• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2013
  • Season #: 1
The Blacklist Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 280 Ratings

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  • Summary: One of the FBI's most wanted criminals, Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader), offers to turns himself in to help catch a presumed-dead terrorist, but only if he is partnered with newly graduated profiler, Liz Keen (Megan Boone).
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 19, 2013
    You think you know this situation and how it will turn out, but there are surprise, yet entirely credible, twists throughout Monday's episode.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Oct 9, 2013
    Here and now, The Blacklist is top-of-the-list escapism.
  3. 80
    It's probably a mite too ridiculous for the dire tone it sometimes affects, but it's confident, verging on brazen, and one tends to respect that quality in entertainment.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 22, 2013
    Blacklist doesn’t have the pulse, say, of a '24,' but it races in the right direction.
  5. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 11, 2013
    [A] pleasurable, cheeky new crime drama. [21 Oct 2013, p.47]
  6. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 23, 2013
    The Blacklist is never going to be anyone's idea of great art, but at least it has a pulpy kind of momentum that may well be worth watching for a while; I will stick around to see whether Spader's performance really is the only dish on the menu.
  7. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 19, 2013
    The pilot episode is stylish and swiftly paced, but that’s all it is, and despite some intriguing plot twists, there’s not a lot of motivation to keep coming back.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 74
  2. Negative: 12 out of 74
  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 Expand
  2. Dec 11, 2013
    The Blacklist is my favourite new show of 2013, which has seen some tough competition emerge. Character development is brilliant and continually building on the basics that were established early on. Each episode has a different twist that keeps you glued to the show, and James Spader is just the perfect character. Expand
  3. 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
  4. 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?" Expand
  5. Nov 6, 2013
    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 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
  6. Mar 6, 2014
    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
  7. 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.

See all 74 User Reviews