“Fruitvale Station” is a tragedy as fresh as today’s headlines, as moving as losing someone close to you. A re-telling of the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a young black man gunned down by a transit cop in front of scores of witnesses in Oakland on New Year’s Day in 2009, Ryan Coogler’s often wrenching film begins with that death — captured on cellphone video — and takes us back through a life of hot-tempered blunders but compassionate potential, an ex-con who might have turned the corner just as it all came to an end for him.
Michael B. Jordan (“Red Tails”) is never less than riveting as Oscar, and he has to be. Coogler’s film is built on the mundane, routine actions of an ordinary New Year’s Eve. Oscar runs errands, buying crabs for his mother’s birthday party.
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