WON'T BACK DOWN
Mother Knows Best
Starring: Viola Davis, Maggie
Gyllenhaal, Holly Hunter,
Oscar Isaac, Rosie Perez, Ving
Rhames, Dante Brown, Lance
Reddick, Bill Nunn
Audience: Older children and adults
Runtime: 121 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox/News Corp.
Director: Daniel Barnz
Executive Producer: Ron Schmidt, Tom Williams
Producer: Mark Johnson
Writer: Brin Hill, Daniel Barnz
Address Comments To:Please send your thanks or concerns, and copy Movieguide®, to:
Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corp.
Chase Carey, President/COO, News Corp.
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen/CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment 20th Century Fox Film Corp. (Fox Searchlight Pictures/Fox 2000/Fox Atomic/FoxFaith)
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Jamie Fitzpatrick is tired of moving schools, fighting for her daughter to be in the best school and not being able to give that to her. The current school her second grader, Malia, is attending has an F rating. Also, most of the children do not make it to college. On top of that, Malia has dyslexia and is in one of the worst classes with a teacher who only cares about her tenure and union benefits. Jamie really wants to get her daughter in another teacher’s class, a teacher who loves her students and helps them progress, but there isn’t enough space.
Meanwhile, the good teacher, Nona, has a son in need of a great teacher at his own school. Jamie approaches Nona about her situation. The two realize the biggest problem with the government school system is the teachers union, and the fact most teachers are just working for tenure, not to teach.
After doing some research, Jamie and Nona find out that they themselves can completely change the school for the better by making it a charter school. The school they would create would not allow for unions or tenure, and the teachers would have to teach because they loved the children and wanted to help the children grow. The problem is, they have to get 19 other teachers on board and many parents.
Hearing that Nona and Jamie are taking a stand, Evelyn, who works for the Pittsburgh teacher union, starts to fight them. Evelyn and her boss, Arthur, see Nona and Jamie as a threat to the union system. They start to make up lies and pass out fliers. Evelyn tries to stop Nona and Jamie from rebuilding the school. She even tries to bribe Jamie. However, Jamie and Nona see through her schemes. They fight harder and harder to reclaim the school in order for the children to learn and progress.
WON’T BACK DOWN has a very strong free market, anti-statist message about how people should fight for their rights in the midst of government mediocrity. The movie shows that people can make a difference, that things can change even if they are failing, and that passion is key to making it happen. WON’T BACK DOWN has a very strong moral worldview showing it’s best to do what’s right no matter how difficult. It also stresses parents loving their children and fighting for what’s best for them. There is, however, a separation between a married couple, which is sad.
WON’T BACK DOWN has a great message, but the movie is all about the message. There aren’t enough moments of laughter and relief from the message. WON’T BACK DOWN could have been even more powerful if it had focused more attention on providing viewers more entertainment.
WON’T BACK DOWN has a very strong free market, anti-authoritarian message. It shows that people should fight for their rights against government mediocrity. The movie demonstrates that people can make a difference, that things can change and that passion is a key to making it happen. Also, WON’T BACK DOWN teaches viewers that it’s to do what’s right no matter how difficult it may be. WON’T BACK DOWN has a great message, but the movie is all about the message. More entertaining elements would help WON’T BACK DOWN entice more viewers.