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Black Sails: Season 1 Reviews

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Matt Hannigan
What Culture

Another notable criticism is the pacing, as after a fair battle in the opening scene the rest of the episode fell straight down the cliff. A long, boring cliff.

Full Review Source: What Culture

January 29, 2014
Andrea Reiher

Black Sails is actually spinning a cleverly-crafted tale of intrigue, secrets and deceit surrounding a race for an enormous cache of gold in a Spanish galleon.

Full Review Source:

January 27, 2014
David Griffin

There are pirates aplenty, but their romantic nature is stripped down to a more personal and gritty reality that's worth your attention.

Full Review Source: ScreenRant

January 27, 2014
Maureen Ryan
Huffington Post

Black Sails clearly wants to inject some complexity into its sand-and-swords premise, but the drama runs aground of ambitions it doesn't have the skills to fulfill.

Full Review Source: Huffington Post

January 27, 2014
Vicki Hyman
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The era is a rich vein to mine, and to their credit, the creators are light on pirate cliches - I do not believe one "aargh!" is uttered. More swashbuckling please.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: B-

January 27, 2014
Sabienna Bowman
TV Equals

As a political tale, a pirate tale and simply a story of people carving out lives for themselves in the days when their standing in the world was slipping, Black Sails succeeds

Full Review Source: TV Equals

January 27, 2014
Adam Newland
TV Equals

The show is aiming for a "truer" depiction of piracy in the days of Blackbeard, but in aiming for the grit and dark world of pirates, the show has bypassed everything people have enjoyed about entertainment featuring pirates.

Full Review Source: TV Equals

January 27, 2014
Robert Lloyd
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Black Sails depiction of daily life among the pirates is plausibly authentic and workaday, and the Nassau through which they roam feels real and well-peopled. These things draw you in as much as the slow-blooming intrigue.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

January 27, 2014
Anne Louise Bannon
Your Family Viewer

A fascinating blend of historical, literary and new fictional characters.

Full Review Source: Your Family Viewer

January 27, 2014
Jeff Jensen
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I was impressed by the conceptual framework of the series and by most of the characters, acting, and conflict.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B

January 27, 2014
Joanne Ostrow
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Maybe they were going for "Deadwood on the Beach," with the politics of organizing an unruly bunch the underlying theme. Instead, they got "Spartacus Island," a less-elevated narrative with violence in keeping with the Starz brand.

Full Review Source: Denver Post

January 27, 2014
Kari Croop
Common Sense Media

That doesn't mean that Black Sails is solely about sex and violence. It actually has a lot more to offer, including a complex plot and a compelling roster of characters -- both fictional and factual -- that combine to create an effective fantasy world.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 3/5

January 27, 2014
Mark A. Perigard
Boston Herald

If you're tuning into a Michael Bay production, you expect things to blow up, and his new Starz pirate adventure series Black Sails thrills from the start.

Full Review Source: Boston Herald | Original Score: B

January 27, 2014
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you're more action-oriented, you'll soon find yourself shouting at the screen, "Less talking, more cannon fire."

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

January 27, 2014
Todd VanDerWerff
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a show where things continuously seem about to happen, only for the story to wander off in search of other, less pressing concerns.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C

January 27, 2014
Matt Fowler
IGN Movies

Black Sails goes for authentic over ostentatious in presenting the always intriguing world of civilized savagery.

Full Review Source: IGN Movies | Original Score: 8/10

January 25, 2014
Tom Conroy
Media Life
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To paraphrase Woody Allen's paraphrase of an old joke, what Black Sails has to offer is mediocre, and the portions are small.

Full Review Source: Media Life

January 24, 2014
Brian Lowry
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Black Sails never quite takes off, developing into a tired treasure hunt with indifferent casting and stock characters.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 24, 2014
Robert Bianco
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This Treasure Island prequel is a pirate story put through the Starz breast-and-blood blender, with the sex and violence set to high. Yo ho - no.

Full Review Source: USA Today

January 24, 2014
Matt Roush
TV Guide

Sails becomes stubbornly becalmed by its landlocked third and fourth hours, as tiresome wheeling and dealing triggers a bout of Restless Sea Legs Syndrome in the impatient viewer.

Full Review Source: TV Guide

January 24, 2014
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