Short Term 12 ★★★

An extremely frustrating movie, deeply moving and deeply contrived in equal measure. Cretton has a wonderful sense of the fragile ecosystem of the group home, where the fortunes and feelings of kids and staff alike can rise and fall together. And there are moments that are absolutely shattering in getting to the heart of these sad, angry, vulnerable children. Yet the script has been Sundance-labbed to death, with one honking revelation about Brie Larson's character that's teased out with thudding obviousness. The ending, too, is a complete wash.