Like Boyhood, critics seemed to trip over themselves to see who could heap more praise on Short Term 12, a movie I just missed seeing in the theater last year. John Hartl, writing for The Seattle Times, was a little less glowing:
“Short Term 12” is the kind of teen-oriented movie that’s often dismissed as an “after-school special,” but thanks to a nimble young cast it’s frequently better than that.
A familiar, emotional drama about an institution for at-risk teens, it sometimes plays like an actors workshop.
Short Term 12 has some powerful moments — a children’s story about an octopus sticks out — but the lackadaisical approach to plot did not impress me. What little was there felt overly formulaic. I liked this movie, but it did not grab me, and I doubt in a year or two I will remember much. 6/10