158 user 151 critic

Waves (2019)

1:08 | Trailer
Traces the journey of a suburban family - led by a well-intentioned but domineering father - as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of a loss.


Trey Edward Shults
1,238 ( 375)
14 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelvin Harrison Jr. ... Tyler
Lucas Hedges ... Luke
Taylor Russell ... Emily
Alexa Demie ... Alexis
Renée Elise Goldsberry ... Catherine
Sterling K. Brown ... Ronald
Krisha Fairchild Krisha Fairchild ... English Teacher
Neal Huff ... Bill
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Bobby
Bill Wise ... Coach Wise
David Garelik ... Ryan
Justin R. Chan ... Chang
Joshua Brockington ... Stan
Albert Link Albert Link ... Minister
Vivi Pineda ... Elena


Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, and featuring an astonishing ensemble of award-winning actors and breakouts alike, Waves traces the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family - led by a well-intentional but domineering father - as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. From acclaimed director Trey Edward Shults, Waves is a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth even in the darkest of times.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, drug and alcohol use, some sexual content and brief violence-all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


One major fan of this film is Hamilton (2020) co-star Leslie Odom Jr., who compared it to the Oscar-winning Korean phenom Parasite (2019) because "They're obviously both tremendous achievements in filmmaking. They both deal with class. They're both about messiness and the strengths of family. And both of the movies packed a genuine surprise for me." Also, "Waves" actress Renée Elise Goldsberry (Catherine) co-starred with Odom in "Hamilton" (and both studied theater at Carnege-Mellon University). See more »


Ronald: You have so much love to share with the world and so much life yet to live.
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Written by Darhyl Camper Jr. (as Darhyl Camper), Justin Love, H.E.R. (as Gabriella Wilson)
Performed by H.E.R.
Published by J Love Music (BMI) administered by Code Media (BMI), EMI April Music Inc. on behalf of itself and Campstar Music (ASCAP), Universal Music Corp. on behalf of itself, and I Am Her Publishing (ASCAP)
Courtesy of MBK Entertainment/RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

Waves of Emotions...Mostly Sad
10 August 2020 | by OsibobSee all my reviews

Upon finally completing this ordeal, I was literally depressed. I have so much to say about Waves, but can't seem to find the words. So, I'll just say it was spectacularly acted, written, and directed. Shults was clearly inspired by the style of Malick, whom he's worked with on a number of occasions, but unlike Malick, he knows how to make his art entertaining. The only reason I gave this film a chance was that it had Lucas Hedges in it and he's yet to be in a bad picture, so I figured what the heck. Boy am I glad I gave it a shot, great film, better than I could've hoped for...highly recommended.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

15 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Waves See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$134,333, 17 November 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BRON Studios, JW Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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