Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 29
  2. Negative: 12 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jan 24, 2014
    75
    It’s not for the squeamish, but thanks to a riveting central performance by Vanessa Hudgens and a compassionate screenplay by Ron Krauss, who also directed, this is a far more sobering and substantial exposé of homeless teenage girls on the dangerous edge of society than you might expect.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jan 23, 2014
    75
    Writer-director Krauss embraces the spiritual elements of this story without turning it into a heavy-handed religious lecture.
  3. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Jan 21, 2014
    70
    Though the arc of the film is as saccharine as a Precious Moments figurine — and it'll play that way for audiences who can't be bothered to look closer — Hudgens is too honest to believe in simple, happy endings.
  4. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Jan 24, 2014
    63
    The film never says the words "pro-life" or "pro-choice." It genuinely seems to be about how the system has broken down entirely, and how sometimes it is up to privately funded charities to provide a light at the end of the tunnel.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jan 23, 2014
    63
    Gimme Shelter has a lighter touch than you might think. Yet there are times when its attempts at wringing drama out of real life are more strenuous than is strictly necessary.
  6. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 24, 2014
    58
    Gimme Shelter exists less as a social lesson than as a wobbly showcase for Hudgens' still-developing skills.
  7. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Gimme Shelter, a ripped-from-real-life story of a pregnant teen's journey toward hope, is filled with very good intentions, very bad dialogue and a surprisingly affecting turn by its star Vanessa Hudgens.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Gimme Shelter is sometimes moving and inspiring, but you have to wonder: Though Kathy and her movement give teenagers shelter, do they give them a life?
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Although it’s superficially grungy, this true story isn’t much more substantive than something that star Vanessa Hudgens might have made for the Disney Channel and considerably less shocking than her career gambit in “Spring Breakers.”
  10. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Gimme Shelter is an attempt at something grand, and though it doesn't get halfway there, it covers some ground.
  11. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    As a film, though, Gimme Shelter is unremarkable, a predictable story of redemption that happens awfully fast, to a girl who only seems to be in peril briefly — and has a rich dad to bail her out.
  12. 50
    It’s the sort of movie whose finale leaves you wondering, “Why do they always leave out what happens next?”
  13. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Most of the time, it simply coasts along at the level of a typical Lifetime TV movie.
  14. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 23, 2014
    42
    It's the sort of movie that would have starred Valerie Bertinelli or Kristy McNichol back in the 1980s, tricked out with PG-13 grittiness and religious wholesomeness. It's the sort of story that ignores unpleasant social implications in favor of programmed sentiment.
  15. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Jan 21, 2014
    42
    For all of Krauss’ clearly good intentions, the film still falls staggeringly flat, even with the inclusion of a bold and unexpected performance from Vanessa Hudgens, doing her damndest to break out of the Disney mold and turn in actual work here.
  16. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Jan 24, 2014
    40
    The film is hamstrung by its fidelity to real-life inspirational models.
  17. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jan 23, 2014
    40
    The story unfolds in large part through awkward contrivance.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 23, 2014
    38
    Propaganda is a bitch to act. And this misguided movie leaves Hudgens buried in it.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 23, 2014
    38
    Gimme Shelter suffers from an acute case of the fakes. The speeches sound like speeches, and not good ones.
  20. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jan 26, 2014
    33
    There’s nothing wrong with social-cause filmmaking, and the movie’s chief problem is less its political talking points than the corny way it tries to impart them.
  21. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jan 24, 2014
    30
    Whatever its politics, Gimme Shelter fails on multiple levels.
  22. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 23, 2014
    30
    The film is more of a pageant than a convincing drama. It’s so determined to deliver its moral that it loses its grip on the reality of its characters.
  23. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jan 23, 2014
    30
    Though light on drama, Apple’s scenes at the shelter are easily the best part of the film, among the few moments when Gimme Shelter decides to show the effect of faith and charity rather than simply preach it.
  24. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Jan 24, 2014
    25
    A clunky movie that feels as if it’s underwritten by the Roman Catholic Church.
  25. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Jan 23, 2014
    25
    Preachy, manipulative and emotionally barren.
  26. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jan 24, 2014
    20
    From an artistic perspective, Ron Krauss’ heavy-handed drama, Gimme Shelter, fails almost entirely. But if the director set out to combine the stilted falsity of 1980s after-school specials with leaden political dogma, he’s certainly achieved his goals.
  27. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Jan 22, 2014
    20
    Yearning to be a tale of familial abuse and social oppression finally overcome by personal triumphant transcendence through community and love, the film is instead the plainest of generic pop songs.
  28. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Jan 24, 2014
    12
    A happy-smiley Christian fairy tale disguised as a hard-hitting shard of social realism.
  29. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Jan 22, 2014
    0
    Writer-director Ron Krauss's Gimme Shelter is wretched long before its odious ulterior motives come to light.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Jan 29, 2014
    9
    Vanessa Hudgens really transformed herself for this role. She blew me away with her portrayal of a lonely, struggling teen. The cast gave outstanding performances all around. This was an inspiring film that I would highly recommend that everyone see. Full Review »
  2. Jan 29, 2014
    9
    Saw Gimme Shelter over the weekend. Like other reviewers, I was astonished by Vanessa Hudgens' abilities! She's come a long way from her Disney song and dance days. I was even impressed with Brendan Fraser's performance. Rosario Dawson, as always, pulls out all the stops portraying Hudgens' drugged out mother.

    Reading the critic reviews, I was a bit disappointed by the negative reception, with many labeling this film as "religious" with a "right-winged" agenda. Yes, the shelter Hudgens' character ends up at is a Catholic facility, but there is little to no discussion of Christianity or religion at all in the story. Plus, this is based on a *true story*, so the writer/director cannot ignore the roots of the shelter founder's beliefs. The film is truly about a lost soul finding a family-- not God. It's inspirational and hands down, a must see.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    Luckily for Vanessa Hudgens (“Spring Breakers” 2013) she has broken out of her Disney princess shell and transformed herself into a bonafide actress with real credentials.She proves that she has completely left her amateur puppy Disney HSM acting and moved on to bigger future roles that will certainly give her a lot of career options, maybe an Oscar too. And why not? In Gimme Shelter, Vanessa Hudgens, as an actress, portrays all the emotions and characteristics that the Academy of Arts want to see. I wont be surprised if I see Hudgens taking at least a nomination for her stunning, breath taking performance. Full Review »