6.5/10
6,159
41 user 101 critic

Won't Back Down (2012)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Daniel Barnz
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Jamie Fitzpatrick
Viola Davis ... Nona Alberts
Oscar Isaac ... Michael Perry
Holly Hunter ... Evelyn Riske
Rosie Perez ... Breena Harper
Emily Alyn Lind ... Malia Fitzpatrick
Dante Brown ... Cody Alberts
Lance Reddick ... Charles Alberts
Ving Rhames ... Principal Thompson
Bill Nunn ... Principal Holland
Ned Eisenberg ... Arthur Gould
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Olivia Lopez
Liza Colón-Zayas ... Yvonne
Nancy Bach Nancy Bach ... Deborah
Keith Flippen ... Ben
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Michael Perry: When I drink, I ask nosey questions.
Jamie Fitzpatrick: When I drink, I marry losers.
See more »

Connections

References Norma Rae (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

A Girl Named Malia
Written by Matt Keating
Performed by Oscar Isaac
See more »

User Reviews

 
Stand up for better education in Won't Back Down
25 February 2013 | by rgblakeySee all my reviews

There are movies that come along based on inspirational stories and usually manage to deliver just on the story itself. When you give them a bit of a budget and some great actors then you have the possibility of creating something special. The latest film takes on the rarely talked about in film issue of education in Won't Back Down. With Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis leading the way could there be any chance this film doesn't work?

Won't Back Down follows two determined mothers whose children are failing in an inner city school, who team up to take back the school and turn it into a place of learning. Before they are able to change the school, they have to battle the parents, school board, and teachers union. While this isn't an actual true story like a lot of these films, it is based on various incidents of its kind. They don't break any molds or do anything that hasn't been done in some way before, but what is refreshing is who is under fire in this story, the education itself as opposed to those struggling to learn. The performances are all great and the movie works fine, but there is just something missing that most of these films have to really suck you in and that's that moment where those fighting the losing battle deliver a memorable moment that turns things around. Most likely trying to shove that into this story would have felt forced and cliché, it just lacked that needed punch to add the extra passion to make the movie step out of just another in a line of inspirational stories.

Make no mistake, this is a great movie, but isn't breaking any ground. If you enjoy these sorts of stories then you should check it out. Thanks to the two leads it takes a film that could have been pretty generic and turned it into something really good. If these two great actresses aren't enough to suck you in, the film also sports a great supporting cast as well including Ving Rhames, Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez and Bill Nunn so there is bound to be someone in there to peak your interest.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Learning to Fly See more »

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,603,370, 30 September 2012

Gross USA:

$5,310,554

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,378,228
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (ACES)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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