Black Sails Poster

Black Sails (2014)

Rayting:   8.2/10 93329 votes
Country: South Africa | USA
Language: English

Follows Captain Flint and his pirates twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel "Treasure Island."

Episode Guide

Season 4

April 2, 2017Episode 10 XXXVIII
March 26, 2017Episode 9 XXXVII
March 19, 2017Episode 8 XXXVI
March 12, 2017Episode 7 XXXV
March 5, 2017Episode 6 XXXIV
February 26, 2017Episode 5 XXXIII
February 19, 2017Episode 4 XXXII
February 12, 2017Episode 3 XXXI
February 5, 2017Episode 2 XXX
January 29, 2017Episode 1 XXIX

Season 3

Season 2

Season 1

Black Sails Trailer

User Reviews

fung0 1 May 2017

It's impossible to over-rate this series. Black Sails is pirates done right, at last, putting to shame all other video renditions (especially the over-the-top Disney fantasies).

A few comparisons are in order. For example, Black Sails is highly reminiscent of the series Deadwood: both are dark, violent and based loosely on real people and real events. (In both series, some of the most unbelievable events are the true ones.) There are also similarities to the series Rome, as far as the strong characters, ongoing rivalries, and evocative period detail. But Black Sails out-does these predecessors in several ways.

First, the characters are, without exception, brilliant. Captain Flint, Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, John Silver, Charles Vane - these personalities are truly memorable. Larger than life, yet always credible, always consistent. You probably won't recognize the actors, but they *will* make you forget Errol Flynn and Johnny Depp.

Second, the dialog is amazingly literate, almost Shakespearean. Without seeming artificial. Characters constantly engage in deep, intense discussions that are often more engrossing than the ship-board action.

Third, the intertwining tensions and plot-lines are maintained with absolute logic throughout all four seasons. We see winners, losers and casualties, all utterly believable within the bounds of the show. Power ebbs and flows among the various factions, and the conflicts always feel real.

Fourth, the ending is one of the most satisfying I've seen for any multi-season dramatic series. Everything comes together, as if you'd been watching a single, very long movie. What's more, despite the deaths, the violence, the many defeats that end this story, the series wraps up on an upbeat note and leaves the audience with a big grin.

As a bonus, the historical underpinnings are used cleverly. The show isn't constrained by the facts - it expands on them in a way that's both plausible and enthralling. Black Sails seamlessly blends history and myth, and even finds time to comment on the way they interact.

The staging is impressive, by any standard. The naval battles are believable, and depicted on a grand scale. The inevitable computer graphics look real enough to keep viewers immersed. The hot Caribbean sun permeates every frame of the series.

In short, Black Sails is one of the most thoroughly enjoyable dramatic series ever. It's great adventure, great drama, and by far the best screen representation of the great days of nautical piracy. This is one series you don't want to miss.

bogunjackass 23 April 2014

OK, it has it's flaws, it has fictional characters united with the real ones, yeah, it is using the "pirates hype", but MY GOD, it is a good show! I hear people complaining about the pace, or about lack of fighting and plunder, but I assure you, it is not needed, for it has a lot of intrigues, unanswered questions, all sort of factors that will make you gasp on an episode per episode. The acting is exceptional, especially by Toby Stephens, who is unbelievable as Cpt. Flint, with such charisma that makes you root for him even dough he certainly doesn't deserve it. Female characters were a weak spot at the beginning, but that reeeeally changed quickly. I stumbled on this show while I was waiting for the new GoT season to start, and boy, was I surprised, I had more fun watching this than watered down episodes of GoT, that seem to go on forever, in one infinite circle. That was my favorite show, but after Breaking bad, True detective, and now this, the flaws are more than evident. "Black sails" are an absolute gem, I'm sorry for the all hate it's getting from the critics/GoT/Spartacus fans...

PStyles 5 June 2017

Friends have been telling me to watch Black Sails for years, yet I put it off because I did not have Starz (and also because it didn't look that appealing overall). I recently earned myself a few free months of Starz and decided to give this is a shot, and I am so incredibly happy I did.

Throughout the show, I found myself utterly surprised by the overall quality of...everything. The ship battles are sincerely epic, while not occurring so often as to make them seem dull. The costume design, set design, ships, location etc. are all extremely well done. The creators also got many of the historical aspects of the time correct, much to my astonishment. I found myself fact checking things said or done in the show only to find that they were indeed real or at the very least, plausible. This is not a children's story; Black Sails portrays pirate life much differently than we are used to seeing in present standards.

