Spartacus: Blood and Sand Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 392 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Spartacus is a Roman soldier who is forced to become a gladiator in the premium cable network's latest drama that promises more gore and sex than "300" or HBO's "Rome."
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure
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. 75
    Spartacus develops into an enjoyably soapy escape--a la the similarly sweaty and sex-drenched "True Blood"--as its first season progresses.
  3. Given that Spartacus does not stumble in what it sets out to do, one's objections to the show, if objections one has, will be moral, or simple matters of taste, to the extent that those two concerns can actually be separated.
  4. Some viewers will be riveted to the sex, violence, beautiful nude bods and sensory gluttony of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Others will be turned off almost instantly.
  5. 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.
  6. The trappings up front are so over the top that to say you watch Spartacus to see a contemporary reworking of a cinema classic is like saying you go to Hooters for the food.
  7. Spartacus is an exercise in some of the worst writing, acting and directing you'll ever see (or not).

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 62
  2. Negative: 17 out of 62
  1. 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
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. deafheaven
    Jan 25, 2010
    I like it. Some of the acting was a little weak but the major players were quite good. Loved the look of it but recognize that many will not. I think comic book fans will "get it" more than others. The freeze frames with the blood splattering are typical comic book images. Looks like it's going to be a weekly guilty pleasure for me. Expand
  6. 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.
  7. C.D.
    Jan 25, 2010
    I was expecting something more...That had to be the biggest turd of a show. Horrible writing, acting, special effects. I couldn't stop laughing, not because it was funny, but because it was supposed to be serious. Watch at your own risk. Expand

See all 62 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Midseason TV Preview: A Look at New and Returning Shows

    Midseason TV Preview: A Look at New and Returning Shows Image
    Published: January 5, 2010
    Read about the biggest and best new series debuting in the coming months, find out when your favorite programs are returning, and watch trailers for over two dozen shows.