Boardwalk Empire

HBO (ended 2014)





Boardwalk Empire Fan Reviews (46)

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out of 10
1,627 votes
  • The Sopranos meet bio pick, but with Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt!!

    Are we really surprised that HBO has done it again? I think not... Some might criticize that we have seen the whole mob thing from them before with the Sopranos, but those people aren't true fans of the Sopranos! I will gladly take more of where that came from. Beyond its similarities to our favorite NJ crime family, Boardwalk Empire really does a great job of immersing the viewer into the epoch. I don't even have to mention the quality of the acting and writing, I mean its HBO after all. Even their flops out class most other shows. What I find most intriguing about BE, however, is the dramatizing of historical events. Although not entirely historically accurate, I feel enough fact seeps through the narrative to really create that sense of believability that you just don't get that often with TV these days. Couple that with great story telling and I think you have a hands-down winner. I foresee Emmys in this show's future!
  • I like this show.

    I wish I had something to add to the other reviews. But this is a really good show. It's well written, set, acted. The action moves along at a fair pace and is well balanced with the drama. When I first began to watch I was apathetic about the period. I'm not usually thrilled with recent period settings. But that's just me, and in this case this show has won me over. And it's a fairly realistic portrayal. So you can take what you will from the issues of prohibition, suffrage, corruption, and crime. They all correlate directly to current issues.
  • I didn't watch the series during its' first airing - so I'm thankful HBO decided to rebroadcast.

    I'm writing this review prior to seeing the last episode, A Return to Normalcy. In my opinion, the series, to date, has been quite good. Were there episodes that moved slowly, and didn't serve to move along the narrative? Sure. But some of these "threads" will be picked up in Season Two. It probably helps to be a history buff, someone who enjoys period pieces, and dialogue driven drama. More than the story, however, are the excellent actors and the characters they portray. Michael Pitt, for example, is excellent as Jimmy Darmody, a young man at a crossroad in his life, who is heavily influenced by those around him. A smaller "gem" is Jack Huston, as the tragic figure, Richard Harrow. I am glad to hear he has been added as a regular in Season 2.

    From some of the reviews, and comments in the Forums, I gather people feel very strongly, as to whether the show was good or bad. I will repeat, it was very good, in my opinion.
  • If you are going to watch anything, and I do mean anything, Watch this show. You will be very far from disappointed and you know when it's done that it was an hour well spent.


    This show is amazing!!! Everything from the acting to the sets and the overall storyline will never fail to "wow" you. Set in the prohibition era with costume design that is as genuine as I have ever seen as well as true period music. This show literally pulls you in to Atlantic City. It is a great example of how the mafia was able to rise to power during prohibition days with great intelligence and brutallity. For anyone who loves mafia related stories and just overall great television this is your show.

  • Gold Standard Television series of the prohibition years. Splendidly cast characters and well acted scripts with sets out of this world.

    Steve Buscemi who I loved in the Sopranos cameo role really drives this series along. In a period of political corruption and gangland wars for territorial control; he trips daintily over cracks in the sidewalk avoiding a premature termination from both sides; whilst carrying on a romantic affair with aplomb. You have to love him even though you would never tolerate him in your town - Or would you? There are a host of characters opening up all over and the story ties together well. I noticed a recent review that described Capone as a fat drunken lout. Well- wasn't that exactly what he was. There was nothing heroic about him or any of them come to that. Like Tony Soprano - fascinating from a distance but best viewed from the safety of a bulletproof TV screen I think. The next series cannot come soon enough
  • This show makes Steve Buscemi look VERY sexy and that is saying something!

    I've always had a thing for Steve Buscemi, who knows what it is but this show has figured it out and capitalized on it. It is enrapturing, it overwhelms the senses with beauty and cruelty at the same time. It makes me want a bigger television, just to I can enjoy every minute detail. It is also the show I spend the most time goggling details on after the show to see what it real and what is not. The two blend seamlessly together in this grand pageant though history. It is 'like' a mini-series from the late 70s or 80s but it is so much better, so much richer, basically it is just so much more. Thanks
  • This show probably isn't for you... unless you like genuinely awesome, epic television. At it's finest. With Steve Buschemi.

