User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18

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  1. Jan 24, 2014
    6
    Not being familiar with Vanessa Hudgens her performance blew my mind in “Gimme Shelter”. It wasn’t until I got home that I found out she was a Disney graduate having played in “High School Musical” at the age of 17. Now she is 25 playing a 15 year old pregnant girl without anyone to help.

    “Gimme Shelter” opens with a scene of her looking in a mirror chopping her hair off and having a
    pierced eyelid and lip. She has been abused, moved to ten foster homes because her mother is an addict and prostitute and she doesn’t have any knowledge of who her father is and after having a fight with her mother again she goes off to find him just having his address.

    She goes to her father who has a lucrative job on Wall Street, a large home, wife and 2 pure as driven snow children. The wife is not welcoming to her, the children complain she stinks and upon hearing she is pregnant her father wants her to have an abortion.

    She runs away and after being sneeringly approached by a pimp she steals his car and winds up in an accident that sends her to the hospital. This is where her life takes a turn as she meets a kindly Man of G-d who steers her to Kathy DiFiore who runs a shelter for teenage mothers and pregnant teenagers.

    This being a Hollywood movie you should know where it is heading but it is based, somewhat, on a true story and over the end credits they show pictures of the real people.

    Virginia Hudgens plays the lead Apple Bailey, bringing a lot more to the script than the writer-director Ronald Krauss gives her to work with. At some points when he can legitimately tug at the audience’s heart strings he preaches the obvious messages.

    James Earl Jones plays the man of the church brings a gravitas that only he can without over doing his voice or mannerisms. Rosario Dawson, with yellow teeth, plays the addictive mother who knows how to handle a razor blade in her mouth while Brendan Fraser acts as a milquetoast, which is strange for an actor who looks and usually is strong, as Apple’s father. Stephanie Szostak plays his wife in an underwritten tough role while Ann Dowd plays the real DiFiore.

    The film is a quick moving 1 hour and 40 minutes and has a PG-13 rating for a few brutal scenes of abuse, drug talk and some rough, but apropos, language.

    I do know that if I was a writer, producer and/or director I would want Vanessa Hudgens for my next few pictures and this movie is a MUST SEE for her acting, taking a weak story and making it very interesting. By the way when she cleans at a point in the film she is quite the pretty woman!
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  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. Jul 8, 2014
    7
    An independent movie based on the true story. About a runaway teenage girl, hiding from her abusive mother and looking for her father. Kind of 'Juno' meets 'Precious'. Both, teen pregnancy and abusive were exposed in the movie. Yet another movie of Vanessa Hudgens gives a similar kind of character display to the movie 'The Frozen Ground'.

    The title gives the expression of 'tearjerker'
    movie, but it was not. Maybe not persuaded us that hard to feel close enough. That is where it fails, otherwise the movie would have been recognized widely. Especially family audience would have been the target. It was the story of Apple, a teen girl who takes off from her abusive mother to find her real father. Then she comes to know that she's pregnant. She has to decide whether to have a baby or an alternate option. But she is lack of confidence, believes no one. So implementation of trust in life and handling her own life is what told in the remaining story.

    ''Just turn the page. And forget about it. Like you did with me.''

    As it was inspired by real, the story was extremely outspoken what you wanted to know. But, as a movie it did not turn into one nice piece. You are not going to enjoy it completely due to it was told largely in struggling manner, yet won't bring tears to the viewer's eyes like I said. A couple of scenes were inspiring, it gave a sign of positive to the viewers to proceed their watch. Could have been a little better in presenting crucial elements. Overall, not a bad movie for the subject it digs.
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  6. Apr 30, 2014
    5
    Well I do believe that a lot of these critics are upset with this films pro life stance, I can't argue that there is some real script issues. Coming from someone who is pro life I appreciate the message, but the inconsistencies of the characters and some really just strange moments bring the film down. The last act does have some really genuine scenes, but for a real film about a young girl living in an impossible situation see Precious. C Expand
  7. Jan 29, 2014
    10
    I agree with a lot of the other users - Vanessa Hudgens was incredible. It's a good story (based on a true story) with a good cast, including Rosario Dawson, James Earl Jones, Dascha Polanco, and Brendan Fraser. An indie flick packing a major punch, it deserves to be given a chance by moviegoers.
  8. Jan 31, 2014
    9
    Kudos to Ron Krauss for his production and to Vanessa Hudgens for an outstanding performance in a movie that clearly demonstrates that there are choices and their are people with hearts of compassion. Hudgens performance in my opinion was stellar! She is no longer a Disney "princess!" She has stepped up to the plate and hit a home run!
  9. Jan 31, 2014
    9
    This is an amazing film. It reveals the hardships many young women and girls have to face, but takes you on a journey of hope. The movie gives you a dose of reality. It is truthful and might even cause a few tears! I liked that is was easy to relate to and connect with. As everyone has been saying, Vanessa Hudgens' performance is beautiful. I've seen some reviews that call Gimme Shelter political propaganda, but I saw it as a film that encourages hope when everything seems hopeless. Definitely worth seeing. Expand
  10. Jun 19, 2014
    7
    I can't really see why all the negativity to this film, especially from critics; the movie wasn't perfect, and Vanessa Hudgens didn't break any ground, but no one can deny that the film is touching and has a powerful story. The film is based on a true story, a teen named Apples, runs from her abusive mother, in search of her father, and throughout the movie, we see how she leaves behind darkness and runs to light and hope. The movie is very touching, really disturbing at part, there is one scene in a church that made me so sad, Apple is a pregnant teenage, and the movie shows us how Apple is abusive and has a really hard time connecting to people, because of her past. The music in this movie makes it really emotional for the viewer. However the main issue with this movie is that all the people in this movie, although did their best, but felt not really fit for their roles, a similar movie in plot came out a few years back called "Precious" got slammed with a hard R, had tons of emotions because you can feel the characters by the emotions delivered from the actors, however, I can understand why the creators have chosen young actors; to grab the attention of young audiences to such important movie and story, because if there isn't anyone to grab the attention of the teens, this movie would lose its main purpose, and that's why this movie is a PG-13, I can totally understand, and I am not saying that the actors did bad, they were actually really good. Overall this movie is very emotional, disturbing at time, Gimme Shelter might be a movie that you don't wanna really tire yourself to see, but it is a must! Expand
  11. Apr 20, 2014
    5
    Hudgens definitely proved that she has potential, and there are glimpses of greatness if she tones down her acting a bit, but I did not connect to most of the supporting cast, and the tone is consistently depressing, which made moments that are supposed to be depressing not as intense. Congratulations Vanessa, great performance in an otherwise okay film
  12. May 4, 2014
    10
    Professional reviewer wrote a lot of negative critics because politics & religion about ABORTION. But WTF Seriously we don't care about that questions just now, a movie is a entertainment so just relax yourself and appreciate the show guys...then ... for my review now : I want to say It's just a great movie mainly because the drama is solid, realistic, the actors are all excellent especially Vanessa Hudgen, she's even great as she was in the last movie "The Frozen Ground". I'm impressed by her performance , I think I'm turning fan *_* Expand
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: 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Jan 24, 2014
    40
    The film is hamstrung by its fidelity to real-life inspirational models.
  3. 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.