Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 2,554 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 18 critic

This controversial documentary about the stand-off between an unorthodox Christian group - the Branch Davidians, under the leadership of the young, charismatic David Koresh - and the FBI ... See full summary »


Watch Trailer
0Check in
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch.

Director: Stanley Nelson
Stars: Rebecca Moore, Janet Shular, Tim Carter
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Religious fanatics are barricaded in a building, and surrounded by police. But they're not going to surrender, they prefer to die.

Director: Dick Lowry
Stars: Tim Daly, William O'Leary, Neal McDonough
Crime | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Fred A. Leuchter Jr., Robert Jan Van Pelt, David Irving
Documentary | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

"The Trials of Darryl Hunt" is a feature documentary about a brutal rape/murder case and a wrongly convicted man, Darryl Hunt, who spent nearly twenty years in prison for a crime he did not... See full summary »

Directors: Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg
Stars: Evelyn Jefferson, Fred Flagler, John Reeves
Documentary | History | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Palestinian terrorist group Black September holds Israeli athletes hostage at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Michael Douglas, Ankie Spitzer, Jamal Al Gashey
Waco (1966)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Preacher Sam Stone and his new beautiful wife Jill stand by the grave of Sheriff Billy Kelly, who died trying to bring law-and-order to Emporia, Wyoming. Among the mourners are businessman ... See full summary »

Director: R.G. Springsteen
Stars: Howard Keel, Jane Russell, Brian Donlevy
Lake of Fire (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A graphic documentary on both sides of the abortion debate.

Director: Tony Kaye
Stars: Noam Chomsky, Bill Baird, Flip Benham
Jonestown (2013)
Short | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A thriller that dramatizes the last 24 hours in the lives of Jim Jones and The Peoples Temple Church through the eyes of a reporter.

Director: David B. Berget
Stars: Kym Jackson, Leandro Cano, William Russ
Marjoe (1972)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Part documentary, part expose, this film follows one-time child evangelist Marjoe Gortner on the "church tent" Revivalist circuit, commenting on the showmanship of Evangelism and "the ... See full summary »

Directors: Sarah Kernochan, Howard Smith
Stars: Marjoe Gortner, Sarah Kernochan


Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clive Doyle ...
Himself - Branch Davidian
Jack Harwell ...
Himself - Sheriff
Dick J. Reavis ...
Himself - Author
James D. Tabor ...
Himself - Biblical Scholar
David Thibodeau ...
Himself - Branch Davidian


This controversial documentary about the stand-off between an unorthodox Christian group - the Branch Davidians, under the leadership of the young, charismatic David Koresh - and the FBI and ATF in Waco, Texas, from February to April 1993 presents a different spin on the events from that of the United States government, which held that the Branch Davidians set the fire that destroyed their compound, and killed the vast majority of them, on April 19, 1993. Using footage from the 51 day siege, from the congressional hearings afterwards, from people involved in all aspects of the siege, and from experts technical, psychological, and religious, the movie suggests that the Branch Davidians were not a cult, but a valid religious group practicing under First Amendment freedoms who fell victim to first the ineptitude of an ATF raid designed to garner the agency positive attention and later the cruel, methodical work of the FBI, who over-saw the murder of the Davidians and then quickly covered... Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

branch davidian | atf | fbi | texas | fire | See All (78) »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Правила поединка  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Complete 911 Calls (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This movie needs to be shown in every high school class
15 September 2003 | by (virtually everywhere) – See all my reviews

If you want to see real evidence of what a misguided and unchecked government can do to "un-popular" people, this movie provides it. Read what some people are saying about the "Patriot Act" passed after 9/11 and then watch this movie. Is it worth it? Do we really want to give away our freedoms to these people? Regardless of what you saw on TV, you are not fully informed until you watch this movie. I apologize for quoting another reviewer, but it needs repeating: Roger Ebert of Siskel & Ebert said, "What's interesting is if you're looking for people who are unbalanced zealots... you don't find them among the Branch Davidians, you find them among the FBI and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; those are the people in this movie who deserve to be feared, I think." I think every person responsible for 9/11 needs to be brought to justice, but I think the government has not shown a history of honoring it's duty to protect people's rights, and this movie proves it in dramatic fashion.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'massacre' tomx1000
My Report TheGog
waco93 nukedboomer
FLIR Signatures? dsb_mac
Waco xpinkxpantherx37t
Any plans on making a major motion picture ? LEBAZ
Discuss Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: