The Kennedys Image
Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: The miniseries about the Kennedys with Greg Kinnear as President John F. Kennedy and Katie Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy was moved from the History Channel to Reelz Channel after controversy about the portrayal of the family.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 24
  2. Negative: 5 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 30, 2011
    100
    The miniseries--starring Greg Kinnear as JFK, Barry Pepper as Bobby, Katie Holmes as Jacqueline and Tom Wilkinson as Joseph Sr.--is without a doubt one of the best, most riveting, historically accurate dramas about a time and place in American history that has ever been done for TV.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Apr 7, 2011
    70
    The sheer power of these stories carries The Kennedys even during the occasional stumbles that result from trying to pack 40 years of history into five and a half hours of programming.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Mar 31, 2011
    60
    Definitive history The Kennedys is not. But most of the flaws explored here mostly make the characters seem human. The series credits wins as well as losses and sends most of its characters home on a positive note.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Mar 30, 2011
    42
    I can see why multiple networks passed on The Kennedys: not just because it's a political hot potato, but because it's a cobbled-together, mean-spirited piece of work that can't help alienating viewers, whether you venerate the Kennedys or dislike them.
  5. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Apr 1, 2011
    40
    Instead, The Kennedys is blandly admiring when paying due respect, mildly cheesy when hauling out the trash, and understaged at every turn, the better for viewers to project their own fantasies onto it.
  6. Reviewed by: Nancy Franklin
    Mar 29, 2011
    40
    We come away with a new understanding of the extent of the Kennedys' dysfunction but without a sense of what made them special or of how they harnessed their talents. But what you see in Wilkinson's eyes--they're black holes, devouring everyone in sight--almost makes up for what's missing from the writing.
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 30, 2011
    20
    Kennedys is a hamfisted mess, both slothful in its pacing and leaden in whatever underlying message was meant to be given. It's not the Kennedy family or legacy that suffers here, but the people involved in the project.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Jan 26, 2013
    9
    Muy real, muy sincera, muy bien interpretada, con saltos adelante y atrás en el tiempo. Interesante para los que nacimos después de esta historia y no la conocemos bién.
    Magistral el papel de Katie Holmes y Greg Kinnear.
    Expand
  2. Aug 29, 2011
    9
    Excellent. I have no idea why this work of art is getting such mixed reviews; The Kennedys is great. You can really tell that each actor worked very hard to portray the character they portrayed, and in doing so the acting is near flawless, with many strong performances.Just brilliant. Expand
  3. May 3, 2011
    6
    It's never easy turning national tragedy into tasteful TV. Often fears of controversy cause programme-makers to act conservatively, play it safe, and hope to duck controversy by putting a glossy sheen on historical events. Unfortunately for The Kennedys, although it does do some things brilliantly, its creators, who seem to have been all to conscious of the risks, have nonetheless created a drama that ends up falling between two stools. Undoubtedly, The Kennedys hits certain nails squarely on the head. First of all, the casting for the series was brilliant - Greg Kinnear was as good a JFK as you could hope for, the perfect balance of vulnerability, presence and sleaze - and although she's received a lot of flak, mostly due to events that have nothing to do with the series - Katie Holmes, at moments, truly owns the role of Jackie Kennedy. That's not to say that her performance doesn't slip; like most of the principle actors in The Kennedys, Mrs. Cruise struggles to maintain her embodiment of one of the 20th centuries iconic figures, but I would argue that such a failing isn't really the fault of the performers. What really lets The Kennedys down is the writing. Joel Surnow and David Kronish are, of course, most famous for their work on 24 and, much like The Kennedys, that series was held together by the magnetism of the core cast. Unfortunately for Surnow and Kronish however, the lives of The Kennedy family include few opportunities for on-screen torture, explosions and car chases (although it would be wonderful to see John F. Kennedy trying to solve the civil rights problem in one wild day, armed only with a Glock and a mobile phone). The net result is that Surnow and Kronish manage to turn many of the key events of modern American history into pedestrian re-enactments, affairs generally lacking the gravitas they deserve. Worse still, and the primary problem with The Kennedys, is that the programme-makers have tried to cram far too much into too small an amount of screen time. 8 episodes to try and encapsulate even only the significant moments in the legacy of the Kennedy family just isn't enough, and in the whistle-stop tour delivered by series director Jon Cassar we skim along the surface of what happened, never managing to go into depth. Of all things, the series ends up feeling light-weight, and the seemingly constant need for Cassar to flash back or forward kills the pace and tension of proceedings stone dead. Of course, some of the most laboriously expositional dialogue in recent television history also distracts which, combined with the most functional, dull and themeless music I have heard in a TV drama of late, is likely to leave audiences perplexed; bearing in mind that 2008's John Adams, directed by Tom Hooper (the recent recipient of a well-deserved Academy Award for The Kingââ Expand
  4. Jun 13, 2012
    5
    An extremely well acted mini-series from the whole cast, and technically brilliant. Yet, the whole thing isn't anything we haven't seen before about the controversial family. Expand
  5. Apr 15, 2011
    4
    Honestly My Review Is Mixed! :D
    The Acting & Writing Is Really Bad. But There Is A Little Hint Of Good With The Show...
    This Is NOT The Worst
    Or Best Show Currently Airing On T.V. Expand
  6. Apr 6, 2011
    2
    I gave it a 2 for Jackie's outfits. The acting is bad. The script is bad. We already know the plot and outcomes so there are no surprises. I can see why the History Channel ran from it. Expand
  7. Apr 4, 2011
    0
    Katie Homes cannot act. Greg Kinear is more interested in playing Kennedy rather than telling his story. It isn't like we don't know everything there is to know from history, books, gossip, documentaries and past TV movies that we really needed another one. I think Katie likes wearing the pink suit. Expand