By Laurie Coke

Rating: B+

There is one phone call parents never want to receive. Fruitvale Station brings to life one mother’s nightmare, a daughter’s loss and the story of a life cut short. After celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends in 2009, Oscar Grant III died when a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police officer – who later claimed he mistook his taser for a gun – shot him on a subway platform in Fruitvale Station. This gripping and frankly, disturbing tale of injustice unfolds at an even pace and takes the audience on a heartbreaking journey.

Writer/director Ryan Cooger allows us to move though the events along with his characters, and exceptional performances by Michael B. Jordan (Grant III), Melonie Diaz (Sophina) and Octavia Spencer (Wanda Grant) create an engaging and personal telling of true events. As a mother and grandmother, my heart broke for Wanda Grant, whose often troubled son, longed to change his life and for his young daughter and girlfriend. Shadowed by too many lackluster so-called blockbusters, Fruitvale station might get missed, and that would be a shame. It earns a B+ from me.

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