User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 187

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  1. Jul 12, 2013
    10
    An emotionally draining experience that left the audience in silent, but in a good way. One of the best movies I've seen this year. Ryan Coogler has a true gift in making the audience invest in a character. Michael B. Jordan does a great job. Highly recommend.
  2. Jul 20, 2013
    10
    There was not a person in the theater that did not drop a tear. With that being said the film was portrayed well and realistic. It depicts struggles young black men face being a product of environment, social pressures, and wanting to belong. But through all these struggles there was good in Oscar so it touched people deeply. Internalized racism hurts us all because we are usually unawareThere was not a person in the theater that did not drop a tear. With that being said the film was portrayed well and realistic. It depicts struggles young black men face being a product of environment, social pressures, and wanting to belong. But through all these struggles there was good in Oscar so it touched people deeply. Internalized racism hurts us all because we are usually unaware of it. The lethal force that was used took away a loving father from his little girl. Emotion Packed Movie. Expand
  3. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    I still can't get over the powerful acting of this movie, and how the humanity of the film brought me closer to this story more so than I ever could have imagined. This is a film the world needed.
  4. Jul 30, 2013
    10
    "Fruitvale Station" is a tremendously great movie about a tragic, but very true event. While it is based on true events, it manages to tell a compelling story about a young man, who is trying to get his life back in order. From deciding to change his life and actually earning an honest living to supporting his family and protecting them at any cost, the script packs a lot into a short"Fruitvale Station" is a tremendously great movie about a tragic, but very true event. While it is based on true events, it manages to tell a compelling story about a young man, who is trying to get his life back in order. From deciding to change his life and actually earning an honest living to supporting his family and protecting them at any cost, the script packs a lot into a short period of time. However, nothing feels contrived, rushed, or preachy. Everything feels natural and we can see the change in the characters and can root for them along the way.

    Director, Ryan Coogler, does a fantastic job of making us feel apart of this story. We feel as if, we are there every step of the way. Anything that the characters feel or go through we experience it as well. We feel involved in everything that is happening. There are also some very creative shots and intimate moments. When the characters just sit and talk, are some of the most engaging and heartfelt moments of the film. We discover the characters and get great back story as well as where they stand in relation with each other. The great part about this film is that it weaves in and out of instances of sheer joy and moments of true emotional pain. I was literally feeling happy when the characters do something positive and getting watery eyed when something truly awful happens. It’s a very involving film.

    The acting in this film is phenomenal. From small minor characters to the main ones, the cast is committed and they give a 125%. Michael B. Jordan is superb in this film. He’s vulnerable, caring, protective, fighting his inner demons, and everything in between. He gives such a powerful performance and brings so much likability into his character that it makes it even more tragic, when the film ultimately concludes. Octavia Spencer is also incredibly noteworthy as she plays a mom that is conflicted between her son’s love and the fear that he might be headed down the wrong path. She shows incredible depth and versatility when she fights with herself to preserve the relationship she has with her son. The rest of the cast as I have said are fantastic and really elevate the film with their impeccable performances.

