Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg
) attends a private prep school, but lives in a poor, black neighborhood. One night, her best friend Khalil (Algee Smith
) drives her home from a party and they're stopped by police. Khalil is told to get out of the car and when he does, the cop shoots him dead. The story that appears in the media gets it all wrong, saying Khalil was a thug and a drug dealer, in addition to being a gang member.
Although the police have no interest in investigating what happened that night, Starr is interviewed by the media, in an effort to find out what really happened. Finally, the fate of the policeman comes down to Starr's testimony.
Based on Angie Thomas' young adult book of the same name.