Metascore
85

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

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 179 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: 43 out of 50
  2. Negative: 2 out of 50
  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 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. Expand
  5. 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
  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 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 the ethical approach for a cliched template that fails to defend the victim for these actions. Expand

See all 50 User Reviews

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