Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton, 2013). Brie Larson is a revelation. The cast is full of people you might remember from TV series: John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Kaitlyn Dever (Justified, among others), Melora Walters (Big Love). Everyone is fine, but Larson shines over them all. The treatment of troubled teenagers is mostly honest, and when it gets too melodramatic, there’s always Larson to fall back on. Do you get the feeling I liked Larson in this movie? (Oh yeah, she’s another ex-TV person: United States of Tara.) #579 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 1000 films of the 21st century. 8/10.
Beyond the Lights (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2014). 7/10.