Short Term 12 (2013)

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Released 14-May-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Making Of-Making the Music
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Cast and Crew Screening
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 92:57
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Destin Cretton

Madman Entertainment
Starring Brie Larson
John Gallagher Jr.
Rami Malek
Keith Stanfield
Kaitlyn Dever
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Joel P. West

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Grace (Brie Larson) is a caring and committed worker at “short term 12”, a safe house providing short term foster care for at risk teenagers up to 18 years of age. The young adults are usually in care for less than 12 months, but some have been there for up to three years as the state does not know what to do with them. Grace is in a relationship with her sweet and bumbling co-worker Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) and has just found out that she is pregnant. Many of the residents of the house have been badly damaged, including Sammy (Alex Calloway) and Marcus (Keith Stanfield), who is about to turn 18 and is worried about leaving the house. When self-harmer Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) arrives, Grace discovers that she has been sexually abused by her father, which reopens the demons from Grace’s own abused past and threatens her relationship with Mason, and her own sanity.

     Short Term 12 is a beautiful, powerful, moving, funny and ultimately life-affirming film from writer / director Destin Daniel Cretton. Given the subject matter the film could have been depressing and / or descend into pathos, but it is anything but because of an intelligent script that picks out the humorous aspects within dire situations and wonderful, natural ensemble acting especially by Larson (United States of Tara) and Kaitlyn Dever. They get good support from John Gallagher Jr. and Keith Stanfield and the young actors are all good although, to my mind, the only less than convincing performance comes from Rami Malek as the new staff member Nate. But in most things Short Term 12 feels genuine; indeed the film has an almost documentary feel, being shot with moving hand held cameras (only occasionally overdone and distracting) and dialogue that is natural and sometimes only half heard.

     Short Term 12 is a film that is not morose or sentimental but one which, from comments on line by people better qualified than I am to judge, shows what such a facility, provided by caring people, is really like. These are damaged teens, some without hope, but ultimately in sequences such as the party with Mason’s foster parents, Grace’s own journey or the fate of Marcus, the film indicates that change for the better is possible.

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Transfer Quality


     Short Term 12 is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The film was shot using Red One cameras. The print is generally sharp with good detail except where the light source is behind the actor, where it becomes somewhat glary. Daytime colours are natural, those at night under lights have that digital yellowish tinge which also affects skin tones. Blacks and shadow detail are good, brightness, except as mentioned above, and contrast is fine.

     Some scenes look somewhat grainy, but otherwise artefacts and marks are absent.

    English subtitles are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

     This is a simple audio track, suiting a drama that is mainly dialogue. The dialogue was not always clear, with some mumbled conversations, but this suits the documentary feel of the film. The surrounds and rears were mostly used for music although voices in the party scenes did occur. The sub-woofer was seldom heard except for music.

     The music score by Joel P. West was low key, quite beautiful and very effective.

     Lip synchronisation fine.

     The layer chance at 68:06 created a pause in the middle of a scene.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Behind the Scenes (21:12)

     This consists of on set video footage with brief comments from the writer / director, three of the producers, the sound mixer, 1st AD, director of photography, boom operator, digital imaging technician, editor and a lot of the cast. Reasonably interesting.

Making the Music (6:15)

     Footage of the creating and recording of the score, with comments from Joel P. West (composer) and Destin Daniel Cretton (writer / director)

Deleted Scenes (21:30)

     Ten deleted and extended scenes, including a longer party sequence, two scenes of Grace with the therapist and some background about Sammy. Interesting, but understandably cut for pacing reasons.

Cast and Crew Screening (2:19)

     A sort of music video with a performance by The Shivers at a cast and crew screening of the film. Black and white.

Theatrical Trailer (2:19)

Madman Propaganda

     Trailers for What Maisie Knew (2:12), Your Sister’s Sister (2:25), Prince Avalanche (2:14) and Sleepwalk With Me (2:27).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 1 US version of Short Term 12 has the same extras but adds the short film (21:40) that this feature film was based on, plus 2 TV spots. The short film probably makes the US release the better one.


     Short Term 12 is a revelation: a beautiful, powerful, funny, moving and ultimately life-affirming film with a wonderful central performance by Brie Larson. Short Term 12 caught me by surprise, and never let go.

     The video and audio are fine. The extras are interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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