    Overall “Fruitvale Station" so far is the best film of the year. It’s a film that not only tells a provocative and honest story about a tragic incident, but also that of a man and his will to change for the better for his family. It’s directed well and absorbs the audience into events that are touching and truly one to think about, “when is far, too far?" Everything from writing, directing, and performances are top-notch and escalate this film into something special. I give it 5/5, a compelling and honest retelling of truly horrific events that is enhanced by its committed and talented cast, a script of great depth, and direction.
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  5. Aug 2, 2013
    10
    Shot with endless passion and an ardor spirit, Fruitvale Station is a powerful and tragic drama about the price of life and death. Beautifully pieced together and emotionally heartfelt, not to mention a captivating performance by Michael B. Jordan in the lead role, Fruitvale Station is one that will stay with you as time passes on, not only as a fantastically made movie, but as a movingShot with endless passion and an ardor spirit, Fruitvale Station is a powerful and tragic drama about the price of life and death. Beautifully pieced together and emotionally heartfelt, not to mention a captivating performance by Michael B. Jordan in the lead role, Fruitvale Station is one that will stay with you as time passes on, not only as a fantastically made movie, but as a moving reality of life in general. Expand
  6. Jul 31, 2013
    4
    This movie is less about documenting injustice and racism and more about invoking sympathy and compassion by bending truth and leading viewers into accepting an unrealistic and biased view of black sub-culture. The movie was well acted with great cinematography, too bad it distorted reality.
  7. Aug 10, 2013
    4
    If this movie purported itself as a fictional story, I might give it a 9 or 10. It has incredible acting from the entire cast. Michael B. Jordan is a guaranteed star in the making (if he's not one already). The problem is that the filmmaker Ryan Coogler chose to make this about a true story and when you do that, your movie also has to be judged on whether it is an accurate reflectionIf this movie purported itself as a fictional story, I might give it a 9 or 10. It has incredible acting from the entire cast. Michael B. Jordan is a guaranteed star in the making (if he's not one already). The problem is that the filmmaker Ryan Coogler chose to make this about a true story and when you do that, your movie also has to be judged on whether it is an accurate reflection of said story. He doesn't shy away from the truth about Grant's troubled past, which is probably why so many unfamiliar with the case are willing to trust that he is not manipulating their emotions with omissions and fabrications. That said, I would expect professional reviewers to do a better job of questioning movies like this. While I am very sympathetic to its message, I think movies like this do a disservice to the cause if they are not deeply rooted in the truth. Expand
  8. Jul 30, 2013
    8
    This film (based on a real incident) follows Oscar Grant on the last day of his life. He spends time with his friends and family, then takes the train into San Francisco to celebrate NYE. Michael B. Jordan creates a complex character, one who was raised right and is basically good, but struggling with challenges. The rest of the cast also convincingly inhabits their roles (esp. OctaviaThis film (based on a real incident) follows Oscar Grant on the last day of his life. He spends time with his friends and family, then takes the train into San Francisco to celebrate NYE. Michael B. Jordan creates a complex character, one who was raised right and is basically good, but struggling with challenges. The rest of the cast also convincingly inhabits their roles (esp. Octavia Spencer as the mother). At first, this personal portrait seems to wander aimlessly, but once the deadly incident happens, it takes a grippingly dramatic turn. With a moment of violent prejudice at the crux of the film, new director Ryan Coogler never revels in outrage. Nothing's overplayed. It effectively sets up the man and his life, then powerfully crashes it down. Expand
  9. Jul 22, 2013
    8
    Perhaps it was the combo of the Zimmerman verdict in Florida, plus President Obama's speech, topped of by this movie, but 2 days later and I'm still thinking about it. This was remarkable film making by a novice director. It felt like a realistic portrait of a flawed man who didn't deserve what happened to him. The acting was very good, and who couldn't love the young actress who portrayedPerhaps it was the combo of the Zimmerman verdict in Florida, plus President Obama's speech, topped of by this movie, but 2 days later and I'm still thinking about it. This was remarkable film making by a novice director. It felt like a realistic portrait of a flawed man who didn't deserve what happened to him. The acting was very good, and who couldn't love the young actress who portrayed his daughter. It even felt like the train system, BART, became a part of the story. Great camera work. I highly recommend. Expand
  10. Aug 5, 2013
    10
    I'm not sure what else to say except just wow. This was a truly powerful film that's definitely worth a watch. It had me tearing up by the end. Michael B. Jordan was phenomenal. 10/10
  11. Aug 21, 2013
    8
    Oscar Grant (played by Michael B. Jordan) is a young 22 year old Black man, just recently out of jail for dealing in drugs, and he is trying to make a better life for his daughter Tatiana (Ariana Neal) who he loves unconditionally, starting a life with her mother Sophina (Melonie Diaz) and regaining his mother’s (Octavia Spencer) respect though he has never lost her love.

    We follow
    Oscar Grant (played by Michael B. Jordan) is a young 22 year old Black man, just recently out of jail for dealing in drugs, and he is trying to make a better life for his daughter Tatiana (Ariana Neal) who he loves unconditionally, starting a life with her mother Sophina (Melonie Diaz) and regaining his mother’s (Octavia Spencer) respect though he has never lost her love.

    We follow Oscar on New Year’s Eve December 31, 2008, and see the various aspects of this man from caring for an animal that is hit by a car to not standing down to an ex-con he had problems with in jail. Like most men at that age he makes some mistakes like telling an ex-employer off and a few hours later helping people he doesn’t know. The love that he has for his daughter and the sweet human being he can be comes out with every scene with her.

    “Fruitvale Station” is based on a true story of a Black man being shot by a white officer in the Bay area of San Francisco and some bad decisions made that New Year’s Eve. How many people outside of that area remember the story or even the name of Oscar Grant? Yes the same question could be asked about 3-4 years from now of how many people, outside of Florida, will remember the name Trayvon Martin.

    Oscar was shot in the early morning hours of the new year by a white policeman who claimed he thought he was using his taser when he shot Oscar in the back. The scene is shown opening the movie as many phones recorded the whole event. What may not be known, or remembered, is what happened afterwards and that is told before the end credits are shown. The final scene will bring tears to your eyes unless you have no feelings left when it comes to the waste of a young man’s life and a daughter without a father.

    This is the movie debut of writer/director Ryan Coogler and except for a few missteps, which could be a generational difference such as when he used music or the hand held camera, but he looks at what happened on the subway station with a cold eye, and compassion, working together, so you know he is not manipulating the viewer and when they gasp it is from the heart.

