• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 6, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Hell on Wheels Image
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

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  • Summary: Seeking the killer of his wife, ex-Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) goes west and soon finds himself at Hell on Wheels, the temporary town that followed the construction of the transcontinental railroad as it moved westward.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 21, 2011
    91
    Though imbued with epic sweep, Hell on Wheels is a western at heart, even if that heart is cold.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 3, 2011
    83
    Solid cast, intriguing premise, and--best of all--the Old West. Should easily be another winner for AMC.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Nov 3, 2011
    75
    Hell on Wheels is a big and ambitious stab at the genre, with a lot going on and much to recommend.
  4. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Nov 3, 2011
    60
    Not content to exploit their subject's inherent themes, the series' fraternal creators, Joe and Tony Gayton, have adhered them promiscuously, pasting neon Post-it indications of symbolic import in a way that obscures moments of straightforward drama.
  5. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Nov 4, 2011
    60
    I found parts of this series I could get invested in. You might find even more. Just don't go in expecting more than heck on wheels.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Nov 4, 2011
    50
    While the diverse mix of characters could work to the program's advantage over the long haul, jumping to and fro among them creates a diluted, herky-jerky ride in the early going.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Nov 4, 2011
    30
    It's good at being tedious.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35
  1. Dec 12, 2011
    10
    Look forward to this program. The realism fits the time frame of the story. Finally a program worth watching. Keep up the good work. Thank goodness no vampires and things that crawl in the night. Expand
  2. Sep 28, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Amazing show, loved both seasons, wish AMC would put more episodes per season tho. Everyone I tell about the show, loves it, you've got a decent show here AMC. Expand
  3. Nov 8, 2011
    10
    The best premiere of the year. AMC se ha vuelto a lucir esta vez, respira un aire a Deadwood, espero que la iguale. la auguro un buen futuro a la serie, espero que la AMC la trate bien Expand
  4. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    so far i am really enjoying this series, the cinematography is fantastic, and the acting is very strong, and i'm loving the variety of the characters. i'll update this review at the end of the season but it looks like great things are bound to happen with it Expand
  5. Nov 28, 2011
    8
    I grew watching Clint Eastwood westerns with my dad and grandfather. If you like gritty and entertaining westerns this would be your only hope on TV right now. AMC is starting to have quite the monopoly on my DVR. Expand
  6. Nov 30, 2011
    7
    Hell On Wheels is a God awful working title at best, so don't let that deter you. It hasn't shown me anything new here that you can't get from seeing Deadwood or Boardwalk Empire. The setting is grand landscape paintings come to life and there are some genuine emotional scenes. However, I find the story too often running in place and just looking around at the scenery. Expand
  7. Oct 10, 2013
    0
    I have enjoyed this show despite some historical inaccuracies. Seasons 1&2 are great, but season 3 has ruined it for me. Let me explain: My ancestors were Mormon. One such ancestor join the Mormon faith Missouri and a short time there after was a Captain in the Mormon Militia. After Governor Boggs signed the "Mormon Extermination Order", a law that made it legal to kill Mormons up to 1976 in the state of Missouri, my ancestor left Missouri and settled in Nauvoo, IL. He was a farmer by trade, but once again he served as a Captain of the Nauvoo Legion. He was even charged with the protection of Joseph Smith Jr. Prior to being cast out of Nauvoo, my ancestor was ordained a High Priest in the Nauvoo Temple and was sealed to his wife for time and all eternity (an ordinance that can only happen in the temple according to the Mormon faith). My ancestor then left for the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. There he was once again a Captain and he establish logging business. He owned a canyon that still bares his name (even though it is misspelled). The reason that I gave this score is due to not just the complete historical inaccuracy of the Mormons, but the defamation of their story. The Mormons were commissioned to build much of the rail road, in-fact the two rail ways finished in Salt Lake City. But there are some points that I must make clear: (1) Bishops never had that kind of authority, the authority to kill people (2) One cannot become a Mormon without being Baptized into the church (3) Being sealed for time and all eternity cannot happen in a city square or by a Bishop. It has to happen in a Temple by a Temple Sealer. (4) Mormons were anti-slavery and never kidnapped people.

    Ask yourself this: If this show had gotten the Jewish Faith, Catholic Faith, Protestant Faith, or Native American Faith this wrong; would the rest of these scores be this high? I think not. I watched the entire season to see if things would turnaround, they did not. Season 3 is nothing short of hate speech, but then I guess many people dislike and misunderstand the Mormon community. Maybe some of you will agree with me, but my bet is that most of you just won't care.

    Shame on those that made this show, they just didn't care to get it right or they were actively attacking the Mormon religion.
    Expand

See all 35 User Reviews