• Released
  • September 28, 2012
  • PG , 2 hr 1 min
  • Drama
  • 314 Fan Ratings
83

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Won't Back Down says that whatever your feelings about the subject, lack of change cannot be the answer to our public-education crisis. Trying to cram an informational exposé and a vintage inspirational awards-bait weeper into one movie, Won't Back Down is awkward at times, yet it's also passionate in a surprisingly smart way. It makes a genuine drama out of impossible issues.
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75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
For sure, this is a cause movie - sometimes it even feels that way - in favor of charter schools and against the teachers unions. Still, Won't Back Down is reasonably fair in its approach.
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75

New York Post

By Kyle Smith
I haven't seen a timelier or more important film this year, and the film's passion for school choice could hardly be more warranted. Along with documentaries such as "The Lottery" and "Waiting for 'Superman,' " the film comes with a background sound of the ice of inertia cracking.
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63

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Barnz tries, at least a bit, to acknowledge the heroic and historic legacy of the union movement and its rightful place in the contemporary labor landscape. But much of the blame for the sorry state of Adams Elementary, and the school system at large, is placed at the union's feet.
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63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
While there are moments where this drama, about a pair of mothers hellbent on improving their children's education, is compelling and deeply moving, the film gets mired in heavy-handed cliches.
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50

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
The issue is contentious, messy, prone to wishful thinking. Some see a corporate plot to privatize schools. Others see a last chance to save them. Won't Back Down is on the latter side, obviously, and it has the boilerplate urgency of a TV movie that has been blessed with a high-end cast.
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50

The Hollywood Reporter

The movie addresses timely issues but eschews shading in favor of blunt black and white. It's old-school Lifetime fodder dressed up in Hollywood trappings.
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40

Movieline

The film is all for teaching as a calling. What it doesn't do is offer it the dignity of also being a job.
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40

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
I am neither anti-charter schools nor anti-union. I am, however, firmly against heavy-handed lectures disguised as art.
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30

NPR

By Ella Taylor
For all its strenuous feints at fair play, though, Won't Back Down is something less honorable - a propaganda piece with blame on its mind.
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42 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.