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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 317 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 317

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  1. Sep 28, 2013
    The Blacklist is an amazing, intense, well-acted, well-written, and well-directed. James Spader and the female lead (I forgot her name) are amazing together. I highly recommend this show
  2. Sep 25, 2013
    Has the potential to be great, BUT it sadly looks like it will not live up to it's potential. Conceptually, it is great, but the writing is terrible, nonsensical, and illogical. All the problems are too easily solved by Spader's character, the FBI is portrayed as one big idiot as everyone seems to be out of the loop. Spader's outfit in the opening? WOOF. It was offensively cheesy.
  3. Sep 30, 2013
    cliché, badly written and predictable script. Example 5 seconds after Reddington mentions Ranko Zamani's name they've matched his prints on the plane he just flew into Washington on....c;mon, really?..I can't see this series lasting 3 months before it goes on the chopping block...
  4. Oct 3, 2013
    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. 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. Expand
  5. Dec 17, 2013
    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. Dec 2, 2013
    The Blacklist is extremely poor. The stories are not checked for internal consistency, the science and history are flat wrong. The characters are terminally stupid. The setting and premise are ridiculous. The acting is bland. The characters avoid asking direct questions so that drama can be spread over an episode. I feel like I'm watching a televised reading of gossip magazines due to the shallow, insipid, disgusting, sexist garbage that, quite surprisingly, is being broadcast. I used to count the number of times Keen did something that should have gotten her fired from the FBI or arrested, but gave up after 10. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to adequately convey how disappointing and face-palmingly retarded The Blacklist is. The final kick in the nuts from NBC is that they cancelled Ironside, a brilliantly written, superbly acted and dramatically shot new series while continuing to fund this tripe. Expand
  7. Oct 19, 2013
    Show is poorly written,first loop hole is when Red Reddington surrendered surely CIA or NSA will take him in.Also FBI surveillance in here so week and Red Reddington escapes so easily.Least they should have put tracking device on him.Also action and story out of logic and predictable.No bigger picture there So not tempting to watch the show again so due to that show going to get cancel once the viewers get dropped, Expand
  8. Oct 10, 2013
    I don't know if you remember James Spader as Alan Shore from Boston Legal, but allow me to tell you that seeing him in court was almost like seeing Shakespeare in person. Now, I'm not personally a fan of Shakespeare, but we can't deny his brilliance and all the works that have stemmed from his. Alan Shore's speeches were shakesperian in that they were so brilliant and had so much longevity that if you removed them from their surroundings and just used them as words on a page, they would still be brilliant. Well, Alan Shore is back in the Blacklist as Raymond Reddington. He's every bit as brilliant, as witty and as smug, and let me tell you, James Spader was born to play smug.
    The Blacklist is a highly intelligent new drama about a man so smart, and so dastardly that he has conceived a plot to use the FBI as his own personal hit squad, taking out all of his criminal competition. He walks right into the FBI's HQ, and turns himself in, because he knows his value to them. After all, he's Raymond Reddington, the most wanted man in the world. Genius show, you must watch it.
  9. Sep 27, 2013
    I found the show pretty preposterous. James Spader's character Red Reddington seems to know everything about everybody and can somehow get people to do his bidding even though he's captive by the FBI. I think someone would have to have supernatural mental/psychic abilities to pull this off. This show tries too hard to be like an action movie and dispenses with the logic. For my money, Jonny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu are much more credible on CBS's Elementary: not so flamboyant, but much more logical. Expand
  10. Jan 27, 2014
    I am in complete agreement with lahonda_99. This show is total garbage. Utterly stupid plot lines. Mediocre acting. The same 2 —and only — agents show up at the right time to save the day. Obviously there have been some serious cutbacks at the FBI!!

