• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2013
Season #: 1, 2
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 378 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 378

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  1. May 24, 2014
    6
    I am an ENORMOUS fan of James Spader and try to watch this show as an 'entertainment' but the script is often so irrational, it becomes laughable. The cast is strong with the notable exception of Megan Boone whose performance is weak and wooden. She has one of those faces you just want to hit with a shovel (perhaps then it would be less bland and more animated).
  2. Mar 6, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. James Spader is one of the great all time actors. He is riveting. Unfortunately Megan Boone is as bad as Spader is good. Her acting compromises the show. Poor casting except for Spader. Good premise of plot. Expand
  3. Oct 9, 2013
    6
    It's not terrible but it's story is a little self serving and they pull conspiracies out of thin air. It's a mindlessly violent, over a exaggerated spy drama... About non-spies. Is it a procedural.. Is there a meaningful story arc there somewhere? Not that I can see. Save yourself some time and watch Homeland instead (if you haven't already). Spader is the only redeeming part of the show for me.
  4. Nov 12, 2013
    5
    Needs more Spader; less of the woman. If you didn't know better, you'd think the woman was the star of this show. I'm fading fast on the woman and her boyfriend story line. They need to move on from that. And more Spader! After all he is the star, but the show's becoming a yawn because his part is so small compared to the woman (his daughter in the show). I'll give it a bit longer toNeeds more Spader; less of the woman. If you didn't know better, you'd think the woman was the star of this show. I'm fading fast on the woman and her boyfriend story line. They need to move on from that. And more Spader! After all he is the star, but the show's becoming a yawn because his part is so small compared to the woman (his daughter in the show). I'll give it a bit longer to improve and then move on if this continues. Expand
  5. Dec 17, 2013
    6
    Spader is fantastic, but the surrounding cast is rather underwhelming. This fact falls on the writers as Spader is the only one who can rise above the dullness of the writing. As far as network TV goes, The Blacklist is far better than most, but in my opinion, there's really nothing new about the Blacklist beyond the standard network Police/FBI shows on finds on network tv.
  6. Oct 3, 2013
    5
    The main draw of this show is unquestionably James Spader. His acting is on full display here as he seems to be relishing this mysterious and complex role. Beyond him though, things start to get dicey. A pet peeve of mine is when writers diminish the intelligence of all the surrounding characters in order to make the main character look more intelligent. That happens here. A lot. TheThe main draw of this show is unquestionably James Spader. His acting is on full display here as he seems to be relishing this mysterious and complex role. Beyond him though, things start to get dicey. A pet peeve of mine is when writers diminish the intelligence of all the surrounding characters in order to make the main character look more intelligent. That happens here. A lot. The government agents, in particular, are almost as incompetent as the cadets in Police Academy, going from one stupid nonsensical act to another. It works for now, but the agents better smarten up or it's going to be tedious. Collapse
  7. Nov 7, 2013
    6
    Spader is a fantastic lead and him alone makes the show worth watching, The rest of the cast is ok. It's a villain of the week sort of show where they take out 1 person on the blacklist each episode. Gets a little old as the season goes on but it's still a pretty solid show overall.
  8. Nov 11, 2013
    6
    Unbelievable series which seems as if it is going to have a different criminal theme every week. It is linked by James Spader who, ridiculously, is a master criminal dictating actions to the authorities in order for them to catch other criminals. It's all total tosh saved only by Spader himself.