    Michael B. Jordan gives an award winning performance as does Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz and the young Ariana Neal. This is a good film but just misses being a must see one due to the opening scenes which takes away from the impact.
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  12. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    Fruitvale Station is an attempt to shed light on the story behind the headlines. Seen through the prism of what happened, Grant can't help but take on a somewhat saintly aura. Whether that's more or less than the truth may be beside the point. What rings clearest is the notion of a life snuffed out with a single shot.
  13. Jul 22, 2013
    9
    You can say what you want about Oscar Grant, and whether or not he was painted properly in this film, but no one can argue the fact that Michael B. Jordan did a phenomenal job. He has blossomed into the actor that fans of Friday Night Lights knew he would. Forget about the Zimmerman case (and if Grant was actually a kind-hearted individual or not) and watch this film knowing that you'reYou can say what you want about Oscar Grant, and whether or not he was painted properly in this film, but no one can argue the fact that Michael B. Jordan did a phenomenal job. He has blossomed into the actor that fans of Friday Night Lights knew he would. Forget about the Zimmerman case (and if Grant was actually a kind-hearted individual or not) and watch this film knowing that you're about to see a great actor and director at work. That's my recommendation. Expand
  14. Aug 3, 2013
    9
    Fruitvale station is the perfect movie to see if your looking for one to watch! I didn't know what I was getting into when I naught the movie at first! but now that I've finished the movie I'm in tears I've watched plenty of movies but none of them left me in tears except for this one!
  15. Sep 5, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is the south: Mississippi in the late-sixties, an antiquated place where a peaceable black man can be arrested in an empty pool hall while waiting for the 4:05 train heading out to Memphis.Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia cop, in Norman Jewison's In the Heat of the Night, stares down a pointed gun held by the timorous, but racist deputy, who never bothers to check the visiting law officer for his I.D. To Sparta's finest, all he sees is a black man, and a black man couldn't possibly have come by the wad of bills from his frisked wallet through honest means. It's obvious to Sam that the dark suspect had robbed and murdered Mr. Colbert, a steel magnate, found dead on a badly paved road while on his nightly patrol of the small town's business district. This is Sparta: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may be in effect, but only begrudgingly so, as when Mr. Endicott, a cotton plantation owner, under suspicion of murder, tells Tibbs, "There was a time when I could have had you shot," after the black man returns his slap. Have things really changed? This is San Francisco. Fifty years after LBJ signed the bill first proposed by President Kennedy, a black man can still be shot with little, if any, repercussions for the accused. Even now, to a man of the law, Virgil Tibbs is just another n*****. Like Micah says, in Medicine for Melancholy, "Me, I'm a black man. That's how I see the world and that's how the world sees me." The filmmaker, however, unintentional or not, suggests that Micah, a San Francisco native, and his one-night stand, Angela, his adversarial addressee on race matters, go unharmed through the gentrified city, because they embrace the idea of integration, because they are de facto white; a transformation undergone, independent of their predisposed ethnography, through dating and cultural choices. "Everything about being indie is tied to not being black," complains Micah. When the fleeting couple go clubbing, they dance to the whitest collegiate rock possible. No rhythm and blues; no jazz; no hip-hop. But like it or not, despite Micah's protestations against his interpellation into a predominantly white lifestyle, he is, no doubt about it, the finished product of a culturally disparate upbringing, in which no visit to a black history museum can undo. Theoretically, since Micah's apparel, and moreover, the mellow vibe he puts across suggests less gangsta than yuppie, this