Fruitvale Station | Chicago Reader

Fruitvale Station

For this striking debut feature, writer-director Ryan Coogler dramatizes the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old man from Oakland, California, by a transit cop while coming home from New Year’s Eve festivities in 2009. Grant was shot in the back while lying face down on the floor of the title train station; the policeman had apparently meant to pull his Taser gun. Video of the event captured by multiple cell phones and digital cameras went viral and sparked widespread protest. Coogler opens with a teaser of the chaotic episode, then leaps back to cover Grant's last day, which he pieced together from interviews with the victim's family; remarkably, Grant's ordinary life seems eminently dramatic even without its place in history. With Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, and Michael B. Jordan, excellent as the protagonist.



  • Ryan Coogler


  • Michael B. Jordan
  • Octavia Spencer
  • Melonie Diaz
  • Ahna O'Reilly
  • Kevin Durand
  • Chad Michael Murray
  • Joey Oglesby
  • Laurel Moglen
  • Liisa Cohen
  • Ariana Neal
  • Alex Garcia
  • Noah Staggs
  • Caroline Lesley
  • Christina Elmore


  • Forest Whitaker
  • Nina Bongiovi
  • Michael Chow
  • Lisa Kleiner-Chanoff
  • John Kwok
  • Octavia Spencer

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