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12 and Holding

4.5 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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(Oct 10, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Shocking and intricate pre-teen coming of age tale where adolescence and adulthood collide, exploring the complexities of children losing their innocence and adults struggling to guide them. Sparked by the tragic death of Jacob's twin brother, a trio of friends band together as they grapple with feelings of revenge, grief and experiences of growing up. As each family's personal challenges are revealed, they learn to better understand each other and their own realities.

Special Features

  • Commentary by Michael Cruesta
  • Deleted scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Conor Donovan, Jesse Camacho, Zoe Weizenbaum, Annabella Sciorra, Jeremy Renner
  • Directors: Michael Cuesta
  • Writers: Anthony Cipriano
  • Producers: Amy Robinson, Andrew Spaulding, Brian Bell, Doug Mankoff, Frank Frattaroli
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000HC2M2K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "12 and Holding" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on January 2, 2007
Format: DVD
To say that TWELVE AND HOLDING is a haunting film is an understatement. At the beginning we meet four twelve year olds: twins Jacob and Rudy Carges (both played by Conor Donovan), Malee (Zoe Weizenbaum) and Leonard (Jesse Comacho). We soon realize that the four are friends not so much because of what they share in common as much as the fact they are four people who have no one else. Jacob is disfigured and Rudy reluctantly comes to his rescue. His attempts to protect his brother, which may be due as much to pride as brotherly love angers some bullies who set his tree house ablaze not realizing he's in it. The remainder of the film focuses on the life the three remaining friends live after Rudy's death. Jacob becomes fixed on revenge and visits his brother's killers in prison without his parents' knowledge. His parents adopt a child as a replacement which is obvious to Jacob though not to the parents. Jesse becomes obsessed with losing weight because a coach feels sorry for him because he's the most overweight child he's ever seen. Malee falls in love with a construction worker who is a patient of her psychoanalyst mother. The film has a number of surprising plot twists which make it anything but predictable and we seem to get inside the world of some loners we all know exits but most of us never get to know.

There are many positive aspects of the film. The actors are convincing and the world created seems plausible. The story may seem too far fetched for some viewers, as some critics claimed when it was released and this would be true for most typical adolescents and even some who are not so typical, but we're talking about twelve year olds reacting to grief with no one to reach out to them. There are a few scenes that while interesting, don't quite connect to the larger story, but it is well paced, well acted, and certainly one that will remain with a viewer for a while.
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Rudy and Jacob Carges are twins and almost exact opposites: Rudy is brash, always willing to fight, good at sports and dedicated to his weaker, port-wine stained on the face brother, Jacob. The twins also have two good friends Malee Chaung (Zoe Weizenbaum): an in your face, smart as a whip, flute player and Leonard Fisher (Jesse Camacho): a way overweight kid who wouldn't think of camping out without a huge bag of pretzels and licorice. They are all 12 years old...hence the title but none of the four are in any way in a holding pattern. In fact they are all straining at the bit of pre-adolescence, dying to be teenagers, have romances and do whatever it is that they want. As in Director Michael Cuesta' previous film, "L.I.E.," these kids are mature beyond their years, conflicted and mostly very lonely.

Added to this pre-adolescence mix are a couple of adults: Annabella Sciorra as Malee's mother who is as lost if not more so than Malee and a sensitive, devastated, psychologically suffering Gus beautifully portrayed by Jeremy Renner ("Dahmer"). It is particularly heartening to see Renner playing someone other than a weirdo and nailing it.

Cuesta is after a lot more here then even in his richly textured "L.I.E." In "Twelve and Holding," he wants to expose the dynamics, troubles, slice open and expose the social and psychological machinations of the modern American family: and he pretty much succeeds on all fronts.
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Format: DVD
This is generally not a family movie about adolescence. Although it is tame in comparison to other thought provoking adolescent movies. The movies has many characters of varying ages. Most of the acting is very good and the parts played seem very realistic. You aren't going to be thrown on a ride of precoscious drug and alcohol abuse with sexual expermentation. This movie plays a realistic role of what many preteens experience on a daily basis. The constant battle to be known and wanted. Self awareness seems to be a very important stage of these young characters lives and getting to know them makes this movie all that better. One character works to battle his being overweight while another becomes aware of her sexuality and uses it to flirt. Although the main character has to battle demons that knowone would wish on a child that young. His twin brother was killed in a terrible event and he faces those demons by confronting the two who killed him. This movie is chilling at points and can make you feel good at others. Just when you think it's going in one direction it throws you for a curve and puts you somewhere else. I think if you watch this movie you will be plestantly surprised...I was.
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Format: DVD
Destined to be a sleeper gem that will remain largely undiscovered by most folks due to the unpopular content: kids are portrayed not as innocent teddy bears, but as savvy, wise-beyond-their-years, young adults. This is a big, tough, serious drama, with tension and a big emotional punch that will connect. Brace yourself for a rocky ride.

It might have been more believable if the kids were all geniuses from a magnet school. Frankly I have never been acquainted with anyone quite as precocious and independent as the characters in this film. But maybe this is where the human race is headed in the future.

It offers a welcome respite from the same old saws being churned out by the movie industry. I prize originality, creativity and most of all, good writing, and this movie definitely has all that. Highly recommended.
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