Michael B. Jordan is simply brilliant in his portrayal of Grant, whom Coogler presents as a generally happy, if complex and somewhat troubled young man.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, 2013-12-10
The intimacy of debut writer-director Ryan Coogler's approach to the film and the no-frills, believably real quality of the main performances combine to drive the senselessness of Oscar's killing home with visceral impact.
Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times, 2013-12-10
Writer-director Ryan Coogler's [film is an] assured and evenhanded debut.
Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine, 2013-12-10
It's hard not to watch Fruitvale Station with a coiled dread... Yet, Coogler's greatest achievement may be in reminding us that Grant was a work in progress with people who loved him in spite of his flaws and because of his hopes.
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, 2013-07-26
You wonder if Coogler would have felt freer had Grant somehow lived that night, if the director weren't put in a position where he felt the need to honor the dead by bringing him to dramatic life. But he believes in his ambition.
Wesley Morris, Grantland, 2013-07-26
We feel the death on the platform so acutely not because it's a stupid act of randomness, but hardly untypical racist violence, but because we've come to love this man.
Geoff Pevere, Globe and Mail, 2013-07-26
Michael B. Jordan (The Wire and Friday Night Lights) plays Oscar with the heart and compelling charm required to make us feel close to him.
Linda Barnard, Toronto Star, 2013-07-26
It's a story of one young man's tragedy, a story that resonates with so many other tragedies. Oscar Grant wasn't some mere symbol; this film makes him flesh and, unfortunately, blood.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2013-07-26
An eloquent memorial for a man who barely experienced life, and a haunting reminder of how quickly it can be lost.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2013-07-25
Empathy and authenticity keep you on the edge of your seat at Fruitvale Station.
Michael Sragow, Orange County Register, 2013-07-25
Some of this narrative feels cliched, but Coogler and his actors make it work by leaning toward understatement.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday, 2013-07-25
"Fruitvale Station" isn't just a story of one family's tragedy, but a wounding snapshot of a society struggling somewhere between melting pot and battlefield.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2013-07-25
It's a film to make you weep with sorrow and anger, and one of the most necessary films of the year.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 2013-07-25
Whatever role prejudice have played a part in the shooting - Oscar and his friends were black, and the officers were white - Fruitvale Station refuses to turn the incident into a statement on race and divisiveness.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald, 2013-07-25
Coogler immerses the viewer in Grant's world, creating empathy for his struggles while also examining the realities that limit his options.
Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2013-07-25
Fruitvale Station sums up Oscar's life, but the act of summing up can tell us only so much, since a young life is still a maze of promise and indecision.
David Denby, New Yorker, 2013-07-24
By using a fly-on-the-wall approach, Coogler is able to tell his story in a straightforward style that gets the message across without seeming preachy.
James Berardinelli, ReelViews, 2013-07-23
In naturalistic and unforced strokes, he allows Grant to exist as a complex, even contradictory human, inviting the audience simply to sit with his life, his loss and what they both meant.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2013-07-19
Fruitvale is easy to see as something more than a movie - a diagnosis, perhaps, or a part of that sticky vortex we call the zeitgeist.
Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News, 2013-07-18
Oscar Grant had friends, he had a sister and a mother and a grandmother, a girlfriend, a child. In concise measures, Fruitvale Station shows us these connections, these bonds.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2013-07-18