Matthew Lickona 2:02 p.m., Sept. 23
- Rated PG-13
- View trailer
Having recanted her polished Disney decency with two exercises in high-concept sleaze (Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers), Vanessa Hudgens goes for earnest drama (complete with frumpy-grungy appearance) as Apple, the abused daughter of a meth whore (a frightening Rosario Dawson). In rapid succession, Apple escapes her home, meets her (rich, conventional) dad, escapes his home, winds up in the hospital, and lands at a shelter for young women in distress. Along the way, a kindly priest (James Earl Jones!) tries to help her find some measure of earthly peace, but of course, she has to fight to get it. The poster lets us know that director Ron Krauss has an inspiring true story on his hands, and while does his best to smear it with the requisite grime and grit, the film, like Hudgens, brings more earnest than drama to the proceedings. Still, there are some good moments along the way, particularly among the shelter's residents. With Brendan Fraser. 2013.