Won't Back Down

Won't Back Down
Won't Back Down
  • PG
  • 2h 2m
  • 2012
Rotten34%
Common Sense Media Iconage 9+
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Oscar® Nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal (2009, Supporting Actress, "Crazy Heart") and Viola Davis (2011, Actress, "The Help") lead a stellar cast in this empowering drama inspired by actual events. Hard-working single mom Jamie Fitzpatrick (Gyllenhaal) is concerned that John Adams Elementary is letting her daughter down. Teaming with a caring teacher (Davis) who wants the best future for her own son, she sets out to improve attitudes and elevate the school’s academic standards. Despite the odds, with courage, hope and persistence, the women just might prevail in this uplifting film that also stars Rosie Perez and Academy Award® Winner Holly Hunter (1993, Actress, "The Piano") .

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

TOMATOMETER®
Rotten34%
Critics Consensus: Despite the best efforts of its talented leads, Won't Back Down fails to lend sufficient dramatic heft or sophistication to the hot-button issue of education reform.
Reviews
London Evening Standard
Rotten

More anti-union propaganda masquerading as entertainment.

June 22, 2017
Little White Lies
Joseph Walsh
Fresh

A straight-talking, partisan account about the failings of a broken system and a band of women who...

June 22, 2017
Guardian
Peter Bradshaw
Rotten

It is well meant, undoubtedly about something that matters, and it bends over backwards not to tra...

June 22, 2017
New York Magazine/Vulture
Bilge Ebiri
Rotten

It mixes attempts at realism and grit with transparently Hollywoodized good guys-vs.-bad guys soci...

June 22, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 9+
Common Sense Says
Inspiring tale of a mom's quest to better her kid's school.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Won't Back Down, which is based on actual events, follows a mother's journey to turn her daughter's failing elementary school around. There's some insulting language ("idiot," "retard," as well as "ass") and bullying -- a teacher does nothing as a student rips another student's backpack, and the same teacher purposely keeps a kid from leaving class to use the bathroom. Jamie, the protagonist mom, wears tight clothes and flirts with pretty much everyone -- culminating in a romantic relationship with a teacher at her child's school. Adults drink at a bar and restaurant, but there's no drunkenness. Parents and kids will be reminded of the difference that just one or two people can make in a community.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
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Positive Role Models
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Violence
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Sex
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Language
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Consumerism
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Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:September 28, 2012
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
    5.1
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