Short Term 12 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Short Term 12 Reviews

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November 24, 2016
Possibly the best movie I've ever seen. Cinema Sins--give this puppy a try. I dare you.
½ November 16, 2016
This movie is a masterpiece, if you have not seen this film please i beg you, watch this film.
½ November 12, 2016
Wow, what a movie! Near perfection!
November 11, 2016
Writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton handles the sensitive themes with grace and wit, and Brie Larson never fails to impress.
November 11, 2016
If you have not seen this film, you need to. I was blown away by Short Term 12. I was so emotionally into it, my heart was breaking over and over from several characters. Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr, Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield and the rest of the cast were so good. I could see this getting a Criterion release down the line. Short Term 12 is phenomenal.
November 5, 2016
Best film of the year so far!!! Reminded me of a combination of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", "Sling Blade", "Lars and the Real Girl", with the story telling of Quentin Tarantino!!!
October 28, 2016
This movie is like an anthem for people with messed up childhoods. Everybody is so emotionally and psychologically crippled from past relationships and are by no means expected to have any capability of expressing positive emotion, but they still have so much love to give and they share it like I've never seen. That may sound cheesy, but you'll just have to watch it for yourself!
October 21, 2016
Short Term 12 focuses on a government foster home somewhere in the southern US, it tells a story about several characters problems and how their past has magnified these issues they have, and ultimately overcoming their faults and developing into better people through each other. I absolutely LOVED this film, I'm usually an action movie guy, mostly out of fear of being bored to death, but I will dip my toes into other material. Everything about this film is perfect. The plot is so interesting and grabs you tightly especially in its third act. The actors and actresses were all fantastic, I knew Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr were going to be fantastic here, it's what I've come to expect. The huge surprise was the actor who played Marcus. Holy. Shit. He absolutely blew me away and was such an interesting character who I really wanted to know more about. The guy didn't talk much and every time the actor made his dialogue somehow the ones I wanted to hear the most. The dialogue was amazing, I really was hanging onto every word said because it all seemed so real and yet otherworldly. The plot was incredibly interesting and it gave a ton of surprises that really worked for me. It gave an array of very intriguing characters that I wanted to know more and more about no mater how much was revealed about them. The ending was extremely satisfying and gave a real sense of everything being alright despite the recent turmoil these people went through. I know it will never happen, but I really want to see something showing these characters a few years or months later, especially the Marcus character, I don't know where I'd rank it in all time performances I've ever seen, but it's definitely a favorite of mine especially since it would've been so easy to make the guy just an angry little shit that would've got annoying after a while, but Keith Stanfield really gave Marcus something extra. Short Term 12 is by far one of the best films I have ever seen, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to everyone
½ October 14, 2016
A moving film, great cinematography, soundtrack and character development.
October 13, 2016
absolutely my favorite movie.
½ September 25, 2016
A film of wry humour, emotional heft and a wealth of introspect, Short Term 12 is not the kind of movie that bowls you over, but the kind that holds you close and draws you slowly but surely into its world and reality. The story of a social worker trying to deal with the problems of others while struggling fervently with her own is presented so humanely that you quickly begin to accept that these are not actors portraying the problems, but real people living them. Brie Larson, in the role that allegedly won her the Oscar-winning lead in Room, is fantastic. She has a permanent look of weariness constantly stuck behind a barrier of optimism and false smiles. What she goes through might be a little cliché, but it's handled sensitively, and Larson's ability to pull us into what she's going through keep it grounded and believable. The child actors are especially good, and inject their parts with enough flair and gravitas that they're not completely outdone by the adults. It may be too slow for many, but I loved it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a film with relatable characters, moments to remember and questions to contemplate.
September 23, 2016
I don't understand how this movie was snubbed for a best actress award and even best picture. This is Brie Larson's best performance after Room. One of the best film of 2013 and hopefully after this movie youth will understand why they should stay out of trouble.
½ September 15, 2016
Short Term 12 is tense, warm, heartful and brilliant and features touching performances, with Brie Larson, as always, standing out as the best one.
½ September 8, 2016
A critic proof movie yet it doesn't feel phony or like its taking the easy route. I have seen Brie Larson in several movies recently and she does a great job as the lead in this film, i predict we are just beginning to see what she can do. We need more films like this that accurately show these type of young adults and the situations that create them. Also has one of the best little musical moments i have seen.
August 28, 2016
The film is a little overly dramatic, but it's still a joyful experience.
½ August 28, 2016
It's not just a movie with teenage angst, some deep problems are explored, as well as some of the workers own demons.
½ August 26, 2016
Not perfect but pretty close.
August 25, 2016
For the full length version
½ August 22, 2016
To be unassuming is not always a bad thing cinematically. A film with a natural aesthetic needs to rely on its actors and scenarios to anchor it, tighten it, draw you into its world and fell for that world's inhabitants. Short Term 12 has a typically underwhelming opening, but one perhaps rife for larger metaphor.
As a bunch of camp workers stand around sharing a rather crude story, we get a sense of a very relaxed, mumblecore tone being established. They are a bunch of late twentysomethings, directionless, moping about and telling stories. It is the kind of indie film pastiche seen many time. Yet suddenly, a disturbed child rushes from an adjacent door and hurtles towards an exit. Suddenly, there is panic and shouting, the mood becomes tense. This is the essence of Short Term 12 . From the relaxed tone of mumblecore comes real shock and, occasionally, real darkness.
Yes, the camp is a camp for troubled youths. Where escape attempts are but minor worries when put in context of suicide attempts. Indeed, any plot arch that attempts to reach outside the realm of the camp almost seems futile. For instance, I'm struggling to even remember the presence of a romance between Grace (Brie Larsen) and Mason (John Gallagher Jr) after the fact, as the discussion will no doubt center so strongly on the scene involving the teens. Petty squabbles become major threats, and any attempt to get to close to troubled youths may be dangerous.
The film's universe carries the sort of consequences inherent to a war film. A rap performance in particular may leave you breathless; a scene in which the teens decorate a fellow housemates walls carries devastating weight. Yet, the film has an optimistic undercurrent, one that manifests in the viewer a possible fulfillment amidst emotional exhaustion.
½ August 15, 2016
With SPECTRE and THE HUNGER GAMES dominating the box office of late, the cinemas won't be showing anything worth our time and money until STAR WARS arrives in three weeks' time. That makes it a good time to look at some gems that may have missed our attention. One of these is SHORT TERM 12, which was released in 2013 but never made it to Hong Kong. It stars Brie Larson, a name that may not mean much to you now but will very soon. Her latest film, ROOM, was released in the US yesterday and should make it to our shores in early 2016. The advance word on the film is extremely positive. It has been playing the festival circuit since September and has already racked up eight awards there. I mentioned Brie in one of my early reviews, DON JON. She has a very small part in that film but she makes it a memorable one. She also appeared in THE SPECTACULAR NOW, which was one of my favourite films of 2014.

