Monday, March 6, 2017

Movie Review: "Short Term 12" (2013)

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Movie"Short Term 12"
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Grace (Brie Larson) struggles to navigate her life at work as the lead staffer at a group home for emotionally disturbed kids, and her love life and future with her boyfriend and co-worker Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), all while battling demons from her past.

"Short Term 12" is written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and is based on a short film of the same name, which he had made a few years prior. It stars Brie Larson as Grace, a lead staffer at a group home for emotionally troubled youth. Joining her is John Gallagher Jr., who plays Mason, Grace's boyfriend and coworker. Larson has been on our radar for a while now, and she really does a fabulous job in this film and with its emotionally heavy material. Gallagher also does a great job in his own right and has believable, excellent chemistry with Larson as they play really wonderfully off of each other as coworkers and as boyfriend and girlfriend. Other members of the cast include Rami Malek as Nate and Stephanie Beatriz as Jessica, who work with Grace and Mason at the home. Though many residents and staff at this home get only a little screen time and development, the primary focus is on Grace and her relationship with a newcomer to the facility named Jayden, played by Kaitlyn Denver. Grace sees a lot of herself in Jayden, who is in a place where she is emotionally closed off and mad at the world because of awful things that have happened and continue to happen in her life. These Larson and Denver have a great emotionally strong dynamic connection and the development of their story is gripping and sad in all the right places. Another big subplot comes from the story of Marcus, played by Lakeith Stanfield, a young man who is just about to turn 18, which means he will have to leave the group home and head out into the world to fend for himself. He is struggling to face this change, and Mason and Grace do their best to help him cope with the transition.

"Short Term 12" is a powerful, challenging, authentic, moving film more people should see because it's about a subject that is often forgotten not just in film, but in reality as well. It's one of those movies that gives you a raw feeling in the back of your throat because of how engrossing, honesty, and fantastic it is. It should have gotten a hell of a lot more recognition when it was first released, and we're sad it took us this long to discover it. This movie never got a wide theatrical release and it's a damn shame because it really showed what Brie Larson was capable of long before she was recognized for her talents with an Oscar for her impeccable work in the movie "Room." This is a story that can tear your heart out, but it can also make you laugh and be inspired simultaneously. To our readers, dear readers, do yourself a favor: go to Netflix right now, and type in "Short Term 12" and commit the 96 minutes it will take to watch this. We promise you will not be disappointed.

My Rating: 9.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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