User Reviews (305)

  • macktan89422 October 2015
    One Glorious Actor Can Make A Difference
    The Blacklist isn't the best TV show you've ever seen--it's not edgy or innovative with an original storyline or remarkable cinematography. It doesn't have distinctive, stylish features. Into its 3rd season, The Blacklist survives, it thrives despite its being no Breaking Bad, or Mr. Robot, or Fargo, or The Knick. How is this possible? Just what is its appeal?

    James Spader as Red Reddington is the answer and the sole reason this show is so watchable. He's not only the captain of the ship, he's the crew and the ship as well. In short, his performance is everything that makes this show great and I suspect he's somehow improved the template like performances of his supporting actors over time. The man is just a joy to watch and makes an improbable character--govt spy turned international criminal mastermind-- delightful and believable. Every actor on that show ought to thank Spader for allowing them the opportunity to make money on a show that would have been cancelled its first year--perhaps mid-season--if he were not on it. It's the darndest thing, the difference one actor can make.

    Still, I wish that the creators had chosen a different actress to play the part of Elizabeth Keen, the FBI profiler that Red Reddington is inexplicably fond of. Someone like Zoe Saldana would have been brilliant casting and added dimension to the mystery of the Keen-Reddington relationship. And perhaps better casting for that part would have inspired the writers to shape her role more credibly and sent the show into the stratosphere. While Megyn Kelly may be a solid actress, she does not yet have the chops to make something of the oddly inconsistent writing for her role. Too late to change this up now.

    I'm hardly the only fan who tunes in to enjoy Spader's performance, marveling at how the dreamy young actor with long blonde hair evolved into this very charming, balding older man who can act his *beep* off. I give him an Emmy for just Being There.
  • paradux2 December 2016
    Am divorcing this series after three blissfully happy years...
    Warning: Spoilers
    What producers and writers fail to grasp that it is more traumatic for a viewer to fall in love with a show and then start to hate it ... than to never like the show at all.

    This is a case study in "producers gone mad" which is why I am leaving this review in the IMDb database for viewers of the future.

    I loved this show. I never missed an episode. It was fun, exciting, unpredictable. The genius was not merely the casting of Spader (great and under-used actor) but making his character a "public enemy #1" who seemed to be a sympathetic good guy, albeit with unconventional methods.

    Loved it.

    Then in Season 4 -- coincidentally the same year Bokenkamp got distracted with a new show -- the writers went barking mad.

    To wit: Red went from sympathetic and empathetic to downright vile as he chooses to "discipline" Mr. Kaplan by putting a bullet in her head. Three years of careful character development disappear in an instant. That is a record for TV, in my view.

    The writers next reveal a "mean streak" the size of the Grand Canyon by devoting entire story arcs to using a newborn baby not only as a kidnap victim but also as a possible candidate for vivisection.

    And just to make it clear these scripts are not accidental, Mr Kaplan survives her shooting and ends up (in a secondary arc) trapped in a Stephen King novel which has nothing to do with anything except the fact that the creator of the show left it in his driveway with the engine running and gearshift in DRIVE ... and then walked away.

    Not my Blacklist. Ugh!
  • t hamilton25 September 2013
    glad to see spader back
    Read the synopsis of this show and saw James Spader was starring and had to check it out.

    Plot centers around a criminal mastermind that has eluded authorities for years, but whom in the opening scenes inexplicably gives himself over to FBI custody. What unfolds is a tale where no one is who they seem to be and the audience is never truly sure where anyone's loyalties truly lie.

    Obviously we are only one episode deep (as of writing this) but the show looks like it has a good shot at taking off as a smart roller coaster of intrigue and character development.

    The negatives were few, apart from the female lead the other fbi agents seemed very generic, stiff and set in their ways and fairly ineffective at dealing with what is portrayed as a vastly superior criminal underworld.

    fans of spader such as myself will doubtless watch this regardless of reviews or ratings, but if you enjoy shows in the vein of thomas crown affair or catch me if you can, you will likely enjoy this kind of show.
  • Dr_Sagan9 October 2013
    In my opinion the BEST newcomer this season (fall 2013)
    The Blacklist is in my opinion the best series right now on TV. I waited to see 3 episodes before I write this mini-review, just to be sure!

    It's about one of FBI's most wanted fugitives, Raymond "Red" Reddington, who, without an apparent reason, walks into FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and surrenders! He has a secret agenda though and no one knows exactly what it is. He offers his expertise and connections to the FBI, to help catching some of the world's most dangerous criminals and terrorists (=The Blacklist). There is a condition and it is a strange one: He only talks to Elizabeth Keen, a young FBI profiler.

    The main character is played by James Spader with an earthly style and confidence. He is really good in this. Not an over-the-top performance, with too much sarcasm like the usual mastermind villains in movies or series. He is succeeding to put a tone of regret in his character and that's make him likable.

    Megan Boone is OK as the rookie agent, Diego Klattenhoff is very good too.

    The production is looking good, the pacing (a very important factor in TV series) is great, and so far the plot works fine. In each episode we are seeing Reddington helping FBI catch another world class villain, but there is a backbone central story that also seems interesting.

    Overall: Highly recommended.
  • alec74820 May 2017
    Superb start - disappointing finish
    This is a great series that starts with a bang from the first episode of season 1 and keeps the momentum going right through to the end of season 3. The acting is first rate by the entire cast, most notably that of James Spader, Hisham Tawfiq, Harry Lennix, Diego Klattenhoff and Megan Boone (in the case of the latter, through to the mid third season).

