Short Term 12 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Short Term 12 Reviews

December 10, 2013
Set in a foster-care facility outside of San Francisco, this independent drama is vivid and heartfelt in its depiction of social work, at times recalling some of Frederick Wiseman's great documentary portraits.
November 15, 2013
The film's climax feels a little rushed and overwrought, but the movie's real resonance is its exploration of empathy and vocation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 14, 2013
At times Short Term 12 seems uncertain where it's going, but this matches the circumstances of both staff and residents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 29, 2013
There's heart, soul and personality to burn in 'Short Term 12' ... But this is a film that, like many of its young characters, desperately needs to calm down.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 20, 2013
"Short Term 12" is a sly wonder of a film. It brings you into its unique world and then slowly reveals its characters, letting them unfold gradually, organically.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 13, 2013
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.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
September 13, 2013
Short Term 12 captures the complex rhythms of institutional life -- for worker and inhabitant -- while weaving the story of Grace's journey through anguish toward, we hope, happiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 13, 2013
"Short Term 12" may sound like confinement, but it's a redemptive and even funny film that invites us to stay and grow.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 12, 2013
This surprising little sleeper will give you more big feelings in its first 15 minutes than every one of last summer's blockbusters combined.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 12, 2013
Don't be put off by its forgettable title. Short Term 12 is a deeply memorable film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 5, 2013
"Short Term 12" is the kind of teen-oriented movie that's often dismissed as an "after-school special," but thanks to a nimble young cast it's frequently better than that.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 5, 2013
Tender, funny and real as a kick in the ribs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 5, 2013
A compact masterpiece of storytelling that brims equally with ambition and humility. It is, by a wide margin, the best film I have seen so far this year.
August 30, 2013
This is a film about hurt and healing, isolation and fear, need and rage - and it's not just the motley, messed-up crew of 14- and 15-year-olds who are trying to cope, trying to get better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 29, 2013
Any director who sees "Short Term 12" will want to cast Larson in something. This movie puts her on the map.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 29, 2013
It's a lovely, tough-minded film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 29, 2013
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 29, 2013
An emotionally authentic examination of the lives of those who live in and work at a children's home where the lines between the inhabitants and the caretakers isn't as clear as one might suppose.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 29, 2013
This movie has the dash and esprit of service comedies like MASH and the harrowing emotions of misunderstood youth films like The 400 Blows.
Full Review | Original Score: A
August 29, 2013
An authentic drama couched in character that never stoops to manipulation.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 26, 2013
I know, it sounds like one of those earnest inspirational good-hygiene movies. On one level, it is. But the exchanges are electric.
August 23, 2013
When Short Term 12 reaches its last scene, the lump it leaves in your throat feels earned.
August 23, 2013
"Short Term 12" comes from a place of delicate and truthful understatement, which allows the humanity and decency of its characters-and, yes, the lessons-to shine through naturally.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 23, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 23, 2013
Cretton pulls off a tricky balancing act in "Short Term 12,'' which could easily have become a colossal downer if played to melodramatic excess.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 22, 2013
The dominant style of the acting is naturalistic, but Brie Larson, operating in another realm, creates a marvelously complex heroine.
August 22, 2013
Even as the gathering melodramatic storms threaten to swamp this pungent slice of life, Mr. Cretton manages to earn your tears honestly.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
August 22, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
August 22, 2013
The film is a quiet sensation.
August 22, 2013
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 22, 2013
In showing us all the richness and tenderness and passion that's possible in young lives that have pretty much been discarded by ordinary society, Cretton invites us - in the kindest possible spirit! - to question our own privilege.
August 22, 2013
Larson, in particular, does wonders with a character who in other hands could easily have come across as overly earnest, even saccharine... It's a superb performance that deserved a more credible, less jerry-rigged context.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
August 21, 2013
The situation has a built-in heartbreak, but Cretton doesn't milk it. Instead, he lets each character strike a note of lived-in reality that is rarely found on screen.
Full Review | Original Score: A
August 20, 2013
Short Term 12 strikes a delicate balance between emotional turbulence and artful understatement.
August 20, 2013
You'd have to go back to Half Nelson to find such a beautifully organic combo of spot-on performances, tough-love storytelling and tender treatment of deep-rooted emotional damage.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 20, 2013
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.
July 1, 2013
Subtly inverting the story's point of view, Cretton sees his protagonists through the eyes of the teens and gets to the ineffable core of trust.
May 6, 2013
Cretton's screenplay pulls off a tricky balance of imbuing its story with emotional weight while not coming across as cloying in the process. The situation is inherently dramatic, but the filmmaker complicates it with characters worth rooting for.
Full Review | Original Score: A
May 6, 2013
Short Term 12 is a film about scars, some physical, others emotional, but all examined with a sensitivity and understanding that cuts deep.
May 6, 2013
Affecting drama about troubled kids is a breakout for Brie Larson without losing its ensemble balance.
March 14, 2013
Larson's performance is something of a quiet revelation, and the same could be said of the film itself.
March 10, 2013
A Heartrending, Heartwarming & Authentic Portrait of Life At A Foster Care Facility
Full Review | Original Score: A