Chernobyl: Miniseries (2019)


Critics Consensus

Chernobyl rivets with a creeping dread that never dissipates, dramatizing a national tragedy with sterling craft and an intelligent dissection of institutional rot.



Critic Ratings: 95


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2556

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Air date: May 6, 2019

April 26, 1986, Ukrainian SSR. Plant workers and firefighters put their lives on the line to control a catastrophic 1986 explosion at a Soviet nuclear power plant.

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Air date: May 13, 2019

With untold millions at risk after the Chernobyl explosion, nuclear physicist Ulana Khomyuk (Emily Watson) makes a desperate attempt to reach Valery Legasov (Jared Harris), a leading Soviet nuclear physicist, and warn him about the threat of second explosion that could devastate the continent.

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Air date: May 20, 2019

Lyudmilla Ignatenko (Jessie Buckley), a Pripyat resident, ignores warning about her firefighter husband's (Adam Nagaitis) contamination; Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) lays out a decontamination plan, complete with human risks.

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Air date: May 27, 2019

Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) and Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård) consider using lunar rovers to remove radioactive debris, while Ulana Khomyuk (Emily Watson) faces government hurdles in determining the truth about the cause of the explosion.

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Air date: Jun 3, 2019

Valery Legasov (Jared Harris), Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård) and Ulana Khomyuk (Emily Watson) risk their lives and reputations to expose the truth about Chernobyl.

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Chernobyl: Miniseries Videos

Chernobyl: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info

CHERNOBYL dramatizes the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst human-made catastrophes in history, and tells the story of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster, all the while battling a culture of disinformation.

News & Interviews for Chernobyl: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for Chernobyl Miniseries

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (30)

...created with an awesome attention to historical accuracy and detail, brought back that harrowing event with frightening clarity and a superbly orchestrated sense of danger and dread.

Dec 17, 2019 | Full Review…

With renewed interest in the 33-year-old disaster has come a curious sense of moralizing proprietorship - which makes you wonder what, exactly, people are getting from the miniseries.

Jun 14, 2019 | Full Review…

They've done a really great job depicting the emergency... [And] It's this amped-up version of the debate that we have now about issues like global warming and our inability to agree on facts apart from political spin.

May 7, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Chernobyl returns HBO to the forefront of networks daring to tell difficult stories of import without any seeming concerns about whether or not they'll be "hits."

May 6, 2019 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

Chernobyl is a thorough historical analysis, a gruesome disaster epic replete with oozing blisters and the ominous rattle of Geiger counters, and a mostly riveting drama.

May 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Chernobyl is relentlessly bleak, but it has a remarkable cumulative power.

May 3, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Objectivity is Chernobyl's best ally. This is the best thing I watched in the entire year of 2019. [Full review in Spanish]

Aug 20, 2020 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

The pleasure of the story, if you can call it that, is... knowing that we - all of us - are part of something bigger than ourselves; that doing what is right might not always be best for the individual, but serves the greater arc of civilization.

Aug 4, 2020 | Full Review…

Books, films, and spiritual practices which can serve as antidotes to our wayward capacities for violence.

Feb 18, 2020 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Chernobyl is really the whole package - it's got a brain and a heart and some really thoughtful things to say.

Dec 16, 2019 | Full Review…

A riveting showcase for sheer storytelling craft ... Chernobyl is great TV - some of this year's best.

Dec 10, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

While the first two episodes have been incredibly heavy, they have also been an exercise in stellar filmmaking and performing.

Dec 5, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Chernobyl: Miniseries

  • Oct 18, 2020
    Intense and sobering view on the human condition.
  • Oct 09, 2020
    Fantastic! Brilliant!
  • Oct 05, 2020
    Stunning! Petrifying! Gut-wrenching!
  • Sep 30, 2020
    masterpiece of a miniseries.
  • Sep 26, 2020
    Oh my god this sound design and visuals are just...exceptional! Decent actors work. Solid script. Pretty fair from my perspective(from Russia). 5/5
  • Sep 22, 2020
    HBO's "Chernobyl" is just as terrifying as any horror movie out there. This series was one of the most talked-about back in 2019, so it had been pending on my list for a long time. Knowing only the bare minimum about the real-life disaster, this show kept me on the edge of my seat. It can be exhausting to get through it but it is superbly acted and well made. I think this a miniseries everyone should experience once, but it is definitely one that has many heavy topics to think about. It's a harrowing and tension-filled account of a real-life, man-made disaster that I personally won't be forgetting any time soon.
  • Sep 13, 2020
    The best historical series of all.
  • Sep 06, 2020
    Absolute masterpiece! This is well written and directed. The actors do an amazing job of portraying this real life event. I have watch the series four times over the past 2 days! This is a MUST WATCH!
  • Aug 18, 2020
    My favorite film! I absolutely love every aspect of this film from the sound design to the script. The camera work throughout the mini-series is some of my favorite, for example, the camera is almost always focused around one person in a scene which really creates a connection to the characters. The mini-series is also well-paced so you are never getting bored throughout your viewing.
  • Aug 14, 2020
    How can I explain ... this miniseries was better than I thought, the construction of tension was good, the performances are spectacular and everything else ... a true modern masterpiece !!!

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