Crown Heights ★★

Based on a true story that was previously told in an unforgettable episode of “This American Life,” Matt Ruskin’s “Crown Heights” dramatizes a remarkable and enduringly relevant miscarriage of justice and the result is a thin, restless film that’s also a thrilling testament to the power of public radio.

Ruskin’s version begins on April 10, 1980, the fateful spring day when an innocent man’s life all but came to an end. Colin Warner (compellingly embodied by “Short Term 12” star Lakeith Stanfield, whose slender frame is strong enough to shoulder much of the movie) is an 18-year-old Trinidad native living in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. He’s arrested for the murder of a local Jamaican teenager named Mark Hamilton. (In real life, Warner reluctantly volunteered himself to a local precinct after they called him in for questioning. In the film, the heavily accented immigrant is chased down by two aggressive cops who corner him in an alley and drag him down to the station.)

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