Waco: Miniseries (2018)


Critics Consensus

Waco brings its fact-based drama to life with an outstanding ensemble, though its sympathetic approach to the main character may offend some viewers.



Critic Ratings: 46


Audience Score

User Ratings: 350

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Air date: Jan 24, 2018
Air date: Jan 31, 2018
Air date: Feb 7, 2018
Air date: Feb 14, 2018
Air date: Feb 21, 2018
Air date: Feb 28, 2018

Waco: Miniseries Videos

Waco: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info

Told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved from both sides of the conflict, including surviving Branch Davidians which has never been shared on television before, is surprising in its stark contrast to the media narrative at the time and what is remembered of Waco almost 25 years later.


Michael Shannon
as Gary Noesner
Taylor Kitsch
as David Koresh
Julia Garner
as Michelle Jones
Andrea Riseborough
as Judy Schneider
Paul Sparks
as Steve Schneider
Rory Culkin
as David Thibodeau
Shea Whigham
as Mitch Decker
Melissa Benoist
as Rachel Koresh
John Leguizamo
as Jacob Vazquez
Demore Barnes
as Wayne Martin
Annika Marks
as Kathy Schroeder
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Waco: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for Waco Miniseries

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (15)

Waco is an excellent addition to the subgenre.

Nov 9, 2018 | Full Review…

The Waco series seems overly eager to vindicate Koresh. And that taints an otherwise well-told story.

Jan 25, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

What Waco needs, and fails to achieve, is a complex, unified theory of Koresh.

Jan 25, 2018 | Full Review…

A compelling, tragic tale that allows stars like Kitsch and Shannon to play different, surprising roles, just like the new cable channel that's featuring the show.

Jan 24, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The show creates its own problems in telling this story, especially as it can't seem to handle the scope.

Jan 24, 2018 | Full Review…

Waco won't be the first drama to reduce a tragedy to its simplest components, but this doesn't offer much confidence that these are the right components or the only ones.

Jan 23, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A very sad story, but a very well-made series. It's a tough thing to watch, but you watch for the incredible performances, a must-watch if you're interested in true stories...

May 11, 2020 | Rating: 4.3/5 | Full Review…

Netflix has found an off-service hit in the form of Waco, a powerful retelling of a tragedy with a deeply impressive cast.

May 2, 2020 | Full Review…

Waco wastes no time getting to the point. [Full Review in Spanish]

Mar 4, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

While Shannon's performance is full of the strengths that have made The Shape of Water star such a sinewy actor, there isn't much acknowledgement in this small-screen version of the complexities of what really went down.

Jan 5, 2019 | Full Review…

However, Kitsch, Shannon, and the rest of the crew elevate the material in every scene. Despite wanting more show and less tell, the series is compelling television.

Oct 10, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's probably the best account we will ever have of what happened on April 19th and the 51 days leading up to it.

Sep 5, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Waco: Miniseries

  • Jul 06, 2020
    Way too sympathetic to the cult of Branch Davidians. David Koresh was a pedophile and nutjob.
  • Jul 02, 2020
    Heart-breaking, but well worth seeing.
  • Jun 22, 2020
    I thought this was great. Surprised the scores are so low. Very, very emotional reminding me of this event, and it opened up the idea that it wasn't maybe as righteous as I thought when it occurred.
  • Jun 16, 2020
    Great Mini-Series on the standoff in Waco between the ATF/FBI and the Branch Davidians. It is led by a stellar performance from Taylor Kitsch and Michael Shannon shines as the FBI Negotiator. It does a nice job of showing both sides of the story. It really shows how Police Agencies can tell us what they want us to believe.
  • May 29, 2020
    Although this show was really good, I just could not give it a high rating. This is because they attempted to portray David Koresh as this kindly musician. If you read the information given from his surviving followers, he was extremely manipulative, violent and controlling. They said that he would sleep with all the women but not allow husbands to sleep with their own wives, and would actually separate mothers and children if he thought they had a deeper bond than he did with the children. They also said that he beat them quite often as punishment.
  • May 26, 2020
    Slow to begin with, but does a good job showing the corruption at hand in the gov. While some facts are still disputed, like who shot first, that really is void when you realize that they did not need to show up with a fucking army and in return killed a bunch of children in a PR stunt. It was well acted. This was not even there jurisdiction, children were not, firearms are but it was a minor weapons violation That they could have got permits for for very cheap. This is a horrible example of gov overreach, even with him being a pedo, you could have arrested him during his daily run
  • May 25, 2020
    They could have captured him and let the justice department investigate. With Bill Clinton and the Dems behind the FBI and ATF many people and children died without any reason. This should have never happened. No doubt David K. was a child predator but our Government lead by the Dems was no better.
  • May 25, 2020
    Well acted. My one gripe is how biased the script and writing is. I get it - there has to be a story but when the facts of the case are STILL disputed, it's tough to toss your hat in any one corner. That being said - TK is very believable.
  • May 16, 2020
    Never forget that the satanic Clintons waged a military operation against a church.
  • May 13, 2020
    The beginning is painfully slow; slower than the average show setting up a story. It's speculative and doesn't seem to have any factual basis which I could forgive because this is a dramatization, but it doesn't make for good TV. The inaccuracies begin with Koresh's hairstyle and extend to Taylor Kitsch's generic and forced accent. The filmmakers seem to want him to be sympathetic and not the crazy cult leader that he was. The only things that make this worthy of the half star rating are the NM landscapes and DC establishing shots. It's a sad testament when the best parts of this show have zero to do with the story. I would rather eat an actual rotten tomato than watch more of this series - the awful flavor would sooner leave my mouth than the sour taste left behind by Waco.

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