An all-star high school athlete and accomplished debater, Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is a poster boy for the new American Dream. As are his parents (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth), who adopted him from a war-torn country a decade earlier. When Luce’s teacher (Octavia Spencer) makes a shocking discovery in his locker, Luce’s stellar reputation is called into question. But is he really at fault, or is Ms. Wilson preying on dangerous stereotypes?
The film is sleek and shadowy, benefiting from the fact Onah chose to shoot on celluloid and driven by stellar performances across the board.
Anchored by standout performances by Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer and young Kelvin Harrison Jr., it’s a strong indie film about race, family and trust that should connect with fans of smart, provocative cinema.
New York Times/Ben Kenigdberg
To say that it unfolds like a play is both accurate and undersells how gorgeously it has been rendered for the screen.
Chicago Sun-Times/Richard Roeper
So much of Luce is about what’s happening beneath the surface and between the lines. Everyone says they’re searching for the truth — even as they lie and obfuscate and bend the facts to suit their particular agendas and world views.
The Globe and Mail/Sarah-Tai Black
In truth, there is not much this film does not cover; every minute of Luce is saturated with the organicism of its sharp lines of inquiry and its actors here are at their best in their handling of their given materials.
Rolling Stone/Peter Travers
It is riveting from start to end.