    This show is what we laymen call "Fricking Awesome and Amazing in pretty much every way". It's got everything a period piece needs: stunning costumes, period music, truly genuine atmosphere, and did I mention the costumes? Fantastic.

    The acting isn't anything to sneeze at, either. Not that they don't have amazing characters to work with. Steve Buschemi absolutely kills with the charming but corrupt Nucky Thompson; Kelly MacDonald shines brilliantly as the sweet, innocent Mrs. Margaret Schroeder; Throw in Michael Pitt as the fledgling gangster Jimmy and Michael Shannon who convincingly plays the terrifyingly creepy Agent Nelson Van Alden and you have a sensational cast just as amazing as the characters they portray. You can't go wrong with these people.

    The intense plots and shocking images never cease to surprise you at every turn. HBO takes full advantage of it's pay-to-watch status and never fails to pile on the extreme violence and nudity whenever it so deems fit. But the twists! Oh, the twists are the best part. You may think you know what's going on, you may be 100 percent certain, but let me tell you, you don't know squat.
  • Welcome to your new best show ever...

    I was looking forward to this show very much, and did it deliver? you bet it did. The look of this show is stunning, the cast perfect and writing is tight. As the story builds through this pilot I found myself already liking the characters and already pondering as to where these will be heading in future episodes. As if it needs saying but Steve Buscemi is one of our fines actors and this could be his finest hour.

    After the dire pacific outing, HBO bounce right back on track and give us something near the heights of The Sopranos & Deadwood and for my clam, for what its worth, this could be the one to fight Tony and his mob for the title of the best show ever.
  • Awesome!!!! Was waitin for it forever and was way above my expectations.Gr8 direction by the master,gr8 casting and a story which flows at the rite pace.Awesome sets of 1920..If u liked godfather, goodfellas, sopranos..u wud love this show.TV at its best!

    Awesome!!!! Was waitin for it forever and was way above my expectations.........hav been suffering from post Wire syndrome (if u know what I mean!) last a show to fix it. Gr8 direction by the master, gr8 casting and a story which flows at just the rite pace. awesome sets of 1920.......If u liked godfather, goodfellas, sopranos.....u wud love this show. If u did not like them....even then i wud recommend u to watch the 1st episode, just may change yur mind! Its really good storytelling....btw Wire fans Omar has a role in this..... Steve Buscemi is gr8 as politician Nucky Johnson as is his protege Michael Pitt as Jimmy and rest of the support cast also play their roles well....the budget for this show wud be more than most hollywood movies judging by the pilot....the scale, music and atmosphere is truly amazing.

    Television at its best!
  • The Gangs are back!!!

    Ok when The Sopranos ended, lets faced it, the mob tv shows were gone
    Now, with Boardwalk Empire, they are back and HBO effors to regain control of Sunday evenings are working
    I love this show, specially Steve Buscemi hes awsome in the role, and a tv show that was rewened for a second season only after the premiere you have to love it the episode are good i mean not a 10 (The first one directed by Scorsesse -sorry the bad spelling- was a 10) but they are like an 8 and thats enough good to make you want to watch the show
    Bravo HBO "The Sopranos" are gone (but foerever remembered) now "Boardwalk Guys" are here... to take control!!!!

    XO XO

  • The epic drama has returned to our TVs!. The acting, the writing, the cinematography and the directing put together this master piece. My recommendation for the show… it is a must watch.


    I have to admit that I have a special love for HBO and their series, because they have brought a new concept of television series. I saw the first season of Boardwalk Empire completely. This show is excellent filmed, well-acted by all the actors, especially for Steve Buscemi, the protagonist, and some other secondary characters like the messianic ex-soldier that is missing half of his face.

