Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Twelve and Holding could have been a series of horror stories, but the filmmakers and their gifted young actors somehow negotiate the horrors and generate a deep sympathy.
Aside from its frank consideration of preteen sexuality, the most daring thing about Cuesta's extraordinary film is its willingness to put honest, intelligent dialogue in the mouths of kids.
Except for an ending that's so implausible it might have derailed a less solid work, Twelve and Holding is a realistic and sympathetic portrayal of what it's like to be young and confused
Cuesta prizes curiosity and perception over conflict resolution. He likes the way kids take their cues from adults and the ways they revolt against them. Even as the kids do the ugliest things, the film stays cool without ever being cold.
Philadelphia Inquirer
Illuminating and unsettling.
Chicago Tribune
The kids deliver uniformly solid, occasionally remarkable performances.
New York Post
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.
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.
The Hollywood Reporter
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.
New York Daily News
A movie with better parts than a whole. But where it's right, it's really right.
Entertainment Weekly
The young cast is terrific, giving the stories unearned weight.

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