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Family Movie Review: Gimme Shelter (PG-13)

GimmeShelter ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 101 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. Based on a true story of a pregnant teenage girl who flees abusive foster care and her drug-addicted mother and attempts to start a new life and provide for her unborn child; the film focuses on Christianity as a centering, healing force in troubled teens’ lives (and is very clearly pro-life) and includes some cursing and violence from the protagonist’s mother toward her daughter and some brief mentions of sex. It’s not exploitative toward its characters, though, and doesn’t glamorize teen motherhood.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens is outshined by James Earl Jones and Rosario Dawson in ‘Gimme Shelter,’ although the film is her first really dramatic starring role. But the film, a surface-level look at the hardships associated with teen motherhood, overall benefits from the performances of its supporting cast.

By Roxana Hadadi

Vanessa Hudgens takes one more step away from her Disney past with “Gimme Shelter,” in which she stars as a pregnant young teen struggling to run away from her drug-addicted mother and abusive foster family so she can start a new life. It’s not Hudgens’s best work—she struggles when the role demands nuance from her, and she’s not consistent with deciding much bad-girl swagger to give the character of Apple—but the film benefits from a great supporting cast, with a perfect horrible mom turn from Rosario Dawson and the warm sternness of James Earl Jones. Hudgens is out-acted here, but at least she’s in great company.

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