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Short Term 12


Grace, a compassionate young supervisor at a foster care facility, works with her boyfriend and colleague, Mason, to help at-risk teens. But when a new charge dredges up memories of her own troubled past, Grace's tough exterior begins eroding.

Actors: Brie Larson , John Gallagher Jr. , Kaitlyn Dever , Rami Malek , Keith Stanfield , Kevin Hernandez , Melora Walters , Stephanie Beatriz , Lydia Du Veaux , Alex Calloway
Directors: Destin Daniel Cretton
Country: USA
Release: 2013-08-23
More Info:
  • Ian Freer

    Short Term 12 is a miracle of a movie. Beautifully written and perfectly played, all of human life is here: the good, the bad, the messy and the uplifting.

    Empire Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    It’s one of the best movies of the year and one of the truest portrayals I’ve ever seen about troubled teens and the people who dedicate their lives to trying to help them.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Jamie S. Rich

    A rare movie that serves both the head and the heart. The issues it broaches are achingly real, brought to vivid life by a consistently excellent cast.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Barbara VanDenburgh

    The resulting portrait is nothing short of a tiny filmmaking miracle. It’s guaranteed to make you feel something — hopeful, probably, for Grace and her wards. And maybe even for the future of indie filmmaking.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Short Term 12 is a small wonder, a film of exceptional naturalness and empathy that takes material about troubled teenagers and young adults that could have been generic and turns it into something moving and intimate.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Brie Larson, as the caring but tormented Grace (who's pregnant and doesn't know if she has the faith to have her baby), and John Gallagher Jr., as her gentle-dweeb fellow worker Mason (who fears his love can't save her), show you what emotionally naked acting is all about.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    It's a delicate yet passionate creation, modest in scope but almost overwhelming in its emotional intricacy, ambition, and resonance. Easily one of the best films so far this year, it's a nearly perfect blend of pimple-faced naturalism, righteous moral fury, nuanced social insight, and unsentimental but devastating drama.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Taking its time to let the world take shape, Short Term 12 builds to an involving series of mini-climaxes without tidying up every loose end.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Katie Walsh

    Short Term 12 is a roller coaster of every emotion, managing to be both heartwarming and heartrending at once.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    What might seem on paper a cloyingly sentimental heartwarmer becomes, in Cretton's hands, a briskly believable, often funny, always invigorating and ultimately wrenching story of emotional fortitude.

    NPR Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Short Term 12, a low-budget feature only 96 minutes long, is a big deal on a small scale: for what it reveals of Mr. Cretton as a filmmaker — especially as a storyteller, and a director of actors within tautly constructed scenes — and of Ms. Larson's abundant talent.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    This compelling human drama finds fresh energy in the inspirational-teacher genre, constantly revealing new layers to its characters.

    Variety Full Review
  • John DeFore

    A genuinely moving look at life in a group foster home that avoids most of the usual routes into viewers' hearts.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Well-written, terrifically acted and compelling. It deftly avoids sentimentality and offers a window into the lives of believable, multilayered characters.

    USA Today Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The sophomore feature effort from director Destin Cretton (remaking and expanding upon his 2008 short), this movie avoids the numerous landmines awaiting someone venturing into this territory and, as a result, emerges triumphant.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    He (Cretton) just loves this place and these people so much, he wanted to give us more of them. For that, we should be grateful.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Christy Lemire

    Cretton shows as much care and kindness with the minutiae of the daily routine — as he does with the larger issues that plague these lives in flux. He also infuses his story with unexpected humor as the kids hassle each other — and their supervisors — on the road to healing. Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Rehab movies nearly always make me cringe, as if the audience needs to take medicine, as if hope needs to be force fed. Short Term 12, an exceptional film in every way, breaks the mold.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • William Goss

    [Brie Larson's] performance is something of a quiet revelation, and in turn, the same could be said of the film itself. Full Review
  • Kevin Harley

    The lead character’s called Grace, but don’t be put off: Cretton’s tough-love snapshot of shattered youth is achingly moving rather than manipulative or mawkish.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Short Term 12 wraps up with one of the most touchingly memorable last moments of any film this year. Despite a title that’s hard to recall, this brief but resonant movie sticks with you.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It’s both a compelling group melodrama built around an appealing young cast and an immersive introduction into a social reality many of us haven’t thought about. Full Review
  • David Fear

