The Defiant Ones: Miniseries (2017)

The Defiant Ones

Critics Consensus

The Defiant Ones is a compelling, comprehensive portrait of two visionaries that illuminates both their colorful pasts and their historic influence on the music industry.



Critic Ratings: 25


Audience Score

User Ratings: 248

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Air date: Jul 9, 2017

Premiere of a documentary series spotlighting the unlikely, but durable partnership between music producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre is spotlighted.

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Air date: Jul 10, 2017

Part 2 of 4. N.W.A. evolves into a musical force but personal losses, a bitter contract dispute and a clash over management strain Dre's relationship with Easy-E. Meanwhile, Jimmy collaborates with Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks and U2.

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Air date: Jul 11, 2017

Part 3 of 4. Jimmy co-founds Interscope Records and cuts a deal with Death Row Records to become the label's distributor. But hostility mounts across America at the violence in rap music. Jimmy, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur become embroiled in a violent feud with East Coast rap rivals, including Sean "Puffy" Combs and his Bad Boy Records.

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Air date: Jul 12, 2017

Part 4 of 4. Dre produces Eminem's "The Slim Shady LP" that takes the rap music world by storm. Later, Dre and Jimmy create Beats Electronics and make a historic 2014 deal with Apple.

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The Defiant Ones: Miniseries Videos

The Defiant Ones: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info

Set amid many of the defining events of the past four decades, this four-part documentary event tells the stories of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, their improbable partnership and their leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture. Directed by Allen Hughes, who conducted extensive interviews with both men, the show also includes interviews with such music icons as Bono, David Geffen, Eminem, Nas, Stevie Nicks, Ice Cube, Gwen Stefani, Jon Landau, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, Diddy and THE DEFIANT ONES also features never-before-seen footage from a multitude of recording and writing sessions with Eazy-E, JJ Fad, Stevie Nicks, N.W.A., Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and U2, among others.

News & Interviews for The Defiant Ones: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for The Defiant Ones Miniseries

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (16)

Men have flaws, and for these two icons, the ultimate act of defiance might be showing them.

Dec 13, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Defiant Ones remains essential viewing for any fan of popular music. It shows the power of friendship, partnership and the relentless quest to be the best.

Dec 13, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

[Defiant Ones] allows insight into two men who lived up to the adjective in the title of this show.

Aug 18, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The Defiant Ones is nothing if not entertaining, shot slick and edited sharp; it's no chore for anyone seeking a chaperoned visitor's pass to music history.

Jul 18, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Defiant Ones does spend a little too much time praising and mythologizing its subjects. But it's also a comprehensive look at Dre's and Iovine's history.

Jul 10, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Defiant Ones is witty, polished, grand in scale, ambition and budget, while remaining totally engrossing. The other music docs may as well give up now.

Mar 26, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

All about pushing ahead of the game... The brilliant first episode was full of eureka moments.

Feb 11, 2019 | Full Review…

While it might have made more sense to profile Iovine and Dre's lives separately, the basic device of telling them concurrently works, and Episode One holds your attention throughout.

Dec 27, 2017 | Full Review…

The Defiant Ones works on almost every level: as a primer on the music industry, as gossip, as biography, as a time capsule of the 1980s, the 1990s, and the beginning of the 21st century.

Dec 13, 2017 | Full Review…

By getting vulnerable with legendary control freaks, the doc reaches soaring heights.

Sep 7, 2017 | Full Review…

Mature, insightful docu about unlikely hip-hop partnership.

Jul 18, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's boilerplate Great American Dream-type stuff, but it works.

Jul 7, 2017 | Rating: 6.4/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Defiant Ones: Miniseries

  • Feb 26, 2018
    If for nothing else, watch this for Snoop Dogg's impression of Jimmy Iovine. Also, Dr. Dre and Bruce Springsteen are apparently the same people in two completely different genres.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2020
    So well produced and put together, a gripping storyline. For all of those who are fans of hip hop and music in general this is a must.
  • Nov 04, 2019
    Excellent star appeal, editing and music. Been a Dre fan for 25 years, but still learned a lot. Jimmy Iovine is maybe a more fascinating person... so well done.
  • Oct 08, 2018
    I think this is the best doc. iv ever seen
  • Jul 16, 2018
    Good interviews from both Dre and Iovine who open up a lot more than they have in the past about their lives.
  • May 19, 2018
    great documentary, well ressourced!
  • May 06, 2018
    Very interesting, with such a wide array of artists yourbound to be starstruck!
  • Apr 01, 2018
    Incredible! Highly recommend! So interesting and engaging from start to finish.
  • Mar 23, 2018
    a gripping and incredible story put together perfectly by hbo. if you've seen "straight out of compton" though, the first two and a half episodes will basically just be repeating what the film told. Not a major issue, i still sat through it but what made the documentary so amazing was the last episode where everything came together for jimmy & dre.
  • Jan 29, 2018
    Wow. What a phenomenal mini series. A lot of documentaries rely on reenactments or imagination by the viewer. The footage that they have and show of some of our great performers is incredible. Anyone interested in some pop culture history from 1970 until today or music artist and industry fans will love this series. But if not, the series will still captivate you to watch evolution of two icons who start from nothing and evolved into present day, billionaire moguls with their successes and failures in between. This is a must see.

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