Metascore
68

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: Lori Rackl
    May 25, 2012
    75
    The well-executed drama is a welcome addition to the programming lineup for a network better known for non-scripted series like "Swamp People" and "Pawn Stars."
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    May 25, 2012
    83
    Overall, Hatfields & McCoys is engrossing, and enlightening about a feud that proves to be a lot more than the bumpkin brawl of pop legend.
  3. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    May 30, 2012
    58
    While structurally sound, Ted Mann's script lacks the verbosity and filth and, unfortunately, subtext that he brought (with a healthy assist from David Milch) to "Deadwood."
  4. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    May 29, 2012
    80
    Hatfields & McCoys is a star-studded, gorgeously produced and astonishingly nuanced look at America's most famous family feud.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    May 25, 2012
    80
    It is a powerful and often heartbreaking piece of filmmaking that ponders just how thin our veneer of civilization really can be.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    May 29, 2012
    80
    Hatfields & McCoys doesn't just explain a feud, it humanizes the people on both sides and reminds us how differently some of our ancestors lived just a few generations back.
  7. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    May 29, 2012
    88
    If you love, history on History, don't miss this.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    May 25, 2012
    58
    Violent and dull.
  9. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 25, 2012
    88
    The pace sags, but the accumulation of sacrificed lives gives it all a haunting sorrow. [4 Jun 2012, p.44]
  10. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    May 25, 2012
    60
    Interesting enough to justify six hours? Probably not. But for those who watch "Game of Thrones" and "Spartacus" for the high body counts, it offers plenty of action.
  11. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    May 29, 2012
    70
    Although Hatfields & McCoys is slow moving, it's also oddly gripping.
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    May 29, 2012
    60
    When Hatfields & McCoys slows down enough to develop its characters -- and it's fairly rudimentary character development -- the miniseries comes to life.
  13. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    May 29, 2012
    40
    It's got law and lawlessness duking it out against a backdrop of grime, guts and gravelly voices, but this is all served up humorlessly and laden with self-seriousness.
  14. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    May 25, 2012
    75
    Hatfields & McCoys does a good job of explaining the roots of the feud and helping us see that, regardless of whatever legitimacy there may have been in one family's hatred of the other, none of it was worth the lives lost over those six blood-soaked years.
  15. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    May 25, 2012
    40
    Somewhere around the three-hour mark, all you want to do is have both families line up opposite each other, pull the trigger and fade to black.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    May 29, 2012
    60
    Hatfields & McCoys is a perfectly respectable piece of work, and probably better than we could have expected for a History mini-series....The mini-series's main problem is that six-hour running time.
  17. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    May 29, 2012
    80
    The channel may have hit pay dirt with a gritty project that feels like the real McCoy.
  18. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    May 25, 2012
    91
    Authentically grimy, solidly built and well-paced, Hatfields & McCoys is violent without being gratuitous.
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    May 24, 2012
    60
    It's potent enough--more in subject matter than execution--to deliver for History.
  20. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    May 25, 2012
    40
    A lushly produced but ultimately unthrilling dramatic miniseries version of the story.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. May 31, 2012
    0
    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
    9
    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
    3
    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 »