The acting in this show is truly captivating as well. While some of the lesser characters don't deliver their best at all times, the mainstays of the show are always at their very best. From the badass captain Flint to the nefarious Charles Vane, every character feels impactful. This is very much a show about anti-heroes; you will find yourself rooting for the bad guys more often than not. I tip my cap to all the actors involved, as the central cast does a truly fantastic job.

Luckily, Black Sails also improves as it progresses. Midway through the first season, I was left with mixed feelings. By the end of the 4th season, I was stunned and utterly upset it was over. You really become attached to these characters throughout the seasons, which to me is a sign of great character development. Black Sails does it better than almost any show out there, matched only by the very best.

I rarely give out 10s, but this show is most deserving of it's rating in my opinion. From everything I stated and more, Black Sails will go down as one of my favorite TV shows of all time (and probably the best damn pirate saga we may ever get).

Denirosdad 29 April 2014

Fantastic series....if you can't watch for free its worth buying and I normally would never say that but I loved this form start to finish and every minute in between. It is pleasing on the eye regarding location as well as some of the cast but before forming an image in your mind of beautiful well over groomed characters that just don't look right then I am pleased to say that for once this is not the case....(OK slightly groomed here and there is more accurate) Acting is spot on,characters are mostly very likable, the action scenes are great, the story is for the most part simple with a main objective and doesn't have 50 twists along the way to try and out twist every thing else that gets made these days. I must point out that there are quite a lot of adult scenes and foul language which although I have no problem with it ,I definitely would not want any of my kids to be sat in the same room regardless of age, so don't let your kids watch it, no matter how much they love pirates. So if you fancy something a bit different with great actors and some proper filth, you must watch Black Sails.

rossmichael-75248 28 October 2020

I started this series a few years ago but lost interest in Season 1. However, I decided to give it another go due to the positive reviews... man I am glad I did!

I really enjoyed the building of characters and how surprisingly clever they could be. There was a sense of maturity to it in terms of it being based on pirates which I really liked.

This is a real hidden gem and all I can say is if you start watching this, stick with it!

I thought they ended it well in Season 4 as you can get quite poor endings in other series.

darkstar007 28 March 2015

To tell the truth there were many times in the first season that I almost stopped watching this show. But I stuck with it and boy was it ever rewarding. Season 1 was pretty slow to me sometimes boarder line uneventful. I know a few people that stopped watching after season one because of this. But Season 2 has been explosive. Probably one of the best seasons of a TV show out there and it was all due to the character development from the first season.

During season 2 I found myself consistently updating my rating of this show. I initially had it scored a 6 out of 10. Now have it a solid 9. I can't wait for the next season.

If you are planing to watch this show. Stick with it through some of the long drawn out scenes in season 1 and you will be rewarded immensely.

This is defiantly another winner for starz

ryan-beauchesne 4 February 2015

As some other reviews point out here, this show is totally underrated. The production value is really quite high, especially for a pirate show like this where there's ships being blown apart, intricate costumes, detailed settings. I'm really pleased with the quality overall.

Acting is very believable and quite good, especially for Flint (pretty bad ass character).

Some people complain the pace is slow. I really don't find it an issue. I'm always captivated, and there's pretty dynamic/various characters and subplots that it keeps you involved. Breaking Bad.. now that show was dreadfully slow at some points..

Only thing I don't really like is the intro. The song is awesome and catchy, but the visuals of the intro are super boring. IMHO.

Overall, one of the best shows on TV if you like a gritty, pretty realistic, high production value pirate show!

peperharow 22 February 2014

Rarely do I find a TV series worth my time to follow…..Black Sails has got my attention. Actors are terrific and the storyline is adult and intriguing. The storyline mix of the Treasure Island prequel and true life historical pirates is extremely compelling. It is a TV genre that has never been explored before. I like seeing women in powerful roles (Eleanor) as I think it provides a positive role model. I just watched episode V and I am anxious see what happens next. Zach McGowen, Captain Vane, is doing an outstanding job in his pirate role……and his fit athletic frame is not hard to look at …...amazing shoulders and abs. Toby Stephens is really top notch as Captain Flint…..he brings a passion to the role not unlike how I remember him as a Bond villain. The sets for the show are grand…the detail of the sailing ships is amazing…..the scenery is dazzling. The unfurling of the top sails gave me a rush… was so good. I am glad to hear that there will be a second season. This is the first time that I have done a review in IMDb……..I felt compelled after reading all the negatives from the other reviewers. I thought that the show overall is fast paced so I do not agree with some of the other reviewers (at all).

