Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Caryn James

Michael B. Jordan in Taut, Flawed 'Fruitvale Station'

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • July 12, 2013 9:03 AM
  • |
Fruitvale Station is tense, galvanizing and a little disappointing -- an odd combination that is easily explained. The drama, which won both the arty Grand Jury Prize and the populist Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, is brilliantly acted by Michael B. Jordan in the fact-based story of Oscar Grant, a young black man trying to pull his life together, who was shot to death by a white transit cop in Oakland. His performance is matched by Octavia Spencer's as his mother. And Ryan Coogler has directed an extremely well-made example of a certain kind of film: gritty-indie style, full of hand-held tracking and camera-phone inserts. But Coogler's screenplay is too neat and manipulative -- a quality that undermines the film artistically, yet may be the key to any commercial success. Fruitvale makes everything easy on the audience.

Follow Caryn James

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • "Child of God"James Franco's Smart, Stunning 'Child ...
  • The Last, Best Season of 'The Killing' ...
  • 'The Knick': Steven Soderbergh Recasts ...