GUYANA TRAGEDY: THE STORY OF JIM JONES; Big Love; Waco; The Source Family (CBS Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection; HBO; Paramount Network; Independent Pictures)

Cults on TV by Tomatometer

In one of the first TV portrayals of dangerous cult influence, 1980 miniseries Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones told the disturbing story of a leader who prompted 913 people to commit mass suicide in South America. Powers Boothe won an Emmy for his portrayal of Jones.

This week, Taylor Kitsch debuted as David Koresh in the six-part Paramount Network miniseries about the 51-day 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF, and members of the Branch Davidian sect. The clash, in which 76 people died, began because the group was suspected of weapons violations and escalated into a deadly fire at the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

Where does Waco stand among its cults-on-TV brethren? The following 11 dramatic series and documentaries tell tales of charismatic people and controversial spiritual movements.

#1
Adjusted Score: 97.902%
Critics Consensus: Thoroughly disquieting but impossible to ignore, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a searing investigative work from a master documentarian.
Synopsis: Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear profiles... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney

Big Love (2006)
80%

#2
Synopsis: Utah businessman, Bill Paxton, is busy with his expanding home improvement business. But, what takes more of his time are... [More]

The Path (2016)
77%

#3
Synopsis: A family struggles with relationships, marriage and power during a controversial religious movement in this drama series.... [More]

Synopsis: Controversies surrounding the church of Scientology are explored.... [More]

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 73.438%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's 1971 and communes and new religions are on the rise. The Source Family are an "Aquarian tribe," a secretive... [More]

Adjusted Score: 75.475%
Critics Consensus: American Horror Story: Cult intrigues with timely, over-the-top creepiness - and lots of clowns - despite being hampered by broad political generalizations and occasional holes in the narrative's logic.
Synopsis: Season 7 of the FX horror anthology. ... [More]

Waco (2018)
70%

#7
Synopsis: The untold story exploring the true life details leading up to and chronicling the 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF... [More]

Aquarius (2015)
77%

#8
Synopsis: A police sergeant in the 1960s tries to hunt down cult leader Charles Manson in this crime series.... [More]
Directed By: Jonas Pate

The Following (2013)
58%

#9
Synopsis: THE FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States.... [More]

Cult (2013)
36%

#10
Synopsis: There is television and there is the world we live in. In the shadows where they meet, there is CULT.... [More]

The Prisoner (2009)
17%

#11
Synopsis: A reworking of the 1960s cult hit about an amnesiac held in a mysterious area called the Village, where inhabitants... [More]

Waco airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on Paramount Network.


