“Fruitvale Station,” the soul-wrenching first feature from writer/director Ryan Coogler, opens with cellphone footage of real events: On New Year’s Day 2009, after an altercation with Bay Area Rapid Transit police, an unarmed, African-American, 22-year-old father named Oscar Grant was shot in the back, in front of dozens of witnesses, while he was face-down on the BART platform, at least one cop kneeling on him.
It is, by any reasonable standard, a terrifying and brutal sequence.
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Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz and Kevin Durand
Rating: R for violence, language, drug use
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Theaters: Alamo Slaughter, Arbor, Cinemark Galleria, Cinemark Southpark Meadows, Highland, Metropolitan, Tinseltown Pflugerville, Violet Crown Cinema
Coming Sunday: An interview with the director