Won't Back Down (2012)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  28 September 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 4,874 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 37 user | 100 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Two determined mothers­, one a teacher, look to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.


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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Evelyn Riske
Breena Harper
Cody Alberts
Charles Alberts
Principal Thompson
Principal Holland
Arthur Gould
Olivia Lopez
Nancy Bach ...
Keith Flippen ...


Two determined mothers with children who are failing in an inner city school in Pittsburgh join forces to take back the school, and turn it into a place of learning. But before they can change the school for the better, they must first battle the parents, the school board, and the teachers union. Because this is for their children, they won't back down from this enormous challenge. Written by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If you can't beat the system... change it



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

28 September 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Learning to Fly  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,603,370 (USA) (28 September 2012)


$5,308,553 (USA) (16 November 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Holly Hunter; and four Oscar nominees: Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rosie Perez. See more »


Olivia Lopez: I live and breath this bureaucracy. I share your frustration. I read Kafka to make myself feel better.
See more »


References The Stepford Wives (1975) See more »


Rainbow in the Rain
Written by Clint Black and ;Hayden Nicholas'
Performed by Clint Black
Courtesy of Blacktop Records
By Arrangement with Suckaroo!
See more »

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User Reviews

It's a Battle for Education in 'Won't Back Down'
29 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A two-hour-long movie would be expected to have its high points and low points, but KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Anthony Aranda says his favorite "part" is, actually, the entire two hours. The 10-year-old sees this as a film that, he says, "can teach people a lot."

And this Twentieth Century Fox release has sparked some discussion by parents who, also, want to make sure their kids' schools are the best they can be. In today's economic climate of budget cuts, it's a strong reminder of how important education is.

Won't Back Down Reviewed by Anthony Aranda See his full review on video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR_M4vA7r20

This movie is awesome. I love it because it has lots of emotion and it's all because a kid has a terrible school and needs a new one so his mom and a teacher help, and I think that is great.

This movie is all about a kid who has a terrible school. So her mom and a teacher who works at the school NEWSLETTER BREAK think it's a bad school, so they go against the school to try to make a better one. They have to go through a lot to help the mom's daughter as well as the other kids at the school.

Some of the main characters in the movie are Jamie (the mom, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal), Malia (the daughter, played by Emily Alyn Lind), Nona and Michael. My favorite character is Jamie because she cares so much about her daughter that she works very hard to make a new school for her daughter and to shut down the other school named Adams. How she does this is by writing down tons of paperwork, and instead of sleeping she has to go to every house to see if they could team up with her. Luckily, she has a partner named Nona.

I could not pick a favorite part because the movie is so good that the whole movie is my favorite part. If I have to pick a favorite, I would probably say when Jamie has a big party to try to convince people to go against the school. There are cookies, a news team, shirts, FREE rulers and, to top it all off, Jamie gives a speech on why they should shut down Adams and build a new school.

I would recommend this movie for ages 7 and up because it's really made for an older audience. I still like it a lot and I think that my brother might like it, too, and he's 7, so 7 and up is good. The moral of the movie is really good and can teach people a lot. Go out and see this movie; it comes out in theaters on Sept. 28.

13 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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