reconstructed black man increases his chances of being overlooked by the same BART officers at Fruitvale Station who order the proverbial "thug" off the train. Angela wouldn't give Oscar Grant the time of day. He doesn't share her aesthetic sense and sophistication. Micah's exposure to the upper-middle class is undeniable, as evidenced by his evocation of the Mr. Rogers' persona(in which he sings the theme song on her acoustic guitar), and not Mr. Robinson. the parodic character that Eddie Murphy performed on SNL. Angela doesn't want to live in that neighborhood, a ghetto. Black Nationalism, the agitprop position that Micah is closer to undertaking with every passing day, ends up killing Radio Raheem in Do the Right Thing, when the boom box-toting teenager brings the Nation of Islam into Sal's Pizzeria, just before the cops arrive at the Bedford-Stuy eatery to instigate a riot with a disproportionate show of force. But Oscar Grant, albeit a member of Palma Ceia, who trafficks in drugs; a felon with a hair-trigger temper, no longer wants to fight the power, no sooner would work forty hours a week at the supermarket if his former boss rehired him. Whereas Radio Raheem was a segregationist, Oscar, like Micah, more than likely, could probably have lived in San Francisco without incident, as suggested by his easy way with white people, like the heart-to-heart talk he has with a web designer about the future, while they wait outside a store for their women to return from the bathroom. Arguably, the filmmaker references Medicine for Melancholy, when Oscar, prior to his firework spectatorship with Sophina in SF, fills the mirror with nine-year-old Tatiana, using his finger as a toothbrush, just like Micah at the outset of the 2008 film, in which he and Angela employ the same method of oral hygiene. During that fateful night Oscar Grant was shot, BART passengers acted as guerrilla filmmakers, shooting the incident with their phones. One of these immediate documentarians, Katie, had previously met Oscar at the fish counter and got to see the human side of this drug dealer, an ex-con. The footage she shoots, the film within the film, becomes all the more tragic, because her narrative has the added benefit of a backstory that the other bystanders' films lack. To them, it's a real life Colors(the 1988 film that sees gangbangers as monsters); a drama, but through Katie's lens, from her camera eye, she doesn't see just an unarmed black man, but a human being with a Grandma Bonnie; a tragedy. Expand
  16. Lyn
    Jan 28, 2014
    7
    Now I know I was right to question Jennifer Lawrence's supporting actress nomination this year ... it should have gone to Octavia Spencer for this film! Spencer as the lead character's mother is tough, devout, believable; she certainly contributes to the tears you'll shed at the end. Michael B. Jordan does a good job as the winsome Oscar, and you can't help but root for him and hate whatNow I know I was right to question Jennifer Lawrence's supporting actress nomination this year ... it should have gone to Octavia Spencer for this film! Spencer as the lead character's mother is tough, devout, believable; she certainly contributes to the tears you'll shed at the end. Michael B. Jordan does a good job as the winsome Oscar, and you can't help but root for him and hate what happened to him. My misgivings about the film center on the rather manipulative devices that come up repeatedly and that (as far as I know) don't always reflect the facts of the case. Still -- worth seeing. Expand
  17. Feb 9, 2014
    10
    I wish I could give this an 11 - even that would be modest praise. That a first-time director could put together this degree of acting, writing, cinematography, and editing is unbelievable.
  18. Dec 19, 2013
    9
    The natural performances of the cast, especially the stellar Michael B. Jordan, contribute greatly to the beauty of this movie. This heartbreaking movie about a troubled, yet cheerful, man who only wanted to get his life on track and live in peace. And because of past failures, outside pressure, and pure bad luck, fails to see that day become a reality. Totally devastating, but highly recommended.
  19. Aug 12, 2013
    5
    The movie is a story about the last day of life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year old small criminal in Bay Area who was shot and killed by a police officer on January 1, 2009.

