Short Term 12

Easily one of the best films so far this year, Destin Daniel Cretton's Short Term 12 is a nearly perfect blend of pimple-faced naturalism, moral fury, social insight, and unsentimental but devastating drama. A glammed-down Brie Larson is luminous as Grace, a supervisor at a short-term foster-care facility, where she and three other idealistic but exhausted twentysomethings care for a handful of minors, smoothly switching from older sibling or camp counselor to orderly or bloodstain-cleaner. Grace and her crew exercise firm control over their charges, some of whom cope better than others. But they're hamstrung by the relative powerlessness of their low-status positions, forced to stand by while the kids' lives are administered by well-meaning therapists and social workers whose knowledge is more academic than actual. Cretton elicits strong, unaffected performances from his child actors, focusing on two in particular: Marcus (Keith Stanfield), a 17-year-old terrified of aging out of foster care when his birthday arrives in a week, and Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a creative younger teen whose raccoon eyes and poses of studied rebellion cover up some serious bruising and scars. Marcus and Jayden immediately demand sympathy not because they're children, but because they’re such believable ones. Short Term 12's greatest achievement is its ability to paint a double portrait of abuse-- a larger exploration of the enduring effects of violent trauma, as well as an intimate depiction of a damaged but hopeful and persevering individual. It's a bold and sensitive vision-- and one that shouldn't be missed


  • Destin Cretton


  • Brie Larson
  • John Gallagher Jr.
  • Stephanie Beatriz
  • Kaitlyn Dever
  • Alex Calloway
  • Kevin Hernandez
  • Lydia Du Veaux
  • Keith Stanfield


  • Destin Cretton


  • Maren Olson
  • Asher Goldstein
  • Joshua Atrachan
  • Ron Najor

Short Term 12 is not showing in any theaters in the area.

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