Waves

Critics Consensus

An up-close look at one family's emotional ups and downs, Waves captures complicated dynamics with tenderness and grace.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 206

81%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 308
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Movie Info

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-intentioned 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.

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Critic Reviews for Waves

All Critics (206) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (171) | Rotten (35)

  • The film oozes cinematic style (every shot has a point, every camera movement an intention), while Shults's screenplay dives deep and tackles essential themes - parenting, forgiveness and the release of death. It's beautiful work.

    Jan 17, 2020 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Waves isn't merely a film about teenagers, it's virtually a teenager in film form. It's also the kind of cinema that keeps you young.

    Jan 16, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Shults has proven himself to be a brilliant filmmaker already... But Waves gets away from him, the film far more captivated by sound and spectacle than it is character and story.

    Jan 16, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie is perfectly legible in conventional linear terms. But where it goes, how it gets there and how it comes back again, is more unexpected.

    Jan 16, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Beautiful and pensive and heartbreaking...

    Dec 9, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • When it works, it hits as hard as any movie this year, but those triumphs only come in waves.

    Dec 6, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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