Top 365 Films – #255 – Short Term 12 (2013)

Top 365 Films - Short Term 12DIRECTED BY: Destin Daniel Cretton

STARRING: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr, Stephanie Beatriz, Rami Malek, Alex Calloway, Kevin Hernandez, Lydia Du Veaux, Keith Stanfield, Frantz Turner and Kaitlyn Dever

BUDGET: $0.9m

EARNED (Worldwide): $1m




A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.


Grace is a young counselor working at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers, trying to do her best for kids who have often been removed from the worst kinds of home situations, even though Grace is having issues of her own, especially when something from her past resurfaces to haunt her and have her make some difficult decisions.


Only by word of mouth did I hear about this film and thank god I did as the film captivated me from the get go with its opening scene. The script itself is terrific and the characters are well defined, with Grace being very much three dimensional, she’s tough and yet compassionate with her charges when need be and yet he find out her own problems that she’s less successful in dealing with, making her keep her boyfriend at arms length. Even with the material being dark, it remains a hopeful film not just for Grace, but for the kids in the facility. Brie Larson is terrific as Grace, John Gallagher Jr is great as boyfriend and fellow co-worker as Mason and of course Kaitlyn Dever as Jayden.


FAVOURITE SCENE: Jayden tells Grace the story about the Octopus and the Shark is the first thing that comes to mind when Short Term 12 is brought up. Powerful, well acted and executed scene. A very special mention to the rap scene with Marcus.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Grace: I like your name, Jayden.

Jayden: It’s a boy’s name.

Grace: Really? I don’t think so.

Jayden: Will Smith did.’

DID YOU KNOW?: While most of the children were cast through open casting calls, Keith Stanfield was the only actor to return from the original short film Short Term 12 (2008). Director Destin Daniel Cretton had to struggle to reach him during the casting as he had quit acting and did not have a cell phone.

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