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Fruitvale Station (2013)



Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 182
Fresh: 170 | Rotten: 12

Passionate and powerfully acted, Fruitvale Station serves as a celebration of life, a condemnation of death, and a triumph for star Michael B. Jordan.


Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 49
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 3

Passionate and powerfully acted, Fruitvale Station serves as a celebration of life, a condemnation of death, and a triumph for star Michael B. Jordan.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 35,103

My Rating

Movie Info

Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler's FRUITVALE STATION follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose



Ryan Coogler

Jan 14, 2014


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All Critics (182) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (170) | Rotten (12) | DVD (2)

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.

December 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

December 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer-director Ryan Coogler's [film is an] assured and evenhanded debut.

December 10, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's hard not to watch Fruitvale Station with a coiled dread... Yet, Coogler's greatest achievement may be in reminding us that Grant was a work in progress with people who loved him in spite of his flaws and because of his hopes.

July 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You wonder if Coogler would have felt freer had Grant somehow lived that night, if the director weren't put in a position where he felt the need to honor the dead by bringing him to dramatic life. But he believes in his ambition.

July 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We feel the death on the platform so acutely not because it's a stupid act of randomness, but hardly untypical racist violence, but because we've come to love this man.

July 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Flawed though it is by overstating the obvious, Fruitvale Station is also sensitively acted and well-intentioned.

June 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

You might expect a film about the real-life shooting of a young black man by a white cop to burn with outrage and fury, but writer-director Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station is notable for its restraint and compassion.

June 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

With his debut feature, writer-director Ryan Coogler recreates a real-life event with remarkable artistry.

June 9, 2014 Full Review Source:

The air of impending disaster (we open with the notorious mobile phone footage) culminates in a harrowing final act that is both chilling and heartbreaking.

June 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Brilliantly observed and very moving.

June 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent

It focuses on its subject's humanity and assesses the tragedy on a personal rather than explicitly sociopolitical level. However, the way in which it fleshes out Oscar's character makes it an acutely political work.

June 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

The problem with Fruitvale Station isn't that it is so dense with foreboding but that foreboding is the only register it has.

June 6, 2014 Full Review Source: New Statesman
New Statesman

Jordan doesn't beg for our sympathy and is all the more magnetic as a result. The finale is devastating.

June 6, 2014 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The film's version of Grant has been carefully calibrated to be just nice enough to scare up empathy and just mischievous enough to take some polish of his character.

June 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

There is something almost spiritual in the eerie importance that all the ordinary, banal facts of a life achieve under scrutiny, as time is running out.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian

Why is goodhearted liberal cinema sometimes so dumb?

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Coogler's spare, sombre style serves the story well, skillfully avoiding cliche and formula to soberly rage against a grave miscarriage of justice.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

The emotionally wrenching Fruitvale Station doesn't feel like a call-to-arms so much as a call against them.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Just... no. This is heartstring-tugging hooey.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

It's an emotive film about an emotive incident, but an unmolested account of Grant's demise could have had so much more impact.

June 4, 2014 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

This chronicle of a death foretold celebrates an individual's efforts to do better even as it laments his - and his nation's - difficulties in moving on.

June 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Film4

It's ragged around the edges, but this remains a stirring tribute to Grant. And coaxed by the assured Coogler, Jordan delivers a performance that will long be remembered.

June 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A deeply moving drama played out on the small stage of ordinary people's lives.

June 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A tragic, grievous subject matter handled delicately and efficiently.

April 28, 2014 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys

Anchored by what deservedly proved to be a breakthrough turn for Jordan, Fruitvale Station is a devastating and detailed celebration of life.

April 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Audience Reviews for Fruitvale Station

A tragic story of intolerance and injustice that sustains an always underlying tension right from the first scene (when we are told how it all ends) and eschews any hint of melodrama, portraying Oscar as a three-dimensional person with qualities and flaws, in order to remind us all of the value of human life.
May 2, 2014

Super Reviewer

Based on a true story, and beginning with its ending, there should be no tension in this movie - you know how it will turn out. And yet, the run-up is compelling and honest quotidian drama, and the young leads Michael B. Jordan (veteran of The Wire, no surprise) and Melonie Diaz create characters you truly invest in. Gritty, beautiful film without a contrived plot; a kind of "in memoriam" movie that's realistic and unsentimental. Refreshing!
March 21, 2014

Super Reviewer

Well-paced, well-crafted, and ultimately heartbreaking, Fruitvale Station is a short but timely film that tells an important story.
March 15, 2014
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Every step brings you closer to the edge.

Nice Film! Fruitvale Station is a solid film, well paced and edited, with a strong lead performance by Michael B. Jordan and some standout work by Octavia Spencer. One wonders how much of the screenplay is based on truth, but whether this is or isn't a biased view of an event by the filmmaker, it is highly emotionally affective filmmaking. In light of other recent, racially charged headlines, it cannot help but become a hot topic. This vivid, stark reenactment of an event that should never have happened is a relatively simple tale of a complex life, a kind of urban, American tragedy. It is a powerful, filmic statement that raises questions that demand answers.

This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend, who he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to T, their beautiful 4 year old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easy. He crosses paths with friends, family, and strangers, each exchange showing us that there is much more to Oscar than meets the eye. But it would be his final encounter of the day, with police officers at the Fruitvale BART station that would shake the Bay Area to its very core, and cause the entire nation to be witnesses to the story of Oscar Grant.
January 30, 2014
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

    1. Oscar Grant: I got a daughter...
    – Submitted by Casual F (9 months ago)
    1. Sophina: What is going on?
    – Submitted by Max T (12 months ago)
    1. Oscar Grant: You shot me.
    – Submitted by Moe J (12 months ago)
    1. Tatiana: Where's Daddy?
    – Submitted by Moe J (12 months ago)
    1. Oscar Grant: I'm good, I'm good, I'm gonna be good.
    – Submitted by Moe J (12 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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