Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. This is the exceedingly rare film that understands how lonely, insecure preadolescent children can become so consumed by their feelings that they lose sight of ordinary boundaries and unconsciously act out their parents' darkest fantasies of passion and revenge.
  2. Cuesta directs the lead actors with such feeling that their misery seems authentic.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    75
    The film 12 and Holding brings you back to when you routinely said things like, "I'm going to kill you" or "We're soul mates" and meant it.
  4. 70
    Smart, compassionate filmmaking that captures both the intricacies and the tragedy of contemporary adolescence.
  5. A movie with better parts than a whole. But where it's right, it's really right.
  6. Most of the time, however, we are watching pathology without benefit of insight.
  7. 42
    The drama feels factory-cut and shrink-wrapped, with each of three kids' stories following predictably twisty paths to ironically hopeful conclusions.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jan 30, 2011
    10
    hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv Expand
  2. PradR.
    Dec 18, 2006
    10
    Only film this year that kept me engaged and unsure until the end. No pain-by-numbers here!
  3. PaulK.
    Jun 14, 2006
    9
    I really enjoyed L.I.E., so my expectations for this film were pretty high and I was not disappointed. The child actors did a great job and I found the stories to be complex and different, but totally enthralling. My eyes were glued to the screen with anticipation. Definitely see this in the theater. Collapse
  4. ChadS.
    Dec 13, 2006
    8
    "Twelve and Holding" would've benefited mightily had the filmmaker eschewed one of Chekhov's tenets to writing (actually, playwriting) and trusted his kids to do the heavy lifting without resorting to some unnecessary melodramatics. What happens, I think, runs contrary to the nature of Jacob (Conor Donovan)'s ever-changing relationship with the prisoner. "Twelve and Holding" is supposed to be about real kids, and the young actors do indeed deliver some great unaffected performances (especially Zoe Weizenbaum as Malee), but their stories feel scripted(especially Leonard's family life, which resembles a bad John Hughes film played as drama). Weizenbaum, however, holds "Twelve and Holding" together with an ethereal blend of poise and vulnerability. She steals the film, much like how Hermione does in the Harry Potter movies (Jacob's scar might be a reference to the young wizard, who like the surviving twin has two best friends, a boy and a girl). Expand

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