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  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 25, 2014
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Black Sails Image
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 402 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Created by creator Jonathan Steinberg as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island set in 1715, pirate Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his crew prepare to fight the British Royal Navy over New Providence Island with the help of Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), a daughter ofCreated by creator Jonathan Steinberg as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island set in 1715, pirate Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his crew prepare to fight the British Royal Navy over New Providence Island with the help of Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), a daughter of a local smuggling kingpin. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure

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Black Sails

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Jan 17, 2014
    83
    Not even a guilty pleasure, Black Sails is arrrrrr-estingly good. [24 Jan 2014, p.65]
  2. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 21, 2014
    75
    A winsome opportunist (Luke Arnold), a ruthless captain (Toby Stephens) and a tough-talking tavern owner (Hannah New) are just a few of the colorful characters involved in a brutal power grab in the 18th century Bahamas.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 24, 2014
    75
    Filmed in South Africa, Sails is awash in lush scenery, bloody expensive sets and brutal action. You’ve probably never seen a sword fight like the one that caps tonight’s episode.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Black Sails is a handsome illusion at times, but it rarely finds its way beyond that.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Mar 27, 2014
    50
    The drama is nothing more than a video game, with a story secondary to the blood and sex.
  6. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jan 24, 2014
    50
    The cast is stunning, the music enticing. Yet Black Sails lands too quickly on an island (shot in Cape Town) and the best parts of the spectacle--the open sea vistas and the claustrophobic shipboard scenes--run aground.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 23, 2014
    30
    What's mystifying is why Starz and the creators of Black Sails seem to think that, given the expanding array of options available to consumers, any content creators can get away with peddling fare that can't even manage to be consistently mediocre.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 72
  2. Negative: 7 out of 72
  1. Apr 6, 2016
    10
    It baffles me that people give this show anything below a 7. Simply put this show is amazing. Every single episode is almost like watching aIt baffles me that people give this show anything below a 7. Simply put this show is amazing. Every single episode is almost like watching a full length, big budget movie. 1. The storyline is amazing with it's plot twists, and the killing of main supporting characters just like in GOT. 2. The costumes, settings and scenery are absolutely stunning, there is almost no CGI involved, and whenever there is some, it looks realistic and uses spectacular angles, like flyby's and birds' eye's view of ship battles. 3. The acting by all actors is top notch, cand find a flaw in any of it. This is the ONLY show that i can put along sides with Game of Thrones, and due more realistic setting, I prefer this shows at some level, more than GOT.
    There is also a good line of moral philosophy that is being used throughout the series, especially in the later seasons, and it's not some random scripted stuff, but philosophy that actually makes sense. Absolutely a must watch, this show deserves more credit, it's simply the best show until GOT is out.
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  2. Nov 1, 2014
    10
    Black sails is an amazing action, adventure drama set in 1715 at the golden age of piracy. Unlike other series it has a sense of realism thatBlack sails is an amazing action, adventure drama set in 1715 at the golden age of piracy. Unlike other series it has a sense of realism that is made from the violence, nudity, language and plot similar to game of thrones. The characters, setting and plot are all amazing and keep you at the edge of your seat. Infact this may be my favourite series yet behind GOT. Expand
  3. Jan 27, 2014
    10
    This is really a decent pirate show... If you like the style and atmosphere of Starz's Spartacus series you'll certainly fall in love withThis is really a decent pirate show... If you like the style and atmosphere of Starz's Spartacus series you'll certainly fall in love with this too - raw and real experience of a pirate's everyday life including brutality, violence, sex and nudity. Cast seems to be fine and especially Toby Stephens works quite well as Captain Flint. Visuals, music and costumes are amazing both on sea during the action as well as on the land. Big budget works pretty good and I have to admit that this shows looks very promising after the first episode.
    Hint: Don't take mainstream (full of unsound and empty arguments filled with "political correctness") reviews too seriously
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  4. Feb 1, 2015
    9
    Uncommonly good. This under the radar series can more than hold its own (and then some) with any of the other current premium channel seriesUncommonly good. This under the radar series can more than hold its own (and then some) with any of the other current premium channel series out there, with the possible exception of Game of Thrones. Two episodes in and Season 2 is off to a great start. Expand
  5. Feb 18, 2014
    8
    Good production but a few technical flaws, one that stands out is the black flag flowing opposite of the wind on the sails of the ship.Good production but a few technical flaws, one that stands out is the black flag flowing opposite of the wind on the sails of the ship. Another is the small splash of the cannon shot into the water. Free view masked the nudity and some of the gore. Good work on the dialogue but too modern for the 1700s, one would think the vocabulary of sailors to be a bit less.
    So far it seems to be a good story, waiting for more....
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  6. Mar 5, 2017
    8
    Black Sails is a pretty realistic depiction of piracy and not the stereotypical kind. Most of the main characters are pragmatic and rarely letBlack Sails is a pretty realistic depiction of piracy and not the stereotypical kind. Most of the main characters are pragmatic and rarely let emotions get the better of their decision making. As such, it makes for a pretty interesting story as characters make some bold and tough decisions. It also has some pretty gruesome violence which is appropriate for piracy. The first season is rather slow, as there are many characters to introduce along with their personalities. After that though it picks up pretty quickly and is a lot more entertaining. Aside from that the only other problem with the show that I have is the seemingly random and unrealistic turn to bisexuality added at one point to a specific character. Expand
  7. Dec 8, 2016
    0
    What a load of pretentious nonsense this is. I was so looking forward to watching this before I subscribed to Amazon Prime, especially as theWhat a load of pretentious nonsense this is. I was so looking forward to watching this before I subscribed to Amazon Prime, especially as the concept looked inviting, but it just goes to show that IMDb's ratings can sometimes be so wrong.

    Some of the acting is laughable: the Charles Vane character is right over the top. And "Long" John Silver doesn't look too long to me. Billy Bones looks like he's been in the gym too long, and the women all look like models from Playboy. And can Anne Bonney stop trying to look enigmatic all the time with that silly hat on?! At least Calico Jack seems real.

    The drama isn't credibly dramatic at all, and apart from a few London accents there aren't any Cornish/Devonshire etc accents at all: too many of these pirates sound like BBC newsreaders. It's obvious that a load of money has been thrown into this, however it would have been money well spent if they had hired some decent script writers rather than trying to make early 18th C Nassau look like Benidorm. Definitely for the American market.
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See all 72 User Reviews

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