'Won't Back Down' Critic Reviews

50%
MovieWeb:   0 reviews
32%
Rotten Tomatoes:   101 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    75
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    30
    However you take its politics, the film upholds a dreary tradition of simplifying and sentimentalizing matters of serious social concern, and dumbing down issues that call for clarity and creative thinking.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    40
    It is well meant, undoubtedly about something that matters, and it bends over backwards not to trash the teachers' unions gratuitously, but amid the attempts at gritty reality, I found the happy-ending imperative unconvincing.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    63
    Even terrific casting and a well-intentioned story don't add up to a wholehearted cinematic win.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    25
    So didactic that viewers are likely to feel less uplifted than lectured.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    50
    It has the boilerplate urgency of a TV movie that has been blessed with a high-end cast.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Melissa Anderson Village Voice (Top Critic)
    In Davis's case, marveling at yet another fine performance doesn't stop you from wishing that her first leading role was in a worthier vehicle.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    20
    The plot is just a clothesline on which to hang an unabashedly biased diatribe.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    50
    A film where typecasting and color-coding makes it easy to predict which characters are good or bad.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    A kind of Norma Rae for the Paul Ryan set ...
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    38
    "Won't Back Down" is to school reform what "Reefer Madness" is to drug policy.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    42
    [Barns] pours on the corn syrup pretty heavy in parts and it's pretty obvious the film has a clear agenda ...
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Barbara VanDenburgh Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    40
    It's rich territory for human drama; unfortunately, the film is more interested in slapping a charter-school Band-Aid on the gushing wound than exploring dramatic possibilities.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    75
    As a message picture, its heart is in the right place. Too bad it doesn't always manage to rise above a swirl of predictable Hollywood cliches.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Debruge Variety (Top Critic)
    Grossly oversimplifying the issue at hand, writer-director Daniel Barnz's disingenuous pot-stirrer plays to audiences' emotions rather than their intelligence.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    The film makes a serious effort to present the other side's points.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Bruce Demara Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    63
    Won't Back Down doesn't wholly make the grade.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Stephanie Zacharek Film.com (Top Critic)
    It's terrible when schools fail our children. But it's not so great when movies fail their actors, either.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Liam Lacey Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    50
    A drama that's as intellectually crude as it is emotionally calculated.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Andrew O'Hehir Salon.com (Top Critic)
    Inept and bizarre ... a set of right-wing anti-union talking points disguised (with very limited success) as a mainstream motion-picture-type product.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Rooney Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    The hot-button issue of public school reform gets unsubtle treatment in this pedestrian and insultingly tendentious drama.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Germain Associated Press (Top Critic)
    50
    "Won't Back Down" lives down to its bland, us-against-them title with a simple-minded assault on the ills of public schools that lumbers along like a math class droning multiplication tables.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Mary F. Pols TIME Magazine (Top Critic)
    Teachers unions are by no means perfect, but Won't Back Down turns them into public school enemy number one.
    Full Review » 2 years ago