    Short Term 12 isn’t without drawbacks, occasionally dipping into a too-neat narrative tidiness and a self-conscious sloppiness. Yet the film’s charms and ability to cut through jadedness despite the subject matter makes it a rarity — a modest indie that’s feels like it’s in it for the long haul.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Brie Larson is a revelation as the linchpin of Short Term 12. An industrious young actress, her performance here is remarkably natural and understated.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Short Term 12 is a triumph of modesty.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Because Short Term 12 is a small movie about a challenging subject, you may have to accept my word that actress Brie Larson and director Destin Cretton are bright discoveries, but it shouldn’t be long before the wider world can see these talents with the naked eye.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Short Term 12 is that rare movie gutsy enough to tell the truth about love: that it’s not a poetic longing or a magical-thinking happy ending, but a skill. And, the film suggests, we all have the capacity to learn it.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Any director who sees Short Term 12 will want to cast Larson in something. This movie puts her on the map.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Larson shines as an adult staffer assigned to keep these self-destructive kids safe while they work with therapists.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Matthew Kassel

    It doesn’t happen all at once, nor does the film imply that coming to terms with one’s past is any kind of panacea. Grace’s problems are long term, but, like her adolescent charges, one has the sense she’ll get by.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Even as the gathering melodramatic storms threaten to swamp this pungent slice of life, Mr. Cretton manages to earn your tears honestly.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    At its best, the film conveys a wealth of compelling details that only an insider, or at least someone who’s done extensive and thorough research, would think worthy of singling out.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    There's tremendous dramatic value to the aching and sometimes devastating scenes that home in on these kids' private torments.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    For all its humanistic warmth and undoubted charm, Short Term 12 just never quite rings true.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    This is a small film about a society of castoffs, and while it’s beautifully acted and often moving, it’s also predictable, because it keeps wresting itself into familiar forms.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    There's a too-cute-to-be-true ending to this US indie movie by the much-acclaimed young director Destin Cretton; I couldn't buy it, and found myself wondering if I had kept the receipt for the rest of the film too.

    The Guardian Full Review
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  • child abuse

  • suicide attempt

  • social worker

  • based on short film

  • pregnancy

  • violence

  • parole

  • father daughter relationship

  • incest

  • foster child

  • troubled teen

  • foster care

  • group home

  • teenager

  • sex

  • child sexual abuse

  • abuse

  • smashing a windshield with a baseball bat

  • rap music

  • written by director

  • wiffle ball

  • racial slur

  • vulgarity

  • loss of mother

  • wearing an american flag as a cape

  • baby

  • search

  • portable cd player

  • mother's boyfriend

  • bongo drum

  • applying eyeliner

  • broken glass

  • vacuum cleaner

  • hand clapping game

  • pretending to play the drums

  • chef's hat

  • cooking

  • slow motion scene

  • banana

  • aquarium

  • date

  • bouncing a ball off a wall

  • computer

  • cleaning blood off someone

  • reading

  • filing one's fingernails

  • notebook

  • lamp

  • diagnosis

  • haircut

  • spitting on someone

  • braiding someone's hair

  • happy birthday

  • stuffed animal toy

  • earphones

  • awol

  • anger

  • death of a fish

  • blood

  • trust

  • abortion

  • break up

  • brushing one's teeth

  • jumping rope

  • stone amulet

  • being followed

  • telephone call

  • doctor

  • singing

  • singer

  • foster father

  • foster mother

  • foster family

  • giving a toast

  • therapy

  • breaking and entering

  • mother daughter relationship

  • death

  • game playing

  • face slap

  • kiss

  • suicide threat

  • hysteria

  • hit in the face

  • fight

  • spanish

  • party

  • drug use

  • assault

  • mirror

  • bathtub

  • bath

  • crying

  • pills

  • medication

  • therapist

  • apology

  • black american

  • pursuit

  • chase

  • friendship

  • family relationships

  • birthday card

  • cupcake

  • birthday present

  • birthday

  • bracelet

  • disturbed child

  • hospital

  • bicycle

  • two on a bicycle

  • riding a bicycle

  • boyfriend girlfriend relationship

  • bus

  • dead fish

  • fish

  • smashing a car window

  • baseball bat

  • new employee

  • new job

  • marijuana

  • mattress

  • breaking a lamp

  • foot chase

  • fishbowl

  • inflatable toy

  • storytelling

  • sketching a portrait

  • sketchbook

  • drawing

  • self mutilation

  • problem child

  • unplanned pregnancy

  • depression

  • deeply disturbed person

  • scar

  • post traumatic stress disorder

  • mother son relationship

  • father daughter incest

  • co worker

  • trepadone the drug

  • toy

  • father in prison

  • taco

  • group therapy

  • hand on stomach

  • key

  • shower

  • amulet

  • american flag

  • flatulence

  • defecation

  • testicles

  • eating

  • food

  • cell phone

  • bus stop

  • running

  • smashing a car window with a baseball bat

  • hispanic american

  • sleeping on a sofa

  • boxer shorts

  • underwear

  • marriage proposal

  • dancing

  • dancer

  • eyeglasses

  • looking at one's self in a mirror

  • male wearing an earring

  • bare chested male

  • prologue

  • african american

  • desk lamp

  • interracial relationship

  • wrist slitting

  • three word title

  • rapper

  • tattoo

  • number in title

  • title spoken by character