    Unfortunately, whoever writes this show dropped the ball completely for season 4. It devolved from a first class TV drama into a soap opera, replete with moronic plot lines. Season 4 reveals the background story cultivated throughout the first few seasons of the show, but does it in a way that is so disjointed, sloppy, lazy, PC and half-baked that it ruins the entire show.

    To anyone considering watching this show I recommend you watch the first three seasons, then stop. Do not bother watching season 4, it's garbage and will ruin everything. Just consider the last episode of season 3 the series finale.
  • altugozhan11 December 2013
    Bad acting & characters
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was looking for a new show to watch and due to high ratings of the show I began watching but honestly I regret my decision.

    The acting of the lead female actress is awful. Her looks, her face, her lines are artificial. It's obvious she's acting so I cannot get myself into the story. And her character is not realistic. It's her first day on the job and she's giving orders to senior officers and they obey. She tried to kill Reddington(a highly valuable asset) with a pen through his throat but nothing happens to her. When she yells people change their minds and obey. Ah also she cries too much. There are tons of crappy things like that.

    And the story is awkward somehow. There are too many questions for the characters to ask but they do not ask. They simply accept their roles and wait for Spader to tell them things. And James Spader is simply the father of Lizzy or the murderer of her father. Isn't that obvious?

    I'm deeply sorry for Spader, he deserved much more than this show. The only great thing about the show are the songs featured.
  • Annettemc-817-87818014 October 2013
    Amazing Show
    I've been looking forward to James Spader's return to the small screen since Boston Legal. and just finished watching last episode at as always Mr Spader has chosen well the show to return with, it is a fascinating series about a mastermind criminal turning himself in to the FBI with a list of criminals that are pulling strings all over the world, the people behind the criminals.

    The termination of Dexter and Breaking bad has left very little to watch on television but I can't help but to be hopeful with such great new shows taking their places.

    I am a big fan of Mr Spader and I can't wait for the next episodes. Bravo!
  • J Nobel Dagget5 June 2017
    This should have been a great series but ...
    The first episode had me hooked, or so I thought but after the third or forth the female leads character started to wear on me to the point I was truly hoping she would be killed off. I'm not sure if the character of Elizabeth Keen was just poorly written or if Megan Boone is just that bad of an actor ... either way what could have been a great series was turned into a less than interesting one.

    James Spader gave a very strong performance, as expected, but couldn't save this series ... give it a miss.
  • killer1h23 September 2013
    Phenomenal Start
    Let me start by saying there was a lot of hype around this show and it didn't disappoint. The Blacklist is a crime drama, where one of the most wanted criminals in the world(James Spader)turns himself in which triggers a very interesting chain of events.

    Right from the very first scene you get the feeling that you're part of a play, all the people line up in their proper places and the dance begins. The acting all around is top notch, there's an hint of back story that starts out just as the Lizzy(Jessica Alverson) makes an entrance. As the story continues little by little pieces start falling into place, yet even after nearly seeing everything there is to see, you realize you've really learned nothing because it's all shrouded in mystery.

    10/10 Fantastic start, I can see this show shaping up to be one of the great ones.
  • Janne Virtala24 September 2013
    Oh dear!
    Warning: Spoilers
    I started the series with some expectation. Plot seemed workable and interesting, but my hopes were quickly washed aside.

    It started of very cliché with main character (wanted criminal) walking into to a federal building. The first let-down was the 6-8 polices standing around him with pistols and rifles. (Maybe they would have just cuffed him without any 7-8 seconds stand around with loaded guns, in a building full of civilians to minimize the danger?) My taught was: "Its just a one minor detail".

    Then a certain police is required for him to co-operate. Consequently, the police arrive to pick her up at her house with 4-5 cars tires squealing and police lights on (The Cavalry has arrived), and with Army helicopter in front of a normal civilian building. Maybe just a small fast police helicopter and one car so the entire street wouldn't be aware somethings happening. "Another detail, hope this gets better" I taught. I have mention that the police were not in any kind of hurry at that point to justify this flashy arrival.

    The girl is on his first day at FBI criminal profiler, but she is more mentalist than "the Mentalist" himself. She keeps making all the correct decisions (Its paved for her yes, but there is like 1000 years of experience in the room and she is the rookie). Then comes the most unbelievable scene where four FBI SUV are stopped on the bridge and the terrorist arrive. Terrorists act like idiots (One is amazed that his gun runs out of bullets and just looks at his gun while not taking any cover). Somehow these 3-4 amateur terrorist destroy the whole convey, take the girl, drop ropes down to the river where there are escape boats. Where is the police helicopter now, or any helicopter? How about nearby police officers?. The fighting took like 5-6 minutes. I am sure one of the FBI agents or any civilian would have alarmed the police. In reality there would be chopper on top of them in few minutes and police would arrive with tremendous force.

    I am trying to force myself to continue, but soon the finishing blow is here. The criminal that arrived is getting "trades" for his information. He is now in five star hotel, having access to all the case's data, getting rid of the handcuffs ----> and my TV is off. "I rather go to sleep". This show will be canceled at season two latest, even that is a stretch. On the other hand, I have mistaken the "CSI audience's" lack of desire for intellectual TV before..

    Somebody will like this, Im sure. For me, I have a feeling that I know how this is going to turn out. The girl will out-smart rest detectives, nobody will believe her at first in most cases, but she will turn out to be right in every turn. Probably little late for some cases due to decoys of the this criminal, so the show can go on for a while. It was hinted that she was something special to him. She did not have a dad. He (the criminal) had left his family on a Christmas Eve. Strongly suggesting that he is her father, or close relative/friend. He knew personal details from her past. "Blaablaa", I don't care, don't waste your time. If nothing else to watch, might be bearable.
An error has occured. Please try again.