The best and worst thing about Grace is that she cares too much. She works in a halfway house for teenagers, and she has abundant reserves of empathy. She can get the most hardened kid to open, and can calm down the mentally disturbed with a simple, caring stare. But Grace has her own issues, which ironically are what make her so gifted. Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12 is the story of Grace and how one particular teenager unearths dormant feelings of pain. Cretton relies on an effective formula – the plot unfolds with gentle but predictable reveals – but the performances and thoughtfully-developed characters are what stand out.