    The director of the movie is Ryan Coogler, and this is his first big film. The movie is done extremely well: casting, performing, directing, cinematography. It is no wonder that the movie already won several film
    The movie is a story about the last day of life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year old small criminal in Bay Area who was shot and killed by a police officer on January 1, 2009.

    The director of the movie is Ryan Coogler, and this is his first big film.

    The movie is done extremely well: casting, performing, directing, cinematography.
    It is no wonder that the movie already won several film festival prizes (Sundance and Cannes among them).

    Even though movie critics love the film, the director was famously accused of the fact manipulation. If you state that the movie is after real events, if you show photographs of real people, you cannot re-invent the truth. In the movie Oscar is shown as an extremely likable, friendly guy. There are some scenes there that never happened, and some important facts omitted. This makes this docu-drama questionable. But if ignore the facts, the movie is must see…
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  20. Aug 5, 2013
    9
    A tragic and heartfelt indie flick. Michael B. Jordan should be the frontrunner for actor of the year thus far. Brilliant execution by Coogler makes it almost impossible for the audience to not feel an emotional tie to all of the characters. If you choose to take a ride on this emotional roller coaster you'll be rewarded with an awe inspiring piece of art.
  21. Nov 24, 2013
    7
    In an American film industry of recycled ideas, sequels and nostalgic masturbation over things men liked as kids [comic book movies, toy movies, etc], I have to give this a 7 for its importance, its freshness and its premise of looking at the man's life from several angles in 20-24 hours.
    Where I have to lower it to 7: some of the acting is mediocre at best, but that may very well stem
    In an American film industry of recycled ideas, sequels and nostalgic masturbation over things men liked as kids [comic book movies, toy movies, etc], I have to give this a 7 for its importance, its freshness and its premise of looking at the man's life from several angles in 20-24 hours.
    Where I have to lower it to 7: some of the acting is mediocre at best, but that may very well stem from the main problem. That problem is the writing, which is sophomorically ironic in how it portrays everything the main character does that day. Everything is seen through a lens of "but he dies later!" in a forced or melodramatic way, such that it's hard to see the story as a true portrait.
    This major flaw aside, the movie's good and if you're interested in the subject matter, go see it. I'm looking forward to Coogler's next feature.
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  22. Feb 22, 2014
    6
    this is an important film, but, sadly, not a great one. this story, in my mind, accurately reflects the current value society places on a black life vs. a white one, which will make it distasteful to some. i'm not a fan of this whole hand held camera, home made movie effect, and it doesn't really work here, but the talent of the lead male actor is evident & a treat to behold. mythis is an important film, but, sadly, not a great one. this story, in my mind, accurately reflects the current value society places on a black life vs. a white one, which will make it distasteful to some. i'm not a fan of this whole hand held camera, home made movie effect, and it doesn't really work here, but the talent of the lead male actor is evident & a treat to behold. my relatively low score reflects the lack of craftsmanship with which the film is made, and the few insights it provides. it does, however, serve to remind us of the tragedy of the loss of even 1 life needlessly, which seems to happen all too often amidst the poor. Expand
  23. Sep 2, 2014
    6
    Fruitvale Station represents much of the evils in the world today. Ryan Coogler reveals his promise as a first-rate writer/director. The film is bold and emotionally draining--more than I'd like it to be, unfortunately.
  24. Dec 18, 2013
    7
    Fruitvale Station is a decent movie because it doesn't dig deep into the political side of things for the most part but instead gives a more personal story of the man Oscar. The movie stays in cruise control until the dramatic ending.
  25. Dec 26, 2013
    5
    When a movie is less than and hour and a half, you would think it could be gripping the entire time, but it had too many moments of boring scenes. It shows you what happens, but doesn't go into what the point of the movie is. The movie could have been much better with a different director.
  26. Dec 26, 2014
    8
    Emotionally powerful and stirring, Fruitvale Station is a very timely film that has many positives. For one, the acting. Michael B. Jordan is set to become a star, honestly. He is phenomenal in this film, as are Melonie Diaz and Octavia Spencer, but Jordan is a powerhouse here. In addition, the direction by Ryan Coogler is great. I also love the way the story was told. It was not all oneEmotionally powerful and stirring, Fruitvale Station is a very timely film that has many positives. For one, the acting. Michael B. Jordan is set to become a star, honestly. He is phenomenal in this film, as are Melonie Diaz and Octavia Spencer, but Jordan is a powerhouse here. In addition, the direction by Ryan Coogler is great. I also love the way the story was told. It was not all one sided that painted Oscar Grant as an angel. It certainly paints a positive picture of him, but it largely displays him as a flawed man with a bad past. I am sure Coogler left some stuff out, but regardless, it is hard to see a justification for the shooting, especially with the existence of video of the incident itself. Thus, Coogler does not have to do much to garner sympathy for him, so it is impossible to argue that he tried to manipulate the viewer's emotions at all. Ultimately, Fruitvale Station soars on the back of fantastic acting and an emotional story that will leave you on the brink of tears. Expand
  27. Sep 22, 2014
    8
    I never saw its teaser, nor read its synopsis, but straight went to see it. And I kind of not satisfied for the first hour of the movie. I just wondered what was the movies' idea to fulfill the viewer's desire. Right away I knew it was not an entertainer, then it must highlight something or give a message. Till the beginning of the end, I thought the same way. Then my perspective changed,I never saw its teaser, nor read its synopsis, but straight went to see it. And I kind of not satisfied for the first hour of the movie. I just wondered what was the movies' idea to fulfill the viewer's desire. Right away I knew it was not an entertainer, then it must highlight something or give a message. Till the beginning of the end, I thought the same way. Then my perspective changed, actually it changed my previous stance about all the earlier narration.

    ‘‘I know y'all are upset, but got to lift him up.
    Let's keep him lifted up.’’

    After witnessing the crucial last scene, I was stunned by the incident that was portrayed in the movie. Realized all the initial developments were got meaning in this part of the movie. So I came to know it was based on the real incident. First of all it was not a person's whole biography, though it is told from his critical time of life. The incident can be viewed in two ways. The fight definitely took place on the sub-way, it was not the Oscar Grant's (lead man) fault. But still the consequences are expected, especially on the new year's eve the alert against violence cannot be negligible by the law. But, what cops did was the over reaction to the situation.

