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Won't Back Down 2012

PG CC

Maggie gyllenhaal and viola davis play two determined mothers, one a teacher, who will stop at nothing to transform their childrens 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. This powerful story of parenthood, friendship and courage mirrors events that are making headlines daily.

Starring:
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
Runtime:
2 hours, 1 minute

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Daniel Barnz
Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
Supporting actors Oscar Isaac, Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez, Emily Alyn Lind, Dante Brown, Lance Reddick, Ving Rhames, Bill Nunn, Ned Eisenberg, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Liza Colón-Zayas, Nancy Bach, Keith Flippen, Robert Haley, Lucia Scarano, Sarab Kamoo, Teri Clark, Joe Coyle
Studio Fox
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Filmed in Pittsburgh, the new Hollywood of the east, this film is more fictional than fact. It was inspired by a California law for failing schools. Pennsylvania does not have such a law as yet.

Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a working single mom with a dyslexic daughter (Emily Alyn Lind) who is not getting the attention she needs at school. Unable to move or pay for her child to go to a better school, Jamie joins with a teacher (Viola Davis) in an attempt to take over the school's charter. It is an uphill battle as she must convince apathetic parents. Teachers must also be convinced to give up their union security so they can eliminate substandard teachers with tenure.

The struggles portrayed in the film were light compared to reality. The film is an emotional roller coaster ride. The movie was well acted. Because of the topic, the film engages in some union bashing while trying not to look too anti-union (remember, actors and screen writers are union too).

Tom Petty's song finally comes in during the credit roll.
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This movie was inspirational. It was about two women (Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal) who fight for justice in the public school system so that their kids and others can be taught fairly and respectfully. Of course, like everyone else, they went through obstacles. However, they overcame them and accomplished their goals.

No matter what happens and what people do to you, always follow your heart and do the right thing.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a newly-retired teacher, I saw this movie in the theaters and found it to be a wonderful story that showed the best and the worst of education. After 38 years of teaching, it amazes me that there are still teachers, schools, districts that are lackadaisical and need a good 'kick-in-th-pants' to provide what the kids need. The actors in this film show the extreme of what can be done, and do such a good job of showing the dedicated and the undedicated in a wonderful profession. My feeling is, teaching is not just a job where you collect a paycheck -- it's a way to affect the future, hopefully in a good way, and although it's a lot of work it is so fulfilling. Thanks to the makers of this film and since it was based on a true story -- congrats to the people who did what needed to be done. Excellent portrayal of an important topic.
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"Send a Poor Child to a Nurturing, Lexus Quality Private or Parochial School for $7,500/child/yr using
Taxpayer Funded Vouchers; OR, Send That Same Poor Child to a Violent, Academically Stifling
Government Public School for $15,000/child/yr using Taxpayer Funded Vouchers. To which School
would YOU send that Poor Child?

For over 20 years, depending on the venue, I've asked a similar question of Leaderships of the National Education
Association, American Federation of Teachers, NAACP, 100 Black Men, US Senators Saxby Chambliss (R)
and Zell Miller (D, Governor Perdue (GA) and a host of other BoE Members from Atlanta, Fulton County
and Fayette County. ALL ANSWERED: I'D SEND THAT POOR CHILD TO THE VIOLENT, ACADEMICALLY
INFERIOR SCHOOL FOR $15,000/CHILD/YR!!!!

"WHY?" I asked.

"We Must Save (Government) Public Schools at ALL COSTS!---(Damn the Kids, Damn Thier Parents,
Danm the Taxpayers and G*DDamn Americans.!!!) Said all these loathsome Liberal Leaders---
Along, unfortunately, with a good sized number of RiNOs like Perdue and Chambliss.

Frankly, I get physically sick dealing with Progs, most Dems, NEA thugs, etc... whose long term
plan is to Destroy America via Destroying Kids in Government Public Schools.

Sincerely!!!

Bill Bryan---Advocating for Kids since 1964!
Advocating Taxpayer Funded Vouchers Since 1993.

"We Can Have Lexus Quality Education at LOW, Low, low Wal-Mart Prices if We Use Taxpayer
Funded Vouchers to Send America's Kids to the Private, Parochial or Government School that
Best Fits The Kids' Needs as Determined By the Kids AND Their Parents."

"Save Kids!
Save $$$$!
Save America!"
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Format: DVD
If not for the emotional resiliency of the two lead actresses, this 2012 feel-good drama about the reformation of a failing inner-city Pittsburgh school would come across as no more than a polemic. However, Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight) and Viola Davis (The Help) bring enough intense fervor to their roles of parent and teacher that this becomes a creditable film if not all that memorable. Director and co-screenwriter Daniel Barnz doesn't help matters much by stacking the deck so predictably in the script (co-written with Brin Hill) while tackling a serious exposition problem with a lot of education jargon that feels like it requires the viewer to take some preparation exam to watch it. Watching Davis Guggenheim's 2010 documentary, Waiting for 'Superman', is probably helpful since it covers similar territory by showing how students strive to become accepted into a charter school.

The plot here takes a more contrived route as it focuses on Jamie, a single mom holding down two jobs while becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of attention her eight-year-old, Malia, receives from her teachers in treating her dyslexia and dealing with bullies. Through happenstance, she finds a little-known piece of legislation based on California's "parent trigger" law, which allows parents and teachers, under certain circumstances and after rounds of approvals, to take over schools and run them entirely.
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