    The good folks at NBC were aiming low with this show. And they definitely hit a home run.
  11. Nov 7, 2013
    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.
  12. Feb 14, 2014
    One of the worse shows I've had to endure in recent memory, abysmal acting, James Spade has hit a new low, with his one expression act he's got going on. I'm not sure how many times they can make samey shows while keeping us interested.
    A fast paced mess, with a lot of "blabla" trying too hard to sound intelligent and gripping while almost parodying the genre. I am a one man army, boom
    bam Hu Ha I'll say two words and make you crack, Ill defuse the bomb the last second, I got the president on speed dial. BORING.
    Tis' a poor man's 24,only two decades late and as dull and cliché as they get.
  13. Sep 25, 2013
    The Blacklist is an intense, fast paced, amazing, action packed drama with good plots and a story line that will make you question everything. If any new fall show deserves to be watched, it's definitely this.
  14. Oct 17, 2013
    OK, I am totally hooked on The Blacklist and am loving the fact that it has gotten a full season order! At this point, I would love to see it go beyond one season. Yes, there are elements of the show that are far-fetched and unbelievable, and would probably never happen in real ife. Dramas are serious, but aren't intended to be a true-to-life reality. I believe TV (as well as film, music, art) is inherently escapist. When I watch or listen to something, I don't expect exactness or reality. What I do expect are things that will keep me interested and entertained. The Blacklist does this very, very well. James Spader is as close to perfect as one can get when it comes to acting. It seems like almost everything the man touches turns to gold. His tremendous skill is a huge reason why The Blacklist is so ridiculously great. Unrealistic aspects aside, the stories are incredibly engaging. There's an terrific mix of drama, action, suspense, mystery, and even comedy. The music used in the show is a very nice bonus. Hands down, this is the best new show of the 2013-2014 TV season, and I hope it sticks around for a while! Expand
  15. Nov 3, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I admit to a huge Spader crush and that could be why I think he is the only thing worth watching on this show.. but the other characters are just plain boring. Pretty, yes but about as exciting and compelling as old ketchup. Not to mention, quite stupid, honestly. In this show, the FBI is barely functioning above a 6th grade logic skills class and while it's satisfying to get some of the answers before the main characters, we shouldn't be getting ALL of them.
    (POSS. SPOILER AHEAD..) Agent Keen is most likely his abandoned daughter from 20 years ago when he went AWOL. It's super obvious right in the pilot. The only people who don't see this are... everyone else in the story! Which is to say, all the FBI agents. All of whom have been recruited during the same 20 year lag where walking while talking meant you had the right stuff to be in the FBI. I am serious, they are just not that bright. Nest to James Spader's main attraction, they just don't live up to his creepy mystery and everyone else comes across as plain and dull next to him. Agent Keen, his daughter, is very pretty and dull. Agent Keen's begrudging partner is also pretty and dull as block-of-wood Agent Ressler ('cause she 'wrestles' with him, get it.. they love the obvious on this show)
    Since episode 1, it would seem that Keen's only acting directions must have been, "have no expression on your face, then at random moments, face the camera and cry...ok, go!" I don't know whether it's the writing or the directing but no one aside from Spader's character is even remotely interesting. Spader is the best part of the show, along with the always wonderful Parminder Nagra who makes the most out of terrible lines and almost no part. Which ultimately is a shame because I think the premise is quite good.
  16. Feb 3, 2014
    It started out good but got boring and predictable real quick. Like everyone has said, the best part is Spader. LIzzy Keen appears incompetent and her acting stinks. The stupid mention of watch out for your husband is getting really old. That foreign mole is irritating too. Can hardly understand her when she talks. The plots are getting just too far fetched. Next......
  17. May 21, 2014
    Imagine this, an FBI convoy of at least 5 large black armored SUV,s full of armed trained agents are speeding a potential kidnap victim to safety ....how could you possibly stop them a get to the kidnap victim
    I know get a phony road worker to hold up a stop sign !!!........this sums up this series which is only made more ludicrous by the inept casting ,the female lead looks like her
    hair and makeup were done by Linda Carter's (Wonder Woman) team from the 70's. They paid James Spader and whatever was left over hired the rest of the cast.....this show got good reviews! Expand
  18. Nov 22, 2013
    The best show on TV bar none. James Spader is riveting as he doesn't even have to speak to captivate the screen. If there is a better show on TV I haven't seen it. Word of mouth will propel this show to number one. Mr. Spader wins an Emmy. Don't miss it.
  19. Oct 2, 2013
    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
  20. May 7, 2014
    Blacklist suffers principally from miscasting in the female lead. Megan Boone just doesn't have the earthy toughness of, say, Piper Perabo in Covert Affairs. Her porcelain beauty just doesn't fit. As for Spader, he will always be Spader the actor on screen, as the persona of his characters is eclipsed by the man himself. I've come to think of this as John Wayne Syndrome, and many of our most popular actors suffer that benign affliction. Expand
  21. Sep 25, 2013
    RickHendrikse Sep 24, 2013 9 This is the way to drop a new show to your audience. Episode one's overlapping story (thug-helps-police-and-want's-a-deal) is a one-episode story but at the same time uncovers a multi-episode and maybe season long plot in a way that you want to see next episode.

