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'Fruitvale Station' Reviews Praise Movie Based on Oakland Shooting

Image: 'Fruitvale Station' Reviews Praise Movie Based on Oakland Shooting Actor Michael B. Jordan.

By Teresa Meek   |   Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 07:19 PM

"Fruitvale Station," a film based on a true story that won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, opens in theaters July 12, and has already garnered impressive reviews.

The movie tells the story of Oscar Grant, played by Michael B. Jordan, who was shot by BART transit officials at the Fruitvale subway stop in Oakland on New Year’s Day, 2009. Violent protests erupted in Oakland both after the shooting incident and again after the arresting officer, Johannes Meherle, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, but acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree murder, the Daily News reported.

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“My son was murdered,” Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, said at the time of the sentencing, according to the Daily News. “The system has let us down.”

Review site Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a rating of 92 percent, based on 24 critics’ reviews.

“A restrained but forceful picture that captures some of the texture and detail of one human life,” the Village Voice said, according to the site.

“The movie is the model of decency and respect, and does honor to a life unjustly ended; it offers few surprises but is nonetheless shocking,” the New Yorker said on Rotten Tomatoes.

“'Fruitvale Station' will make you cry like a baby,” reads the headline on critic Will Leitch's review on Deadspin. “The movie stacks the deck a little bit. ... This is a movie about a tragedy, a pointless, stupid tragedy, and it wants to wring every emotion from it. This is not a subtle film but it is a deeply earnest one: It wants you to feel just how much was lost,” Leitch wrote.

Star Michael B. Jordan worked hard on the role and is now working hard to promote it

“[T]he workload on this film has been crazy to me,” Jordan told The Huffington Post. “Honestly, actors always want to look for that leading role or have the opportunity to play a lead role like Oscar Grant. You want to be number one on the call sheet, but then you see that schedule and you're like, "Oh my God. Every day? Every scene? I don't have a day off at all?" And then promoting the film is a whole other thing. I think actors are honestly paid to do the promotion.”

Though the actor is no relation to the famous basketball player with the same name, being teased about the name as a child inspired him to reach for greatness, The Huffington Post said.

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