    Such incidents happen in every country and many of them won't come into the lights. I'm glad about this movie, because it kind of creates awareness of such events. Hats off to all the cast and crew who brought it into the silver screen and now the whole world can know the truth. A must see movie among the 2013 releases.
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  28. Jul 22, 2014
    9
    In its short run time, 'Fruitvale Station' captures the very essence of Oscar and the rich chaos of his life with an overwhelmingly authenticity. The quasi dramatic irony of his impending doom makes his story all the more tragic and hard to watch. An important film which demonstrates a societal problem which many incorrectly assume is no longer relevant
  29. Dec 22, 2013
    9
    Fruitvale Station is one of the most emotionally draining films I've seen in a while. Michael B. Jordan gives a fabulous performance showing the highs and lows of Oscar Grants unfortunately short life. A
  30. Aug 20, 2013
    9
    Taking a look back in the final days of one man is hard to do. I don't know how this movie did it, but it more than succeeded. It's an incredible story on friends, enemies and choices one will make. Overall, it's a powerful movie. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel "TheMovieManLife" for all things movies.
  31. Sep 24, 2013
    6
    Let me get this out of the way immediately. This isn't a bad film. It's not. The acting is fine, and Michael B.Jordan's performance is great. The viewer can't help but feel sympathy towards the character of Oscar Grant. The problem with the film is that it is extremely manipulative and it strains to evoke as much emotions from the viewer in the cheapest ways possible. The movie justLet me get this out of the way immediately. This isn't a bad film. It's not. The acting is fine, and Michael B.Jordan's performance is great. The viewer can't help but feel sympathy towards the character of Oscar Grant. The problem with the film is that it is extremely manipulative and it strains to evoke as much emotions from the viewer in the cheapest ways possible. The movie just doesn't come off as "real", and instead ends up feeling like "Oscar Bait". It just seems that the director has to spoon-feed the viewer how they're supposed to feel. I still liked the film overall and thought some parts were damn good. My rating: 6.4/10 Expand
  32. Dec 16, 2013
    7
    With prominent cases of violence due to racial profiling still hitting the headlines in America, the release of 'Fruivale Station' feels like a fitting entry in this impressive year of films.It tells the true life story of Oscar Grant III and the day leading up to his demise at the hands of police officers in the titular train station. The moments leading up to this fateful event wereWith prominent cases of violence due to racial profiling still hitting the headlines in America, the release of 'Fruivale Station' feels like a fitting entry in this impressive year of films.It tells the true life story of Oscar Grant III and the day leading up to his demise at the hands of police officers in the titular train station. The moments leading up to this fateful event were morally and emotionally resonant for the man; and along the way we learn about not only the love he has for his family and friends; but also the demons of his past. A hearty round of applause must be given to Michael B. Jordan for bringing both grit and soul, to a character that could easily be seen as being overly sanctimonious. A bit too considerate on the part of director, Ryan Coogler; whose direction may not have been very refined. However, his vision was clear and he does the job well. What job might I ask... telling an emotionally powerful story, about an issue vital to all generations. Expand
  33. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    To put this in perspective I am a 19 year old pretty normal teenage boy. I don't cry at movies I mean who does that? Me an my friend had to go watch wolverine right after this movie just to get it out of our system. The movie is really slow and not much happens and you think it's boring until you realize that you just start relating to the main character because of how normal he is. And byTo put this in perspective I am a 19 year old pretty normal teenage boy. I don't cry at movies I mean who does that? Me an my friend had to go watch wolverine right after this movie just to get it out of our system. The movie is really slow and not much happens and you think it's boring until you realize that you just start relating to the main character because of how normal he is. And by the end of the movie you like him, you think he's a pretty decent guy who just had some bad things happen to him. I have never felt so sad after a movie ended. I really really felt it and I wanted to just cry. I have never been in a theater where everyone looked so sad.

