Gimme Shelter

Disregard the flagrant stunt casting of former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens as an androgynous, pregnant street kid, and what remains is a poor man’s Precious, with all the earlier film’s go-for-broke melodrama but none of its weirdness or empathy for the impoverished. Writer-director Ronald Krauss means well, noting the hardships faced by homeless teens and the efforts of charitable organizations to rescue them, yet his characters tend to be composites of cliches and his depiction of street life rarely gets beyond blunt shock tactics. With Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones, Ann Dowd, and Rosario Dawson (who turns in some enjoyable scenery chewing as Hudgens’s crack-addicted mother).