Vanessa Hudgens, Gimme Shelter

Roadside Attractions

In Gimme Shelter, we see Vanessa Hudgens like we've never seen her before. But is the film itself actually worth seeing?

The movie, opening in theaters on Friday, has the actress playing Apple, a homeless 16-year-old mother-to-be who finds help at a suburban shelter. Directed by Ron Krauss, the drama also stars Rosario Dawson as Apple's mom and Brendan Fraser as her dad, a rich Wall Street man she's never met.

Here's a sampling of what the critics are saying...

• "Though the arc of the film is as saccharine as a Precious Moments figurine, Hudgens is too honest to believe in simple, happy endings," writes Amy Nicholson of the Village Voice.

• "Writer-director Ron Krauss's Gimme Shelter is wretched long before its odious ulterior motives come to light," notes Slant Magazine's R. Kurt Osenlund.

• "Hudgens' best work here is physical. She eats voraciously, like an animal, and exudes a mix of anger, sadness and deep discomfort. Her spoken lines are less effective, and that's partly due to a script often filled with cliches," states Jocelyn Noveck of the Associated Press.

• "Gimme Shelter wears its heart on its sleeve, but the subject matter is best left to teen-oriented after school cable programming where it might influence its audience," remarks Reeling Reviews' Robin Clifford.

• "A couple of decent performances, a compassionate story given a simplistic treatment," opines Roger Moore of the McClatchy-Tribune News Service. "A better film would have made more of the dilemmas, been more honest with the many dead ends facing Apple."

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