  9. Nov 28, 2013
    4
    Show is good. The only downside is the talent-less performance of Megan Boone. This is one my few reviews that was trigger by this bad acting. I keep wondering why she got this part next to a brilliant Spader. Please find a way to change her for the sake of the show. TEEERRRIBLE
  10. Oct 2, 2013
    5
    I don't mind suspending disbelief, but I do mind suspending intelligence. O.K. I knew Spader would make or break the show, but I thought he'd have some support from the writers when he was off screen, and all we get is ramped up "24" fantasia land. "Homeland" succeeds because it has a plot and characters to distract from the adolescent view of terrorism, and it has Clare Danes. "Blacklist"I don't mind suspending disbelief, but I do mind suspending intelligence. O.K. I knew Spader would make or break the show, but I thought he'd have some support from the writers when he was off screen, and all we get is ramped up "24" fantasia land. "Homeland" succeeds because it has a plot and characters to distract from the adolescent view of terrorism, and it has Clare Danes. "Blacklist" has the usual super heroes in human clothing. Isn't it rather obvious that Spader has a daughter? Namely? Expand
  11. Oct 3, 2013
    4
    Critics gave this a high score, but to me it was just ok. I really want to see it, but was disappointed in the gruesome violence in the first episode and the ridiculous easy way the guy escapes in the first two episodes. He is under total lockdown, then let out and is able to just walks away without anyone seeing him. Unbelievable.
  12. Nov 6, 2014
    5
    sadly no living up to its early series one potential, in series 2 the plots get sillier as the weeks go by, really unfortunate thought this was going to be a really good series
  13. Aug 11, 2014
    6
    Show was ok, until episode 10 of first season. Who wrote that?! Whoever that was spoiled the whole thing. Completely unbelievable characters and actions. Episode 9 was fine, I was in and curious of what`s going to happen. And that episode 10 happened. Horrible writing. It was such a bad experience that I had to write it somewhere :)
  14. Feb 14, 2014
    6
    Spader is the interesting piece who should be allotted more time. When pushed to the background, what's going on around the lives of the other amateur characters just can't level with what the silent, poetic criminal mind – that is Raymond Reddington – can effortlessly offer. The ongoing plot with Liz's adoption has been halting the show and, like all the names in the Blacklist, must beSpader is the interesting piece who should be allotted more time. When pushed to the background, what's going on around the lives of the other amateur characters just can't level with what the silent, poetic criminal mind – that is Raymond Reddington – can effortlessly offer. The ongoing plot with Liz's adoption has been halting the show and, like all the names in the Blacklist, must be dealt with and locked up soon. Expand
  15. Sep 20, 2014
    4
    Meh. It's another black ops type show. I am not done watching the 1st season and am kind of bored by some fairly obvious plot points? Also, the cinematography isn't so great. there are funny details which are not right, which to me seem really blatant. Ep. 2, 21 minutes, it's easy to see the cut scenes based on the rain on the jackets. There are times when you can't make the scene.Meh. It's another black ops type show. I am not done watching the 1st season and am kind of bored by some fairly obvious plot points? Also, the cinematography isn't so great. there are funny details which are not right, which to me seem really blatant. Ep. 2, 21 minutes, it's easy to see the cut scenes based on the rain on the jackets. There are times when you can't make the scene. It didn't need to be harbor-side. The digital effects are also poor. They stand out like effects from the early 2000's. The plot is alright, but requires some real suspension of disbelief. Best bet, read a book, skip the series.