RoswellAlien 24 January 2014

Wow this show is amazing! The opening scene is absolutely brilliant one of the best opening's I have ever seen in a show before. The whole pilot is done extremely well plenty of Action which they really did well here. Character development is done really really good without going overboard which I was surprised. The setting and locations were absolutely amazing! It is exactly what I would have pictured back in the days of the Pirates. Story might be a bit confusing for some though you will understand it in the end. Honestly I really can't praise this show enough it's one of the best Pilots I have ever seen but then again I don't watch much TV. I really look forward to seeing this series to go on. I will be watching this every Saturday night. I recommend this to everyone that's looking for a good show. Absolutely brilliant 10/10

*Edit* 2/16/14- Just finished episode 4 and I am still enjoying this series a lot. I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.

*Edit* 3/17/14- I rather enjoyed Black sail's season 1 a lot and I am looking forward to seeing the second season.

Honoba 8 March 2014

I've been hooked on this show since it's release, at last a proper Pirate T.V. series. In my opinion the attention to detail rivals such shows as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, the acting has the potential to possibly match that of Breaking Bad. I would expect nothing less from the list of producers and directors. The Story line is much more complex then i first thought and the amount of time that the character building has taken so far just to understand and completely enjoy this show is immense but not unjustified. The performances by these actors and actresses (Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Zach McGowan, Luke Arnold, Louise Barnes, Tom Hopper and Mark Ryan) has increasingly made this show more intriguing and more powerful. I'm intrigued to watch and want more. There are no limits or boundaries as to what can and can't be done throughout this series. This series takes a bit of patience as it's only just starting out, but once you adjust and settle in for the ride it's exciting, truly exciting.

EDIT: 24/02/16 After two and a half seasons, I stand by everything originally stated. This T.V. Series is absolutely amazing. The script writers have matched or bettered every single one of my expectations.

DiCaprio-HardyFan 12 July 2021

Black Sails is just a flat out awesome show that is addicting once you start watching it! It's the prequel to "Treasure Island." It didn't get nearly the attention that it deserved at the time and that's probably because it was on STARZ when they were just branching out into original tv shows. This was one of their first big budget tv shows and it's worth every second you put into watching it! People are finally starting to find out about it now that STARZ has become bigger with shows like Spartacus, Power, Outlander, etc and is on streaming sites like Hulu. We still got 4 amazing seasons out of it though!

andyleigh12 26 June 2021

There are already reviews here that explain all the great things about this show better than I can. I just want to throw in my two cents as someone who really isn't all that interested in pirates. I watched all 4 seasons of this show in about 2 weeks, mainly due to having run out of anything I was even vaguely interested in watching during lockdown and having just finished several other period pieces. The reason I wasn't more interested in the show to begin with had to to with my assumption that a show about pirates would be overly masculine and violent and not have much to offer in terms of worthwhile female characters or put effort into things like character development, narrative, and dialogue. I figured I would watch a couple episodes and see if it held my attention. I cannot express how happy I am that my assumptions about this show were so wrong.

The first few episodes are the least engaging of the series by far (random gratuitous sex and some cringey dialogue moments) and yet I saw enough strong points to carry on (acting performances and overall production quality). But by the end of the first season, I couldn't wait to know what would happen next - it had developed into a compelling story with believable and complex characters that I simply needed to see more of. With each season, I became more invested in the characters and the future of Nassau.

At the end, I was left with a certainty that the entire story must have been written for all 4 seasons in advance - it's difficult to say much about the ending without going off on a diatribe about what goes wrong with so many other multi-season historical fiction shows - but I will only say that compared to shows like Vikings, GoT, Outlander, and even The Last Kingdom - this show is in its own league as far as having a coherent and satisfying narrative from beginning to end and complex, believable characters whose actions make total sense. I like all of the other shows I mentioned there quite a bit - but Black Sails is on another level, especially in terms of character dialogue. The characters monologue - frequently and so compellingly that you're never left wondering why some character did something or thinking some action didn't make sense or exists just to force the plot forward. It's not that kind of show. If a character does something, it is for a good reason that reflects who that character fundamentally is. If you don't understand an action at the time, you will as the story unfolds. This show treats the audience with respect and doesn't spoon feed or dumb anything down. Aside from a few season one moments, nothing about this show ever feels like a cash grab. It is a story well told, without much care who has an appetite for it. Anyway, go watch this now if you're even vaguely considering it - especially if you're on the fence because you don't think a show about pirates is for you.

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