Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Nov 13, 2012
    75
    Mankind: The Story of All of Us is that college freshman survey course, a buffet of tasty data, a little bit about a lot. It might leave you hungry for more.
  2. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    Nov 12, 2012
    50
    [Mankind is] filled with overdone battle reenactments, unqualified celebrity talking heads, and slo-mo iron smelting set to electronic dance music.
  3. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Nov 13, 2012
    50
    If this seems a hodgepodge of ideas, well, that is the general feel of Mankind--a scattershot catalog of man's greatest hits, lovingly enacted by a cast of grim and grimy thousands and propelled ever forward by a relentless soundtrack and urgent narration by Josh Brolin.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Nov 13, 2012
    60
    The journey of mankind on the History channel, while ambitious and informative, at times comes off a little too much like a history lesson.
  5. 60
    The series' bludgeoning aesthetic is silly, but it works. Much of History's programming aims to intrigue viewers who might never crack open a book, while assuring literate history buffs that the filmmakers know what they're talking about.
  6. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Nov 13, 2012
    88
    This excellent series has too many of the usual experts and way too many ridiculous sound effects.
  7. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 12, 2012
    83
    It aims for epic, and sometimes hits epic--but it's a bit shallow.
  8. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Nov 12, 2012
    75
    The show works and it's fun. [12 Nov 2012, p.43]
  9. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Nov 12, 2012
    75
    This is history lite, to be sure, but it's probably a lot livelier than your sixth-grade history class was.
  10. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Nov 12, 2012
    75
    The series' historic recreations are convincing, for the most part, although at times, the History Channel can't help itself and falls back into some of it cheesier bad habits.
  11. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Nov 13, 2012
    63
    Historical re-enactments almost always seem cheesy, especially when accompanied by a soaring score and melodramatic narration (by Josh Brolin). But these are arguably better than most.
  12. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Nov 13, 2012
    70
    Though there are millennia being covered, some may find the material oversimplified or oversanitized, but it's still an engaging and appealingly presented overview.
  13. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Nov 12, 2012
    50
    [The] preposterously grandiose title really needed to be strung out a bit to give an accurate picture of the program. Something like, "Mankind: The Story of All of Us, Delivered Somewhat Superficially by People You Know and Love, Because We Don't Want to Bore You."
  14. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Nov 12, 2012
    67
    Stuck on hyper-drive and stuffed with hyperbole, Mankind: The Story of All of Us is history a-go-go from a programmer that used to obey a few speed limits.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 4 out of 6
  1. Dec 22, 2012
    1
    This series has great visuals, but other than that it is downright terrible. First, It completely skips over ancient Indian civilization (mohenjo-daro anyone?), an ancient people that every ancient historian considers vital to the development of world civilization. I was also equally amazed that the series skipped over the transformation of Rome from a Republic to an Empire (Julius Caesar and Augustus anyone?). Rulers have been calling themselves Caesars/Czars/Kaisers for thousands of years, but no mention of Caesar? Incredibly, the series also omits Charlemagne and the Franks (the group who would lay the foundations for France and Germany), the Byzantine Empire, and perhaps most incredibly of all, Napoleon. I find it absolutely mind-blowing that these subjects wouldn't be included in a history of the world. World War I and II were glossed over, and far too much time is spent on less important events like the invention of the crossbow. The American Revolution and Civil War are similar overblown in their effect on the world. Last but not least, many of the 'facts' presented are either untrue or simply opinions that would be ignored in the academic community. An example of this is the coverage of the American revolution - the involvement of the French is left out and the documentary describes the British surrendering solely to the rebels at Yorktown. In reality, the British surrendered to a mixed army of American rebels and the French army - a victory mde possible by the naval victory of the French over the British off the coast of Virginia. I had really hoped to show this series to my students but instead I will tell them that this is simply an entertainment show that is not to be taken seriously as a historical documentary. Other than Mike Loades I have never even heard of any of these 'historical experts'. I have absolutely no idea why Brian Williams from NBC, a news commentator, is featured in a historical documentary series. There is a plethora of respected historians who could have been consulted for this series - but instead the history channel decides to settle with Brian Williams and a few unknown authors. They should have consulted historians such as Kelly DeVries (UMD) as they did in other more serious historical documentaries. Stay away from this one if you want a serious historical overview of human history. Full Review »
  2. Dec 12, 2012
    1
    I've watched this series and saved the episodes for possible watching by visiting grandchildren. Having seen all the episodes through episode 15, my wife and I have decided that we wouldn't want our grandchildren to watch the series. Much of the photography is well done and the series is fairly entertaining, but we are dumbfounded by the number of historical factual inaccuracies and the burdensome biased political philosophy that is stated as historical fact. The writing is so bad, I tried to find out who the writers were. I discovered that no names are credited for the series, and I understand as I would want to hide my name as well. My wife and I have just deleted the series from my DVD. Full Review »
  3. Dec 12, 2012
    2
    the show is entertaining but its history is flawed and revisionist . It is full of self loathing for the west, portraying the crusades as an evil conquest of muslim lands instead of an attempt to stem islamic expansion into the west . It was a response to muslim attempts at world domination . It then went on to perpetuate the myth of islamic science and tolerance . The renaisance in Europe was a direct result of a christian and jewish brain drain from islamic tyrany . Who put up the money for this show , Saudi Arabia? Full Review »