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This image released by Roadside Attractions shows Vanessa Hudgens in a scene from "Gimme Shelter." (AP Photo/Roadside Attractions)
Movie review: Vanessa Hudgens bolsters inspirational drama ‘Gimme Shelter’
First Published Jan 23 2014 04:39 pm • Last Updated Jan 29 2014 11:16 am

Get past the histrionics and the capital-A "Acting" of the based-on-a-true-story inspirational drama "Gimme Shelter," and there’s actually a sweet tale of love and redemption.

Agnes, aka Apple (Vanessa Hudgens), is 15, homeless, on the run from her junkie mother (Rosario Dawson) and pregnant. She finds the father she never knew, Tom (Brendan Fraser), a Wall Street success story with a wife (Stephanie Szostak) and young kids. Tom tries to help, but Apple doesn’t trust easily.

At a glance


‘Gimme Shelter’

Opens Friday, Jan. 24, at area theaters; rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving mistreatment, some drug content, violence and language — all concerning teens; 101 minutes.

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Eventually, Apple lands in a group home for pregnant teens, run by the loving but no-nonsense Kathy (Ann Dowd), and bonds with the other girls there.

Writer-director Ronald Krauss indulges in a fair share of sappy moments suitable for a Lifetime TV movie, but there’s a core of humanity — bolstered by Hudgens, whose performance gets better as she sheds the tough-girl fakery — that makes for a more honest tearjerker.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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