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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (movie)

'Short Term 12' beats long odds

'Short Term 12' beats long odds

Just after graduating from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Destin Daniel Cretton took a job at a local short-term care facility for at-risk teenagers, hoping to save money to make short films on his own while he figured out what to do next. Little did he know that his experience at the group home would become the basis not only for his film-school thesis project but also, five years later, one of the best-reviewed movies of the year, "Short Term 12."

"It was pretty heavy. I just felt like I was rattled a lot when I went in there," recalled Cretton, now 34. "I didn't even realize how much it changed me until I was looking back at it, thinking...