Apple TV’s CODA and 5 other movies with deaf and hard of hearing characters

In recent years, audiences have seen more and more deaf characters portrayed in movies. At the same time, many of the characters are played by real deaf actors. It is refreshing to see how deaf actors unleash these roles and achieve achievements for the deaf community. Apple TV +, Apple’s new streaming platform, recently released CODA, a film focusing on the only hearing person in a deaf family, and the movie received much praise from critics and audiences. The term CODA, or “child of deaf adults ,: is a very provocative idea for a film that played brilliantly well on screen.

Films that focus on deaf individuals give us a glimpse into the community as we create many thought-provoking stories. Movies like Sound Of Metal shows the struggle that individuals can have when trying to get over their new life. At the same time, these films show us that deaf individuals lead fulfilling lives and can communicate easily through ASL. The success of film is like CODA will definitely pave the way for more movies focusing on deaf individuals, played by deaf actors. Let’s dive into Apple TV +’s new movie CODA, as well as five other movies with deaf and hard of hearing characters.

Related: Eternals star Lauren Ridloff shares thoughts on how to become Marvel’s first deaf superhero


Apple TV +

CODA is a newly released film that focuses on what it means to be a child of deaf adults. The film focuses on Ruby (Emilia Jones) who is the only hearing member of her deaf family. After Ruby got a chance to pursue her music career at Berkley, she’s in conflict with the struggle to leave her family. The cast of the film includes deaf actors, including the talented Marlee Matlin. It is an engaging drama that shows strong performances while showcasing the struggles and conflicts of a hearing child living in a deaf family. The film was nominated for two Golden Globes, including Best Picture – Drama.

5 A quiet place

Paramount Pictures

A quiet place was a monumental performance when it comes to horror movies. John Krasinski’s award-winning film focuses on a family living in a world plagued by deadly aliens attracted to sound. Consequently, the slightest sound can lead to death. Millicent Simmonds plays Regan Abbot, the deaf daughter of the family, and the fact that she cannot hear plays an important role in the plot. It should also be noted that Simmonds is actually deaf in real life, which makes her character all the more believable. Lee (Kraskinski) spends a good portion of the film creating a device to help his daughter hear. In the end, it is revealed that the device is an effective kryptonite against the aliens, bringing the story to a full circle.

4 Mr. Holland’s Opus

mnr_hollands_opus_1995_9 _-_ h_2017
Buena Vista Image Distribution

In Mr. Holland’s Opus, Richard Dreyfuss plays Glen Holland, a struggling composer whose life changes after taking a job as a music teacher at a high school. The film follows Holland’s life over three decades, and along the way, Holland has a child who is completely deaf. One of the main conflicts of the film is Holland, whose passion is music, trying to relate to his deaf son, Cole. Cole is played by three different actors, all of whom were actually deaf. Holland and his son find ways to build their relationship by finding ways to communicate the world of music through color and vibrations, proving that even deaf individuals can learn to love music.

Amazon Studios

Sound of metal is a journey into the life of a hard rock drummer, Ruben (Riz Ahmed), who must learn to adapt after suddenly losing his hearing. The focus of the film is on Ruben’s inability to accept his fate until the end of the movie. Through the audio editing and Ahmed’s actions, we’re shown how it really feels to lose your audience. At the same time, we learn how deaf individuals can give back to their community by working with deaf youth. Paul Raci, who was a child of deaf adults, delivers a brilliant supportive performance as Joe, a deaf man trying to help Ruben thrive in his new life. Ahmed is possibly delivering his best performance to date, and has earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Related: ‘Meet’ trailer has Riz Ahmed on the run from a mysterious threat

2 The tribe

Art house traffic

The tribe is a Ukrainian crime drama that focuses on a group of deaf teenagers in a Ukrainian boarding school. The film is grumpy and authentic as it focuses on the main character’s progress in a life of crime. The tribe displays many cruel topics including robbery, violence and prostitution. One of the most original aspects of the film is that the characters communicate through Ukrainian sign language without captions being displayed on the screen. It was an interesting artistic choice that bore fruit due to the good performances of the actors. The movie was well received by audiences and critics equaled and currently has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

1 Be quiet


Be quiet is a slasher film that focuses on Maddie (Kate Siegel), a deaf character, who is pursued by a murderer (John Gallagher Jr.). The film is a terrifying look at what a home invasion would be like for someone without hearing. The movie was filled with suspense from start to finish and both Siegal and Gallagher Jr. delivers good performances. It’s refreshing to see deaf characters portrayed in horror movies, and the concept gives the genre a thought-provoking twist. In the end, Maddie proves that even though she has not heard, she is still able to defend herself against a ruthless killer. Be quiet currently streaming on Netflix.

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