Seventeen-year-old Luce (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) is a star athlete and debate-team captain in his suburban Virginia high school. Raised by loving adoptive white parentsAmy and Peter (Naomi Watts, Tim Roth), the African-born teenager is worlds away from his former incarnation as a war-torn child soldier in Eritrea. But Luce's idealized image as star pupil and immigrant success story is challenged when his teacher Mrs. Wilson (Octavia Spencer) discovers fireworks in his locker, and incendiary political views in an assigned essay. When Wilson confronts Luce's parents, an intense debate is ignited —and a different side of Luce is revealed. A masterful social thriller on race and identity from writer-director Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox), featuring a breakout turn by Harrison (It Comes at Night), LUCE exposes unsettling tensions at the intersection of race, class, gender and power, threatening to upend all that we hold dear in our homes, communities and institutions.
"A deeply smart film about race and expectations." - Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"A film so sharp with tension that you might develop paper cuts just watching it." - Trey Mangum, Shadow and Act