An unarmed black man gets fatally shot because he’s perceived as a criminal, a trouble maker, up to no good? Where does Hollywood think up these crazy, crazy plots? Aren’t we living in a post-racist world, what with the black president and all?

Ryan Coogler’s film takes a day in the life approach to the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a young man struggling on the edge of criminality but determined to turn over a new leaf as New Year’s Eve approaches. Throughout the day he starts to make amends, though there’s nothing to suggest the change will hold. Giving up his drug dealing and treating his poor mama better are just the first steps, as well as promising to be a better father to his child and a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he’s going to take into the city to see the fireworks. 
Coogler uses every trick in the book to bring us closer to Oscar (who likes dogs and children) and for some the manipulation might feel counter-productively heavy-handed, but this is an angry and honestly felt film and deserves a wide audience. Needless to say, it has added relevance today.

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