    The story is very entertaining, with intrigues and power games that catch you and make you want to know what is going to happen. Good combination between personal histories and the politics of the time, between drama and action.

    Board Walk Empire is an interesting exploration of a time that is considerate splendid for the American fiction. This TV series needs to build a totally new world for the audience and it makes it getting us involved inside the characters's drama.

    Definitively the atmosphere is amazing, showing consistent with the script. The set and the clothes are absolutely fabulous, as well as the fantastic performance of the actors.

  • Great drama masterpiece!


    Everything about this show is outstanding - acting, writing and directing! Steve Buscemi performance is the best.

    The series about bootlegging and real figureEnoch "Nucky" Thompson. It shows real life in that time and how mob is risen in time of Prohibition of alcohol. As we know this lead only to enrichment of illegal structures.

    Also it shows that many war veterans joined such structures because they had needed skills to fight in gangsters wars. And army arsenals were plundered to defend territories.

    Smuggling,bootlegging, gangsters wars, murders, corruption, sex, tough people decisions. All this you could find in this really great drama series!

  • Why I don't watch it anymore.


    I didn't watch the Sopranos, I tried and saw the first few episodes. Same with Boardwalk Empire.

    I think it's me though not the show's fault. I like history and I wanted to see how life was in the 20's. I was not disappointed in that regard, the set and clothes are absolutely amazing. The actors are also perfect, really talented.

    My problem is that I can't find any empathy for Nucky and the other gangsters. I don't get them. I know the show is based on real people and they are probably very well researched and so on, but meh, It's not for me. I'm also really tired of seeing people naked and having sex on HBO shows, I don't need to see that and it really makes it awkward to watch with the family. Another big turn off for me was when I saw one of Margarets children crying. The child was afraid for real and they used it in the show. Don't use babies to add drama, use actors.

  • Jimmy I will miss you!!

    No reason to watch the show anymore because Jimmy was my favorite character. Everyone else is annoying on the show. Bye Jimmy and bye to Boardwalk Empire for me.....
  • The Mob on TV

    This is a great show. Great performance by Steve Buscemi .
  • They killed Jimmy??

    Seriously, of all the characters in this season that could have and should have died, Jimmy wasn't one of them. He wasn't the only person that double crossed nuck and if he'd really wanted him dead, i doubt he'd send sme fool 2 do it. He would've either done it himself or sent the guy from phantom of the opera. Now all ur left with are one dimensional characters who offer nothing of intrigue. The only reason i'd still watch the show is to see what happens to the agent or should i say, former agent. Dne with it, not because it's a bad show but quite simply, there's nothing there left for me to watch and find out.
  • Holy sh*t, that was really frick'n good!

    Some people already said it, everything is outstanding! The acting, writing directing, special effects... Also Steve Buscemi is The man for this show, his unguilty looks compared with the looks of a man who is clear thinking and very smart. I can recommend this show to people who like a show where you have think a little to follow the story line.
  • Exceptional!

    Steve Buscemi, an outstanding actor once again giving an amazing performance in a well-documented, well-written series. True to form we see the corruption and violence of the era. One moment tugging at the heartstrings, the next inducing chills of spine felt terror. Travelling through time the show encapsulates not only the political and economic structure of those very tough years but gives a view of everything from suffrage to prohibition, and immigration. It may not be pretty - but true, a part of history that cannot be denied. All part of what made us what we are today. Great performances all round.
  • Glitter and Grime

    A fascinating window into the era of Prohibition. Set in Atlantic City, "Boardwalk" traces the evolution of Nucky Thompson from a merely corrupt official into a full-fledged gangster. Although one might expect this premise to result in a show heavily tipped towards a male perspective, Nucky fully meets his match in the character of Margaret Schroeder. Both characters are brilliantly written and acted, as are the constellation of secondary characters, whether fictional or real (e.g., Al Capone and Lucky Luciano).

    While the era of gangsters has been exhaustively explored in film and TV, the constitutional amendment prohibiting alcohol that made it all possible has been largely ignored. Too bad, given the parallels to our current "war on drugs".

