User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 3 out of 24

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  1. 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. Expand
  2. May 30, 2012
    10
    Great show. I have to thank The History Channel for an awesome documentary. Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, and Tom Berringer with the rest of the cast did a great job.
  3. May 31, 2012
    9
    Great work. Ted Mann is a legend. The writing and the cinematography were the stars of this ambitious piece, but solid acting on all counts. I especially loved Mare Winningham, Kevin Costner and Jenna Malone, in this fine three part historical drama. Costner especially, has never been better. I honestly believe this guy as a solid, older character actor. Give him great lines and great actors to work with and he does just fine. A sweet, but not overblown love story. The final showdown isn't the most perfectly filmed piece of combat, but that might have been the point. The determination to not judge, but to lay the cards on the table is what makes Hatfields and McCoys work. Congrats to this wonderful cast and crew. You took a great story and great writing and did yourself proud. Expand
  4. Jun 9, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A suprisingly well crafted series, that sends such a relevant message about the dangers of family, kinship, tribalism, ect. Pride, honour, respect are all double edged swords in this drama that speaks to any person who identifies with race or culture, and so relevant to any generation. The best parts are when they both claim to have god on their sides- the tyranny of righteousness... Expand
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: 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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.