Editor’s Note: Short Term 12 opened in New York and Los Angeles last weekend and expands this week. Below we’re republishing Germain’s review from South by Southwest 2013 and click here for an interview with the director.

Sometimes you watch a movie and, at the end, can’t think of anything in the film that could have been done better. The whole thing just feels perfect or magical, a shining example of what cinema is all about. Short Term 12 is one of those movies.

Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton based on his award-winning 2009 short film of the same name, Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson as Grace. She’s young woman who spends her days overseeing a huge group of foster kids in a group home, many of whom are mentally ill. They suffer from depression, have suicidal tendencies and OCDs. It is Grace’s job — and that of her boyfriend Mason (The Newsroom‘s John Gallagher Jr.) and a new guy (Rami Malek) — to try and keep the kids content while they go about their lives. This is easier said than done when Grace is probably more messed up than everyone else in the building.

Funny, moving, surprising and emotional, Short Term 12 is an awards contender from top to bottom. The performances are mindblowing, the writing sharp, and the direction beautiful. It’s a very special movie, and worthy winner of the 2013 South by Southwest Grand Jury and Audience Awards. Read More »

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The Spectacular Now

In James Ponsoldt‘s last film, Smashed, binge-drinking helped tear two married people apart. In his new one, The Spectacular Now, it brings two very different teens together, albeit in an unexpected way.

Miles Teller stars as popular, hard-partying Sutter, who drinks himself to oblivion one night after getting dumped by his girlfriend. He wakes up on the lawn of a classmate, sweet sci-fi geek Aimee (Shailene Woodley). Despite their differences, the two find themselves inexorably drawn together.

That setup may not sound like much of anything special, but the rave reviews out of Sundance indicate that Ponsoldt makes the most of it. Check out the first trailer and poster after the jump.

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Short Term 12

At this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, one film took home both top prizes awarded by the Grand Jury and Audience. That film, Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, opens August 23. Now you can get a look at the movie, as the first trailer has just been released.

Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. as a young couple who have to balance their own personal issues with the problems of the displaced kids they oversee at a foster home. It’s a glorious, special film I gave a perfect 10/10 score. (My first.) Check out the trailer below and see what all the fuss is about. Read More »

With just ten days left until the release of 21 Jump Street, the marketing folks are ramping up their efforts with an extended red-band trailer that clocks in at nearly five minutes. Some of it is stuff we’ve already seen in the previous trailers, but there’s a good amount of new stuff as well, including trippy, drug-induced hallucinations and Channing Tatum miming a lightsaber fight with his teen nerd crew. Watch the video (NSFW for language) after the jump.

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Though it’s being touted as a remake of the ’80s TV series starring Johnny Depp, anyone with even a passing familiarity with the source material will recognize that Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s upcoming action-comedy 21 Jump Street has little in common with its predecessor.

No, the real draw of the action-comedy so far looks to be in the surprisingly lively chemistry between leads Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum — and accordingly, two new bits of marketing from Columbia highlight just that. After the jump, check out a new trailer in which the pair team up to break all the rules spelled out by their supervising officer (Ice Cube) and a poster that shows off the two guys making the cutest prom couple ever.

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’21 Jump Street’ Green Band Trailer

The new 21 Jump Street obviously doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the ’80s series it’s based on, aside from than the basic premise (undercover cops posing as high-schoolers) and an appearance by the still-dreamy Johnny Depp. So it’s probably not fair to judge it as an adaptation of the TV show. On its own merits, though, it appears to be a pretty decent buddy cop action-comedy. Last week’s red-band trailer made me laugh, and this week’s green-band trailer did as well. Probably because it’s mostly the same thing, only with less profanity.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as a pair of supposedly youthful-looking cops who get assigned to a certain “cancelled undercover program from the ’80s,” as their boss (Nick Offerman) puts it. Watch the SFW version of the trailer after the jump.

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The latest addition to the cast roster of The Three Stooges is Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara, who is now in talks to play a femme fatale. (THR describes her as “a devious woman who pretends to be the wife of a dying man and tells the Stooges she’ll pay them a handsome sum if they kill the man in his sleep.”) The part factors into the middle section of the film; the Farrelly Brothers are presenting the movie structured as three 30-minute shorts. As for the rest of the cast, Will Sasso is Curly, Sean Hayes is Larry, and no Moe has been picked. (Or none has been announced, anyway.) [Original report: Variety]

After the break, Woody Allen and Penélope Cruz reunite; 21 Jump Street gets a bad guy and one more is added to David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. Read More »

The big-screen version of 21 Jump Street finally has a female lead. Brie Larson (United States of Tara, Scott Pilgrim vs the World) will play Molly in the rather unlikely R-rated comedy/action translation of the TV show that launched the career of a young Johnny Depp in 1987.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) are directing from a script by Josh Appelbaum with Michael Bacall, Joe Gazzam, Jonah Hill and André Nemec. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will play the primary roles as cops investigating the drug trade in a high school; Ice Cube is their captain. The Lord/Miller team had me locked after Cloudy, and this one has been talked up as a Bad Boys-style action picture. Let’s hope that really happens. [Deadline]

After the break, Luke Evans joins Robert Carlyle in the UK cop thriller Dogs of Law while Pierce Brosnan signs for All You Need is Love. Read More »

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