlook that and give it a chance you kind of get sucked in to it. We have been waiting for season 2. There are very few shows than my husband and I will both like, when this show came on it felt like date night for us to watch and enjoy a program together. We can't wait until season two begins. Expand
  14. Feb 10, 2011
    I haven't watch any other TV series about the ancient gladiator thingy. So so far this is the best gladiatoral TV series i've ever watched. especially this season, each episode is interesting and each episode is not letting me down, keep me addicted to watch on the next episode. I understand why some people are whining about the nudity and gory stuff, but in my opinion its just to show and give us the point how the ancient rome back then. Collapse
  15. Feb 19, 2011
    What can I say, absolutely hated the premier thought it was cheesy, left it for a few months and have been completely engaged since. Well written, for the most part very well acted, wonderfully filmed and a story that is challenging and is some of the most ballsy as hell TV in a long time, with a complexity in story that at first is thrown away for the pleasure of the violence and sex but soon becomes the real draw. While the violence and sex is at times shocking, it is no more pornographic than shows such as Bones, CSI with its repellent casual treatment of murder and its abused victims, which they like to show in horrific pornographic detail.. As Spartacus progress it seduces the viewer more and more till it is unmissable, a guilty pleasure that is worth every moment and deserves far more attention. Expand
  16. Mar 17, 2011
    Amazing! Not sure where it can go from here, but I am looking forward to it. For those complaining of the sex and violence- get a clue. This is a realistic depiction, not the Americanized Puritan take. If you can't handle the truth, go watch Disney.
  17. Apr 21, 2011
    After watching the first episode of Spartacus, I thought to myself "how much money does this network really have to waste?" Besides the terribly overdone CGI and the ridiculous amounts of unrealistic blood spray, the acting is superficial at best. The only bonus to watching this show is the amount of nudity that it offers, which after a while becomes boring. The language, vulgarity and lack of intelligent writing is one of my many complaints about this show. It is also inaccurate historically and wholly lacking any deep philosophical meaning. This show is an abortion of talent, money and costuming. They tried to fill the gap that HBOs Rome left behind and sorely missed. Rome had a talented cast, real skylines and terrain, realistic battles and beautiful writing. Spartacus meets none of these points in my opinion and should not be housed on the same shelf. I am two episodes away from finishing the worst series I have ever had the displeasure of watching on television to date. Avoid the blood spray at all cost. Expand
  18. Jun 22, 2011
    Not at amazing as Game of Thornes but pretty DARN close!!!!!! Wow, how many words does it take to get to 150 characters???? I love this show, especially nude scenes.
  19. Jun 29, 2011
    From start to finish, an enthralling adventure with some shocking moments. I cannot understand why critics (and users) could have rated one of TV's best shows anything under 8 stars.
  20. Aug 14, 2011
    Outstanding Action Series! I love the "300" Graphic-Novel Style of this production!!! The only complaint that I could give is that there should have been MORE Episodes! I HIGHLY recommend this series to everyone!
  21. Nov 25, 2011
    Looks like a Xena: warrior princess episode with gay soft porn in it. This show is all about making money out of the 300 trend without spending too much on scenarists, actors, director. Look elsewhere for historical accuracy.
  22. Jan 23, 2012
    Bad acting Terrible Effects Non entertaining story WAAAYYY too much sex and too much sex this is just a humble jumble of crap mixed in with totally unneeded nudity. they somehow think its more dramatic when you show someone banging another person. JUST IMPLY IT. if i wanna watch porn, ill watch porn. And the blood scenes are terrible. they go way overboard with how much blood there is. just because you scratched someone on the arm doesnt mean blood will explode everywhere. Expand
  23. Oct 7, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. one of the best series i have ever watched... Wish Andy the best of fortune battling his Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I hear he's to be replaced in the next Spartacus season. That's unfortunate for 2 reasons. first being that he portrays Spartacus wonderfully. Second being that I hate when shows leading roles. I hope the next guy does as good a job. I am looking forward to .. Expand
  24. Dec 10, 2010
    Great show!!! had a lot of action, passion and suspense. Cant wait for the next season.....................................................................................................................
