There are movies that come along based on inspirational stories and usually manage to deliver just on the story itself. When you give them a bit of a budget and some great actors then you have the possibility of creating something special. The latest film takes on the rarely talked about in film issue of education in Won’t Back Down. With Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis leading the way could there be any chance this film doesn’t work?
Won’t Back Down follows two determined mothers whose children are failing in an inner city school, who team up to take back the school and turn it into a place of learning. Before they are able to change the school, they have to battle the parents, school board, and teachers union. While this isn’t an actual true story like a lot of these films, it is based on various incidents of its kind. They don’t break any molds or do anything that hasn’t been done in some way before, but what is refreshing is who is under fire in this story, the education itself as opposed to those struggling to learn. The performances are all great and the movie works fine, but there is just something missing that most of these films have to really suck you in and that’s that moment where those fighting the losing battle deliver a memorable moment that turns things around. Most likely trying to shove that into this story would have felt forced and cliché, it just lacked that needed punch to add the extra passion to make the movie step out of just another in a line of inspirational stories.
Make no mistake, this is a great movie, but isn’t breaking any ground. If you enjoy these sorts of stories then you should check it out. Thanks to the two leads it takes a film that could have been pretty generic and turned it into something really good. If these two great actresses aren’t enough to suck you in, the film also sports a great supporting cast as well including Ving Rhames, Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez and Bill Nunn so there is bound to be someone in there to peak your interest.