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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 370 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 370

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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. Feb 3, 2014
    3
    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......
  3. 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
  4. Aug 8, 2014
    3
    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 feelJames 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.
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  5. 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.
  6. Nov 6, 2013
    8
    Spader's dialogue (congrats writers) and Spader's acting are worth an 8 ranking for this show. Even the very to somewhat less realistic story circumstances and plotlines can be overlooked. Spader is the show and makes it worth watching. Sadly the female lead is really mediocre by comparison, both in terms of the dialogue and in terms of her acting ability. There is no chemistry at allSpader's dialogue (congrats writers) and Spader's acting are worth an 8 ranking for this show. Even the very to somewhat less realistic story circumstances and plotlines can be overlooked. Spader is the show and makes it worth watching. Sadly the female lead is really mediocre by comparison, both in terms of the dialogue and in terms of her acting ability. There is no chemistry at all between her and Spader, either love, hate or any other strong emotion. She reminds me of one of the innumerable women who play cops, all lightweights to their male counterpart. Sadly, strong female characters, women like those found in Southland, Major Crimes or the Killing are in a whole other acting league. Too bad with a good female lead, this show might have been a 9 or 10. Expand
  7. Nov 9, 2013
    10
    This is an excellent show that is very well written and acted. I must say, that after the first episode I did not like it much, however now It is probably in my top 5 favorite shows.
  8. 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
  9. Jan 8, 2014
    10
    Amazing story, I'm at episode 6 at the moment at I just can't stop watching. This series has amazing acting and a nice original story. Reddington is amazingly played.
  10. Mar 3, 2014
    10
    This serie it's amazing! I can't wait to see how ends season 1.... Intense!! I like the way Red manage the drama, he is such a great actor and Liz. Please don't stop!! We want season 3...4...5.....
  11. Aug 27, 2014
    1
    This series is astonishingly unrealistic and also completely derivative of previous works.

    Spader's acting is the only redeeming aspect of the series.
  12. May 21, 2014
    0
    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
    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!
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  13. Feb 14, 2014
    2
    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
    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.
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  14. Oct 10, 2013
    10
    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 longevityI 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.
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  15. May 7, 2014
    7
    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 ourBlacklist 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
  16. Sep 25, 2013
    2
    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.
  17. Sep 30, 2013
    1
    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...
  18. 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.
  19. Sep 28, 2013
    10
    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
  20. Dec 2, 2013
    0
    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 theThe 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
  21. 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. Expand
  22. 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.
  23. Nov 3, 2013
    2
    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.
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  24. Aug 2, 2014
    8
    The Blacklist is basically about James Spader being a jerk to everyone around him because everyone else knows less than him about his secret plans of being a master-criminal. He's smug about most everything and, because of the plot, he's always right about things and they mostly go his way eventually seemingly no matter how bad they might look. It works a few times, but takes the air outThe Blacklist is basically about James Spader being a jerk to everyone around him because everyone else knows less than him about his secret plans of being a master-criminal. He's smug about most everything and, because of the plot, he's always right about things and they mostly go his way eventually seemingly no matter how bad they might look. It works a few times, but takes the air out of things a bit after that.

    Most of the criminals that he schemes to take down are pretty interesting though, so it's a pretty good watch.
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  25. Sep 29, 2013
    8
    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?"
  26. 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.
  27. Oct 12, 2013
    8
    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 moreThis 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
  28. Oct 19, 2013
    7
    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
  29. Nov 11, 2013
    8
    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.
  30. Oct 13, 2013
    8
    The show has made a dazzling start. Lead Raymond 'Red' Reddington, portrayed by James Spader plays a
    wanted man, by the FBI, who over the last 20 years has made a so called 'Blacklist' of dangerous men including terrorists and politicians, who, with the help of Elizabeth Keen, who is played by Megan Boone, aim to take down and make society a safer place.
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.