  25. Nov 28, 2011
    For me this has to be one of the manliest films I've seen, Violence, blood, naked women, revenge and betrayal. it was a magnificent show. i'd recommend this to everyone
  26. Jan 21, 2012
    This is a great TV show. The narrative is deep, the characters are compelling and the testosterone and sexuality flow freely. The stylized CGI blood works for me, and it's one of the most watchable shows out there. The finale of the first season massively delivers. It's best that you watch from the beginning to the end.
  27. Sep 20, 2014
    This show was absolutely incredible. The story, the acting, the development, the characters, the action, the drama, etc. Almost every single element was amazing. Andy Whitfield's Spartacus is a sight to behold. He brings the character to life and carries the season the way Spartacus carries the House of Batiatus. It truly is a shame he got sick and passed without seeing this series through. He was a true titan. The only real flaw I had with the show, however, is that its art style was a little overdone. You can tell it's trying to tap into that 300 vibe but it misses the mark, primarily because it has such a low budget, or at least it appears that way, in comparison. One can't help but think that if this show were done on HBO rather than Starz, this effect would've come off more as they intended and less cheesey. Nonetheless, one small nitpick in an otherwise incredible season. Can't wait to see the rest! Expand
  28. Jan 8, 2012
    Jupiter's **** Extraordinary performances and Extremely Bloody EROTIC depiction of a legendary hero messiah. The 1st well acted soft-core PORN hijacked Shakespeare style drama. John Hannah has evolved
  29. Jan 21, 2012
    Spartacus offers a unique glimpse of ancient Rome where gladiators are a cross between slaves and celebrities. Women want them, men want to be them, and they can amass enough wealth through winnings in the arena to secure their freedom. The downside? Yeh, they're still slaves and are always subject to the whims of their masters. If you're a fan of sex, gore, and copious amounts of blood then you should be well satisfied by the series. The only aspect that wore thin with me as the series progressed was the venacular. Seemed a bit over the top by the end. Expand
  30. Jan 28, 2012
    Not the same show, Sorry but Andy Whitfield made the role of spartcus, to replace him with a much smaller man just did not do it for me. One thing the director for sure messed up on was showing that quick shot of the old Spartacus standing nude with a piece of meat hanging down like a big ole' Alabama soup bone. Now when they show the new Spartacus, he bess have a **** you can hammer a railroad tie with or all the women are going to throw rocks at him, he just does not command the scene the way Andy did, I'll tr 1 or 2 more episodes to see if he catches on but, I don't see it happening. The new guy looks like a out of shape roofer, they should have used cgi to super impose Andy,s body frame size on the new guy at least, One other thing,
    The blonde, that hates Spartacus, the Alisssia or whatever her name is. The spartacus banged like a rag doll, until she found out it was Spartacus and not kirskis. I"LL bet good money she ends up with Spartacus again somehow, you know after Spartacus took that makaita jackhammer to her the way did, she thinks about that big ole, tool all the time and wants another shot at it, besides, she's carrying his baby.
  31. CKS
    Mar 25, 2012
    While I enjoy the series, I truly enjoyed Any Whitfield much better than the new star. Also, I miss John Hannah. Andy simply has more presence in the role and it saddens me each time I see the new star in the role that once had someone who truly nailed the part. Seems to be a bit slower in plot this year for she reason and I didn't enjoy the new characters that were added in the first episode.
