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Filmmaker Ryan Coogler makes his feature directorial debut with this drama centered on the tragic shooting of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a vibrant 22-year-old Bay Area father who was senselessly gunned down by BART officers on New Year’s Day in 2009, and whose murder sent shockwaves through the nation after being captured on camera by his fellow passengers. Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, and Kevin Durand co-star.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 187
- Fresh: 175
- Rotten: 12
- Average Rating: 8.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Writer-director Ryan Coogler's [film is an] assured and evenhanded debut.
Fresh: The intimacy of debut writer-director Ryan Coogler's approach to the film and the no-frills, believably real quality of the main performances combine to drive the senselessness of Oscar's killing home with visceral impact.
Fresh: Michael B. Jordan is simply brilliant in his portrayal of Grant, whom Coogler presents as a generally happy, if complex and somewhat troubled young man.
Fresh: Coogler's realistic debut recreates Grant's final day with affection, refusing to cast him as either saint or sinner.
It Was Negligence Not An Accident!!!
This movie is a great conversation piece amongst all circles of life. A young mans life was taken out of negligence. He may not have been a perfect human but he was human none the less.
I grew up and live in the Bay Area. This is a snapshot into a small part of life here. Most importantly its the story of the last day of Oscar's life. A life that was cut short but the conversation needs to continue so these senseless acts of violence don't. Especially from individuals we are supposed to trust as a society.
If this movie doesn't win any awards, I'll never watch an award show again. RIP Oscar!
To Mateosumeo, read my title. Oscar is never portrayed as an Saint. He is portrayed as a real young man from the Bay Area of California. Dealing with the real struggles of life that exist for so many others here. Relationships issues, job issues, drug/alcohol issues, and most importantly trying to distance himself from "that life".
The truth Mateo is Oscar should not be dead at the hands of any Law Enforcement Officer.
THE MOST PASSIONATE, POWERFULLY ACTED DRAMA OF 2013
It's rare to find any flick as emotionally raw and hard-hitting as "Fruitvale Station," but first-time director Ryan Coogler has crafted not only one of the best films of this year, but of the whole decade as well. It's a deeply moving acknowledgement of the value of humanity; a heartbreaking drama that simply reveals a glimpse inside the last 24 hours of a young man's life, hinting at what he might've been if not for one tragic, senseless incident that ended it all. It's mainly dark and thought-provoking, especially when the heart-pounding climax eventually rolls around, but it's also a celebration of life and the utter fragility of its unpredictable length. While additionally acting as a condemnation of death, the movie, more than anything, hits us all easily hard when we least expect it, showing the painful truths and personal responsibilities of this man before they're taken away from him forever. It's definitely not the easiest film to sit through at times, but it just may open your eyes to the truly grim reality of crime and injustice. The story follows Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who spends the final day of his life, New Year's Eve 2008, getting a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his loving mother Wanda (Octavia Spencer), a better partner to his longtime girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), and a much better father to his adorable 4-year-old daughter Tatiana (Ariana Neal). Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, he starts out well, but as the day progresses, Oscar realizes that change won't come so easily. His resolve eventually takes a tragic turn when an encounter with some police officers at the Fruitvale BART Station in the early hours of New Year's Day shakes the Bay Area to its core, causing the whole nation to witness Grant's story and his shocking death. From the moment this film opens with a clip of actual video footage from the real-life incident, it's fairly easy to predict the inevitable horror that's yet to come. But luckily, that's rarely the main focus here. Instead, Coogler approaches the material with a humanistic, heartfelt style of direction that greatly portrays Oscar with compelling authenticity and makes him a relatable and sympathetic character to watch from start to finish. Michael B. Jordan (who some may know from "Friday Night Lights" and last year's "Chronicle") delivers a brilliantly bold performance unlike any other I've seen in a long time. He effortlessly sinks into the role of Oscar Grant, portraying a down-on-his-luck father with no job and an unfortunate criminal past, as we see in one emotional flashback. From his believable dialogues to the manner in which he interacts with those closest to him (especially his mother, girlfriend, and daughter) all the way to the subtly cracked edges in his personality, just about everything Jordan brings to the character feels real and honest. The same can easily be said about the rest of this film's cast. Spencer, in particular, stands out just as much as her central co-star with her fantastic performance as Oscar's mom. In many ways, she's the heart and soul of the movie, as she tries her very best to steer her son in the right direction and out of trouble, making his death all the more devastating. Diaz also greatly shines as Oscar's girlfriend, an authentic, down-to-earth role that allows her to stand out more emotionally than most of the other actors here. Even Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray, who play the officers primarily responsible for Grant's death commit to their terrifying performances all the way through. All in all, everyone in the cast delivers to the very top of their acting potential, and the movie evidently benefits because of it. The only thing that I might've wanted a bit more of was a slightly clearer look at the giant public aftermath following Oscar's horrific shooting, but that's simply a nitpick. At the end of the day, "Fruitvale Station" is much more than a timely observation of race relations and enraging injustice. It's a gripping flick that truly resonates with us long after the end credits have stopped rolling. In some ways, it actually forces us to take a step way back and reexamine our own lives. But above anything else, it's Jordan's youthful, genuine turn as the late Oscar Grant that ultimately makes this whole film so richly compelling. Honestly, of all the summer movies likely to get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, this one easily deserves it the most. And once you see it, you'll know why. Trust me.
A beautifully acted movie even though you know the ending it still brings you to tears. If this movie doesn't win any academy award Ive lost faith in the academy and it's a scam. It's just that good.