Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 187 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 11, 2013
    100
    At the age of 27 Mr. Coogler seems to have it all, and have it firmly in place a clearsighted take on his subject (no airbrushing of flaws or foibles here, just confident brush strokes by a mature artist); a spare, spontaneous style that can go beyond naturalism into a state of poetic grace, and a gift for getting, or allowing, superb actors to give flawless performances.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    It shows us the everyday pressures and problems, the joys and pleasures, experienced by someone moving through life. And then that BART train pulls into Fruitvale, and the rest is history.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 26, 2013
    100
    Fruitvale Station is only the first in a string of civil-rights minded movies set to hit theaters this year -- contributing to what could be the most racially conscious award season in recent memory.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 11, 2013
    88
    Fruitvale Station is a gut punch of a movie. By standing in solidarity with Oscar, it becomes an unstoppable cinematic force.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jul 25, 2013
    75
    Coogler occasionally overplays his hand: The scene in which Oscar says goodbye to his daughter for what we know will be the last time is prolonged to the point of overkill.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 11, 2013
    40
    Coogler isn’t exactly an invisible hand. He pokes and prods his audience at every turn: Neither the false moments nor the powerful ones leave much mystery about how we’re supposed to feel.

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 54
  2. Negative: 2 out of 54
  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. RyanAn 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. Expand
  2. 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 directorialSincerely 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.
    Expand
  3. 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 ofA 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. Expand
  4. 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 leadingAlthough 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
  5. 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 butFruitvale 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. Expand
  6. 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 likeWith 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
  7. 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 theIt 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. Expand

See all 54 User Reviews

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