Beautiful, poignant, funny, and heartwarming, Brie Larson stars in the self-contained world of Short Term 12. Perhaps the most striking thing about this film is how completely Destin Cretton’s intimate knowledge of the short term facility is on display. The children of Short Term 12 are the true stars of the film, each shining with their own personalities, dealing with their own troubles and insecurities, and finding joys in the little things along the way. Every shot is finely crafted, every piece of dialogue touching and funny, every moment heartwarming and sweet. All of the characters feel genuine, and the beautiful handheld photography really lends the film a greater sense of authenticity. Larson is fantastic as the strong-headed caretaker of the facility, hitting all of the right notes and exuding just the right amount of vulnerability beneath the surface. Even at its breaking points, Short Term 12 provides the perfect mix of tension and humor, and the structure of this film maintains a great balance accentuated by Mason’s sincere starting and ending stories. The film truly shines due to its cast and script, and it is a wonder to watch the unorthodox manners in which emotions are expressed and relationships are developed.