Gimme Shelter has a good heart, but it’s filled with insincere moments and heavy melodrama. Vanessa Hudgens’s performance in the lead doesn’t ring true until the film’s final half hour, and even then it’s mildly affecting. She overacts and demonstrates that she wants to be a serious actress but can’t find a role that asks for subtlety. She has talent; there are moments within the film that allow for her character, Apple, to explore an unwanted pregnancy and its implications. The eccentric supporting cast, including weird contrasts like Brendan Fraser and Ann Dowd (a far more talented actress than this work demonstrates), doesn’t explore the film’s heavy religious themes with ease. The movie’s mechanical despite Ron Krauss’s obvious devotion and care for the work. It didn’t convince me emotionally, which makes it feel rather lifeless and elementary.
Grade: ★★½ (out of 5)