Why It’s Worth Watching
Short Term 12 is a small gem in which the uplift feels earned rather than preached.
Terms like “healthy boundaries” and “it takes work” are thrown around with glib promiscuity in a culture awash in self-help clichés, but “Short Term 12” reminds us why they’re still valid. Where some viewers might think of it as a social-problem film, it’s far better understood as a romance. “Short Term 12” is that rare movie gutsy enough to tell the truth about love: that it’s not a poetic longing or a magical-thinking happy ending, but a skill. And, the film suggests, we all have the capacity to learn it.
Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post
In short: I don’t expect to see a better film this year than Short Term 12. It reminded of what makes the small, independent feature great. It also (in ways that oddly mimic The Wire) makes a subtle statement about the limits, and goodness, of the law.
Alissa Wilkinson in Christianity Today
There’s nothing fleeting about the beauty of SHORT TERM 12. It’s masterful storytelling, cemented by performances so authentic that you almost think you’re watching a documentary. And it takes you to places that feel familiar (in dramas anyway) — in this case, a halfway house for troubled kids — but leads you to new places of feeling.
Common Sense Media
Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace, 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. 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. (iTunes)