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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Review: “Fruitvale Station”

    By kyle | July 12, 2013

    Lefty critics are falling all over themselves to praise “Fruitvale Station.” Are they right? My review is up.

    Topics: Movies | 18 Comments »

    18 Responses to “Review: “Fruitvale Station””

    1. Union Jack Says:
      July 12th, 2013 at 11:37 am

      sun dance limo libs luv a good cop kills schvartze story

      confirms lib prejudices contempt toward lower order whites etc

      next big amurrican story but sun dance will miss it—they dont know crackers exist——

      rise of white job class—-not dem or repub—just pissed betrayed

      cracker natives getting restless in amurrrica

    2. Obama bin Biden Says:
      July 12th, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      I think Union Jack is actually Mongo.

      Mongo like website.

    3. Don Reed Says:
      July 12th, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Mongo like candy.



      Seriously, if facts are omitted, then it’s just more propaganda.

      Why not just leave them in and make a better, more objective, effective movie?

    4. Sherlock Says:
      July 14th, 2013 at 7:03 am

      Here’s a movie: Cop thinks he’s pulled out a Taser, but he’s pulling the trigger on his gun. That’s a Will Ferrell movie, there. Call it Moron Cop.

    5. Kyle Says:
      July 14th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Ok, and he did a year in prison for being a moron. He wasn’t a murderer.

    6. Union Jack Says:
      July 20th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      no justice

      (lets hope) no peace

      not sure how long deaf dumb amerikkka can sit on a tinderbox

    7. Union Jack Says:
      July 20th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      soothing words from POTUS wont stop this

      how long before—-

      how long before

    8. Russell Says:
      August 2nd, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      I am a black man that believes in family values and doing for yourself and not slinging rock or getting welfare ok. But tell me why that white cracker dolf lungdren racist cop only took African negros off that subway can you tell me that. And why they was sweating Oscar and his crew over coupple thrown punches with a jailhouse cracker and why the 50 only didn’t take the white dude started the fight off the train can you tell me that. What it got to do with anthngn Oscar was in jail on possession before and selling little weed what they got to do with my the cop shot that nrgro tell me that sir.

    9. joe smith Says:
      October 20th, 2013 at 2:31 am

      What a wretched review. The first half is essentially a smear job on the unarmed victim. And totally irrelevant. He had been in prison and cheated on his girlfriend (OMG!)….so what? Not germane in any way to an unarmed man being shot in the back at point blank range.

      The rest of the review is an exercise in excuse making for a cop who made the biggest mistake a cop can make. It would have been nice if you’d actually written about the movie, instead of the actual case the movie’s based on.

      Seriously, why not just move to the op-ed page, Smith, since you’re incapable of writing a review that doesn’t have a political agenda?

      At least Lumenick tries to talk about cinema, and puts his political leanings to the side, where they belong in a film review. Weird thing is you’d probably be a better critic than him and quite a few other “top critics” (admittedly a low bar) if you could pull back your desire to be George Will. Rather than liking or disliking movies, you seem to turn each review into a chance to vent about whatever political issue crawled up your butt most recently. Unfortunately that makes your otherwise fairly competent writing useless as film criticism.

    10. kishke Says:
      October 21st, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      He had been in prison … so what?

      Are you serious? Prison is now no big deal?

    11. bob jones Says:
      October 24th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      No, kishke, try reading for context. I said it was no big deal (same for cheating on your girlfriend) in the context of an unarmed man being shot in the back of the head at point blank range. Of course being an ex-con is a big deal, but we don’t yet live in a society where it is grounds for a police officer to act as executioner. Cops don’t get to decide that somebody who WAS in prison deserves to die based on that fact. Which is immaterial here anyway as the cop had no way of knowing the victim’s police record. A cop acted with reckless disregard for human life and was convicted of manslaughter; Kyle Smith, for whatever reason, wants to minimize the tragedy while defending the cop. Morally perverse priorities.

    12. kishke Says:
      October 25th, 2013 at 12:09 am

      I said it was no big deal

      That was said by Joe Smith, not by you, Bob, you little sock puppet, you.

      but we don’t yet live in a society where it is grounds for a police officer to act as executioner. Cops don’t get to decide that somebody who WAS in prison deserves to die based on that fact.

      And who ever said otherwise?

      Kyle Smith, for whatever reason, wants to minimize the tragedy while defending the cop. Morally perverse priorities.

      Kyle’s not defending anyone. He’s pointing out that the film omitted a fact that would have reflected badly on Grant. It is a comment on the biases of the filmmakers.

    13. yankeefan Says:
      October 25th, 2013 at 10:32 am

      I thought this was a powerful picture, and found the climactic BART scene nuanced actually. Like a documentary. Yes, the cops did seem kind of goonish, but it was a tense, high-adrenaline situation and they were trying to restore order.

      The flaw in the film is that the whole event really is a tragic accident, and very little leading up to that accident — Oscar’s background, his Last Day — is particularly relevant to how he died. Except for the fact that the fight was started by his skinhead jailbird rival.

    14. Kyle Says:
      October 25th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Bingo, plus much of what happened on that Last Day was simply fabricated.

    15. Kyle Says:
      October 25th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Kishke, Bob and Joe do indeed have the same IP address.

    16. kishke Says:
      October 26th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      I’m sure they do. That’s why he’s a sock puppet. He should keep better track of which name he uses when.

    17. Mel Says:
      January 17th, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you, Kyle, for being virtually the only honest film reviewer I’ve read. Fruitvale Station is just as you say, a fabrication. Oscar Grant was a three time loser, who caused his own demise by not cooperating with the BART police. Ryan Coogler is a fraud and a liar. Liberals have a field day with this film because it fits their false narrative of “police brutality.” Honest people know the shooting was a complete accident, caused in large part by the angry mob on the platform that night.

    18. LW Says:
      April 2nd, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      The film isn’t trying to tell the actual facts of Oscar Grant’s last day. What it is doing is using his last day as a means to humanise him and make a comment on what happened. This is film making and Ryan Coogler has done magnificently in this regard.

      While Oscar Grant’s death may have been a tragic accident, everything leading up to it was the result of systemic racial classification. I’m not just talking about grabbing a guy off a train because he is African American either. The idea that because the cop couldn’t see his hands meant he probably had a weapon is one such occurrence. This thought didn’t materialise because Oscar was a man. It wasn’t even because he had a previous criminal record (there is no way the BART cop would have known this as the time). It’s because he was African-American.

      It’s conservatives like you, Mr Smith, who fail to see this as fact and are desperately holding onto the last vestiges of whatever privilege you have had as a result of many years of disgraceful treatment towards minorities. The old argument of “I didn’t do it” doesn’t hold up anymore. When you reap the benefits of such acts and defend the status quo that was created by them, you are not blameless.

      The result of such thinking is having Donald Trump as your Presidential nominee. He isn’t the President that the US needs, but he’s the one people like you deserve.