    I can suspend disbelief, but make it somewhat close to how real life would be, where not every next person is known, already pre-linked, and pre-fried.

    NEXT!!!
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  16. Feb 4, 2015
    4
    Spader's talent is wasted on terrible writing, audio and an illogical script.

    Completely and utterly ridiculous but remains vaguely entertaining because of it. The storylines make absolutely no sense and the FBI agents are possibly the most useless employees I have ever seen in any organisation, in any TV show or film, in all of history. Reddington only sounds vaguely intelligent
    Spader's talent is wasted on terrible writing, audio and an illogical script.

    Completely and utterly ridiculous but remains vaguely entertaining because of it. The storylines make absolutely no sense and the FBI agents are possibly the most useless employees I have ever seen in any organisation, in any TV show or film, in all of history. Reddington only sounds vaguely intelligent juxtaposed with the brainless FBI officers who apparently have no common sense or goal apart from dishing out dodgy one liners whilst being continually made a fool of by the supposed genius Reddington. A prime example of this stupidity is handsome blonde agent Donald Ressler. At one point he completely loses sight of his mission and decides to repeatedly punch an unconscious man in the face for no apparent reason - simultaneously ludicrous and hilarious.

    The amount of times the FBI let people escape is also a great source of humour along with numerous flaws in the bad guy's motives. In one episode we see 'The Courier' shoot an FBI vehicle head on with an assault rifle in the middle of a public highway. Soon after the FBI crash into his car leaving themselves dazed and vulnerable in the drivers and passenger seats... What will the deadly Courier decide to do with them? Well, the man who 'leaves no evidence' and 'kills all parties if a mission is compromised' decides to walk straight past them with his assault rifle and hide behind a wall, letting them survive and eventually catch him.

    This is like the Flash Gordon of crime drama. Charmingly terrible.
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  17. Noy
    Mar 13, 2015
    5
    Lizzy Keen acting stinks, Only reason I watch is Spader. When are you going to replace Agent Keen actress? Megan Boone is really bad for this role. Find a strong actress for this role and this series can go very long with Spader.
  18. May 31, 2015
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Like everyone else is saying, James Spader is literally the only good thing in the show, I find that seeing the FBI being dumber than one character is overly done and boring, because then the only good thing is Reddington, everyone tries to say Boone is a good actress, which she is but her character Liz Keen makes you want to slam your head against a wall, and doesn't grasp your interest at all, it's only though Reddington's efforts that she even stands out.

    Honestly White Collar does a better job at making FBI agents seem like they're worth watching, because none of them are portrayed as dumb. It's one thing to make an individual stand out, but to make everyone else seem dumber in comparison or not as interesting is what doesn't make this show stand out much. And none of the supporting characters or side characters stick out, or make you feel like WOW good villain, but it's just good acting, and it CAN be way better, though it isn't, like at all.

    The best villains are in Criminal Minds, and that's because they're shown as people, but overall, in terms of plot and characters, this show is not doing anyone justice. Especially when it comes to Keen's fiance, that plot-line and why Reddington keeps helping her, are the ones that drive you mad, not because you want to know, but because they keep dragging it out, like you know in each episode somebody is gonna be thinking about it, even if they don't need to, and all you're gonna keep saying is "please, just stop." which they won't be doing ever.

    I don't understand how anyone says anyone other than Reddington is worth it, because even though some characters are nice to watch, no one manages to catch your interest but Reddington, not even the list is interesting, even though that's what the show is named after. Like I feel if they'd named the show Reddington, and made him the main character and showed his life story, that would have been much better than showing us the FBI who can't match his intelligence nor wit in certain areas.

    I also wish that if the FBI couldn't catch the people on the list for a long time, that it shouldn't be easy for Reddington to find them, it's like saying the FBI doesn't know how to do undercover or its jobs, but one man can. It also should take some time to find the people on the list, and we should be seeing more agents rather than the same ones, and getting into their life stories, like I can learn a lot about a person without needing to watch 12 episodes which could take the span of a max of 2 months in their timeline. Introducing interesting characters within the FBI would be better, even if we don't like them. Otherwise this show should just be called 'Reddington and Keen' and then we won't have to keep skirting the issue of is he or is he not her father. I don't know, and I don't care.

    I've lost interest after the first few episodes, I tried to check out the summary of later episodes or seasons to see if I was doing the show injustice, but I'm not, not really anyway, because I tried, and it backfied, cause I ended up dying to finish the episode so I would've have to see Keen talk or any other FBI agent. And maybe its my opinion, but it's not as good as people keep claiming it to be, I apologize if this offends fans. And I hope this helps non-fans and saves people the effort of having to watch with so many expectations and then feeling bitter when those expectations blow up.
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Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 11, 2013
    75
    [A] pleasurable, cheeky new crime drama. [21 Oct 2013, p.47]
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Oct 9, 2013
    83
    Here and now, The Blacklist is top-of-the-list escapism.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Oct 3, 2013
    75
    [Spader’s] magnetic, chewing on the scenery so much that you can’t look away from him.