    James Spader is believable as a non-cannibalistic (so far we know) Hannibal kinda guy, a guy who
    looks totally in control, even though he's been arrested by the FBI as a most-wanted international criminal. He planned the whole thing and want to cut a deal, he'll help the feds capture a even bigger fish, but only wants to do business with first-day-on-the-job agent Keen (Megan Boone).

    While everyone, perfectly understandable, will praise Spader's performance, don't forget Boone's part. She can really keep up with her co-star, is attractive, mysterious and overall there is a feeling where you really want this girl to kick *ss!

    I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series. What's the deal with Keens husband? What is the connection between the two main characters? How about Keen's past? And how will Diego Klattenhoff, playing a FBI cop "in charge", fit into the whole story. So far, so good!
  22. Oct 3, 2013
    I really like the actors and writing. The plot seems to be solid. It gives you enough info each week to show there is some depth to the storyline. I find it entertaining, well acted and good writing.
  23. Sep 29, 2013
    The Blacklist stands out. There are so many new shows this season, so many comedies, so many "cop" dramas that are "different" but this one is truly different. It's a really interesting show that I can see going somewhere. On the other hand, some parts of the acting are just really blah, they just make you go, "Really?"
  24. Nov 11, 2013
    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.
  25. Aug 8, 2014
    James Spader is the only reason this show is worth watching at all. The critics of america seem to collectively have been drugged or bribed to give this show such glowing reviews. Most plot lines in every episode are utterly predictable. The whole Tom Keen story ark is very predictable after just a few episodes. The action scenes are repetitive between the episodes and don't feel believable and the FBI agents do not seem to think planning is worth anything. The characters in the show do some surprisingly stupid things just to keep the plot alive. Consistency seems to be VERY hard. People are moving between D.C. and New York in a few minutes. EVERY american citizen has had it's DNA recorded in a government database somewhere.

    For some reason James Spader manages to keep me interested.
  26. Oct 12, 2013
    This show is definetly fall's best new drama. It's filled with twists and turns, action, adventure, suspense, and last but not least thrill! Every episode creates a different story-line and at the same time recaps others and creates one hell of a story-line! i sense that reddington is her father with all the hints he's dropping especially in the latest episode but i hope they create a more cliff hanging conclusion as this season's number of episodes is limited. Expand
  27. Oct 19, 2013
    Impressed so far. Will have to see how this shows continues to play out. Spader's character is very interesting but some the acting is not. But the story still grabs my attention
  28. Nov 11, 2013
    Who can not love James Spader? He is such a good actor taking command of any scene he is in. The show manages to keep my interest with decent characters, good action, and plot twists. I will keep watching this one.
  29. Sep 23, 2013
    The story line and the lead players are well chosen. HOWEVER the production values stank. Oldfashioned viewers like to be able to discern what the actors are saying...it is NOT just about the action.

    Too many of the supporting actors subscribed to the school of acting based upon mumbling, prattling but at all times striving to LOOK compelling. Very strange, as the star of the show was
    speaking clearly and could be followed.

    Some of the responsibility must rest with the sound engineers, who seemed not to be able to balance and achieve clarity.

    For pointers, they should watch the commercials, as their sound values made the program seem very shoddy.
  30. Sep 24, 2013
    James Spader is fantastic in this wonderful new drama. Just when it seemed like you had the pilot figured out, another plot twist came into the picture. The pilot had it's moments when it seemed to drag, but luckily they were few and far between! I'm really looking forward to seeing where the writers take this show. It looks very promising.

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
    [A] pleasurable, cheeky new crime drama. [21 Oct 2013, p.47]
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Oct 9, 2013
    Here and now, The Blacklist is top-of-the-list escapism.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Oct 3, 2013
    [Spader’s] magnetic, chewing on the scenery so much that you can’t look away from him.