Director Trey Edward Shults (It Comes at Night, Krisha) continues his winning streak with one of the most emotionally engaging dramas of 2019. Relaying the tale of a close-knit African-American family tested by a tragedy caused by their son and brother, Waves is a masterwork of small-scale storytelling writ large and a testament to the power of the ensemble cast that Shults assembled for the project.
From all outward appearances, high school wrestling star Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is living a charmed existence. He's both academically astute and poised to take his athletic pursuits to the next level. But the rigorous training and high standards of his father (Sterling K. Brown) have pushed him to a place where he's suffering from a career-denying injury, and to compensate, Tyler has begun abusing his dad's prescription meds to deal with the pain. Add to that, unwelcome news from his girlfriend pushes him to the edge, and the grave misstep that follows puts both Tyler and his family, especially his sister (Taylor Russell in the breakout performance of the year), to the test.
"Like its predecessors, Waves is a movie that takes rewarding chances. Working with a combination of lesser-knows and established actors (an eye-opening Sterling K. Brown and a thoroughly persuasive Lucas Hedges), Shults has made a serious, and seriously cinematic, drama about teenagers, and one whose true subject is compassion and forgiveness."—Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
- Director: Trey Edward Shults
- Principal Cast: Alexa Demie, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Lucas Hedges, Sterling K. Brown
- Country: USA
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 135 minutes
- Producer: Trey Edward Shults, Kevin Turen, James Wilson
- Screenplay: Trey Edward Shults
- Cinematographers: Drew Daniels
- Music: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
- Language: English
- Rating: R