Grace (Larson) works as a supervisor at a short-term group home for emotionally broken teenagers. The kids are supposed to stay there for less than a year - until the county figures out what to do with them - but, as we learn, some, like Marcus (Keith Stanfield), are there for more than three years. Grace and her three fellow counsellors have a huge job on their hands and it wouldn't be surprising if they cracked under pressure but they all seem to be able to handle each day's challenges with a heady mix of professionalism, empathy, humour, gravity and a bit of exhaustion. Grace, herself, is soft-spoken but she's not afraid to enforce the facility's rules - no closed doors, no profanity spoken, and no unauthorised leaving. Thankfully, most of the kids understand the rules and appreciate her tough love approach but there are a couple of kids who are still too deeply troubled to be able to stay on track all the time.

Grace's guarded world slowly starts to unravel when three big events hit her at the same time - she learns that she's pregnant; she receives word that her father will be released from prison; and Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a new charge, arrives at the home bearing emotional and physical scars that Grace seems to understand a little too well. Though she is well able to overcome the trust issues that the kids have, she can't seem to be able to tear down her own wall, particularly when it comes to her boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.; TV's THE NEWSROOM).

SHORT TERM 12 was written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who once worked in a California facility similar to this one. His experiences there formed the basis of a short film of the same name that he wrote in university as his thesis project. It was released in 2008 to great praise. The long version of the film has been a festival darling since it premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013. There, it won both the Grand Jury and Audience awards, and 32 more awards at other festivals from Abu Dhabi to Mexico.

There are a couple of scenes in the film (Marcus' rap song and Jayden's children's story) that will absolutely break your heart but this film is far from being mawkish. All the performances are delivered with such sincerity you may just think that these actors understand abuse on a firsthand level. Larson's quiet and sensitive performance, though, really stands out in this work that is both solidly written and directed. As much as Grace would like to like to sublimate her own past, the events that surround her won't let her. Through her, the kids and even Mason, we see that while you can cover up the scars, they remain with you long after the abuse ends.
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