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Fruitvale Station (2013)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 161
Fresh: 152 | Rotten: 9

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: 8.6/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 43 | 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.



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Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 32,828

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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 (161) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (152) | Rotten (9) | 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

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

Michael B. Jordan (The Wire and Friday Night Lights) plays Oscar with the heart and compelling charm required to make us feel close to him.

July 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Potentially blunt dramaturgy turns to something profound (and not perfumed) in implication.

April 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity

An impressive debut by Ryan Coogler.

March 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemania

Fruitvale Station does work, but it's marred by problematic writing and direction.

February 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

As a first feature for writer/director Ryan Coogler, it's pretty remarkable. As a star-making vehicle for Michael B. Jordan, it's a slam dunk.

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

Fruitvale Station is centered around a tragic event with a powerful message, but just lacks the momentum to actually be impressive.

January 14, 2014 Full Review Source:

Fruitvale Station nos lembra de que somos todos Oscar Grant.

December 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

As a biographical drama Fruitvale Station works, though you're not going to pick up anything about the actual shooting that you don't already know.

December 17, 2013 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

If Coogler were not as sure a directorial hand, or the film less gripping, that weight might be too much for it to bear. But, despite some imperfections, they're both up to the task.

December 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Critically, Fruitvale Station serves as a morality tale that reminds us not to dismiss anyone without first knowing the full story behind the scenes. Every life has value.

December 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

A runaway powerhouse film packed with emotionally-gripping performances, outstanding direction and a script that challenges viewers like few other films have this year.

December 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

Not just Jordan, but everyone from the likes of Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz to the crowd of BART-passenger bit players hit it convincingly, consistently.

November 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Well-meaning, naturally acted, horrifically unbalanced...Whatever its objectives, the film comes across as an emotionally exploitative, crudely manipulative prayer.

November 8, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

Make no mistake: there's a rage and wrenching sadness here, but Ryan Coogler has filtered it via a story packed with lingering grace notes.

November 5, 2013 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

When it reaches that harrowing, inevitable finale, it inspires fury and confusion much like Spike Lee's signature work did two decades ago.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

The best thing Coogler did was cast Michael B. Jordan as Oscar and Octavia Spencer as his mother Wanda and surround them with an entirely credible version of life in Oakland's black community.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

Despite its credibility issues, the film is still able to deliver an emotional finale.

November 3, 2013 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

Riveting, emotionally charged drama, with powerhouse performances to match. Jordan is a revelation.

November 3, 2013 Full Review Source: The Sunday Age

Audience Reviews for Fruitvale Station

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

A riveting, incredibly well-acted account of the last hours in the life of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) before he was wrongly shot by police after a fight broke out early on New Year's Day at a train station. The film takes a look at his family, his troubled past, his unknown future, and the kind of man he was in general. While there are many parts of the movie in which the viewer will ask themselves, "I wonder if that was REALLY true", it is undeniable that this movie is a powerhouse, led by a masterful, heartbreaking performance from Michael B. Jordan. It is a travesty that Jordan did not receive an Oscar nomination. It is one of those movies where you obviously know how it is going to end, and that makes it a somber view, before it explodes at its finale and shows how a young life was lost at the hands of an aggressive police unit who clearly overstepped their bounds.
January 28, 2014
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

    1. Oscar Grant: I got a daughter...
    – Submitted by Casual F (5 months ago)
    1. Sophina: What is going on?
    – Submitted by Max T (8 months ago)
    1. Oscar Grant: You shot me.
    – Submitted by Moe J (8 months ago)
    1. Tatiana: Where's Daddy?
    – Submitted by Moe J (8 months ago)
    1. Oscar Grant: I'm good, I'm good, I'm gonna be good.
    – Submitted by Moe J (8 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Fruitvale Station (DE)
  • Fruitvale Station (UK)
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