  32. May 29, 2012
    At first I thought that the gore and **** were just there to cover up bad writing and acting but the series grew on me very quickly. It certainly plugs into the most base instincts with the sex and violence, and perhaps this lulled me into a false sense of security, but the plot repeatedly had me completely surprised and wanting to see what would happen in the next episode. Andy Whitfield was a good fit for the title role of the somber Thracian who contrasts nicely with scheming pair of Batiatus and Lucretia, the former of which grows into a strangely likeable antihero while the latter produced some of the most intriguing plot twists and being portrayed by Lucy Lawless, which is always nice. Expand
  33. Aug 27, 2012
    at first you are shocked by its bad language, extreme violence, gore and high sexual content, but once you get to know its characters and the complex political intrigue you just cant stop watching. Best drama series on tv for years.
  34. Mar 2, 2013
    season 1 of spartacus blew me away. This is easilly one of the best tv shows i have ever scene. As you probably know its most blatent characteristics would be that there are incredibly stylish and gory fight scenes and tons of nudity and soft core sex scenes. Nothing like this has been seen on tv before. The characters are all awesome and there is tons of drama and the relentlessness of the writers leaves u not knowing who could possibly live for anyones life seems to be on the line. There are lots of plot twists, backstabbing, and blackmail for the drama junkies and lots of gritty gladiator battles for the adreline junky. The sex scenes will be off putting for some people but if you can get passed it this is a gripping show. My girlfriend and i loved season 1 and cant wait to continue the series. There were so many shocking moments i wont soon forget and i wont spoil them here but i will strongly suggest watching this show, loved it. Expand
  35. Mar 31, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is the best Season of the show. It is very unfortunate that the main character passed away and couldn't keep doing the's not the same without him I must say.
    Interesting show, well made.
  36. Feb 24, 2013
    After a very rocky start with a few weak episodes, Spartacus becomes a pretty damn good show. The story is interesting and has plenty of drama to accompany the gloriously violent and satisfying action, the characters are not as paper thin as would seem at first, and the representation of Rome and its culture is actually not that far from the truth. Definitely worth watching if you skip or sit through the beginning episodes. Expand
  37. Aug 8, 2014
    Really enjoyed the first season of this series! The second it ended I was on Amazon ordering the second season! If you love Gladiator and you love 300 then don't even hesitate to give Spartacus a go! Its like both of those but with the sex and violence cranked up to 20!
  38. Jun 22, 2013
    people call it blood and sex, for some point it is true.. but its only small point you'll get, cause there is more in it! i like the story.. it is historical mostly correct, and also amazing act by the actor and actress it self.. blood and sex? i doubt it..
  39. Sep 2, 2013
    I checked and definitely like it.
    I recommend to those who came to the "300" and "Gladiator" film.
    The excessively bloody scenes of obscene speech (and sex) because of over 18 years!
    One of the best shows I've ever seen.
  40. Feb 14, 2014
    this was one of the best TV shows I had seen in a long time, the action and viloance in this is some of the best around, it has romance and drama to the best of its kind. I would recomend this to anyone
  41. Jan 13, 2014
    this show was incredible! i thought it was great and had plenty of action in it as well as good acting lead by Andy Whitefield(R.I.P :/) and john hannon. alot of people complain that there is alot of sexual content in it but i honestly don't care 1. being 18 lol and 2., because it depicts the actual life of Rome back in that time which was filled with it. the plot was great and it had very emotional moments and jaw dropping action definitely my favorite series on TV right now. Expand
  42. Apr 11, 2014
    A series fantantisca with deep stories and always excited and surprised, with characters and hated amamaras instantly, never unnecessary violence and sex, single life was like in those times, a number that will live with you forever

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    After artistic duds like the TV version of "Crash," Starz may have found its destination series in Spartacus. This might prove to be the not-at-all-guilty pleasure of the season.
  2. Though the violence is designed to be gorgeous, like a graphic novel, it doesn’t have the pacing of a comic book. The creators of Spartacus: Blood and Sand seem a little too enamored of their ability to sketch a vast Thracian tableau, a fight scene, or a coliseum full of cheering CGI Italians.
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    After Spartacus blows most of its special-effects budget on the pilot, it settles into a not-bad sword-and-sandal genre series, a la "Xena" or "Hercules."