Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What's On Netflix?: SHORT TERM 12

Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we pick out a film currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans.  This week's selection is the 2013 drama...SHORT TERM 12.

Short Term 12 is one of those movies that you look back on and recognize the talent. When the movie came out in 2013, Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. had never led a dramatic movie, and Rami Malek was in movies like Twilight and Night at the Museum. Fast-forward to 2016, and Brie Larson has an Academy Award, John Gallagher Jr. was just in 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Rami Malek is highly praised for his lead role in the hit TV show- Mr. Robot.
Short Term 12 is about Grace (Brie Larson), a supervisor at a group home for at-risk teenagers. Grace loves her job and loves the kids she works with. John Gallagher plays Mason, who is Grace's co-worker and boyfriend. Rami Malek plays Nate, a new-hire at the group home who is trying to fit into the ongoing craziness that is a group home. All three of these actors are fantastic in this movie, and their characters are all really compelling. John Gallagher has great chemistry with Brie Larson, and Rami Malek does a great job of acting awkward and nervous about starting a new job.
While the acting is top notch, Brie Larson is the standout in this film for sure. If you've seen her most recent film Room, you know that she's got serious acting chops. I mean, you don't win an Academy Award for Best Actress if you can't act. I watched this movie after I saw (and loved) Room, and I think she does a slightly better job in Short Term 12. 
The acting is great, but what's good acting without a compelling story? Have no fear, Short Term 12 has a simple, yet compelling story. I say simple because there isn't one huge problem that arises and starts an adventure per say, it's just another day at work for these characters. I found myself relating to Rami Malek's character, mainly because he's new at the job and has to learn how to relate to these kids who are all emotionally damaged in one way or another. 
Speaking of the teenagers in this movie, they all do fantastic jobs and have really good chemistry. A lot of times when there are a lot of "child-actors" or teenagers in a movie, it scares me because of the acting ability.  A couple of them really stood out among the rest, and that would be Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield. These two were fantastic, and had the most to do out of the rest of the teenagers in the movie.  It honestly felt like the director went to a group-home and asked the teenagers to play themselves, because I couldn't even tell the kids were acting. 
Another thing I love about this movie is the directing. It's directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who does a great job, especially for someone who doesn't have a ton of directing credits. He uses close-ups so well to relay emotion, but not coming across heavy handed. It reminded me a lot of the directing-style in Whiplash and even Room. He also does a great job of getting spectacular performances from his actors, especially the teenagers. 
I'm not going to get into any spoilers about the plot of the story, since I think it's better when you don't know that much about it. If you're on the fence about seeing the movie, check out the trailer. I will say, if you're on-board, just skip the trailer. Small movies like this one tend to have to give away more than they should in a trailer to help with marketing. 
It's very hard for me to give a movie a 10/10, but when I cannot honestly think of anything I would change, it's hard to knock it down any points. This is a movie tailored to me; I love great acted dramas that remind me of what it's like to be human and struggle with life. Just a bit of a warning, you might cry during this movie, I know I did.
If you haven't already, login to Netflix and put Short Term 12 in your queue and watch it now. I promise you won't be disappointed! Nowadays, Netflix is getting rid of movies every month, don't let this one slip by! 
Josiah's Score: 10/10
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