Fruitvale Station (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fruitvale Station2013

Fruitvale Station (2013)



Critic Consensus: 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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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 birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year's Day. Oscar's life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area - and the entire nation - to its very core. (c) Weinstein

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Michael B. Jordan
as Oscar Grant
Melonie Diaz
as Sophina
Octavia Spencer
as Oscar's Mother
Kevin Durand
as Officer Caruso
Chad Michael Murray
as Officer Ingram
Ariana Neal
as Tatiana
Alex Alessandro Garcia
as Officer Sanchez
Laurel Moglen
as Mrs. Mason
Liisa Cohen
as Tenisha
Brian Richardson
as Lead Surgeon
Noah Staggs
as Officer Davidson
Kurt Cotton
as BART Cop
Jennifer Nicole
as Female Paramedic
Ruben Rivera
as Cale's Friend
Nicole Maxali
as Surgical Nurse 1
Jessica Clark
as Surgical Nurse 2
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News & Interviews for Fruitvale Station

Critic Reviews for Fruitvale Station

All Critics (215) | Top Critics (84)

First-time director Ryan Coogler chose to tell Grant's story as a narrative instead of a documentary to centre his voice and his life, in the process raising important questions about police brutality and the value of black lives.

July 9, 2021 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Fruitvale Station offers no social remedies, but by recreating Grant's final hours, it actualizes him as a man, not just a rally cry.

March 31, 2020 | Full Review…

While Fruitvale Station is elevated by Jordan's portrayal, the supporting cast, whose characters surround Oscar even during his most internal struggles, is also magnetic to watch.

September 6, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

This is a film for the people, a film for feelers and thinkers who want to see a story about a flawed person who loved his daughter and family.

August 14, 2017 | Full Review…

Michael B. Jordon honed his talent on series like The Wire and Friday Night Lights. His performance seems natural but that doesn't mean it was easy to achieve. It's subtle, deep and fiery.

March 21, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Coogler's realistic debut recreates Grant's final day with affection, refusing to cast him as either saint or sinner.

September 23, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Fruitvale Station

A tragic story of intolerance and injustice that sustains an ubiquitous tension right from the first scene (when we are told how it all ends) and eschews any hint of melodrama, showing Oscar as a three-dimensional person with qualities and flaws in order to remind us of the value of human life.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Michael B. Jordan excels in a sensitive portrayal of a troubled young man, unaware that his time is running out. A poignant story with simple but gripping storytelling.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

While racially motivated police violence isn't anything new, "Fruitvale Station" is a feature to watch in our present political climate, in lieu of ongoing protests around the country. Directed by Ryan Coogler, who won Sundance's Grand Jury Prize in Drama, "Fruitvale Station" depicts the 24 hours before Oscar Grant's death at the hands of transit police, on New Year's Day 2009. The film features actual footage from the shooting, and the protest at the BART station one year later. Jordan stars as Grant, a man who is characterized as having a troubled, often tumultuous life. Recently out of prison, fired for being late to work, and dealing marijuana on the side, Grant has all the makings of a careless criminal. Inversely Grant is a considerate and sweet natured individual who takes care of his daughter and girlfriend, loves his mother, is friendly to strangers, and hopes for a better future. These two parallels show the realities of Grant's life and personality, neither demonizing him nor canonizing him for his behavior. The film simply tries to point out that Grant was not the perpetrator of any crime, that he was unfairly treated and killed, only because of his race. Grant makes for an interesting character, his kindness interlacing with his own personal demons throughout the narrative. This film serves well as an indignant example of the unfair conventions of police brutality, than as a biopic, yet still this entertains throughout as a film. The editing is amazing, the score is poignant in its placement, the performances from Jordan, Butler, and Diaz are realistic and thoughtfully achieved, and the direction from Coogler makes for an interesting watch. The only thing keeping this from being perfect is that it is pointed, and is trying more to educate than entertain, which explains the short runtime and lack of interiority from Grant. I highly recommend this film for those grappling with present events, or for those who just want to watch a well-made, politically motivated piece of filmmaking.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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