Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 16+
Heartrending troubled-teen drama explores heavy themes.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Short Term 12 refers to a group home for troubled youths, and the film centers on a supervisor who's charged with creating a safe place for them. It's a tough, honest look at people who've been through difficult experiences (abuse/molestation, cutting, etc.) and need space to heal. Expect plenty of emotional moments as the characters slowly reveal troubling episodes in their past. There's a good deal of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), plus flirting, a relatively tame love scene, some drinking/smoking, and a few intense physical confrontations.
- Families can talk about why they think Grace and Mason are drawn to this type of work. How do their own pasts help them relate to the kids in their care?
- Parents, talk to your kids about the teens at the group home: What do you think about their struggles? What stands in their way, and what helps them rise above their challenges?
- Who do you think this movie is most intended to appeal to? Teens or their parents? Why?
The good stuff
Positive messages: Kids need a safe, loving environment to heal and learn to trust again after going through hard times. Providing that kind of place is difficult, and the young people put up plenty of roadblocks, but for Grace and Mason, it can also be rewarding to help them.
Positive role models: Grace, Mason, and the other counselors at the group home strive to create a safe environment for troubled youth, sometimes while enduring emotional and physical resistance.
What to watch for
Violence: Brief fights between teens. Several episodes involving youth counselors who must wrestle troubled youths into submission at a group home. Two girls trade fairly graphic stories about how they were abused by their fathers. A young man tries to hurt himself with a shard of broken glass.
Sexy stuff: Some flirting between couples, and one relatively tame love scene that ends abruptly. A woman is shown bathing, though no sensitive body parts are visible.
Language: Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "hell," "balls," "bitch," and more.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some characters occasionally smoke cigarettes, and a few scenes include social drinking at parties (not explicitly by underage characters). One teen character hides pot in his room.