    Bravo.
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  34. Jul 19, 2013
    7
    Had to look at my watch several times. Kinda slow. But the acting is the best.. Especially Michael B. Jordan, his daughter and Octavia Spencer, who made the movie in my estimation by the scene where she asked to see her dead son. Better take some Kleenix if you're going to see this one. Several very sad parts.
  35. Jan 16, 2014
    10
    Emotional, powerful, griping…these are just some of the words that sum up “Fruitvale Station.” In his first feature length film, director Ryan Coogler really nailed the emotion the story needed and Michael B. Jordan’s performance is incredible. Both these elements work so well together that it makes the film hit home and makes the viewer remember that Oscar Grant, the victim in this filmEmotional, powerful, griping…these are just some of the words that sum up “Fruitvale Station.” In his first feature length film, director Ryan Coogler really nailed the emotion the story needed and Michael B. Jordan’s performance is incredible. Both these elements work so well together that it makes the film hit home and makes the viewer remember that Oscar Grant, the victim in this film and true story it’s based off of, is more than just a headline attached to an article or a point of argument for a Facebook debate but, rather, was a person with hopes, dreams, and people who cared for him. Expand
  36. Jul 28, 2013
    7
    This is a good but not great film. The actors are wonderful, especially Jordan, but felt constrained by a simplistic and underwhelming script. The cinematography and editing feel right for the tone--very intimate and fluid--but didn't feel unique in any way. Seemed that some of the scenes meant to develop characters had the opposite effect. Kind of heavy-handed at points in terms ofThis is a good but not great film. The actors are wonderful, especially Jordan, but felt constrained by a simplistic and underwhelming script. The cinematography and editing feel right for the tone--very intimate and fluid--but didn't feel unique in any way. Seemed that some of the scenes meant to develop characters had the opposite effect. Kind of heavy-handed at points in terms of imagery and metaphor. In all, the real value is in seeing an accurate and human telling of an incredibly tragic story. Absolutely worth seeing for that reason alone. But I think there will be better movies in 2013 that tip it out of the awards chase. RIP Oscar. Expand
  37. Aug 11, 2013
    9
    The movie is short and you can tell the budget for this movie was small. However, this was a great tribute to Oscar Grant. Movies like this can make a difference in our society. The actors perform very well and brings the audience into the drama and painful situation of being a black poor male in Oakland.
  38. Dec 30, 2013
    9
    The simple truth speaks.
    Breakout hit from first time filmmaker Ryan Coogler uses the truth of a story to make this excellent, yet simple film. It is the portrait of a kid who is set on turning his life around, but never gets the chance. It all ends in tragedy.
  39. Sep 24, 2014
    9
    Some movies have the power to anger and shock. Not only is Fruitvale Station that kind of film, it is also riveting, and believable. Watching the last 15 minutes or so is difficult, outraging, and thought-provoking. A life can vanish in the blink of an eye, as is proven in this jarring and purportedly true tale of Oscar Grant's last day on Earth.
  40. Dec 21, 2013
    9
    Fruitvale Station ratches up a sense of dread and hopelessness to create an emotionally draining experience for viewers. It is a sure showcase for actor Michael B. Jordan and first time director Ryan Coogler due to their impressive work.
  41. Dec 28, 2013
    5
    Not sure what I'm missing here. I've been reading all of these stellar reviews for MJ's acting for months, but I was pretty underwhelmed. Relatively nice guy goes through a pretty normal day and then gets shot. Ok. We see that he loves his daughter and went to jail. Ok. That's about it for character development and there is not a single scene where I thought, "Wow, that guy is a greatNot sure what I'm missing here. I've been reading all of these stellar reviews for MJ's acting for months, but I was pretty underwhelmed. Relatively nice guy goes through a pretty normal day and then gets shot. Ok. We see that he loves his daughter and went to jail. Ok. That's about it for character development and there is not a single scene where I thought, "Wow, that guy is a great actor!" I just see the guy from Parenthood saying "Bruh" a lot, which has to be the most annoying slang EVER. A few nice scenes throughout, but overall...meh. Expand
  42. Jan 1, 2014
    7
    Fruitvale Station is indeed a sad film, and an important one, in the parts that matter. I just don't understand why the whole day was shown, I guess all they wanted to prove is that he was a good person? I'm not sure, but I still found it an interesting and emotional movie, for some.
  43. Nov 22, 2014
    9
    A heart gripping story about Oscar Grant a young 22 year old boy that died after a cop shot him, Michael B. Jordan is currently one of Hollywood's best young actors and he will have many great performances in the future. Octavia Spencer is amazing in this film. Ryan Coogler's direction is great.
  44. Mar 21, 2014
    10
    Sincerely powerful, it reminded me of John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood. These films are both earnest, striking and magnificent directorial debuts. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station is highly ambitious, it is for the hardened hearts and Coogler has articulated his deep-rooted connection with the story flawlessly. The film is based on the real-life tragic shooting that happened atSincerely powerful, it reminded me of John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood. These films are both earnest, striking and magnificent directorial debuts. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station is highly ambitious, it is for the hardened hearts and Coogler has articulated his deep-rooted connection with the story flawlessly. The film is based on the real-life tragic shooting that happened at Fruitvale Station on the New Year’s Eve of 2009. This irrefutable piece of reality haunts the film and makes it duly hard to watch. Yet, you are transfixed.

    Oscar Grant, a 22 year-old man with lots of feelings, cares for many people and many people care for him. We spend New Years Eve with Oscar as he goes about his daily routine, struggling and searching over the various obstacles that many working-class people face. This is the side of the story that Coogler has decided to tell. SPOLIER. It is the day leading up to the death of young Oscar Grant.

    We sample Oscar’s daily life; we get caught up in his agitated world. Michael B. Jordan gives a brilliant performance as Oscar, and understands the prejudice history that exists within the borders of the Bay Hill area. Nonetheless he gets on with daily life and is determined to make a difference. He doesn’t necessarily care about what others think of him, he has the “don’t give a **** attitude”, but this doesn’t make him a thug. It is the territory of young and black cinema, as was the term coined for the work of Spike Lee. It is promising that Coogler will have more heartfelt stories to tell that will contribute the past thirty years call for social justice in media, popular culture and sadly life.

