Won’t Back Down
Oh boy. Here we go. A movie with a mission. Don’t know if you’ve heard lately, as really no one’s been talking about it, but it seems many people fervently believe the public school system is a crumbling cesspool of laziness and inaction and there’s only one victim: the children. Won’t someone think of the children?!

I’m not here to debate public policy or even really weigh in on the broiling education debate happening in our country right now. As an enlightened human being, I think I’m above that, choosing to spend my time thinking about the inevitable Terminator takeover and whatnot. But I do have an important question I need answered about this flick: why does Maggie Gyllenhaal’s hair keep changing? First it’s short, then long, then short, then long, well you get the point.

This movie is playing for probably one type of person. If you think teachers and the public education system are bad, then you’ll like it. If you think that’s not the real culprit, you won’t see it. If you’re in between, I guess it could sway you. Won’t Back Down concerns the struggle by hot (ish) single mom Gyllenhaal and wise teacher Viola Davis to take control of their kids’ failing inner city school. It might get heavy-handed at times, but honestly, that’s probably the point.

Daniel Barnz directs and dude knows a thing or two about making people monsters, having helmed the comically bad Beastly (20%). Here he takes the fight to the schools with the backing of Walden Media who backed the critically acclaimed Waiting for Superman (89%). I think the documentary format works better for movies like this and critics split it down the middle. The Rotten Watch for Won’t Back Down is 53%

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