Won't Back Down 2012

Won't Back Down

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.

35%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 106

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 18,162

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Movie Info

Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Nona Alberts (Viola Davis) are two women from opposites sides of the social and economic track, but they have one thing in common: a mission to fix their community's broken school and ensure a bright future for their children. The two women refuse to let any obstacles stand in their way as they battle a bureaucracy that's hopelessly mired in traditional thinking, and they seek to re-energize a faculty that has lost its passion for teaching.

Cast & Crew

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Jamie Fitzpatrick
Viola Davis
Nona Alberts
Holly Hunter
Evelyn Riske
Oscar Isaac
Michael Perry
Rosie Perez
Breena Harper
Ving Rhames
Principal Thompson
Lance Reddick
Charles Alberts
Bill Nunn
Principal Holland
Emily Alyn Lind
Malia Fitzpatrick
Brin Hill
Screenwriter
Daniel Barnz
Screenwriter
Mark Johnson
Producer
Tom Williams
Executive Producer
Ron Schmidt
Executive Producer
Roman Osin
Cinematographer
Rusty Smith
Production Design
Luca Mosca
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Won't Back Down

Critic Reviews for Won't Back Down

All Critics (106) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (69)

Audience Reviews for Won't Back Down

  • Feb 17, 2014
    3 3/4's--Very inspirational, and heartwarming. Made-for-tvish. A sad statement on the condition of the American education system, but depicts a good step for improvement. Well acted. Nicely done..
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2013
    It's a film with a big heart, but it's just so schlocky... Maggie Gyllenhaal plays essentially the same role she did in Crazy Heart, and the supporting ensemble does alright, but as a whole the project is sentimentally overwrought and occasionally veers into Lifetime territory. I appreciate the value of the story, but it's just not much of a movie... "fighting the system" has become a predictable formula, and this particular film does nothing others haven't done already.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Feb 27, 2013
    Won't Back Down is a prime example of a movie that suffers from a weak script and average direction, but is saved by excellent and noteworthy performances. Having grand aspirations regarding the failing education system in urban public schools, it ultimately gives no solid solutions and overgeneralizes the myriad problems regarding said topic. Quite obviously, the movie leans heavily toward the right politically. (Damn those corrupt Teacher's Unions! If only everything ran like a business! That would fix urban blight!) Nevertheless, the performances given by Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal and the supporting cast keep the whole venture afloat. And it holds together better than "white savior" schlock like The Help. But when compared to other movies in its particular sub-genre such as Stand and Deliver and Lean on Me, or when its message is seriously analyzed, it doesn't quite make the grade.
    Joshua S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2013
    "Won't Back Down" is a movie about two mothers(Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis) who are fed up with their children's failing school. They decide to risk everything to make a difference by going against the teacher unions and set out to do a school take over with the other parents and change things for the better for the kids. It's an inspirational movie, even though it runs a tad long and some of the background plot doesn't really go anywhere and just bogs the movie down some. Gyllenhaal does ok, but Viola Davis is fantastic. She is one of the best actresses today without a doubt. Whether your for or against unions it doesn't matter, because this movie is about making a difference for children. Emily liked and it made it all the way through, so if that happens I can almost guarantee all women will like it. Guys, probably not, but it's okay for a one time watch.
    Everett J Super Reviewer

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