Short Term 12 (2013)
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
John Gallagher, Jr.
Lydia Du Veaux
Running time: 96 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.
I remember this movie had a lot of positive buzz when it was out & I’ve been meaning to watch it for a long time, especially after I then saw Brie Larson in a couple other movies & thought she was pretty fantastic. I thought she was the actual highlight of the somewhat mediocre 21 Jump Street & even of that weird Don Jon movie (which is pretty impressive as she only had one line). Oh, and she was good in The Spectacular Now (probably should have been the lead instead of Shailene Woodley).
Well, Larson is great in Short Term 12. I’m surprised she hasn’t yet gotten the sort of attention that Jennifer Lawrence did for Winter’s Bone. I mean, I think she did get a bunch of awards for it but she’s still not as famous as Lawrence. Hopefully she’ll get the right sort of role that gets her more recognition. And this might sound weird but, hey – I’m a girl & I like seeing girls who look like regular people in movies for a change! She’s cute, obviously, but not some freakishly gorgeous supermodel.
In Short Term 12, Larson plays a 20-something who works with a group of other young adults in a home for troubled teens. It’s a fairly heavy film but the characters are pretty well developed and you really do care about what will happen to each of them. You get to know several of the teens at the home but they mainly focus on the stories of two of them while we slowly learn more about Larson’s character’s background & how it affects her job and her life with her boyfriend, who also works at the group home. Her boyfriend is sweet & funny and they have what appears to be a great relationship. I’ve always said that I find it very hard to like a movie if I hate all the characters and Short Term 12 is the exact opposite of this. Even those who are in the home and are getting in fights, swearing & spitting at staff, etc, all have their reasons & just need people to be there for them. I liked everyone in this and hoped for a happy resolution for all of them. It’s not all “sad drama”, though – the boyfriend has a nice sense of humor & there are some heartwarming scenes. I was asked what other movies this is like and I couldn’t really think of one. Maybe something like Stand And Deliver and, hell, maybe even Dangerous Minds? But more “indie” and with a younger feel to it than those as everyone is in their early-20s or their teens in Short Term 12. I do think, if I’d seen this as a teenager, I’d have loved it & watched it over & over like I did with Stand By Me every day after school when I was 13.
Great performances & characters make Short Term 12 a fulfilling movie experience. It’s a bit heavy & a little sad but manages to be uplifting as well and gives us characters we care about. It doesn’t feel contrived & the people in it feel “real”. The director wrote this after working in a similar home just like Larson’s character, which is probably why the movie feels so genuine. Yeah, I thought this one was pretty good.
My Rating: 8/10
I liked Short Term 7 better.
Was that the one directed by James Cameron??
No that was Short Term 9. Short Term 7 was directed by Andy Sidaris.
Oh, that’s right. The only one I really hated in the Short Term series was the Wes Anderson one.
I’ve been meaning to watch this, I’ve heard al lot of good things about it! Great write up 🙂
Thanks! 🙂 Sorry – I fell behind on comments! I liked this one quite a lot – it’s worth checking out. 🙂
I liked but didn’t love Short Term 12. Sometimes the characters really frustrated me.
Oops – I missed a bunch of comments on this post! That’s too bad you didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did. I suppose the characters WERE a bit frustrating at times but their abusive pasts gave them a reason to be that way, I guess.
I’ve been meaning to watch this for a while now. Sounds like I should just get around to it! Nice review.
Thanks! Sorry – I missed a bunch of comments on this review! I enjoyed this one a lot – I’d love to know your opinion on it. 🙂
A lovely little film that shows indie cinema has no boundaries. Good review.
Thank you! Yes, THIS is the kind of indie film that I like. 🙂
I think I’ll take the afternoon off and go see this!
Wait – maybe I’m thinking of something else.
No! This IS the one you’re thinking of! You’ll love it!! 😉
It sure sounds like it!
Sounds good, will have to check it out. 🙂
It is! Sorry – I missed a bunch of comments on this post! I’d recommend this one – I really liked it. 🙂
One to watch then?
Laura! Woohoo! Are you blogging again?? Hmm… I’m thinking you MIGHT like this one. It’s on Netflix. 🙂
Hello! Trying to get back into it but also trying to finish a duvet sized crocheted blanket, eat healthily (so time consuming! ) & half heartedly look for a new job!
I miss you guys so I’m definitely keen to come here more than I have the last few months 🙂
I know what it’s like – blogging is SO time consuming. It’s very hard to find the balance between that & all the real-life things that need doing. Good job on eating healthily! That IS really time consuming. Blogging has cut into my exercise time too much too – I have to get back to more of that. Can’t crochet, though! That’s cool. 🙂
i enjoyed this one when I saw it.
great review Mutant!
Thanks! I enjoyed it too. Quite a bit. Not sure I’d buy it but I liked it! 🙂
Buy???? Whats that? 🙂
This sounds good and I agree I love Brie Larson, did you ever see her in United States of Tara? She stood out in that too. I miss that show!
I think you’d like this movie, Melissa! Seriously. 🙂 Nope – never saw that show. I think she’s a very good actress. 🙂
You should find it, I think you would like it, especially if you like Toni Collette. But the show did get unexpectedly cancelled, so I don’t know what that says about the show.
A lot of good things get cancelled, though. 😦 Think it all started when My So-Called Life got cancelled!
Don’t go there, I loved that show I was obsessed!!!!!!!!!!! I recorded the whole season on VHS without commercials do you know how long that took?! Every time I see Jared Leto my heart flutters for Jordan Catelano!!!!!! haha
Lol!!! I KNEW you’d be a huge fan of that show… 😉
Sounds good! I didn’t even realise that Brie Larson is the girl from 21 Jumps Street, I really liked her in that. Got to watch this now.
I do recommend this – Larson is very good. I liked this a lot. She should be in more films! 🙂
Definitely. I just watched The Spectacular Now yesterday and even in that she was very good with that limited amount of time she got.
Have you seen Don Jon? I don’t really recommend it but she was great in the smallest role ever. 🙂
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