Tag Cloud

technology sports Biopics robots festival CNN indie blockbuster richard e. Grant Television Critics Association movie Superheroes Comedy Central Holidays SDCC 2018 Mary poppins TV Land parents dceu Amazon Prime crime thriller Video Games Horror Winners Oscars Anna Paquin docudrama Shondaland Netflix screenings Spike The Walking Dead venice satire supernatural Ellie Kemper Trivia Ghostbusters TNT Nominations BBC Pop TV fast and furious Shudder Rock DGA TV renewals renewed TV shows TV classics Freeform Adult Swim Sneak Peek adaptation what to watch casting witnail The CW Certified Fresh PaleyFest space composers teaser Writers Guild of America GoT Discovery Channel theme song films Rom-Com Emmy Nominations Avengers Awards blaxploitation Election Disney streaming service 72 Emmy Awards Star Trek italian Cartoon Network Mystery ratings award winner comedies Opinion 2017 Drama best PlayStation CBS singing competition Amazon Prime Video Bravo mission: impossible Turner Classic Movies Esquire spinoff FX on Hulu Funimation comic YouTube zombies Sundance cops YA OneApp TCA Winter 2020 dogs green book chucky TCM HBO Max USA justice league travel Comics on TV franchise reviews AMC SXSW X-Men unscripted hollywood south america Amazon HBO Go Fantasy YouTube Premium finale sequels VOD criterion E! CMT cancelled TV series Reality IFC scary movies FOX asian-american Stephen King scorecard Ovation facebook crime drama Spectrum Originals 2016 series Hear Us Out all-time Kids & Family directors slashers ghosts Mindy Kaling Brie Larson cults Television Academy Food Network Sundance TV A&E Nat Geo Christmas Infographic Crackle Elton John Pop DC streaming service First Look Hulu NYCC TLC E3 Box Office Columbia Pictures aliens History Sony Pictures Schedule spanish language thriller GLAAD The Academy mutant MTV Disney Channel Animation Captain marvel Turner hispanic CW Seed Reality Competition Western HBO Cosplay Dark Horse Comics Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Music 21st Century Fox doctor who festivals Lifetime dramedy TBS San Diego Comic-Con tv talk Valentine's Day Fox News obituary Paramount revenge DirecTV RT History Watching Series USA Network social media The Purge 007 Teen concert LGBTQ free movies Song of Ice and Fire spain 2015 45 japanese TIFF cooking 2019 Vudu WarnerMedia laika TCA Awards video on demand romance biography strong female leads children's TV Superheroe Acorn TV WGN crossover cancelled TV shows romantic comedy nbcuniversal worst movies Fall TV crime TCA 2017 BBC One Year in Review football natural history adventure Trailer See It Skip It cancelled twilight emmy awards werewolf LGBT animated Marvel Cannes Arrowverse 71st Emmy Awards superhero disaster Thanksgiving Calendar New York Comic Con true crime Marathons dc historical drama VH1 Sci-Fi cancelled television Academy Awards Travel Channel GIFs First Reviews cartoon Family Netflix Christmas movies breaking bad science fiction YouTube Red Black History Month Fox Searchlight Chernobyl Rocketman political drama BAFTA Podcast cars hist worst independent based on movie Warner Bros. National Geographic game show ITV child's play Nickelodeon streaming Chilling Adventures of Sabrina movies APB Emmys Summer Epix halloween tv discovery Lionsgate critics American Society of Cinematographers Toys mockumentary psychological thriller Disney President Pixar news Lifetime Christmas movies Spring TV remakes Film Showtime Holiday book elevated horror A24 video dark politics Hallmark Christmas movies nature Character Guide sitcom Creative Arts Emmys canceled Disney+ Disney Plus MSNBC Women's History Month VICE Musical police drama Extras Crunchyroll anime Masterpiece spanish documentaries Universal a nightmare on elm street toy story rotten movies we love quibi Lucasfilm kids MCU golden globes Action Rocky OWN The Arrangement stand-up comedy Best and Worst stop motion jamie lee curtis Heroines TCA Polls and Games nfl Country reboot dragons binge 2020 RT21 Hallmark Comic Book cats The Witch BET Awards BET boxoffice Tumblr halloween batman Classic Film Amazon Studios Starz period drama spider-man 24 frames DC Universe latino FX Grammys Baby Yoda Apple zombie war 4/20 Logo stoner serial killer miniseries Mary Tyler Moore PBS Comedy documentary Star Wars die hard Apple TV+ SundanceTV comiccon zero dark thirty TruTV El Rey sequel Trophy Talk Pride Month Red Carpet 20th Century Fox Disney Plus comics game of thrones Paramount Network vampires Peacock indiana jones versus Mudbound cinemax Premiere Dates Tubi sag awards harry potter foreign NBC Black Mirror Binge Guide Mary Poppins Returns Tomatazos FXX Britbox Pet Sematary french Musicals Marvel Studios television Photos toronto anthology spy thriller ESPN DC Comics Endgame canceled TV shows BBC America IFC Films Marvel Television Tarantino Quiz Super Bowl rotten Sundance Now talk show transformers Winter TV Countdown Martial Arts Walt Disney Pictures ABC archives Apple TV Plus ABC Family screen actors guild diversity joker medical drama Pirates Film Festival Set visit name the review universal monsters psycho christmas movies Interview Awards Tour Syfy CBS All Access