Won’t Back Down Movie Review

by Migdalia Rivera

Won’t Back Down, a family-friendly film on the shared mission of parents, teachers and kids.

Latina On a Mission Movie Review | Won't Back Down

Won’t Back Down, a 20th Century Fox film featuring Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter, was inspired by actual events. The movie follows two determined mothers looking to transform their children’s failing inner-city school, and shows how they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.

Read the Interview with Rosie Perez, Viola Davis, and Maggie Gyllenhaal from Won’t Back Down

The opening scene is disturbing: a teacher in the classroom, texting on her phone, instead of doing what she is there to do,which is teach.

As a teacher, Won’t Back Down really hit home. I know what we endure—the paperwork, the parents who don’t share our priorities for their kids’ education, salary disparities, and children coming in tired, hungry, and not well cared for.  I believe this movie is one that teachers should attend with a group of colleagues to re-evaluate what needs to be done in the classroom, discuss ways to re-ignite their “passion” for teaching, and to open a dialogue where they can voice their frustrations at issues going on in the classroom.

As a parent, it gives the viewer a certain amount of strength to believe that the school system cannot, and will not fail you, if you speak up, and dare to believe. It shows the tremendous difference that one person can make when they allow passion, hope, and determination to guide them. It’s also a wonderful film for parents to see the connection and force that can be built between parents and teachers.

As parents, and teachers, we must remember that we can’t lose hope in our children, in our future. As the character Jamie Fitzpatrick stated in the film, when speaking about her daughter, Malia’s education, “Why do I have to let her down on this?” This should never be a question that any parent asks. We should never have to feel that we are letting our children down on their education. They deserve the best and they should be able to count on their parents, and teachers, to provide the very best for them.

Children, 11 and older, could also learn a lesson, or two, from Won’t Back Down. They will be able to witness the tremendous amount of hard work and dedication that goes into teaching, and the difference that working together, and having hope, can bring.

Would I suggest this movie?

Yes. It’s a wonderful film for parents, teachers, and those who have hope in our future and what our education system has to offer.  Even if you are not a parent, or teacher, Won’t Back Down will hit a deep place in your heart and motivate you to go out and try to make a difference in whatever path you choose in life.


Let’s Talk! Do you have an inspiring teacher in your life? Share the inspiration (or vent) in a comment!


Eileen is a New York City Public School teacher in Brooklyn by day and a freelance writer, contributor to Mamiverse, wife, and mother of two boys by night. Eileen is the founder of mommyteaches.com, where she shares her love of blogging about her pride in teaching, parenting, and the blessings and trials that life have to offer. She graduated from NYU with honors with a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. A children’s book collector from a young age, Eileen loves cooking all types of food, reading and being arts & crafty with her boys. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY from a Puerto Rican mother and an American father. Eileen is married to her high school sweetheart for 10 years. Follow Eileen on Twitter @EileenCCampos.

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

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