It’s not every day that cinema fans can enjoy their favorite actors in a movie-with-a-message – a film that has critics raving even before its release. But that’s what’s happening with “Gimme Shelter.”

No, it’s not the classic 1970 Rolling Stones documentary. And starring opposite movie legend James Earl Jones amd heart-throb Brendan Fraser is High School Musical’s effervescent Vanessa Hudgens.


“The star looks so stylish and spills on growing up — and taking on gritty roles,” proclaims Hollywood Life. “Vanessa Hudgens has come a long way from her High School Musical days — and she loves taking risks and reinventing herself! Up next, the 25-year-old can be seen on the big screen playing the role of a pregnant teen runway in ‘Gimme Shelter,’ and the star is also on the cover of Flare, where she discusses stepping into more mature roles.”

Vanessa Hudgens shed her Disney image for Spring Breakers,” writes Digital Spy, “but with the trailer for Gimme Shelter she’s going a step further into this serious acting business. She takes on the lead role in the gritty drama.”

Vanessa Hudgens looks Oscar worthy,” writes The Improper, which goes on to call “Gimme Shelter,” “a compelling true story about a teenager who flees her abusive mother, played by Rosario Dawson, tracks down her real father, played by Brendan Fraser, but ultimately finds love in an unusual place. Hudgens character, “Apple” is a feisty, head-strong young girl, who wants something more for herself than her drug-addicted, prostitute mother can provide.”

Vanessa Hudgens stars in “‘Gimme Shelter’ shows a shocking new side of teen pregnancy: and it’s definitely not a glamorous portrayal,” writes reviewer Kristine

Hope Kowalski. “Vanessa’s new role is such a powerful representation of a young woman breaking the cycle. Vanessa Hudgens is taking on her most dramatic and powerful role ever, starring in Gimme Shelter, a gritty new film that follows 16-year-old Agnes “Apple” Bailey‘s struggle to find a family and a home of her own as she learns that she is expecting a child herself. The intense story isn’t just a theatrical departure for Vanessa, but it’s a thought-provoking film that young women especially will be shocked by.”

The film “could feature strongly in the upcoming awards season,” says The Hollywood News, noting it was “written and directed by Ronald Krauss and co-stars Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones, Stephanie Szostak, Ann Dowd and Dascha Polanco.”

“Vanessa Hudgens may not be a mom in real-life but she plays a teenage one in the movies,” reports E! Online, which quoted the young star: “Every single day was definitely a challenge but one I embraced with open arms. It was just so thrilling top be able to push myself every day and see how far I could take it. Probably the most physical and emotionally draining scene was my birthing scene. I’ve never shot a birthing scene and I ended up popping blood vessels in my face.”

Scheduled to open in theaters nationwide on January 24, 2014, Gimme Shelter takes the pro-life message to the big screen – as Hudgens’ character makes a tough choice to keep her baby, no matter the difficulties.

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