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“Fruitvale Station” is the story of an American tragedy: a dramatized re-creation of the final day on earth of Oscar Grant (a terrific Michael B. Jordan), who was shot in the back on New Year’s morning 2009, by a San Francisco transit officer.
Writer-director Ryan Coogler could easily have turned the movie into a work of agitprop — a film to work you into a froth of anger — but he’s after things that are harder to grasp: the measure of a man’s life and the smaller struggles, satisfactions, and injustices that can fill it. It’s a film to make you weep with sorrow and anger, and one of the most necessary films of the year. With Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz.