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Parents' Guide to

Won't Back Down

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Inspiring tale of a mom's quest to better her kid's school.

Movie PG 2012 121 minutes
Won't Back Down Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 9+

Won't Back Down is a great movie for families

As an advocate for kids with StudentsFirst, I was able to see this movie at a few screenings ahead of release. This movie is a heartwarming, uplifting story about what happens when parents and teachers come together for students. It took a complex subject and made it relevant for so many families in a way that documentaries can't always accomplish. A new "Norma Rae" story for our time - two moms, one a teacher, who rise up against the status quo to improve a school and give their kids a better future. Highly recommend!
age 16+

Propaganda film

This film is produced by a right-wing guy with an anti-union agenda. It is a right-wing propaganda film.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

If WON'T BACK DOWN were an inspiring made-for-TV movie, it would no doubt earn Gyllenhaal and Davis Emmy Award nominations. It's exactly the sort of "inspired by true events" drama that would be a great fit for basic cable. But on the big screen, the poignant premise (uneducated single mom will stop at nothing to secure her little girl a decent education) succumbs to a formula that feels a bit flat.

Of course it's a compelling story, because what parent doesn't want to think they have the courage of conviction to stand up to endless amounts of red tape? But this isn't really a tale about an amazing teacher like Stand and Deliver or Dead Poets Society; this is a David vs. Goliath story -- with a single mom and a teacher hurling their proverbial rocks at both a behemoth school board and a stuck-in-its-ways union. The performances get an "A" (Gyllenhaal and Davis are class acts), but the polemical story isn't novel enough to merit an extra star.

Movie Details

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