Twelve and Holding

Twelve and Holding Image
Metascore
65

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

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0

Trailer

Please enter your birth date to continue:
You are not allowed to view this material at this time.
Autoplay: On | Off

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On
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. 75
    Director Michael Cuesta hits the right notes with his characters. They are believable 12-year olds: intelligent (but not too intelligent) yet naïve, and trying with mixed success to navigate the path of adolescence.
  4. Lacks the powerful focus of the filmmaker's debut effort and often flounders under the weight of its melodrama and contrivances. But it also boasts many well-observed moments and features stellar performances by its youthful cast.
  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: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. PradR.
    Dec 18, 2006
    10
    Only film this year that kept me engaged and unsure until the end. No pain-by-numbers here!
  2. Jan 30, 2011
    10
    hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv Expand
  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 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, "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
  5. Jul 11, 2015
    8
    With his utterly shocking debut film, L.I.E., Director Michael Cuesta, quickly proved that he wasn't afraid to push the envelope in order toWith his utterly shocking debut film, L.I.E., Director Michael Cuesta, quickly proved that he wasn't afraid to push the envelope in order to shock his audience. That is why I was hesitant to see his other coming-of-age film, 12 & Holding. Thankfully, this film was more on the level and told a different kind of story, one that larger audiences can relate to. Rudy Carges (Conor Donovan) is an introverted 12 year old boy, who because of a facial deformity, does not socialize outside of his small circle of friends. A circle which includes a strong leader and protector, his twin brother, Jacob. One summer night, a bullies prank goes horribly wrong and Jacob is killed, leaving the group to find their own direction. As someone who recently lost someone close to me, this film really hit home, it was inspirational and a truly a wake up call. The film does an excellent job of showing everyone's grief from the family, right down to the furthest acquaintance, the type of lose and emptiness that people of all ages feel when a tragedy like this occurs, but then the film takes a turn. The three remaining members of the group realize, at their young age, that life is short and you never know what's going to happen, so they use the tragedy as the inspiration to turn their lives in another direction. Conor Donovan stars and it is miraculous that at his age he could play two completely different characters with such ease. The twins are so different, even though they are played by the same person. This is the kind of performance, actors three times his age can't pull off successfully, but Donovan does and it makes the whole film. Because of this role, the young Donovan actually got a role in the Departed, but hasn't been in much since then, which is truly a shame. 12 & Holding, actually uses actors that are the same age as their characters, and what these kids had to play through, and how they did so was truly phenomenal. IFC films have a reputation for being great, hard hitting stories, but this one really struck a nerve and the performances blew me away. If that's not the definition of a must see movie, than I don't know what is. Expand

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. What Movie Should I See This Weekend?

    What Movie Should I See This Weekend? Image
    Published: August 24, 2016
    Preview all of this weekend's new theatrical releases (including Don't Breathe, Hands of Stone, Southside With You, and more), with Metascores and trailers for each new film.
  2. What to Watch Now on Amazon Instant Video

    What to Watch Now on Amazon Instant Video Image
    Published: August 23, 2016
    Get a list of the best movie and TV titles recently added (and coming soon) to Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, updated frequently.
  3. Film Friday (8/19): This Week's New Movie Trailers

    Film Friday (8/19): This Week's New Movie Trailers Image
    Published: August 19, 2016
    Watch all of this week's new film trailers, including new looks at Denis Villeneuve's buzzy sci-fi film Arrival, plus Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time, Andrea Arnold's American Honey, and more. Plus, get a quick update on the latest movie news and release date announcements.
  4. Action Heroes: The Definitive Ranking

    Action Heroes: The Definitive Ranking Image
    Published: August 16, 2016
    We rank 22 leading action movie stars by their average Metascores.