Won't Back Down - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Won't Back Down Reviews

January 22, 2013
Full Review | Original Score: B+
October 1, 2012
It mixes attempts at realism and grit with transparently Hollywoodized good guys-vs.-bad guys social melodrama. That requires a deft directorial hand, but director Daniel Barnz doesn't seem to have it.
September 28, 2012
Social-issue movies can have real societal impact. That's why Won't Back Down, which presses a lot of hot buttons, deserves to be taken seriously, and criticized seriously, on its own terms.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
September 28, 2012
Won't Back Down doesn't wholly make the grade.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 28, 2012
Americans desperately need to have some difficult conversations about the state of public education, but Won't Back Down goes about the task too awkwardly to be helpful or interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 28, 2012
"Won't Back Down" details a bureaucratic process, and yet it plays more like an intense, emotional movie about parents and children.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 28, 2012
While the cast is filled with award winners, writer-director Daniel Barnz is a dunce who can't construct an argument without employing flimsy logic and cardboard characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 28, 2012
So didactic that viewers are likely to feel less uplifted than lectured.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
September 28, 2012
The film makes a serious effort to present the other side's points.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 28, 2012
[Barns] pours on the corn syrup pretty heavy in parts and it's pretty obvious the film has a clear agenda ...
Full Review | Original Score: C
September 28, 2012
A drama that's as intellectually crude as it is emotionally calculated.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 27, 2012
Even terrific casting and a well-intentioned story don't add up to a wholehearted cinematic win.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 27, 2012
So shamelessly manipulative and hopelessly bogus it will make you bite your tongue in regret and despair.
Read More | Original Score: 1/5
September 27, 2012
Teachers unions are by no means perfect, but Won't Back Down turns them into public school enemy number one.
September 27, 2012
Though it's wonderfully acted, the film stacks the deck so badly that it fails as drama.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
September 27, 2012
It has the boilerplate urgency of a TV movie that has been blessed with a high-end cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 27, 2012
However you take its politics, the film upholds a dreary tradition of simplifying and sentimentalizing matters of serious social concern, and dumbing down issues that call for clarity and creative thinking.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/5
September 27, 2012
A kind of Norma Rae for the Paul Ryan set ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 27, 2012
This movie fears nuance, pushes an agenda and demonizes its opposition.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 27, 2012
"Won't Back Down" is to school reform what "Reefer Madness" is to drug policy.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 27, 2012
The plot is just a clothesline on which to hang an unabashedly biased diatribe.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
September 27, 2012
Regularly devolves into a dry cinematic op-ed with thinly developed characters making didactic speeches articulating the issues involved in the knotty, emotionally charged subject of school choice.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
September 27, 2012
A film where typecasting and color-coding makes it easy to predict which characters are good or bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 26, 2012
It's rich territory for human drama; unfortunately, the film is more interested in slapping a charter-school Band-Aid on the gushing wound than exploring dramatic possibilities.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
September 26, 2012
It's rousing -- if not thrilling -- stuff, a multivitamin for a multiplex crowd.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
September 26, 2012
Grossly oversimplifying the issue at hand, writer-director Daniel Barnz's disingenuous pot-stirrer plays to audiences' emotions rather than their intelligence.
September 26, 2012
The hot-button issue of public school reform gets unsubtle treatment in this pedestrian and insultingly tendentious drama.
September 26, 2012
In Davis's case, marveling at yet another fine performance doesn't stop you from wishing that her first leading role was in a worthier vehicle.
September 26, 2012
"Won't Back Down" lives down to its bland, us-against-them title with a simple-minded assault on the ills of public schools that lumbers along like a math class droning multiplication tables.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 26, 2012
It's terrible when schools fail our children. But it's not so great when movies fail their actors, either.
Top Critic
September 26, 2012
A propaganda piece with blame on its mind.
September 26, 2012
Inept and bizarre ... a set of right-wing anti-union talking points disguised (with very limited success) as a mainstream motion-picture-type product.
September 26, 2012
As a message picture, its heart is in the right place. Too bad it doesn't always manage to rise above a swirl of predictable Hollywood clichés.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4