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Parents' Guide to

Fruitvale Station

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Powerful, mature drama based on tragic-real life shooting.

Movie R 2013 85 minutes
Fruitvale Station Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (7 ):

FRUITVALE STATION is the debut feature from Oakland filmmaker Ryan Coogler, and it's a quietly powerful achievement of surprising beauty and subtlety. Reportedly, Coogler thoroughly researched the day's events, up to and including the crucial incident: a cop's shooting of an unarmed, subdued man in the back. The movie shows just enough of the cops to make them monstrous but not enough to understand their feelings or motivations. This approach stays true to the impact of the real-life footage but has also raised some controversy.

But up until the film's emotionally powerful, incendiary ending, Coogler presents his film as a nuanced and carefully balanced character study filled with small, poetic moments. In this story, Oscar makes both good and bad decisions; he gets angry, and he expresses love. Coogler's handling of the actors is exemplary, especially Jordan as Oscar and Octavia Spencer as his mom (she won an Oscar for The Help and certainly deserves another).

Movie Details

  • In theaters: July 12, 2013
  • On DVD or streaming: January 14, 2014
  • Cast: Melonie Diaz , Michael B. Jordan , Octavia Spencer
  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Latino actors, Black actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Weinstein Co.
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 85 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: some violence, language throughout and some drug use
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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