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
1,871 ( 902)
14 wins & 41 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?


It was erroneously reported when the film was announced that it was going to be a musical. See more »


Minister: Love is kind. Love is not rude. It doesn't boast. Love also forgets wrong
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References Moonlight (2016) See more »


True Love Waits
Written by Thom Yorke (as Thomas Edward Yorke), Jonny Greenwood (as Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood), Ed O'Brien (as Edward John O'Brien), Phil Selway (as Philip James Selway), Colin Greenwood (as Colin Charles Greenwood)
Performed by Radiohead
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) on behalf of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd. (PRS)
Courtesy of XL Recordings Limited
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User Reviews

Original, artistic but not artsy
25 January 2020 | by ian-dodkinsSee all my reviews

I love a good story, and to be honest this film has quite a simple, albeit interesting and emotional story. But this film isn't about just a simple sad story, it's about the emotional connection between the characters. The cinematography is astounding.. great colour, close ups and longish periods of seeing an extended reaction. Might sound completely dire, but actually the actors were up to the challenge and create unique and engaging characters who you genuinely feel for. And isn't a simple good/bad film or people. You can see flaws and loveable traits in them all. The way the director characterises adolescent love is intense, genuine and beautiful. It really is a work of art, not because it's strange (it isn't) but because it manages to capture emotions in such a realistic way that delve into your own heart, in a way that you couldn't even do yourself. I have not seen a film that was able to do what this film did. Despite not having a particularly engaging story, I was indulging in every second of this film, mesmorised.

So why just an 8? I'm not really sure. It deserves a 9, but part of me thinks there should be a more complex story behind it, even though it's not really necessary. In some ways it reminded me of Moonlight, but the atmosphere and subject very different.

I recommend to anyone that is able to cry at a movie (male or female), but the Marvel superhero film lovers and children/adolescents probably won't engage with it. The rest of you.. go watch it.

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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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