Film Review | Short Term 12 by Destin Cretton

short term 12 dvd coverShort Term 12 is an independent film that focuses on a couple, Grace and Mason, and their work in a foster care facility for at-risk / troubled teens. After being introduced to the facility, staff and residents, a new girl, Jayden, is thrown into the mix. She keeps her distance from the other kids and seems to have a darker side. As Grace attempts to befriend Jayden, she finds Jayden’s current situation to have more in common with her troubled past and abusive father than she is comfortable with. Spurred into action by her father’s upcoming release from prison and an unplanned pregnancy, Grace embarks on a new course that pushes the limits of what has become her reality to try to save herself and Jayden.

This was a great movie. It’s hard to praise a film that deals with child abuse, but Cretton and cast capture all of the emotion without the graphic physical violence. This film shows palpable struggle, not just for Grace and Jayden, but for other characters as well. It presents a very realistic view of what living facilities for at-risk teens can be like, and some of their problems. It’s very clear to me why this film has won awards and been well received by both critics and audiences. If you’re looking for a down-to-earth film with great acting that does a terrific job covering a difficult topic, check out Short Term 12.



About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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