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Won't Back Down

HD   PG Closed Captioning

Daniel Barnz

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About the Movie

OSCAR ® Nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal (2009, Supporting Actress, "Crazy Heart") and Viola Davis (2011, Actress, "The Help") lead a stellar cast in writer-director Daniel Barnz’s inspirational drama inspired by actual events. Frustrated by her dyslexic daughter’s struggles at a failing inner-city school, Jamie Fitzpatrick (Gyllenhaal) tries to enroll her somewhere else. When this fails, Jamie recruits a disillusioned but caring teacher (Davis) to try to fix the broken school. Soon, the women find themselves in a tense battle against apathy, hopelessness, and powerful interests. OSCAR ® Winner Holly Hunter (1993, Actress, "The Piano") and OSCAR ® Nominee Rosie Perez (1993 Supporting Actress, "Fearless") also star in this inspiring story that shows how profoundly parents can affect their kids’ education.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 103
  • Fresh: 34
  • Rotten: 69
  • Average Rating: 5.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: 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. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Sep 27, 2012

Rotten: Teachers unions are by no means perfect, but Won't Back Down turns them into public school enemy number one. – Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine, Sep 27, 2012

Rotten: Even terrific casting and a well-intentioned story don't add up to a wholehearted cinematic win. – Claudia Puig, USA Today, Sep 27, 2012

Rotten: So shamelessly manipulative and hopelessly bogus it will make you bite your tongue in regret and despair. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Sep 27, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Don't Read the Biased Media Critcs' Reviews

When I heard about the plot of this movie I knew right away the movie critics would hate it. Mom takes on teacher's union --- that's all the critics--New York Times, TIME magazine, USA Today, LA TImes-- had to hear to give a thumbs down to this great story and inspiring story. Movie crtitics are liberals first, movie critics second. And I'm 100 percent sure never had to raise their kids in a failing school system.

Completely Under Rated

This movie is about fighting for what you believe in. Viola and Maggie give great performances. Gives me hope every time I watch.

So Off Base

As a teacher I found this movie to be mis-leading and so simplistic to the challenges people face with public education. There were so many unanswered questions to the plot and not to mention, with each character. This film attempted to show that all teachers in public schools are burned out and slaves to the "system" and that the teachers unions are protecting them. This is so false and so untrue to most schools, teachers and districts. Really disappointed that politics took over and this movie, which could have been good, became another piece of Michelle Rhee funded sludge that tanked at the box office.

Won't Back Down
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings