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: 366

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Air date: Jan 24, 2018

In the series premiere, the ATF gets a tip of suspicious activity involving weapons taking place among a small religious community led by David Koresh and located at the Mount Carmel Center just outside of Waco, Texas.

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Air date: Jan 31, 2018

ATF agent Jacob Vasquez begins undercover surveillance on the Mount Carmel compound and befriends David Koresh in hopes of finding illegal weapons or other activity.

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Air date: Feb 7, 2018

The ATF siege begins. Assault vehicles storm the Mount Carmel compound and gunfire is exchanged, which begins a 51-day standoff.

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Air date: Feb 14, 2018

Negotiations intensify as the Branch Davidians refuse to surrender. Also: the lack of food and medical treatment tests both the Davidians' faith and law enforcement's patience.

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Air date: Feb 21, 2018

For a moment, it seems like the end of the stalemate is nearing when the FBI's tactical division turns up the heat with psy-ops on David Koresh and the Branch Davidians.

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Air date: Feb 28, 2018

The standoff at the Mount Carmel compound comes to a violent and tragic end.

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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.

Cast & Crew

Michael Shannon
Gary Noesner
Taylor Kitsch
David Koresh
Andrea Riseborough
Judy Schneider
John Alberto Leguizamo
Robert Rodriguez
Rory Culkin
David Thibodeau
Melissa Benoist
Rachel Koresh
Paul Sparks
Steve Schneider
Shea Whigham
Richard rogers
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News & Interviews for Waco: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for Waco Miniseries

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (22)

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

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

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…

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…

Waco is an excellent addition to the subgenre.

Nov 9, 2018 | Full Review…

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

  • Apr 04, 2021
    This show opens the doors to what happened in Waco. I really liked it. It has some slow moving scenes, but it all works and lays out the timeline of what happened from different perspectives. It is a movie, not a documentary, but it is based on books from people who where there. It's worth your time if you remember Waco.
  • Dec 28, 2020
    Wow, what a powerful, thought provoking series. It draws you in immediately. The acting if great and the pace swift. For example they take on ruby ridge and how that may have influenced this case, in about 10 minutes. There are some historical inaccuracies for sure, but that's the same for any docudrama. They gave a fairly nuanced portrayal of koresh, which turned some reviewers sour on the film. The fbi and atf were shown to be petulant at times as were the branch dividians. All the major players involved were shown to have made mistakes which ultimately led to the tragic ending. The series was based on one of the lead negotiators and one of the surviving dividians autobiographies.
  • 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.

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