9/10 A good musical, fairy tale, animated movie or purely fictional film can be a great escape from reality for a couple hours, especially during rough times where we could all use some escapism. But every once in a while, a somber, sadder, true story needs to be told. Not for the sake of uplifting an audience but to educate people and remind them of sad facts we tend to forget. “Waco” is full of these unfortunately true realizations like the fact that the American government has been a total disaster for decades, agencies like the FBI and ATF are incompetent, corrupt and sometimes flat out evil and that the media regularly lies to push forward their narrative. Don’t get me wrong, not every single member of government, the media or the alphabet boy agencies are cruel and evil people. But there are enough wrongdoers high on power and without regulation or accountability to destroy innocent American lives. This sobering fact will be front and center by the time you finish watching this six-episode limited series. In addition to the messages and moral lessons we shouldn’t forget about people who wrongfully want MORE government control, “Waco” has so much to offer. Coming in at about five and a half hours, “Waco” can be watched in a day or two and the pacing is phenomenal. We aren’t given more than we need to know as none of the episodes are bloated or overstuffed with filler. The performances across the board are phenomenal with Taylor Kitsch, Michael Shannon and Julia Garner being the big standouts for me. A wide variety of real life people are portrayed going through about every emotion imaginable and this cast makes it look easy. The scripts feel natural, realistic, engaging and well researched. This series is based off of two different books and the adaptation work done here is Emmy worthy. The fact that this wasn’t nominated for Best Limited Series at the Emmy’s is a travesty. Because of this being a true story, the real life implications at play and the fact that innocent people lost their lives while the government continuously lied and threw their best men under the bus means that the emotional stakes are very high here and even in the short time you spend with all of these characters, you will get emotionally attached, despite how flawed the group is. Sadly, you also get to see how religious extremism can ruin lives and take advantage of young women in particular but even though their religious views are warped, the series does a great job of making these regular people sympathetic and relatable. I could go on anti-government rants all day and night but this is a film and television review website so you can and should watch this while doing your own research and forming your own opinions about the government. From a film making stand point, this is fantastic and a must watch. The only minor flaws I could detect was that a couple of helicopter shots were clearly CGI, some of the direction was slightly bland when it could have been more stylistic, the score was forgettable and a few minor details were tweaked, as Hollywood often does when telling true life stories. Those minor flaws aside, this is a must watch for any and every American citizen and a reminder of what happens when we give our government too much power and don’t hold them accountable.
#ATFATotalFiasco / #FBIFailuresBeyondImaginable / #TrueDefective / #RightInTheSeals / #TakeShelter2 / #CantTankYouEnough