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Short Term 12

HD   R Closed Captioning

Destin Cretton

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About the Movie

Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson - The Gambler, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The United States of Tara), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker - and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr. - The Newsroom). But Grace's own difficult past, and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself, throw her into unforeseen confusion. This is made even sharper by the arrival of a new intake at the facility, a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. While the subject matter is complex, this lovingly realized film finds truth and humor in unexpected places.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 159
  • Fresh: 157
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 8.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: 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. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times, Sep 13, 2013

Fresh: 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. – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Dec 10, 2013

Fresh: 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. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Sep 13, 2013

Fresh: "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. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Sep 20, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


With brutal, documentary-style realism, director Destin Cretton offers a bracingly honest exploration of the fallout from child abuse. But even though this movie visits some very dark corners, it remains clear-eyed and hopeful about the future, which helps engage us as we get deeply involved with the characters and their varied emotional issues. The flick follows Grace and Mason (Brie Larson and John Gallagher, Jr.), who are counselors at a short term group home for at-risk teens. They're also secretly having a relationship, which takes a momentous turn when Grace discovers that she's pregnant, as it brings up some pretty serious issues from her childhood. Meanwhile, they and their colleagues (Rami Malek and Stephanie Beatriz) are all busy working with a variety of troubled kids, including Marcus (Keith Stanfield), who's about to turn 18 and leave care, and brand new arrival Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), who keeps trying to sneak out to visit her abusive dad. Essentially told from Grace's own perspective, this flick dives deeply into her backstory (but only as she's willing to face it herself). Larson plays every scene with a remarkable transparency, letting us see things Grace won't even admit to herself. And her relationship with Mason, who grew up in foster homes himself, is simply a complex bundle of emotions for both of them. Opposite Larson, Gallagher shines in a fairly tricky role, effortlessly balancing heartfelt humor with serious drama. And young actors Dever and Stanfield also have moments of poignant truthfulness. Cretton, who also wrote the script, keeps the film's focus tight and sometimes almost just too claustrophobic at times. The world outside this tiny, insular community is only barely glimpsed at onscreen, as these people are pretty much the only family they've got. For contrast, we get a brief scene involving Mason's sprawling foster family, which really hints at the positive impact a caring adult can have in the life of a troubled child. Cretton consistently conveys all of this with exceptional sensitivity simply because he never once shies away from the horrifying reality of the present or the healing possibilities of the future. Indeed, Grace and Mason can truly identify with these kids all too well, and the teens respond to them much more strongly than to the experienced professional (Frantz Turner) who oversees the facility. But still, this is ultimately Grace and Mason's story, and they each have several lingering issues of their own to deal with as they enter the next stage in their lives, and facing up to buried problems from the past is only the beginning. Boasting bold, remarkably realistic performances, well-written dialogue, tough-minded direction, and a story that never gives up hope on these endearingly flawed characters, "Short Term 12" is a memorable indie drama full of enough heart, soul, and personality to leave you satisfied. If you love great acting and low-budget filmmaking, it's well worth your time.

Amazing movie

This perfectly capture what it is like to work in a group home. It is so honest.

Amazing Must See

This is a fantastic film that everyone should see. Outstanding story and performances, I cannot recommend it high enough

Short Term 12
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings