A trio of troubled suburbanites attempts to come to grips with the personal issues that surface following the tragic death of one of their own in this introspective adolescent drama from L.I.E. screenwriter/director (Michael Cuesta). In the months following the death of Jacob's (Conor Donovan) likeable, athletic twin brother, Rudy (also Donovan), Jacob and friends Malee (Zoe Weizenbaum) and Leonard (Jesse Camacho) struggle to make sense of the unfortunate youth's fiery demise at the hands of local bullies. As Jacob quickly loses himself to revenge fantasies and sets into motion a series of destructive plans designed to destroy the kids responsible for his brother's death, Malee focuses her attention on a dejected patient of her psychotherapist mother, and obese Leonard struggles about weight and health issues with his equally obese mother. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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A great movie about kids, though not a children's film, TWELVE AND HOLDING (directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Anthony Cipriano) is so much stronger than I expected that I may be overrating it. But I'd not have missed it for the world. The theme here is children growing up too fast and making wrong choices (some reparable, others not) without the necessary adult supervision. While the parents must shoulder responsibility, this is no "blame the stupid adults" kind of movie. The kids try and sometimes do take responsibility, and here is where the film really shines, leaving its characters--and we viewers--utterly chastened. The kids here prove wonderful actors, and so do the adults--especially Jeremy Renner as a trouble young man who's the inappropriate object of one child's affection. They give awards for work this good---but only if the film is a hit, which "Twelve and Holding," unfortunately, was not. Dont use that as an excuse for not giving it a much-deserved watch.