Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    May 25, 2012
    Authentically grimy, solidly built and well-paced, Hatfields & McCoys is violent without being gratuitous.
  2. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    May 29, 2012
    If you love, history on History, don't miss this.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 25, 2012
    The pace sags, but the accumulation of sacrificed lives gives it all a haunting sorrow. [4 Jun 2012, p.44]
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    May 25, 2012
    Overall, Hatfields & McCoys is engrossing, and enlightening about a feud that proves to be a lot more than the bumpkin brawl of pop legend.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. May 31, 2012
    Marble-mouthed dialogue impossible to understand. Macho, simplistic, animal behavior beneath human values. Absolutely hated it. This is depraved, simplistic and idiotic. Can't be believe it is at all well reviewed. An insulting wast of time. Full Review »
  2. May 31, 2012
    Ignore the New York Times review: neither confusion nor padding mars this miniseries. In fact, "Hatfields & McCoys" is an exemplary piece of historical recreation, unusually faithful to the factual record but with the pacing, character development, narrative richness and dramatic momentum of purely imaginary material. The 6-hour running time allows the unfolding of not only the master story of the feud, but also the individual stories of the principal characters. The most powerful of these, for me, is the disintegration of Randall McCoy's faith, as the god he champions so zealously fails to deliver the retribution promised in scripture--and, in fact, seems rather partial to his irreligious enemy "Devil" Anse Hatfield. Bill Paxton never much impressed me in the past, but he gives a potent, utterly fearless performance as the chief McCoy, poisoned by his own stern righteousness yet lost without it. As the chief Hatfield, Kevin Costner is less compelling, but I'm still deciding who's responsible for that. It's true that Devil Anse was more appealing than his righteous rival: more clever, practical, successful, and well-connected, hence, infuriating to Randall McCoy. Some contrast between them is obviously necessary, but it may go too far (historians?) for the first episode seems to blame the feud more on Randall's bitter obsessions than on Devil Anse's aggression. All three episodes, in fact, underplay his fury. When, toward the end, eldest son Jonesy confesses that, though he knows the Hatfield stories, he doesn't feel the Hatfield hatred, I half expected Costner to chuckle, "You and me both, son." Though I would hope to see a different kind of loathing from Devil Anse Hatfield than the bitter, baffled rage of Randall McCoy, there has to be hatred on both sides of such a long-lasting, murderous feud. Nonetheless, Costner has come a long way from his earlier dalliance with frontier life in the aftermath of the Civil War. Where "Dances with Wolves" used a vast, complex history for individual self-aggrandizement, "Hatfields & McCoys" limits its scope, reaches for insight, and seems a genuinely collaborative project. As a viewer who lost interest in the History Channel when it became just another reality cesspool, I am enormously heartened by this miniseries and hope the ratings inspire many similar ventures. Full Review »
  3. Jun 25, 2012
    I did not enjoy this. Every character looked and dressed and spoke the same. I couldn't tell them apart! An hour into it, I was still mentally tagging them as Hatfields or McCoys. They all looked the same, they all had the same speech patterns, they all wore the same clothes. One character had a bad eye and was blond and young. I have no idea why they would make just the one guy easy to pick out. Everyone else was brunette, male, white, between the age of 30 and 50 and they all spoke with the exact same volume, inflection and tone.

    Yes, I get it, they are all from the same town, stock, background and such. But, there should have been some differiention between the main characters at least.

    I was practically 'pee my pants' excited about this miniseries. I DVR's all three parts so I could watch them all at once and skip through the commercials. I tried 3 different times to watch it, but an hour into part one I gave up.

    This show could have been great-- instead, it was a mish mash of unidentifiable characters in brown, tan, beige and dark brown colors. I'm a smart woman, very interested in the story, and I just couldn't take it.
    Full Review »