    Oh, and the costumes alone are worth your time.
  • Not my kind of show, but it had something going before they killed off the character Jimmy Darmody

    First, I just want to say, I'm not a fan of mob shows or movies, but I watched this show because I was bored.

    Gangs, corruption, speakeasies, Prohibition. I think HBO did a great job portraying the roaring twenties and the rise of corrupt politicians as well as gangsters. I have no problem saying that HBO is too wild for me because the show is also heavy on the sex and ballistic with the bloody content, but then again, it is a mob show. HBO has that reputation for graphic material. My biggest problem with this show is that it dragged on and took long to even reach a climax.

    Honestly none of the other secondary characters were the least bit interesting. I found Nucky's mistress to a pain in the ass and she contradicted herself foolishly. I'm a female and I felt disgusted by how this show portrayed woman. Goodness, do we all need a man to pimp us and provide everything for us??

    On a good note, Steve Buscemi was more than convincing as the gangster Nucky Thompson. I wonder if he was a real life gangster/politician. He is fantastic and funny in this show, but I have to say his character wasn't the most interesting.

    I feel the writers made a grave mistake by killing the character Jimmy Darmody, especially when the core storyline revolved deeply around him and his business/betrayal/father-son relationship with Nucky. After a while you become familiar with Nucky Thompson and figure out the kind of man he is, but Jimmy was ever-changing. With him, there was so much ambiguity and I felt that he was too smart to fall into the trap that eventually killed him. He kept me watching the show. Him and his friend Richard were the most interesting. Maybe because they saw war first-hand. They were both tortured and that made them kindred souls.

    I also feel Jimmy was the only one that could maybe beat or rival Nucky at his game. The 2nd season finale seemed like that last showdown between Nucky and Jimmy should've come when HBO decides to wrap up the show for good.

    I don't know how the next season will be, but I won't be surprised if the show loses momentum or the ratings dip because of that. He was too much of an important character that a lot of fans probably empathized with. Sometimes when a well-loved character is gone, a show may lose appeal. There are perfect examples of that in television history.

  • Love this show

    Nucky really means business this season. Very violent show with lot's of killing, sex, and blood.

    You cannot judge morality with this show, just watch the great acting.
  • Brilliant

    I love this show now well maybe a love and hate relationship with this show since I don't really like mob shows after Sopranos but this is surprisingly good. Steve Buscemi shined as usual. Interesting plot with a serving or more of violence than I'm comfortable with... but I'm tuning in. It's brilliant and I love it.
  • Hoodlums, not icons

    Boardwalk Empire is a hard-hitting drama series that tells the tale of Atlantic City's less than stellar past. Steve Buscemi as ethically questionable city treasurer Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, who just happened upon the burgeoning business of bootlegging liquor during Prohibition shortly after WWI.

    This show doesn't glorify gangsters like it's predecessor series, The Sopranos, rather it tells how the gangsters of that era manage to thrive & survive by means of corruption & violence & the way it affects their personal lives.

    I became a fan just after seeing the first couple of episodes & i haven't regretted it once.

    Nucky Thompson, a man of the people, just the wrong kind of people.
  • disgusted

    I have faithfully watched this show until you added the sex asphyxiation. I don't want to see that garbage.. I mean really???? What's wrong with you? Life isn't dificult and complicated enough... you have to put this crap in our faces? I'm done with this show
  • Best show EVER.

    If you don't like this show, you are wrong and you should feel bad. This third season has set the bar so high, I doubt any show can ever reach it again. Perfection. If you're too "disgusted" to appreciate this level of genius, go back to watching Storage Wars or Honey Boo Boo or whatever bottom feeding garbage you prefer.

  • Great show.

