Brie Larson, the actor who plays the lead role of Grace, is reason enough to see Short Term 12, but there are many more reasons; John Gallagher, Jr. (if you watch The Newsroom you know who he is), the script, the emotion, the story, the realism... Like I said, there are many reason to see this film.
The story is about Grace, who manages a facility that houses abused/neglected kids, kids with drug problems - troubled kids of all sorts - until they are eighteen, while she's trying to manage her own life and her own issues. Mason (Gallagher) is an employee at the facility and also her boyfriend, and how he deals with Grace mirrors how she deals with the kids; with compassion, understanding and sincerity.
Brie Larson is truly amazing. Her face tells the story even when she's not saying a word. I'd be surprised if she's not nominated for an Academy Award for this film.
The kids' stories are heart-wrenching and could easily turn sappy, but they don't. It felt real and raw, right up until the end, which I won't give away but which just seemed too good to be true and not in keeping with the grit of the rest of the movie, but I liked it anyway.
Short Term 12 earns every emotion you will feel, and you will feel many as you get involved with these characters. And you will get involved.
My advice: GO SEE SHORT TERM 12.
Five of five stars for Short Term 12.