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Boardwalk Empire: Season 5 (2014)


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: The final season of Boardwalk Empire is as visually dazzling and well-acted as ever, but it's the emphasis on Nucky Thompson's history that's particularly rewarding this time out.

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Reviews Counted: 9
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: The final season of Boardwalk Empire is as visually dazzling and well-acted as ever, but it's the emphasis on Nucky Thompson's history that's particularly rewarding this time out.


Average Rating: 4.5/5
User Ratings: 166


Season Info

Political boss Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson runs Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition in this drama inspired by Nelson Johnson's non-fiction book 'Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City.'

Premiere Date:
Sep 7, 2014


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Air date: Sep 7, 2014

Season 5 opens in 1931 with Nucky in Cuba, where he presses a U.S. senator on the likelihood of Prohibition's repeal and eyes a future business deal with a rum magnate. Meanwhile, Margaret witnesses a casualty of the Great Depression on Wall Street; Luciano makes a bold career move; Chalky catches a break to get out of a bad situation; and in a flashback to 1884, a young Nucky makes an impression on the Commodore.

Air date: Sep 14, 2014

Nucky visits Johnny Torrio in New York City to discuss his close call in Cuba and find out if new Mafia boss Salvatore Maranzano had anything to do with it. Meanwhile, law-school graduate Willie has a job interview; Eli and Nelson's liquor stash is raided by Eliot Ness in Chicago; and Joseph Kennedy listens to Nucky's pitch for post-Prohibition prosperity. Also: A young Nucky and his family mourn the loss of his sister, Susan, in 1884.

Air date: Sep 21, 2014

Margaret finds herself in a pickle due to her dealings with the late Arnold Rothstein when his widow starts snooping around his covert affairs. Meanwhile, Chalky wonders where his latest partnership is going; Nucky talks shop with a prominent businessman from Boston; Luciano and Siegel try to strike a deal with Narcisse in Harlem; and in 1884, a young Nucky works hard at the hotel and catches the eye of a girl who's vacationing with her parents.

Air date: Sep 28, 2014

Luciano encounters an old foe in Chicago, while Nucky and Margaret find common ground in Atlantic City when they face the same dilemma. Meanwhile, Sally conducts business in Cuba as rumors swirl of a public uprising; and in 1884, a young Nucky continues to impress the Commodore, and gives Eli a glimpse of what the future may hold.

Air date: Oct 5, 2014

Chalky returns to Atlantic City on a quest for revenge. Meanwhile, Nucky sets up a meeting with Maranzano in New York when he's concerned about Luciano's future plans; and Margaret comes to an agreement with Carolyn Rothstein. In Chicago, Eli and a visiting June attend a dinner party hosted by Nelson and Sigrid. Also: A young Nucky tries to impress Mabel's father in 1897.

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Critic Reviews for Boardwalk Empire: Season 5

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (3)

Welcome back to Boardwalk Empire, which begins its fifth series with the sort of audacity that usually comes near the end of one of its slow-build seasons.

Full Review… | September 24, 2014

Every minute spent in Cuba drags the pacing to a crawl, even by this show's pacing standards.

Full Review… | September 11, 2014
The Young Folks

Boardwalk Empire is ruthlessly, irredeemably brilliant.

Full Review… | September 10, 2014

Overall, the season premiere did a great job at piquing my interest about what lies ahead. I'm looking forward to heading over to Chicago and seeing what's new for the Capone family.

Full Review… | September 9, 2014
TV Equals
Top Critic

What makes this final season of Boardwalk Empire even more intriguing is the way its writers have chosen to fill in the missing pieces of Nucky's story.

Full Review… | September 9, 2014
Winnipeg Free Press
Top Critic

All the various threads seem ready to tie into one another fairly quickly - and with only eight episodes to the season, that's a good sign.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014

Will we be able to effectively settle into everyone's life in a way that allows us to more easily forget/forgive the years we've skipped? We shall see.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014
IGN Movies

It's well within the realm of possibility that Winter and company can pull off an affecting conclusion to the series, but as the end approaches, the degree of difficulty is higher than ever.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014

If four proves to be a qualitative anomaly, and if the fifth season of Boardwalk plays out more or less like the first three I'll be satisfied. I know what the show is at this point, and I've quit expecting it to be anything else.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014

For its final season, the show seems to want to bring the focus back onto Nucky, but as usual there's no particularly compelling reason to care about what happens to him.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014
Paste Magazine

In general, the 1920s and 30s are such an underexplored period in television that all of the historical and cultural touches scattered throughout give the show a patina of freshness

Full Review… | September 8, 2014

No other show on television says so much about its world through sight and sound alone.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

In any era, and any location, Tim Van Patten continues to shoot the hell out of this show, and I liked seeing the transitions...from present to past.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014
Top Critic

We got a glimpse into Nucky's childhood in Atlantic City. It was a fitting series of flashbacks, which gave all new perspective to what drives Nucky. The scenes at his home served to remind us how far he has come.

Full Review… | September 8, 2014
TV Fanatic
Top Critic

HBO is marketing the final season of Boardwalk Empire with the moniker "no one goes quietly," and after the explosive season premiere, I think we're in for one hell of a ride.

Full Review… | September 7, 2014
We Got This Covered

Boardwalk shows no signs of losing its identity. All signs point to a bloody proper finish.

Full Review… | September 5, 2014
Boston Herald

There are still pleasures to be found in Boardwalk Empire, but it's definitely time to wrap - and enjoy a good stiff drink as a reward.

Full Review… | September 5, 2014
TV Guide

It's natural for Boardwalk Empire to focus its last season on its star, but-as admirable as Buscemi's restraint is in playing the ghostly gangster-Nucky's strength has always been bringing out the more interesting characters around him.

Full Review… | September 5, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Sorting out the sins and sinners in the final eight episodes of Boardwalk Empire promises to be as intriguing as it will be intense.

Full Review… | September 5, 2014
New York Daily News

It makes sense that this still-brilliant show feels a bit haunted now by characters lost and memories forgotten in the final days of a closing empire.

Full Review… | September 4, 2014

Looking even more sweeping and cinematic than usual, the early episodes owe a distinctive debt to "The Godfather" saga, using extended flashbacks to provide insight into the character of Nucky Thompson, while jumping among multiple locales.

Full Review… | September 3, 2014

These great clunking scenes are not only dull and unnecessary, they also draw unwanted attention to Boardwalk's greatest weakness. Empathy can't be retconned. It has to be earned.

Full Review… | September 3, 2014

The end begins -- evocatively, dramatically.

Full Review… | September 3, 2014

In its final season, the series seems determined to follow up on its early tag line, "You can't be half a gangster."

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
Slant Magazine

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