    Boardwalk empire is a great show with no shortage of compelling characters. in fact i think they could get rid of a couple of characters and flesh out others a bit more. B.E. gives me more filler than I can appreciate. It has more than enough red herrings, characters that join the cast, captivate you, then turn into living props and do nothing but take up space. Like Owen Sleater and Billie Kent. They provided nothing but filler this season, while Chalky, Purnsley, Meyer, Lucky, Ricard and Al practically disappeared. I like that Richard has a girl friend now. The writers should shear off time wasting storylines and characters and focus on the people who make it great.
  • Disgust and delight

    Having just finished watching the season 3 finale, I am at once relieved, happy, sad, disgusted, disappointed and delighted. I guess it is pretty much something for everyone! I generally avoid seeing violence. That is how I managed to avoid becoming a fan of the show until right before season 3 began. I am a huge fan of anything to do with the 1920s, and have been working on making some hats in the style of the early-mid 20s. I actually watched it to see the fashions which, as near as I can tell, have been very realistically created. In the process, I couldn't avoid liking the characters (and hating some) and caring about what happened to them and, VOILA, I'm a fan now! I still hate the violence, but I always record each episode and never watch it until it is at least 15 minutes into the broadcast, so I can forward through the especially graphic scenes. I see who is killing whom, while avoiding having those visions stuck in my long-term memory. I do agree that the part where Gyp tortures and kills Tonino's cousin was way too much, though, and hope the writers won't feel the need to go that far again. I think we all ready hated Gyp enough, prior to that. I'm at once thrilled, sad, and disappointed by the finale. No big surprise that Nucky is still with us. He's probably the only character that we can depend on surviving, at least as long as the show keeps getting picked up for another season. I think it was obvious within the first five minutes of the season premiere, that Gyp Rosetti was going to be knocked off in the season finale. The question was just who would be doing the honor.

    I guess we have to wait until September to find out if the heroin overdose killed Gillian or not. I have been hoping she would be taken out, but I felt sorry for her when she reverted to that 13 year old girl who was raped by Jimmy's father.

    I'm very upset with Margaret, although I'm still holding out a little hope that she didn't go through with aborting Owen's baby. Anyone who has just barely had an abortion would be bleeding, quite heavily, especially if they were far enough along to be sure of the pregnancy, by the symptoms alone, as they would have been in the 1920s. Since she appeared to be a bit surprised by the blood, I'm still holding out a little hope that she didn't do it and there is another explanation for the blood.

    Richard was definitely the hero of the night! That he got Tommy safely to Julia's house was a big relief. That her father understood what was happening, and seemed to care about the boy, is hopeful, too.

    For next season, I suspect that the Ben "Bugsy" Segal character will be fleshed out to some extent. I hope there won't be a new villain introduced, as there is an abundance of characters to serve as Nucky's nemesis all ready. I hope that Richard gets to be Nucky's right hand man and realizes his dream of being with Tommy and Julia.

    I also hope that Bobby Cannavale gets new series soon! He was so incredible as Gyp Rosetti that, although that revolting character needed to be done away with, I will still miss being able to see his work!
  • Great

    Thought from the start Id like this show, hated when Jimmy died, but gotta say that aside form some things I think erronous, Its a great show, and it so reminds me of how things are still run in countries lets say like the DRwhere I live, corruption so upfront, and the public knows who the bad guys show
  • Average

    The 1st season was great with refreshing and engaging stories that you expect from high profile Hollywood heavy weight Martin Scorsee( hope i get the spelling right) and The Sopranos Terrence Winter but it started to wander in the second season with caricature characters and lazy writing. i like periodic shows and not much offended by viloence with good script attached to it.

    It tells the Story of Nucky Thompson in the early 1920's in th Atlantic City New Jersey, half politician and half gangster running the city with corruption during the time alcohol was prohibited in the states.

    Just finished watching S3 and have to admit the show is deteriorating with Jimmy's dead and need fresh characters that are good to keep it watchable.
  • A Real Epic Program!

    What is there not to like of this Epic Every Scene . I Enjoyed how the careful time was given to each of the cast members life and happenings were careful worked out. Personally , I Would Have Given a 10, But, I Wouldn't Have Killed Off Owen.
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