    Oscar is clearly troubled but events in his life. He wishes to share his inner burdens with others, he has a lot of close mates, but it is his girlfriend (Melonie Diaz) and mother (Octavia Spencer) who come through as most compassionate. Despite past hiccups, the family gets together and celebrates New Year’s Eve without controversy and with great empathy, as it is also Oscar’s mother’s birthday. The family is “lifted up” by God, as spoken by the radiant mother. It is soul-destroying when she blames the tragedy on herself. She only wanted her “baby” to do what would seemingly be safest: catching the BART train to town, rather than drink driving.

    The cinematography is closing in, the train is entering Fruitvale Station, and my heart is already pounding. The scenes in which the incident takes place are harrowing and expertly crafted. It is mayhem and for no alleged reason; this is the lunacy of the incident. I’ve never quite felt so strung and wounded by the cinema.

    This film deserves mass attention and should be honored for its courage.
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  45. Mar 20, 2014
    9
    Powerful, sad and shocking true story. Should have been nominated for an Oscar as it was far better than pretty much all the nominated films. A must watch!
  46. Apr 2, 2014
    7
    amazing true story that will punch you in the gut and put you in the emotional state of frustration that these people are in. This movie has a 'real' feel to it and really puts you at the event. If you're not sure about watching it, just do it, you won't be dissapointed!

    Just my opinion
  47. Jul 1, 2014
    8
    Although I was excited to see this movie, I didn’t get around to watching it until now. The film follows the true story of Oscar Grant leading up to the tragic events of New Year’s Eve 2009. At first the film’s setup seemed a little basic. I had to remind myself that this was a true story and the filmmakers were shooting for a very realistic portrayal of Oscar Grant’s life. To about theAlthough I was excited to see this movie, I didn’t get around to watching it until now. The film follows the true story of Oscar Grant leading up to the tragic events of New Year’s Eve 2009. At first the film’s setup seemed a little basic. I had to remind myself that this was a true story and the filmmakers were shooting for a very realistic portrayal of Oscar Grant’s life. To about the forty minute mark this movie moved pretty slow but never once became boring. In my opinion this is one of the most important aspects in film and if makers can keep you intrigued while capturing realness then you know they did it right. The acting was down to earth, gritty and the cast made the movie feel real. The cinematography was personal and made me feel like I was right there. This was one of the heaver films I have seen and it really hit me. I have to admit I teared up in the last twenty-five minutes. I can’t really bring forth anything wrong with this movie, besides the fact it was slow moving in the start but that was all justified in the end. Fruitvale Station is a spectacular film and I highly recommend it, just prepare yourself for some pretty intense moments. Expand
  48. May 3, 2014
    3
    It tells a very moving story about the last hours of a living man in an attempt to reach a wide audience. It's a shame it had to pass up the ethical approach for a cliched template that fails to defend the victim for these actions.
  49. Nov 10, 2014
    9
    Fruitvale Station ratches up a sense of dread and hopelessness to create an emotionally draining experience for viewers. It is a sure showcase for actor Michael B. Jordan and first time director Ryan Coogler due to their impressive work.
  50. Nov 13, 2014
    8
    "Fruitvale Station" 10 Scale Rating: 8.0 (Great) ...

    The Good: Michael B. Jordan deserved award nominations for his performance. Shame that he was mostly overlooked (by the big name awards, anyway) as he turned in one of the best performances of 2013. Ryan Coogler does an amazing job in directing the film and I have to give him credit for not trying to glamorize the life and death of
    "Fruitvale Station" 10 Scale Rating: 8.0 (Great) ...

    The Good: Michael B. Jordan deserved award nominations for his performance. Shame that he was mostly overlooked (by the big name awards, anyway) as he turned in one of the best performances of 2013. Ryan Coogler does an amazing job in directing the film and I have to give him credit for not trying to glamorize the life and death of Oscar Grant. Instead, he portrays a young man who was not perfect, but had his whole life ahead of him and was honestly trying to improve himself before his untimely death.

    The Bad: If you're not familiar with the story, then you might wonder why they made the film. It is pretty much the last day in a young man's life and nothing more than that. It is well done and powerful in the end, but very straight forward. While I appreciated that, I can understand why others would not.
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Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: Patrick Gamble
    Jun 5, 2014
    80
    It's Coogler's confrontational depiction of police brutality and his attempts to represent the society he aims to inspire and inform that makes Fruitvale Station such essential viewing.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Jun 5, 2014
    80
    While admitting the man’s flaws, Coogler chooses to give Oscar the benefit of the doubt, which is precisely what he didn’t get on that platform just after midnight struck.
  3. Reviewed by: Simon Braund
    Jun 2, 2014
    80
    A deeply moving drama played out on the small stage of ordinary people’s lives. An unforgettable performance from Jordan invests Grant with real humanity, while Coogler’s unvarnished script and sure-handed direction propel the film to its inevitable, terrible conclusion.