September 30, 2014
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Won't Back Down
Don Fowler
3.5 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Feel good film about education)

This feel-good film about improving the educational opportunities for inner city kids is "inspired by" a true story, which means that the writers have taken much poetic license in telling the inspirational story.

At the center are two strong women. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jamie, a Type A mother of a dyslexic daughter. Rhode Island's Viola Davis plays Nona, a former Teacher of the Year who is worn out from not being able to use her skills in an underachieving school, headed by a principal you want to strangle. She also has a special needs son.

The two team up to fight the system, the union and the apathy of the parents to create what we would describe as a "charter school,” giving the parents and teachers a major role in creating the curriculum.

The movie is a bit preachy, and we're sure it would offend most teachers with its union bashing. While one character has obviously been written in to present unions in a more favorable light, the story comes down strongly against the unions and the educational administrators. The movie is emotional at times and will have you rooting for the underdogs.

Rated PG, with mild profanity.


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