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Kelvin Harrison Jr. stars as Luce, a black boy adopted by a white couple (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) at a young age after living with extreme danger and violence in an unnamed third world country.
Luce is the ideal son: a track star, lead debater on the debate team, excellent public speaker, and all around good son. Conflict develops between Luce and his history teacher (Octavia Spencer, forgiven for her awful role in "Ma"). Ms. Wilson seems to have a vendetta for Luce, challenging him at every turn. A war of words develops between the two. And then the teacher finds something in Luce's locker that sets up a game of cat and mouse that involves his parents, turning the psychological drama into series of conflicts and doubts. To tell you more would be to spoil what follows, as teacher, parents and the audience search for the truth.
The movie takes an intimate look at stereotypes, the effect of the past on the present, and how far a parent will go to protect her child. Lots of questions are raised, leaving you to draw your own conclusions in this tension filled, thinking-person's film. The acting is excellent, as is the mood set by director Julius Onah.
Rated R for profanity and brief sex.