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"WON'T BACK DOWN"
(2012) (Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal) (PG)


Alcohol/Drugs Moderate
Blood/Gross Stuff Minor
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes None
Gun/Weapons Minor
Imitative Behavior Heavy
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Minor
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Mild
Sex/Nudity Moderate
Smoking None
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: In a working-class Pittsburgh neighborhood, a single mom and a fed-up teacher seek to start their own school to better teach the local kids.
PLOT:
Jamie (MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL) is a working-class single mother in Pittsburgh who is exasperated that her daughter, Malia (EMILY ALYN LIND), is falling behind in school and neither her teacher nor Principal Holland (BILL NUNN) seems to care. The school itself has earned a failing grade for years, Malia obviously has dyslexia, the administrators will not allow her to be moved to a better class, and the principal at her old school where she did well will not allow her back in.

At the same time, Nona (VIOLA DAVIS) is a teacher at Malia's school and has grown increasingly fed up with the state education department's bureaucracy that has hindered students' success, and the increasingly uncaring nature of her colleagues who have gotten tenure under lax Teachers Union criteria. She is recently divorced from Charles (LANCE REDDICK), who has since bought a home in a much better school district and would like to have custody of their learning disabled son, Cody (DANTE BROWN), during the week so he can attend the local blue-ribbon school. Nona bristles at the idea and wants to continue working with him on the side.

Soon, these two women team up after Jamie gets the idea of starting their own school, which would employ non-union teachers and offer a more flexible and focused curriculum. They run afoul of Teachers Union heads Arthur Gould (NED EISENBERG) and Evelyn Riske (HOLLY HUNTER); a beaten-down bureaucrat named Olivia Lopez (MARIANNE JEAN-BAPTISTE); fellow teachers, including Nona's good friend Breena (ROSIE PEREZ), who are hesitant to challenge the status quo; and too many apathetic parents.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The PG rating might draw in kids and families, especially those who are civic minded or are in situations similar to the ones the characters are dealing with in the film.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic elements and language.


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