Doug Reviews: Short Term 12

One of the best films of 2013

One of the best films of 2013

Last year, Writer-Director Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12 garnered a ton of critical praise and accolades. This past week on Netflix, I finally found out why.

Short Term 12 is the story of Grace (Brie Larson), a supervisor at a group home for troubled kids. Aside from her stressful job, Grace has a few other matters going on in her life that demand her immediate attention. Add to the fact that a new arrival, Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), has a lot in common with Grace and past traumas are dredged up and reawakened. At the same time, another resident, Marcus (Keith Stanfield), is turning eighteen. Once that happens, he’ll be forced to leave the home, which is proving difficult for him to accept. What results is a powerfully emotional film that everyone should see.

I was profoundly vague about the plot details because they should be experienced as the viewer watches, not prior to the film in a review. Trust me, though, when I say this film will move you. The world the film introduces us to feels completely authentic and I was drawn in from the start.

The cast is absolutely fantastic. Larson plays both comedy and drama equally well and is destined for super stardom. I’ve loved her in other films, but this is the best I’ve seen her. John Gallagher Jr. injects some much needed humor into the proceedings, but like Larson, he is also adept at handling the more dramatic aspects. Stanfield and Dever are outstanding as are the other kids at the home. Stanfield also impresses with his lyrical skills on a couple of songs. He’s a very talented young man that I look forward to seeing more of in future roles. Rami Malek and Stephanie Beatriz also do nice supporting work here, as does Frantz Turner as Grace’s boss, Jack.

Short Term 12 is a must-see film. It will affect you profoundly and shines a light on a profession that is beyond unsung. I could never do what these professionals undertake day after day, and although the film is fictional, it is still amazing to see them at work. Check it out as soon as possible.


Rating: A


Short Term 12 is now available on Netflix streaming.


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