Roots: Miniseries (2016)


Critics Consensus

A powerfully impressive -- and still relevant -- update on a television classic, Roots boasts remarkable performances, deep emotion, and occasionally jarring beauty.



Critic Ratings: 46

Audience Score

User Ratings: 0
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Air date: May 30, 2016
Air date: May 31, 2016
Air date: May 31, 2016
Air date: Jun 1, 2016
Air date: Jun 2, 2016
Air date: Jun 2, 2016
Air date: Jun 2, 2016
Air date: Jun 2, 2016
Air date: Jun 3, 2016

Roots: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info

A family tries to overcome the hardships of slavery to survive and build a legacy.

News & Interviews for Roots: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for Roots Miniseries

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (23)

The History network, in on-air partnership with Lifetime and A&E, has brought forth a Roots that stands tall on its own, but without surpassing the production that once gripped a nation and should still be seen by viewers of all ages.

Jun 12, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Wisely, Haley bought the rights back and decided the story needed the canvas that only TV can offer. It makes for fuller presentation and a larger audience. He made a wise choice, and so did ABC in showing it on consecutive nights.

Jan 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Highlights -- a queasy word to use here -- include a revolt on the slave ship and the flogging of Kinte to make him acknowledge his new English name.

Apr 25, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

As Kunta/Toby, Malachi Kirby has a magnetic presence and brilliantly negotiates the transition from foolish young pup to stern rebel who makes his bid for freedom on a white charger. He's the most compelling reason to keep faith with this new adaptation.

Feb 9, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Whether you're a proponent or a critic of the new Roots, it's unlikely you'll quickly shake the image of Malachi Kirby's burning rage-filled eyes.

May 31, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Just as the original Roots had a powerful emotional impact on Americans, the new one is likely to do so as well, especially given that questions of race are at the forefront of discussion as much now as ever.

May 30, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It is unlikely that the four-night event will capture audiences the same way the original series did when it premiered in 1977, thanks to the advent of the DVR.

Jun 27, 2018 | Full Review…

For the viewers, and how much more so for the actors involved, the knowledge of that past only heightens the involvement in this nuanced and poetic telling of America's (and Britain's) most shameful history.

Apr 4, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This new adaptation of Roots may have a fair amount of downtime throughout its six and a half hours, but it rises on the strengths of its emotionally powerful narrative and outstanding cast, making this a version that does justice to its source material.

Aug 22, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The effort put forth by the writers, actors, and filmmakers have updated and reimagined the miniseries to be a powerful reminder of the past and how stories like Roots deserve to be retold.

May 31, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Roots: Miniseries

  • Mar 11, 2019
    Favorite movie quotes - Joe Biden: "They're going to put y'all back in chains"
  • May 22, 2017
    a superb production and I believe this to stand equal to the original
  • Aug 22, 2016
  • Aug 16, 2016
    great movie , loved every minute of it
  • Aug 16, 2016
    I have not yet seen the original roots but this remake was undeniably a masterpiece well done. Great and perfect casting, faithful to the original source material and evocatively true to its core. One of the best mini-series you will ever see.
  • Aug 03, 2016
    The moment it came on TV I was hooked. Absolutely amazing!
  • Jul 25, 2016
    One of the most powerful and disturbing mini-series I have watched recently, Roots is based on Alex Haley's book of the same name about his family's disturbing past through four generations of slavery. There were times — and so many of them — throughout the series that made me gasp and hold the table firmly to be able to see the violence and inhumanity being displayed in front of me. There were moments from the show that re-occurred in my dream and I woke up feeling miserable coming to terms with the terrible things man is capable of. The series also holds a mirror to America's violent past and so many of these undercurrents are still seen in today's society and American politics. Slavery is still not abolished completely from the world but the suffering of slaves and all the people associated with those times finds a resonance with this brilliantly made show.
  • Jul 08, 2016
    Now more than ever people should watch Roots and think about equality and freedom. Wonderful show, extremely poignant lessons.
  • Jun 13, 2016
    Excellent. Rivals the original series. Very intense. Important history lesson.
  • Jun 11, 2016
    So excruciatingly boring, I couldn't watch it.

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