Vivi Mapp

Written by Vivi Mapp

Modified & Updated: 03 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Short Term 12 is an incredible movie that has captivated audiences with its powerful storytelling and authentic performances. Released in 2013, this indie drama directed by Destin Daniel Cretton explores the lives of troubled teenagers and the dedicated staff at a residential treatment facility. The film’s raw and emotionally charged narrative resonates with viewers, offering a unique glimpse into the challenges and triumphs that come with working in such an environment.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the world of Short Term 12 and uncover 36 fascinating facts about the movie. From its origins and production to the talented cast and critical acclaim, we’ll explore the behind-the-scenes details that make this film a standout in the genre. So, grab your popcorn and get ready to discover some behind-the-scenes gems about Short Term 12!

Key Takeaways:

  • “Short Term 12” is a powerful movie released in 2013, showcasing the lives of troubled teenagers and the dedicated staff who care for them in a residential facility. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival.
  • The film’s authenticity, emotional impact, and exceptional performances have resonated with audiences, sparking important conversations about mental health and the long-term effects of childhood trauma.
Table of Contents

“Short Term 12” was released in 2013.

This indie drama film, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, first graced the big screens in 2013, captivating audiences with its powerful storytelling.

The movie is based on a short film.

Cretton expanded his original short film with the same name into a full-length feature that earned widespread acclaim.

The film takes place in a residential facility for troubled teenagers.

Within the walls of the titular “Short Term 12” facility, dedicated staff members work tirelessly to support and care for young individuals facing a variety of personal challenges.

Brie Larson stars as Grace Howard, the protagonist.

Larson delivers a career-defining performance as Grace, a compassionate and resilient staff member at Short Term 12.

“Short Term 12” won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival.

At the SXSW Film Festival, the movie impressed the judges and won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize, solidifying its place as a must-see film.

This film tackles hard-hitting themes such as abuse and trauma.

Short Term 12″ fearlessly delves into the difficult realities faced by the teenagers in the facility, exploring themes of abuse, trauma, and resilience with honesty and depth.

The cast includes talented young actors, such as Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield.

Dever and Stanfield deliver remarkable performances as Jayden and Marcus, two troubled teenagers whose stories intertwine with Grace’s journey.

The title “Short Term 12” refers to the facility’s policy of temporary placements.

In the film, the teenagers are placed in “Short Term 12” for a limited period, as they await more permanent solutions.

The movie showcases the power of human connection.

Through heartfelt interactions between staff members and the teenagers, “Short Term 12” highlights the transformative power of empathy and understanding.

The screenplay was inspired by Cretton’s personal experiences.

Cretton worked at a similar facility before pursuing filmmaking, providing him with firsthand insights that shaped the authenticity of the script.

The film addresses the challenges faced by the staff members.

“Short Term 12” not only explores the lives of the troubled teenagers but also delves into the personal struggles and growth of the dedicated staff members.

Several improvised scenes add to the film’s authenticity.

Cretton encouraged his actors to improvise in certain scenes, allowing for a more spontaneous and genuine performance.

“Short Term 12” received universal critical acclaim.

The film garnered widespread praise from critics for its powerful storytelling, outstanding performances, and emotional depth.

The movie was shot in just 20 days.

Despite its limited production time, “Short Term 12” showcases a remarkable level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

The film’s soundtrack complements the emotional journey.

The music in “Short Term 12” adds another layer of depth to the storytelling, enhancing the emotional impact of the scenes.

John Gallagher Jr. portrays Mason, a caring co-worker and love interest.

Gallagher Jr.’s performance as Mason brings warmth and humor to the film, providing a balance to the heaviness of the subject matter.

“Short Term 12” balances heart-wrenching moments with moments of hope.

The film expertly navigates through both heart-wrenching and uplifting moments, creating a powerful and cathartic viewing experience.

The cinematography captures the intimacy of the facility.

The film’s cinematography immerses viewers in the world of “Short Term 12,” conveying the closeness and intimacy of the residential facility.

The movie draws inspiration from real-life stories.

Cretton incorporated real-life anecdotes from his time working at a similar facility, grounding the film in authenticity.

“Short Term 12” was a breakthrough role for Brie Larson.

It was with her powerful portrayal of Grace that Larson garnered significant acclaim and went on to become one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood.

The film promotes understanding and empathy for troubled youth.

