Waves movie review - Aussieboyreviews


This extremely complex, intense and thought-provoking drama will likely have affect all audiences. The story, themes and subject matter are all very mature in Waves.


An African-American family led by a domineering and pressuring father with good intentions try to handle forgiveness, love and coming together as a family in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Trey Edward Shults
Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown, Alexa Demie, Lucas Hedges, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Krisha Fairchild
Writer: Trey Edward Shults
Release Date (Australia): 9 July 2020
Runtime: 135 minutes/2h 15m
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Language: English


Themes (M)

The film contains thematic material including terminal cancer and drug and alcohol abuse. The film also features a scene in which a teenager hits and accidentally kills his girlfriend during an argument.

Violence (M)

The film contains a scene of violence, in which a teenager hits and accidentally kills his girlfriend during an argument. The scene is accompanied by depictions of a blood pool.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film features frequent and sometimes aggressive use of the word “f**k”, in addition to use of the words “bitch”, “s**t” and “**shole”.

Drug Use (M)

The film features the use of ecstasy and marijuana smoking.

Nudity (PG)

The film contains brief depictions of male buttocks nudity.

Sex (M)

The film features a moderate sex scene and a scene in which a teenage boy implicitly masturbates to pornography. There are also several references to sex using the word “f**k” in a sexual context.

mpaa rating

R (for language throughout, drug and alcohol use, some sexual content and brief violence-all involving teens)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Although it sometimes feels like a haul to follow along with, Waves is an extremely complex, intense and thought-provoking drama of hate, family and forgiveness. By the end of the film, you certainly realised why the story was appropriately titled “Waves”, not because of water crashing together at the beach, but because the film delivers “waves” of so many tough emotions. There’s also smart flashes of colours and use of different aspect ratios.

The first half of the film is immensely gripping and utterly compelling, as it begins shedding focus on an excellently original story written and directed by Trey Edward Shults. Other than describing the first complicated section of Waves as deeply heavy and increasingly intense, it’s hard to tell the main idea without giving spoilers. However, considering it takes the first whole hour to finally start on its main topic, it’s gripping and heavy, but is also quite boring.

You’d almost think of the two halves as seperate stories if it didn’t continue to deal with its theme. It totally flips and rolls over to the perspective of the sister of the character everyone considers the ‘monster’. It honestly could’ve and should’ve told the rest of the story without resorting to an aspect of romance. There’s so many different feelings throughout this experience, and it’s because of that that Waves will remain memorable in everyone’s minds.

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