Metascore
85

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

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 169 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: 39 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  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. Expand
  2. 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 Expand
  3. 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! Expand
  4. 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 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.
    Expand
  5. 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
    Expand
  6. 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 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.
    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 the ethical approach for a cliched template that fails to defend the victim for these actions. Expand

See all 46 User Reviews

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