"Gimme Shelter" is like "Precious," if all of the main actors were far more attractive. It borders on preachy, and you may wonder midway if you’ve been lead into a pro-life propaganda film. Certain actors give great performances and it is based on an inspiring true story of charity. Plus, it features actors you may have forgotten, Brendan Fraser and James Earl Jones. Despite being a bit preachy, the film is saved by the bonus features on the Blu-ray that shed light on the real people upon which the story is based.
Vanessa Hudgens is a bit uneven. She does deviate from her Disney image, but the grit doesn’t feel natural, especially given her overwhelming diction. Rosario Dawson gives a great performance, as does Fraser, who hasn’t been in a major movie in a dog’s age. The film just feels... pushy. It does have a positive message of charity and perseverance, and, despite her performance, Hudgen’s character is very sympathetic. The film just drops a lot of important facts in favor of pushing its agenda.
The Blu-ray features a "Making Of" featurette that sheds light on the real story behind the film. It focuses on a charitable woman who created a home for pregnant teens so they can keep their babies. It would be heartless to not appreciate it on some level. There are some deleted scenes a couple of which add a little more color to the film, but ultimately don’t add much.
"Gimme Shelter" is not a film to rush to. It doesn’t have the poignancy of "Precious" or a heartfelt honesty.