“Short Term 12” serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of compassion and support for young individuals in challenging circumstances.

The movie explores the complexity of the human experience.

With its layered characters and thought-provoking narrative, “Short Term 12” delves deep into the complexities of the human condition.

The screenplay received recognition from various screenwriting competitions.

Cretton’s screenplay for “Short Term 12” received accolades from prestigious competitions, further highlighting its remarkable storytelling.

The film achieved a high audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Viewers have praised “Short Term 12” for its authenticity, emotional impact, and exceptional performances, resulting in a high audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie’s modest budget did not hinder its impact.

Despite its limited budget, “Short Term 12” delivers a powerful cinematic experience that resonates with audiences.

The film creates a sense of community within the facility.

Short Term 12″ emphasizes the importance of building a sense of community and belonging, providing a safe space for the troubled teenagers.

The performances in the movie are universally praised.

The entire ensemble cast of “Short Term 12” delivers exceptional performances, fully immersing viewers in the emotional depth of the characters.

The film’s realistic portrayal of mental health resonates with audiences.

Short Term 12″ tackles mental health issues with authenticity and sensitivity, sparking important conversations and creating empathy among viewers.

The movie explores the long-term impact of childhood trauma.

Short Term 12″ sheds light on the lasting effects of childhood trauma and the resilience individuals can find within themselves.

The movie highlights the power of art therapy.

The incorporation of art therapy in “Short Term 12” showcases the healing potential of creative expression for individuals facing emotional turmoil.

“Short Term 12” was praised for its insightful portrayal of complex characters.

The film’s characters are multi-dimensional and nuanced, earning praise for their realistic and empathetic representation.

The movie’s emotional impact lingers long after the credits roll.

“Short Term 12” leaves a lasting impression through its emotional depth, thought-provoking themes, and exceptional performances.

The film encourages empathy and understanding for troubled youth.

“Short Term 12” shines a light on the challenges faced by troubled youth and calls for greater compassion and support within society.

The movie’s screenplay is characterized by its authenticity.

Cretton’s screenplay for “Short Term 12” authentically captures the struggles, joys, and complexities of the characters’ lives.

The relationship dynamics within the movie are portrayed with nuance and sensitivity.

Short Term 12″ navigates the intricacies of relationships, showcasing the profound impact individuals can have on each other’s lives.

The film’s success led to increased awareness and support for residential care facilities.

“Short Term 12” brought attention to the important work done in residential care facilities, leading to increased awareness and support for these vital institutions.

There you have it, 36 fascinating facts about the movie “Short Term 12” that further enhance the appreciation and understanding of this extraordinary film.


1. What is the plot of Short Term 12?

Short Term 12 follows the story of Grace, a supervisor at a group home for troubled teenagers. The film delves into Grace’s personal life and struggles, as well as the relationships she develops with the young residents of the facility.

2. Is Short Term 12 based on a true story?

No, Short Term 12 is not based on a true story. However, the director, Destin Daniel Cretton, did work in a similar facility before making the film, which lends authenticity to the story.

3. Who stars in Short Term 12?

The film features a talented cast, including Brie Larson as Grace, John Gallagher Jr. as Mason, and Kaitlyn Dever as Jayden. Rami Malek, Lakeith Stanfield, and Stephanie Beatriz also play significant roles in the movie.

4. What awards did Short Term 12 win?

Short Term 12 received widespread critical acclaim and won several awards. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and numerous awards at other prestigious film festivals. Brie Larson’s performance also earned her several Best Actress nominations and awards.

5. Is Short Term 12 a tearjerker?

Short Term 12 is an emotionally powerful film that tackles heavy themes, so it may elicit an emotional response from viewers. The movie explores topics such as trauma, redemption, and the resilience of the human spirit.

6. Can I watch Short Term 12 with my family?

Short Term 12 is rated R due to its mature themes and language. While it is a thought-provoking and impactful film, it may not be suitable for younger audiences. It is best to exercise caution and make an informed decision based on the age and maturity of your family members.

7. Where can I watch Short Term 12?

Short Term 12 is available for streaming on various platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and Google Play. You can also check if it is available in your local library or rental store.

8. Does Short Term 12 have a happy ending?

Short Term 12 combines moments of heartache with moments of hope, ultimately leaving the viewers with a sense of optimism. While it may not have a traditionally happy ending, the film offers a realistic and satisfying conclusion.

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