5 best Max miniseries to binge-watch this weekend

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Max is one of the best streaming services out there and — unsurprisingly — it's got some great miniseries that you can binge over a single weekend.

If you know me, you know I love a good miniseries (also known as a limited series). Whether it's on Hulu or Apple TV Plus, there's something about a story that you can finish in a single sitting but gives you more depth than you get from a movie. When done properly, it's truly an art. 

In fact, a great miniseries just dropped this week — "Masters of the Air" — though it's on Apple TV Plus despite feeling like it was made for Max. Read my review of the first two episodes if you're curious.

Thankfully though, Max gets HBO's content library, which means it's loaded with HBO miniseries, making up for the lack of "Masters of the Air." Some of them are the best limited series ever made. There are so many that I couldn't even make room for them all in this article. So when you scroll through this and don't see "Chernobyl," yes I watched it and yes — it's amazing. I just didn't have the room for it.

So if you’re looking for a compelling story you can knock out in one go, here are the five best miniseries on Max to binge-watch this weekend. 

'We Own This City'

The spiritual successor to "The Wire" — which in this Baltimore-area native's completely objective opinion is the greatest show of all time — this six-part miniseries might just be the greatest limited series of all time. "We Own This City" is based on the true story of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force, which was one of the single most corrupt police forces in U.S. history.

Whether or not this is the greatest miniseries of all time, it certainly has one of the best performances to ever grace a TV screen. Jon Bernthal's portrayal of Wayne Jenkins, one of eight members of the task force who were convicted for corruption charges, is incredible. The fact that it didn't even garner an award nomination let alone a win is malpractice, and after watching, you'll understand why.

Episodes: 6
Genre: Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Watch on Max

'The Pacific'

If you're a fan of "Band of Brothers" or plan to watch Apple TV Plus's new limited series "Masters of the Air," then this Max miniseries is a must-watch. A sister program to both shows, "The Pacific" focuses on the stories of U.S. Marines in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The show features a large ensemble cast that includes Rami Malek as Cpl. Merriell "Snafu" Shelton in a star-making performance and Jon Bernthal as Sgt. Manuel "Manny" Rodriguez.

The star power in this 2010 miniseries isn't quite on par with its European Theater predecessor, nor is it quite as good. But that's like saying one Van Gogh is slightly not as good as another. Either way, you're looking at breathtaking art.

Episodes: 10
Genre: Historical drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Watch on Max

'Mare of Easttown'

Starring Kate Winslet doing a phenomenal Delaware County accent, fans of the BBC series "Broadchurch" will find an instant connection with "Mare of Easttown." Winslet is Mare Sheehan, a local detective called upon to investigate the murder of a teen mom while battling her own demons. One of these demons? The unsolved murder of another young girl that still haunts her. Because of this ongoing cold case, Mare's boss (John Douglas Thompson) brings in county detective Colin Zabel (Evan Peters), who recently famously solved a cold case nearby.

The performances of Winslet and Peters, and their chemistry, are incredible. Both won Primetime Emmy Awards, as did Julianne Nicholson who plays Mare's friend Lori. Jean Smart was also nominated for her role as Helen, Mare's mother, so if you need a show to watch that's loaded with acting talent, this Max miniseries is the show for you.

Episodes: 7
 Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Watch it on Max


As you can tell by this point, crime dramas are the perfect genre for a miniseries. And this true crime drama from HBO and Sky definitely fits the bill of being perfect for a limited series. "Landscapers" stars Olivia Colman and David Thewlis as Susan and Christopher Edwards, who in 1998 allegedly killed Susan's parents William and Patricia Wycherley but remained on the run from police for 15 years before a slip-up put them back on the radar of Nottinghamshire Police.

Despite needing just four episodes to tell the tale of this story based on true events, Director Will Sharpe loads it with twists and turns. There's murder, intrigue, a possible unlikely friendship with French actor Gérard Depardieu and fantastical scenes that would feel at home on the big screen. Plus, you can easily watch it and then knock out another miniseries once you're done.

Episodes: 4
Genre: Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
Watch on Max

'The Night Of'

This Max miniseries is actually an adaptation of the 2008 BBC crime drama miniseries "Criminal Justice." In "The Night Of," Riz Ahmed stars as Nasir "Naz" Khan, a Pakistani-American college student accused of murdering a woman on the Upper West Side of New York City. The only problem? He doesn't remember anything from the night of the murder. The police, led by Detective Sergeant Dennis Boc (Bill Camp) try to play on Naz's naivety and deny him a lawyer until defense attorney John Stone (John Turturro) shows up to take Naz's case.

The trailer for this miniseries alone will have you on the edge of your seat wanting more. And you should want more. "The Night Of" is one of the most acclaimed miniseries of all time, garnering 10 Emmy nominations and winning five, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Ahmed, who beat out his costar Turturro for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Episodes: 8
Genre: Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Watch it on Max

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.