Crown Heights

This indie drama tells the gripping—and all-too-common—story of an innocent man incarcerated for decades. In 1980, police arrested Colin Warner, a Trinidad native living in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, and charged him with having killed a local teenager in a drive-by shooting; convicted on the scantest of evidence, he spent more than 20 years in prison before he was exonerated. Writer-producer-director Matt Ruskin hangs his plot on Carl King, a childhood friend of Warner’s who never gave up on him and rallied the community to his defense; the two men’s relationship, and others in the film, might have been explored in greater depth, but Ruskin rightly keeps his focus on the judicial system as it fails Warner again and again. With Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Bill Camp as William Robedee, the dogged attorney who finally got Warner’s conviction vacated.